The Nightmares Continue to Roll In

From the moment my first book, The Ascension Legacy: The Shamed Ranger, was released, I have been inundated by emails and phone calls from different groups trying to sell me a variety of services in association to my books. At first, I wrote a blog about the various contacts I had with these people. For months afterwards I would update the blog with new contacts. You can read the original blog here. That blog got a few comments and encouraged others to reach out to me directly with their stories. Below is the comment from that original blog:

Dr. Sylva Portoian AUGUST 27, 2022

Westwood book Publisher a scam 1000%…not 100% They were able to cheat me in many ways …
They charged me $ 7000.for marketing only .. and at the same time, send me 2 invoices ($5000/$9000)
I contacted the bank and ordered to cancel my bank card…
I am searching for an honest lawyer to deal with … Because they can sell my poems…
They are already advertising the cover of my poetry book 1000 poems of 1000 pages.
to cheat others…and the book is not published yet…they don’t have publishing company.
There are many complaints about them similar to mine and worse.
We should unite and do something …
They can cheat others easily … We should protect Innocent Authors from them …
I am a human rights advocate and have many beautiful poems in “Sylva’s 1000 Poems”,
in my new book, I gave the PDF to this scam publisher called Westwood.
Winner of the Carnegie Poetry Prize, Spring 2009


Eventually, the original blog grew too long to maintain so I opted for a more permanent option for discussing the growing list groups contacting me. Feel free to check out that current page here. As you’ll see, the list is long so be prepared to scroll. Not only do I catalog who contacted me, who they represented, what they may have tried to sell me, but also my replies, if any, and any findings that I might have discovered while researching these people/groups.

Not only did I blog about my experiences but I also shared my experiences with others on social media where I participate in groups with other authors who might be receiving similar contacts. As I stated before, others reached out to me to share their experiences. One such experience resulted in a very detailed blog, you can read about it here. This blog has resulted in a series of comments, found below:

Kiel Barnekov NOVEMBER 15, 2022

I also fell for the pitch from New Reader Media (NRM) in June 2022. $12,500 to develop a website for my book, a screenplay and treatment. They actually developed an attractive website rather quickly. In the meantime, I had an interested movie producer who had requested a screenplay after a pitch I did personally in September. I requested an update from NRM on the screenplay. NRM replied saying it would be ready by the end of September. I then requested an update in early October to which I received no reply after several attempts. Fortunately, I paid for the contract with my Amex credit card. I filed a dispute for $8500 of the $12,500 given that NRM had created the website. NRM contacted me soon after and attempted to get me to release the dispute. I replied stating my requirements for releasing the dispute, essentially requiring weekly progress reports for the screenplay. NRM refused to accept my conditions so I informed them the project is canceled. I have not heard anymore from them. They have until December 27, 2022 to present their case to Amex for reversing the dispute. Based on what I’ve read here, I have doubts that they will attempt to counter the dispute. I will post again after December 27.

Lauren NOVEMBER 15, 2022

Jodi what exactly did they promise you? Like I said in the other comment. Leave reviews where ever you can

Jodi NOVEMBER 7, 2022

I have had the exact same experience. My contract is over snd they will not take my calls or emails.
Allison Wells. Shane Ridley, kelly Smith
I am out thousands.

Lauren SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

I would make sure to leave them reviews on Google so others can be warned and contact the BBB. They were also caught impersonating Christopher paolini. I actually got to talk on fb about it and he said contact the FBI. On reddit someone said they are a bunch of scammers from the phillipines and don’t even have connections to film companies and they are linked to a company called clique interface. It’s pretty missed up. Did they tell you you had a Netflix or film contract?

Lauren Dragon SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

Yes the whole company is a big scam and lie

Douglas Hynden SEPTEMBER 21, 2022

I have the same complaint about New Readers Magazine. I gave them $13,200 and after a about a little over a year Kelly Smith quit answering my phone calls and I had to leave messages. Her secretary finally called and said she had taken time to be with her father who was in bad health. Once I called and a man answered and said she no longer worked there and they had given him that phone. I did contact them twice on their website by virtual assistants, which is not operating anymore.. They got back and said Kelly would call when she was back. After that I have sent two FedEx envelopes to the legal department and one to the contract department and both were signed for but no reply.


I’ll continue to post about my experiences. I’ll continue to encourage others to post about their experiences. Good or bad, the more that we share, the more that others learn. I’ll find new ways to share these updates to spread the word. To me, these stories and experiences serve as warnings to others. I’m not saying that all these groups are out to steal from you but potential scams are something that everyone needs to be on constant watch for and these experiences may prove helpful to someone else. But just look at the dates on the comments. In just over 3 months time between August to November 2022, I had 5 people come forward and leave comments on blog articles expressing their dissatisfaction and heart wrenching stories, some of which cost them thousands of dollars.

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