TWA

Archive for the ‘Fact Checking’ Category

John Steinbeck Family Defrauded by Writer Beware™ & SFWA Attorney: The 2007 Scam that Writer Beware™ Didn’t Report . . . Why?

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Accountability, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Authors, BARBARA BAUER, Bauer vs. Glatzer, books, Boycott, C. E. Petit, Cease & Desist, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Crispin, Fact Checking, ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION, Investigations, Jaws, Jenna Glatzer, John Steinbeck, Law Suits, Lawrence Lee Jeckel, lawsuit, lawsuits, Lawyer, Legal Issues, Literary, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, McIntosh and Otis, Miss Snark, Nancy Steinbeck, Professionalism, Reputation, Reputation Management, Scam, Scams, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, SFWA, Shark, Suspension from the practice of law, The Write Agenda, Veracity Check, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware on December 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm

“Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living . . . until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white . . . .”

Quint, from Jaws the movie

 It (Writer Beware™) purports that it “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.” Selectively? Maybe? Sure, until the scam strikes at home base. In 2007 it did; and, it’s a SCAM of EPIC proportions. It involves the estate of Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck (i.e. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937) . . . yes, that Steinbeck. Huge? We think so. Was the failure of Writer Beware™ to report this scam an oversight or a case where they just turned their heads and looked the other way? Swimming with the sharks?

What did this scam involve? In principle, it’s the kind of material that Writer Beware™ built its foundation on. Exposing scams that are relative to: 1) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 2) breaching fiduciary duties to a client; 3) obtaining an unreasonable fee; and 4) engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. These are the types of claims that spawned Writer Beware™ and its own version of their boycotts; otherwise known as their “Thumbs Down” lists. It’s time for the “bright light” to shine into the “dark corners of the shadow-world” of Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware™ and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA). There’s one name we will not see on any Writer Beware ™ list and we’ll let you decide exactly why that happened.

Who was this individual that engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; allegedly breached fiduciary duties to a client; purportedly obtained an unreasonable fee; and may have engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute? Well, let’s take a close look at some of the relationships and links:

Ann “A.C.” Crispin “thanked him for his help with the SFWA Writer Beware website.”

 

In 2006, Jenna Glatzer (i.e. Bauer vs. Glatzer et al) thanked him for being a “scamhunter.”

“There are sharks out there in the literary waters.”

-Victoria Strauss

Victoria Strauss has referred to him as their” “favorite shark.” [Note that the word “shark” is slang for a lawyer. It’s also a term for “a person who preys greedily on others, as by cheating orusury” and/or as a verb to “to obtain by trickery or fraud; steal.”]

“Now, admittedly, there are some intellectually and ethically challenged members of my profession, but . . . we can at least discipline them or kick them out and make it stick.”

 - Charles Emil Petit

January 2007

He represented “people who claimed they were defrauded.” He also goes by “Jaws” on some of the infamous writer and author awareness blogs. He was also known as the “Authors Lawyer.” His ties to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA), Writer Beware™, Ann “A.C.”Crispin and Victoria Strauss are well documented; he worked “closely” with them and had frequent correspondence with Teresa Nielsen-Hayden. He called Victoria Strauss a “colleague.” Who was this highly lauded “scamhunter”? Charles Emil Petit. Also known as Charles E. Petit, Charlie Petit and/or C.E. Petit. AKA “Jaws.”

Charles E. Petit is also believed to be an Absolute Write Moderator and frequent contributor and commenter on Writer Beware ™. Confidential sources indicated to The Write Agenda that, at one time, all complaints and “cease & desist” letters regarding Writer Beware™ were to be directed to Charles E. Petit. On information and belief, it appears that he did accept service of process for several defendants in the Bauer vs. Glatzer in 2007. This may have also included Jenna Glatzer and Miss Snark.  Petit never actually represented any of the defendants. He couldn’t because he’s not licensed in New Jersey. He did accept service and then referred the case to local New Jersey attorneys. He was subjected to disciplinary action, by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, after a complaint was filed by Nancy Steinbeck who was the former wife of John Steinbeck IV, the son of author John Steinbeck (see below).

“Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living . . . until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white . . . .”

Quint, from Jaws the movie

Filed May 14, 2007

In re Charles Emil Petit

Commission No. 06 SH 30

Synopsis of Hearing Board Report and Recommendation

NATURE OF THE CASE: 1) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; 2) breaching fiduciary duties to a client; 3) obtaining an unreasonable fee; and 4) engaging in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

RULES DISCUSSED: Rules 1.5(a) and 8.4(a) (4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and Supreme Court Rule 770

RECOMMENDATION: Suspension from the practice of law for six (6) months and until further order of the Court

DATE OF OPINION: May 14, 2007

HEARING PANEL: Richard W. Zuckerman, James R. Mendillo, and Carolyn Berning

RESPONDENT’S COUNSEL: Pro se

ADMINISTRATOR’S COUNSEL: Deborah Barnes

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

CHARLES EMIL PETIT,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 6230038.

Commission No. 06 SH 30

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEARING BOARD

INTRODUCTION

The hearing in this matter was held on November 14, 2006, at the offices of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Springfield, Illinois before a Hearing Board Panel consisting of Richard W. Zuckerman, Chair, James R. Mendillo, lawyer member, and Carolyn Berning, public member. The Administrator was represented by Deborah Barnes. The Respondent appeared at the hearing pro se.

PLEADINGS AND PRE-HEARING PROCEEDINGS

On May 2, 2006, the Administrator filed a two-count Complaint against the Respondent. Count I of the Complaint alleged that in January 2002, Nancy Steinbeck consulted the Respondent about representing her. Nancy Steinbeck was the former wife of John Steinbeck IV, the son of author John Steinbeck. John IV died in 1991, Nancy was the beneficiary of John IV’s will, and as such had received substantial royalty payments from the literary works of John Steinbeck. The Respondent agreed to represent Nancy in regard to her claims against the literary agent for the beneficiaries of John IV’s estate and/or other beneficiaries thereof. On January 15, 2002, they signed a representation agreement that provided the Respondent would receive $115 per hour for “investigation and research,” $195 per hour for “appellate matters, appearances in court, or before arbitration panels or mediators,” and $165 per hour for “all other hours expended.” The Respondent did not file any action related to Nancy’s claims after January 15, 2002.

On numerous occasions between January 15, 2002, and July 17, 2003, Nancy had numerous telephone conversations with the Respondent. During the telephone conversations, the Respondent told Nancy that he had filed a complaint with the New York Disciplinary Committee regarding the conduct of McIntosh and Otis employees Winick and Pinkus, and that the Committee was actively investigating the matter. He advised Nancy not to file any action while the disciplinary matter was pending. The Respondent knew or should have known his foregoing statements to Nancy were false because he had not filed any complaint with the New York Disciplinary Committee.

Sometime between October 2003 and February 2004, the Respondent told Nancy that he had obtained documents, specific letters and memoranda, relating to her claims against McIntosh and Otis, and other beneficiaries. The Respondent knew or should have known his foregoing statement to Nancy was false because he had not received any of the documents and had fabricated their existence.

In February 2004, Nancy asked the Respondent to send her copies of the above documents. The Respondent told her that he had sent some of the documents to an expert document examiner. The Respondent knew or should have known his foregoing statement was false because the documents did not exist and he had not consulted with an expert document examiner.

On February 26, 2004, Nancy telephoned the Respondent and told him she had learned from the New York Disciplinary Committee that no complaint had been filed against the McIntosh and Otis employees.

She also told him she did not believe he had the documents as he had claimed. The Respondent acknowledged to her that he had been misleading her for more than two years about the purported New York Disciplinary Committee complaint and the documents.

Count II of the Complaint alleged that between January 2002 and July 17, 2003, the Respondent sent bills to Nancy Steinbeck stating that he had worked approximately 54 hours on the matter described in Count I, including 25 hours of “investigation” of McIntosh and Otis, and requested payment in the amount of $10,899.12. Nancy paid the Respondent the $10,899.12. However, the Respondent did not perform sufficient services to justify a fee of $10,899.12, and did not perform 25 hours of legal services on an investigation of McIntosh and Otis. [Emphasis added.]

Based upon the factual allegations, the Administrator charged that the Respondent engaged in dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation (Counts I and II); breached his fiduciary duty (Count II); obtained an unreasonable fee (Count II); and engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute (Counts I and II).

On July 19, 2006, the Respondent filed an Answer. He admitted some of the facts alleged, denied others, and denied the charges of misconduct.

THE EVIDENCE

 The Administrator presented the testimony of Nancy Steinbeck, Dr. Lawrence L. Jeckel, and the Respondent as an adverse witness. The Administrator’s Exhibits 1 through 13 were received into evidence. (Tr. 7, 65) The Respondent testified on his own behalf, and his exhibits 1 and 2 were received into evidence. R. 9, 67)

Nancy Steinbeck

Nancy Steinbeck testified that she is 61 years of age and resides in the State of Arkansas. She was formerly married to John Steinbeck, IV, the son of John Ernest Steinbeck, the famous author. John IV died in 1991 and, pursuant to his will, Nancy was to receive the royalty payments that John IV had been receiving from his father’s estate. (Tr. 11-12)

In 2001, Tom Steinbeck, the brother of John IV, filed an action in the probate court in California against Nancy, seeking a portion of John IV’s estate. The New York agency that was handling the John Ernst Steinbeck Estate, McIntosh and Otis, then withheld the royalty income Nancy had been receiving. Nancy said she then looked for an attorney who “understood agency fraud” and contacted the Writer’s Union. The Writer’s Union referred her to the Respondent. (Tr. 12-13, 42, 44-46)

During her first conversation with the Respondent, which occurred in November 2001, he appeared to be very angry about how she had been treated. He told her he was the “perfect lawyer to handle this case,” he had “handled many high profile copyright cases;” he had “connections in the literary world;” and he “was an expert in extracting information in nefarious ways.” He voiced the opinion that McIntosh and Otis “had no right to withhold that money [from her].” Two of the people who ran McIntosh and Otis, Eugene Winick and Samuel Pinkus, were attorneys. The Respondent explained that he had a duty to report any ethical violation by an attorney and that the “first thing he was going to do was to report” Winick and Pinkus to the New York Bar Ethics Committee. Nancy and the Respondent signed a Representation and Fee Agreement (Adm. Ex. 1) on January 15, 2002. (Tr. 13-16)

Sometime prior to February 20, 2002, the Respondent filed a Complaint on behalf of Nancy with the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) against Winick and Pinkus. AAR is the “only governing board for literary agents.” The Respondent provided Nancy with a letter dated February 20, 2002 (Adm. Ex. 13, p. 2), that he had sent to attorneys in New York regarding the AAR complaint. (Tr. 39, 45)

In March 2002, the Respondent sent a letter to the Disciplinary Committee in New York (Adm. Ex. 2). The letter requested an “ethics opinion” based on a factual situation without including the names of any individuals. He provided Nancy with a copy of this letter. About a “couple of months” later, the Respondent told her that the New York Ethics Committee was very interested and that he had sent a letter to the Ethics Committee naming Winick and Pinkus. He also told her that the Ethics Committee asked him for papers pertaining to the matter. Subsequently, the Respondent “constantly” told her there was a “flow of paper back and forth” with the Bar Committee, but that it was “confidential” and he could not “tell [her] what it’s about or it will endanger [her] legally.” (Tr. 16-18)

Nancy also testified that the Respondent told her the New York Bar was “essentially gathering” evidence for her, which could be used in support of a lawsuit against Winick and Pinkus. He said the New York Bar could “put pressure on Winick and Pinkus to release my money.” He also told her that she “could not file suit or take any other action while the [New York] disciplinary complaint was pending.” He did not tell her that it is an ethical violation in Illinois to file a disciplinary complaint in order to gain an advantage in a civil action. (Tr. 18-21)

The Respondent also told Nancy that he had “spies at McIntosh and Otis,” and the spies were going into the files to obtain information for him. (Tr. 19)

In July 2003, Nancy and her adult children met with the Respondent in Little Rock, Arkansas. She described the meeting as “a complete waste of time.” The Respondent “regaled [them] with stories about his counter-terrorism escapades” and said he “had spies at McIntosh and Otis getting stuff out of the files to prove [Nancy’s] case.” The Respondent also mentioned specific letters and other documents showing that people were “colluding … to take away [her] royalty payments” and that there was a breach of fiduciary duty. One of the reasons the Respondent asserted for not giving the documents to Nancy was that he had sent them to a forensic documents examiner. (Tr. 22-26)

After meeting with the Respondent, Nancy was “scared” and “disturbed.” On August 8, 2003, she sent an e-mail to the Respondent and demanded to see several documents that he had mentioned. (Adm. Ex. 7, p.1) She said that she never saw any of the documents “because they don’t exist.” During a telephone conversation shortly after she sent the e-mail, the Respondent told her that he had been diagnosed with depression and named the medication he was taking. He continued to tell her that he could not get the documents because they were still with the document examiner. (Tr. 26-31)

In February 2004, Nancy sent an e-mail to the Respondent expressing her doubt whether the documents previously described by the Respondent actually existed. (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 2) The Respondent replied and apologized for misleading Nancy. (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 3) He added, however, that he did not intentionally mislead her (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 4) Thereafter, Nancy contacted the New York Bar Ethics Committee and learned that no complaint had been filed against Winick or Pinkus. She then telephoned the Respondent, told him that she knew he had lied to her, and fired him. The Respondent “started crying” and said “I can’t believe I’ve done this.” On that same date, February 26, 2004, the Respondent sent Nancy a letter resigning as her attorney (Adm. Ex. 4). (Tr. 31-35)

At some point, Nancy told the Respondent she would let the matter rest as long as he cooperated with her and her new attorney. She then hired attorney Sandy Housler, and the Respondent turned over some records. However, the Respondent “continued to lie to” Nancy and, she filed a complaint with the ARDC. (Tr. 35-36, 41-44)

The Respondent sent Nancy four billing statements. The statement, dated April 20, 2003, billed 10.9 hours for the “investigation” and “integration” of McIntosh and Otis materials (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1). The statement of July 16, 2003, billed 10.4 hours for the “investigation” of McIntosh and Otis and 6.1 hours for the “integration” of the investigation materials (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2). The statement of October 21, 2003, billed 5.1 hours for the “investigation” of McIntosh and Otis (Adm. Ex. 5, p.2a). A final statement was sent to Nancy on March 17, 2004 (Adm. Ex. 5, p.4). She paid the Respondent $312 in November 2002, $5,413 in July 2003, and $5000 in September 2003. Nancy telephoned the Respondent and told him he could refund the fees she paid or she would pursue a malpractice suit against him. The Respondent said he could not make a refund. She has not filed any civil action against him. (Tr. 37-39, 46)

Finally, Nancy stated that the probate matter in California was eventually settled. (Tr. 42)

The Respondent

The Respondent admitted that he committed the misconduct charged in Count I of the Complaint. (Tr. 76) Specifically, he admitted that he “improperly deceived” his client, Nancy Steinbeck, about a “number of matters,” and that his “misrepresentations were not acceptable.” (Tr. 63, 69) He stated that he regretted his actions and that his misrepresentations were intertwined with his mental condition at that time. (Tr. 63, 69, 76, 77) [Emphasis added.]

He said that his first contact with Nancy Steinbeck was in late October 2001. When he was hired by her, he agreed to investigate the matter of McIntosh and Otis, a literary agent, withholding royalty payments she had been receiving through the probate estate of her former husband. (Adm. Ex. 1) He also told Nancy that he would file an ethics complaint in New York against attorneys Eugene Winick and Samuel Pinkus, who were principals and/or employees of McIntosh and Otis. (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 1-3) He said he “may have” told Nancy that the filing of the ethics complaint “was a way to exert pressure on [McIntosh and Otis] to release her money.” (Tr. 49-50)

In March 2002, the Respondent sent what he described as a “sanitized inquiry to the New York bar” (Adm. Ex. 2). By “sanitized” the Respondent said he meant that it “included no identifying information concerning any individual involved.” He received a telephone call from the New York Bar about three weeks later indicating that “any further action would need to be unsanitized, so to speak, with specific details.” The Respondent did not file any complaint, did not send any other document, and did not receive any other communication from the New York Bar in this matter. Nevertheless, he told Nancy that he had filed a complaint with the New York Bar and that there was a “continual flow of paper back and forth regarding the subject area of the inquiry.” (Tr. 51-53)

The Respondent told Nancy he was having certain documents reviewed by a handwriting expert. In a sworn statement to the ARDC on February 1, 2006, the Respondent similarly said that he had documents reviewed by a handwriting expert. He identified the handwriting expert as “Walter Wilson,” and said that Wilson had moved to Florida. However, the Respondent acknowledged that he had not sent any documents to be examined by a handwriting expert and that the purported expert named Walter Wilson does not exist. (Tr. 53-57)

On February 3, 2006, ARDC counsel sent a letter to the Respondent requesting him to provide certain documents he had mentioned in his sworn statement two days earlier, and which Nancy Steinbeck had requested from him in August 2003. (Adm. Ex. 6, p. 4; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1) ARDC counsel sent a second request for the documents on February 24, 2006. (Adm. Ex. 6, p. 5) The Respondent acknowledged that he did not respond to either the foregoing letters or disclose, at any time, that the documents did not exist. (Tr. 55-57)

In his Answer to the disciplinary complaint, the Respondent admitted for the first time that the above documents did not exist. (Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1; Adm. Ex. 8, par. 7-9, p. 6-8) He also admitted, for the first time in his Answer, that the purported handwriting expert Walter Wilson did not exist. (Adm. Ex. 8, par. 11-12, p. 8-9) The Answer was filed on July 19, 2006. (Tr. 56-57, 59-60) [Emphasis added.]

On July 25, 2006, ARDC counsel sent him a request to produce documents, including “correspondence and accompanying documents sent to and received from the expert witness you identified as Walter Wilson in your sworn statement given on February 1, 2006.” (Adm. Ex. 12, p. 3) In an affidavit submitted on August 28, 2006, in response to the foregoing request, the Respondent failed to disclose that Walter Wilson did not exist, but rather stated that a search of his paper and electronic documents “thus far has not recovered any responsive documents,” and that responsive documents “probably” will not be discovered. (Adm. Ex. 12, p. 10). (Tr. 57-58, 60)

When asked why he did not disclose in his response to the request to produce that Walter Wilson did not exist and that there were no documents pertaining to Wilson, the Respondent said: “At that point I was not entirely certain. I believed that the probability was very high at that point. With hindsight I should have disclosed directly in so many words that I did not, that I suspected Walter Wilson did not exist and that there were no documents…. At that point I had not reviewed all of the available electronic files. I was being forced to recover damaged media and I wanted to be sure that I reviewed everything that would be available before I gave you a definitive answer. In hindsight I should not have been so reticent.” When asked again, the Respondent said: “It appears that I overread the Administrator’s request…to mean that [it] also included anything that I might have intended to send [to an expert].”

Finally, the Respondent was asked why he did not tell ARDC counsel that Walter Wilson did not exist, he replied: “embarrassment as much as anything else. Shame may be a better word.” (Tr. 59, 61-62) The Respondent explained that Nancy Steinbeck “was not the easiest client to deal with” and that he later realized her “situation was beyond my capabilities to represent.” When asked why he told Nancy he had certain documents that he did not have, he replied: “I can’t give any single definitive answer to that. My belief is that I told her that from a combination of…attempting to deal with a client who frequently descended into hysteria during telephone calls and misestimation of my own abilities and responsibilities.” (Tr. 62, 69) [Emphasis added.]

On February 26, 2004, following a telephone conversation with Nancy Steinbeck, the Respondent reported his misconduct to the ARDC. (Resp. Ex. 1) He said that in February 2004, Nancy was not aware that he was going to or had reported the matter to the ARDC. However, on at least two occasions Nancy told him he needed to cooperate with her or she was going to report him to the ARDC. (Tr. 70, 78, 84-85)

It was pointed out to the Respondent that in his report to the ARDC in February 2004 (Resp. Ex. 1), he used terms, such as “apparent misrepresentations” and “I appear to have represented,” and did not expressly state that he made false statements about documents which did not exist. He explained that his “self report” was the “best information that I had available to me at that time in the state I was in.” At that time, he “didn’t have direct recall of what” he had told Nancy, and he was not “prepared to accept” that he had lied to Nancy. He was “confused at the time” and “felt that my judgment was so impaired that I did not want to draw that kind of conclusion [making misrepresentations to his client] as impaired as I was feeling.” He further said “I didn’t have direct memory of much of what had been going on.” (Tr. 70, 78-80, 117)

In regard to his mental condition, the Respondent said that he has had migraine headaches that lasted “anywhere from 6 to 36 hours.” During those attacks he is “essentially incapable of functioning” and “everything is so jumbled during the attacks that I can’t sort it out at a later time.” For example, “I honestly can’t say if someone had spoken to me during that time period whether I would remember that person or not.” He currently takes painkillers that “significantly reduce the frequency of the migraines.” (Tr. 116-17, 121-22)

The Respondent mentioned the “personal stress” and even “despair” he has suffered from his family situation and his own health problems. He noted that his oldest son has received inpatient psychiatric care on more than one occasions. He said he is receiving “substantial assistance in therapy,” and believes he is “much more aware of the potential warning signs in which I might be vulnerable to making any kind of misrepresentation to anyone.” (Tr. 63, 82, 117)

The Respondent further testified that he has “changed the nature of [his] practice” in order to prevent a repetition of misconduct. He said he has other attorneys and/or experienced literary agents available to review his files. When there is “even a hint that there will be litigation forthcoming, I immediately onsult with other counsel.” He works out of his home and “severely” limits the amount of work he does so that he will not become overburdened. He estimated that he spends about 12 to 15 hours a week on legal work. (Tr. 83, 118-20)

Finally, in regard to Count I, the Respondent pointed out there was a stipulation that Nancy Steinbeck’s present counsel would testify the misrepresentations the Respondent made did not adversely affect any of Nancy’s litigation. (Tr. 66-67, 70-71; Resp. Ex. 2)

In regard to Count II, the Respondent denied that he obtained an unreasonable fee from Nancy Steinbeck. He said that while some of the charges in his billing statements (Adm. Ex. 5) were not proper, such as the charges relating to the investigation of McIntosh and Otis, Nancy paid him about $4,000 less than the amount he billed. He noted that the charges relating to McIntosh and Otis were less than $4,000. He also said that he promptly attempted to correct his billing invoice (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 4). He further noted that he assisted Nancy’s counsel, Mr. Bond, in the California probate litigation and, when Mr. Bond withdrew, the Respondent “assisted Ms. Steinbeck in a transition to new counsel, Mr. Thomas Munson.” The Respondent also participated in a mediation hearing for the probate matter and a “general settlement was reached.” He said it then “took us collectively several months to work out specific language in that general settlement agreement.” (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2, 2a, 4) Further, he said he “provided all necessary documents to opposing counsel” in a copyright matter involving Nancy. (Tr. 71-73, 76-77) [Emphasis added.]

Lawrence Lee Jeckel

Dr. Jeckel testified that he is a physician specializing in psychiatry. He briefly described his background and his curriculum vitae was received into evidence. (Tr. 86-88; Adm. Ex. 10)

Dr. Jeckel was asked by the ARDC to evaluate the Respondent. He met with the Respondent on two occasions, March 29 and July 18, 2006, considered various materials, and prepared a report. (Tr. 88-92; Adm. Ex. 11)

Dr. Jeckel made a diagnosis of the Respondent. First, the Respondent has a Mixed Personality Disorder. This is a “pervasive, usually lifelong pattern of maladaptive thinking and behavior which … would cause a social and occupational impairment.” Second, he has a “Dysthymic Disorder.” This is a depression that “comes and goes,” and sometimes impairs sleep and appetite. Third, he has a Major Depressive Disorder. This results in the Respondent feeling “suicidal, helpless, very depressed and I think required hospitalization at one point.” The Respondent’s “primary problem” is his personality disorder. (Tr. 93-94; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 10)

The Respondent is currently prescribed Wellbutrin by Dr. Luke Yang, and he has a session with Harry Vandervelde, MSW, at the Champaign County Mental Health Center every other week. However, Dr. Jeckel voiced concern that the Respondent is not addressing any of his issues. The Respondent has not been forthcoming about his problems to Mr. Vandervelde. Also, Mr. Vandervelde “provides mostly a sounding board” and is “just listening to” the Respondent. Dr. Jeckel explained that the sessions with Mr. Vandervelde are “not therapy.” The Respondent has not improved while having these sessions. (Tr. 96-97, 101-02; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 6, 7)

In regard to the Respondent’s “self-report” letter to the ARDC (Resp. Ex. 1), Dr. Jeckel said it contained “a lot of impressionistic language,” “a lot of [his] equivocation,” and few “real facts.” He also noted that after the Respondent acknowledged he fabricated Walter Wilson, he “then turned around and said there was a Walter Wilson.” Dr. Jeckel said it is “very mysterious again why he would do that when the truth would serve him better.” In regard to the Respondent’s continuing misrepresentations to disciplinary counsel, Dr. Jeckel said “it’s lying upon lying upon lying and I think it’s a sign of very serious and unique personality disorder.” (Tr. 95-96, 99, 102-03)

Dr. Jeckel noted that the Respondent had “serious external stresses,” such as his son being mentally ill, but that his inability or unwillingness to provide detailed factual answers “is due to a larger problem in the way [Respondent] thinks about things and act.” (Tr. 114)

Dr. Jeckel voiced the opinion that the Respondent’s psychological condition affects his ability to practice law, and that his misconduct relating to Nancy Steinbeck was “related to his current mental health condition.” Dr. Jeckel also voiced the opinions that the Respondent is presently at risk to repeat his misconduct and that he “is not fit to practice law.” (Tr. 93-94, 103-05; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12)

In order for the Respondent to become fit to practice law, Dr. Jeckel recommended that the Respondent be evaluated for at least six months and possibly a year by a psychiatrist or a psychologist who works with personality disorders. It is important for the Respondent to be asked “very hard questions about his thinking and behavior” and to “talk honestly and openly about his feelings and his behaviors.” During the period of evaluation, the Respondent would also receive “beginning therapy.” Once there is a better understanding of the “extent of [his] problems,” an appropriate course of treatment could be pursued. (Tr. 103, 110-13; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12-13)

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

In attorney disciplinary proceedings, the Administrator has the burden of proving the charges of misconduct by clear and convincing evidence. In re Storment, 203 Ill. 2d 378, 390, 786 N.E.2d 963, 969 (2002). This standard requires a high level of certainty, greater than a preponderance of the evidence but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Bazydlo v. Volant, 164 Ill. 2d 207, 213, 647 N.E.2d 273, 276 (1995). In determining whether the burden of proof has been satisfied, the Hearing Panel has the responsibility of assessing the credibility and believability of the witnesses, weighing conflicting testimony, drawing reasonable inferences from the evidence, and making factual findings based upon all the evidence. In re Howard, 188 Ill. 2d 423, 435, 721 N.E.2d 1126, 1133 (1999); In re Ring, 141 Ill. 2d 128, 138-39, 565 N.E.2d 983, 987 (1990). In assessing the evidence, the Hearing Panel is not required to be “naïve or impractical” or to believe testimony that is “beyond human experience,” “an unreasonable story,” or “an inherent improbability.” In re Discipio, 163 Ill. 2d 515, 523-24, 645 N.E.2d 906, 910 (1994); In re Holz, 125 Ill. 2d 546, 555, 533 N.E.2d 818, 821 (1989); Tepper v. Campo, 398 Ill. 496, 504-05, 76 N.E.2d 490, 494 (1948).

Additionally, an admission in a pleading is a formal judicial admission that is binding on the party making it, may not be contradicted, has the effect of withdrawing the fact admitted from issue, and dispenses with the need for any proof of that fact. See In re Estate of Rennick, 181 Ill. 2d 395, 406-07, 692 N.E.2d 1150, 1156 (1998); El Rincon v. First Mutual Insurance. 346 Ill. App. 3d 96, 100, 803 N.E.2d 532, 535-36 (2004); Caponi V. Larry’s 66, 236 Ill. App. 3d 660, 671, 601 N.E.2d 1347, 1355 (1992). Thus, when a respondent in a disciplinary matter admits in his or her answer some or all of the facts alleged in a complaint, it is unnecessary for the Administrator to present evidence to prove the facts so admitted. See In re Harris, 97 SH 88, M.R. 16300 (January 24, 2000) (Hearing Board Report at 42); In re Carlson, 98 CH 880, M.R. 17398 (June 20, 2001) (Hearing Board Report at 11).

With the above principles in mind, and after considering all of the evidence, we make the following findings.

Count I

We find that the misconduct charged in Count I was proved by both the evidence presented at the hearing and the Respondent’s admissions in his Answer.

As charged in Count I, the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to his client Nancy Steinbeck during an approximate two-year period, January 2002 to February 2004. Specifically, the Respondent made the following false statements.

The Respondent told his client that he had filed a complaint against attorneys Winick and Pinkus with the New York disciplinary authorities. (Tr. 17-18; Answer, p. 6, par. 6) However, the Respondent never filed such a complaint and he clearly knew that he had not done so. (Tr. 51, 64; Answer, p. 6, par. 5 & 6)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that New York disciplinary authorities were conducting an investigation of his complaint against Winick and Pinkus and gathering evidence against Winick, Pinkus and their employer, McIntosh and Otis. (Tr. 18, 21, 51-52) However, the Respondent knew there was no such investigation because no complaint had been filed. (Tr. 63-64; Adm. Ex. 3; Answer, p. 6, par. 5)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that there was a “flow of paper back and forth” between the Respondent and the New York disciplinary authorities. (Tr. 18-20, 51) However, the Respondent knew that there was no such exchange of documents. (Tr. 52, 64; Adm. Ex. 3)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that his communications with the New York disciplinary authorities were “confidential” and, thus, he could not discuss them with her. (Tr. 18, 20, 51) Clearly, the Respondent knew there were no confidential communications between him and the New York disciplinary authorities because he did not provide information about any named individual, there was no disciplinary investigation, and there was simply no exchange of information. (Tr. 63-64; Adm. Ex. 3)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that she could not file any suit or take other action while the disciplinary complaint in New York was pending. (Tr. 21) The Respondent knew that the foregoing representation was false and misleading because he knew no disciplinary complaint had been filed. (Tr. 51, 64)

The Respondent told Nancy Steinbeck that he had obtained copies of letters between attorney Winick and two of Nancy’s relatives, showing attempts to defraud Nancy out of certain royalties. (Tr. 24-25; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1; Answer, p. 6-7, par. 7) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such letter or copies thereof. (Tr. 57, 60; Answer, p. 7-8, par. 8 and 9)

The Respondent told Nancy that he had obtained a copy of a letter Thomas Steinbeck wrote to attorney Winick, showing Thomas’ desire to see Nancy receive no additional royalty payments. (Tr. 25; Answer, p. 6-7, par. 7) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such letter or a copy thereof. (Tr. 57, 60; Answer, p. 7-8, par. 8 and 9)

The Respondent told Nancy that he had obtained a copy of a memorandum on McIntosh and Otis letterhead, showing that McIntosh and Otis was forging documents. (Tr. 26; Answer, p. 6-7, par. 7) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such a memorandum or copy thereof. (Tr. 57, 60; Answer, p. 7-8, par. 8 and 9) The Respondent told Nancy that he had sent some of the above mentioned documents to a document examiner or handwriting expert. (Tr. 26-27, 53; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 2; Answer, p. 8, par. 10) However, the Respondent knew that he never had such documents; knew that the purported examination expert did not exist; knew he never sent any documents to a document examiner or handwriting expert; and knew the statements that he sent documents to be examined were false. (Tr. 54-57, 60, 63; Answer, p. 8-9, par. 11)

It is well established that an attorney engages in dishonesty and deceit by knowingly making false or misleading statements to a client. See In re Ring, 141 Ill. 2d. 128, 143, 565 N.E.2s 983, 988-89 (1990); In re Levin, 101 Ill. 2d 535, 539-40, 463 N.E.2d 715, 717 (1984) Furthermore, an attorney who acts in a dishonest or deceitful manner, particularly toward a client, tends to bring the legal profession into disrepute. See In re Stern, 124 Ill. 2d 310, 314-15, 529 N.E.2d 562, 564 (1988). In this case it is clear that the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to and acted with dishonesty toward his client Nancy Steinbeck.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count I: (a) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and (b) engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

Count II

In regard to Count II, we find that the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.

Fraud and dishonesty include “any conduct, statement, or omission that is calculated to deceive.” In re Gerard, 132 Ill. 2d 507, 528, 548 N.E.2d 1051, 1059 (1989).

An attorney-client relationship creates a fiduciary relationship between the attorney and client. Because of this fiduciary relationship, the attorney owes the client a high “measure of good faith,” undivided fidelity,” and “loyalty.” In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 543-44, 848 N.E.2d 961, 972-73 (2006); In re Imming, 131 Ill. 2d 239, 252-53, 255, 545 N.E.2d 715, 721, 722 (1989).

In this case, the evidence showed that the Respondent sent to his client, Nancy Steinbeck, three billing invoices in which he claimed to have worked a number of hours on an investigation of the New York literary agent McIntosh and Otis (M & O). Specifically, his invoice of April 20, 2003, listed 6.2 hours of work for the “investigation of M & O” and 4.7 hours for the “integration of M & O investigation results and materials.”(Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1; Tr. 37) The Respondent’s invoice of July 16, 2003, listed 10.4 hours of work for the “investigation of M & O” and 6.1 hours for the “integration of M & O investigation results and materials.”(Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2; Tr. 37) The Respondent’s invoice of October 21, 2003, listed 5.1 hours of work for the “investigation of M & O.” (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2a; Tr. 37) Clearly, the Respondent sent the foregoing billing invoices to Nancy for the purpose of having her pay him for the hours of work listed.

The evidence, including the Respondent’s own admissions, showed that he did not conduct an investigation of M & O, and that the hours of work relating to the purported investigation of M & O listed on the three billing invoices were false. In other words, the Respondent completely fabricated his purported investigation of M & O. For example, the Respondent told his client he had spies looking through files; that he had obtained certain M & O documents; and that he had sent those documents to a handwriting expert named “Wilson.” In reality, he had no spies; he never received any M & O documents; the documents he identified do not exist; and the handwriting expert he identified does not exist. (Tr. 19, 23-24, 28-29, 34-35, 54, 56-57, 60, 62, 77; Answer, p. 6-8. Par. 7-9; p. 11-12, par. 17-18; Adm. Ex. 5, p. 4; Adm. Ex. 7, p. 1; Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3-4). Consequently, by knowingly sending his client billing invoices listing hours of work that he had not performed, for the purpose of receiving payment for those hours, the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.

Also in Count II, the Respondent was charged with “obtaining an unreasonable fee.” (Complaint, p. 6, par. 19(b)). The Respondent denied this charge. (Tr. 76-77) Although the Respondent sought to obtain a fee for purported work relating to an investigation of M & O, which did not occur, we do not believe there is clear and convincing evidence that he actually obtained a fee for work relating to that investigation.

As noted above, the evidence showed that the Respondent sent Nancy Steinbeck three billing statements requesting fees for work relating to the non-existent investigation of M & O. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1, 2, 2a) The billing invoice of April 20, 2003, charged $125 per hour for 6.2 hours of work on an investigation of M & O, for a fee of $775. The same invoice also charged $175 per hour for 4.7 hours of work on the “integration” of the investigation results, for a fee of $822.50. In light of the fact that there was no investigation of M & O, the Respondent improperly charged Nancy $1,597.50 on the invoice of April 20, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1) However, on the same invoice, he billed a total of $8,235,23 for fees, which included $6,637.37 for other work performed for Nancy. This invoice also showed $4,885.39 due from previous invoices. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1)

Nancy Steinbeck testified that she made three payments to the Respondent. (Tr. 38; Adm. Ex. 9) Her first payment, of $312, was made in November 2002 (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 1), which was before the Respondent sought to obtain improper fees on his invoice of April 20, 2003. Thus, the payment of $312 in November 2002 was unrelated to the fabricated investigation. Also, Nancy made no other payment to the Respondent until after July 16, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 9)

On July 16, 2003, the Respondent sent another billing invoice. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2) On this invoice, he charged $125 per hour for 10.4 hours of work on an investigation of M & O, for a fee of $1,300. The same invoice also charged $175 per hour for 6.1 hours of work for the “integration” of the investigation results, for a fee of $1,067.50. Thus, the total amount of improper fees for which the Respondent billed on the invoice of July 16, 2003, was $2,367.50. However, on the same invoice, he billed $7,360.23 for other work performed for Nancy. This invoice, as did the invoice of April 20, showed that Nancy still owed him $4,855.30 from invoices prior to April 20, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1 and 2)

In summary, the Respondent’s billing invoice of July 16, 2003, showed that Nancy Steinbeck owed him current fees in the amount of $9,727.73, plus unpaid fees (from prior to April 20, 2003) of $4,885.39, for a total of $14, 613.12. Only $2,367.50 of the total amount was related to the non-existent investigation of M & O. Thus, when the improper fees are deducted, Nancy still owed the Respondent $12,245.62. (Adm. Ex. 5, p.2)

On the billing invoice of July 16, 2003, the Respondent also set out a “proposed payment schedule” for Nancy to pay him $5,413.12 immediately, and then to make two payments of $4,600. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 2) On July 17, 2003, Nancy paid the Respondent $5,413.12 (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 3; Tr. 38), as the Respondent had proposed. Following the foregoing payment, Nancy still owed the Respondent $6.832.50 for fees unrelated to fabricated investigation of M & O. Nancy then made one additional payment to the Respondent, and that payment, on September 30, 2003, was in the amount of $5,000. (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 2) The $5,000 was less than the amount Nancy still owed the Respondent for work unrelated to the M & O investigation.

Consequently, Nancy Steinbeck paid the Respondent $312 before she was billed for any work that the Respondent had not performed. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1; Adm. Ex. 9, p. 1) She also paid him an additional $10,413.12 (Adm. Ex. 9, p. 2, 3), which was less than the $12,245.62 the Respondent had billed for work unrelated to the non-existent investigation of M & O. (Adm. Ex. 5, p. 1, 2; Tr. 77) There was no proof that any of the work for which the Respondent billed Nancy Steinbeck, other than that related to the investigation of M & O, was not performed. Thus, the evidence failed to establish that the Respondent obtained any payment for work he had not performed.

Finally, we note that the evidence showed the Respondent did perform services on behalf of Nancy Steinbeck. For example, he filed a complaint against Mr. Winick and Mr. Pinkus with the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) and prepared correspondence relating thereto (Tr. 39; Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3; Adm. Ex. 13, p. 2, 10, 13); he reviewed copyright regulations and prepared documents on behalf of Nancy (Tr. 73; Adm. Ex. 13, p. 3); he reviewed documents relating to royalties claimed by Nancy (Adm. Ex. 13, p. 11); he participated in a settlement conference in the probate proceeding where a general agreement was reached (Tr. 72); and, over “several months,” he helped to work out specific language for the settlement agreement (Tr. 72; Adm. Ex. 13, p. 9).

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct charged in paragraph 19 (a), (c), and (d) of Count II: breached his fiduciary duties to a client; engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and engaged in conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770. We also find that the charge of “obtaining” an unreasonable fee, in paragraph 19(b) of Count II, was not proved.

RECOMMENDATION

The purpose of the attorney disciplinary system is not to punish an attorney for misconduct, but rather “to protect the public, maintain the integrity of the legal profession, and protect the administration of justice from reproach.” In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 559, 848 N.E.2d 961, 981 (2006). In determining the sanction to recommend, the Hearing Board Panel is to consider the seriousness of the misconduct, any aggravating and mitigating circumstances shown by the evidence, the deterrent value of the sanction, and whether the sanction will help preserve public confidence in the legal profession. See In re Gorecki, 208 Ill.2d 350, 360-61, 802 N.E.2d 1194, 1200 (2003). Although each disciplinary case “is unique and must be resolved in light of its own facts and circumstances,” the sanction imposed should be “consistent with those imposed in other cases involving comparable misconduct.” In re Howard, 188 Ill.2d 423, 440, 721 N.E.2d 1126, 1135; In re Chandler, 161 Ill.2d 459, 472, 641 N.E.2d 473, 479 (1994).

In this case, the Administrator requested the sanction of suspension from the practice of law for one year and until further order of the Court. (Tr. 125, 129) In support thereof, the Administrator cited the following cases: In re Bourgeois, 25 Ill. 2d 47, 182 N.E.2d 651 (1962); In re Hogan, 93 CH 234, M.R. 9161 (September 27, 1993); and In re Sutherin, 03 CH 646, M.R. 20636 (September 20, 2006). (Tr. 126-27). The Respondent requested a suspension of one year, stayed in its entirety for a two-year period of probation (Tr. 132), and cited the following cases: In re Olton, 05 SH 27 (Hearing Board Report); In re Aulston, 98 CH 101, M.R. 19331 (May 24, 2002); In re Forsberg, 02 CH 111, M.R. 19331 (May 17, 2004); In re Hubbard, 04 CH 135, M.R. 20917 (September 20, 2006); and In re Spak, 188 Ill. 2d 53, 719 N.E.2d 747 (1999). (Tr. 130-31)

The misconduct of the Respondent consisted of knowingly and repeatedly making false statements to his client, and breaching his fiduciary duties by attempting to obtain fees for work that he had not performed. Clearly, the Respondent’s misconduct demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity.

An attorney is required to possess “good moral character,” and “honesty” is an “important element” of good moral character. In re Polito, 132 Ill. 2d 294, 303, 547 N.E.2d 465, 469 (1989); In re Glenville, 139 Ill. 2d 242, 255, 565 N.E.2d 623, 629 (1990). The Supreme Court has stated that “purposeful misrepresentations” are “contrary to honesty intrinsic in a lawyer’s oath of office” (In re Crisel, 101 Ill. 2d 332, 243, 461 N.E.2d 994, 998 (1984)), and that any conduct showing “a want of personal honesty or integrity” is “reprehensible” and demonstrates an “unfitness to practice law” (In re Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459, 473, 641 N.E.2d 473, 479-80 (1994); In re Vavrik, 117 Ill. 2d 408, 412-13, 415, 512 N.E.2d 1226, 1228-29 (1987)). Thus, the Respondent’s misconduct was very serious.

There is also aggravation in this case. The Respondent’s misconduct did not arise from a single incident or involve a brief lapse of sound judgment. Rather, the Respondent made numerous false statements to his client over an approximately two-year period. For example, he knowingly and falsely told Nancy Steinbeck: he had filed a complaint against two attorneys with the New York disciplinary authorities; the New York disciplinary authorities were conducting an investigation of the attorneys and were gathering evidence helpful to Nancy; he was exchanging information with the New York disciplinary authorities; he could not discuss his communications with the New York disciplinary authorities because they were “confidential;” he was conducting an investigation into the New York literary agent McIntosh and Otis (M & O); he had a “spy” going through the files at the office of M & O; he obtained certain documents favorable to Nancy from M & O; he could not give Nancy a copy of the documents because he had sent them to a handwriting expert; and he sent Nancy billing invoices stating that he had worked numerous hours related to the investigation of M & O. In fact, the Respondent filed no complaint with the New York disciplinary authorities; there was no disciplinary investigation; he had not exchanged paper work with the New York disciplinary authorities; he had no spy at M & O; he had received no documents from M & O; he sent no documents to a handwriting expert; and neither the documents he claimed to have received nor the handwriting expert he named even existed.

Moreover, the Respondent’s misrepresentations continued during the investigation by the Administrator. At a sworn statement to the ARDC in February 2006, the Respondent falsely claimed that he had received certain documents from M & O; that he was having the documents examined by a handwriting expert; that the handwriting expert was “Walter Wilson;” that Wilson had moved to Florida; and that he had inadvertently forgot to bring the above documents to the sworn statement. (Tr. 53-56) However, the Respondent knew that the documents and the handwriting expert named Walter Wilson did not exist. (Tr. 56-57) Even after the Respondent finally admitted in his Answer, filed on July 19, 2006, that neither the documents nor the expert existed (Tr. 57), he still claimed, in his response to the Administrator’s request to produce, that he was searching his files for correspondence and documents exchanged between him and the handwriting expert. (Adm. Ex. 12, p. 3, 8, 10; Tr. 58-62, 102)

It should be apparent to every attorney practicing in Illinois that he or she “has an obligation to cooperate with [the Supreme] Court and its agency, the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, in the performance of its duty to police the legal profession in this state.” In re Zisook, 88 Ill. 2d 321, 331, 430 N.E.2d 1037, 1041 (1981) Furthermore, the Supreme Court has indicated that providing false information in a “sworn statement to the Administrator” demonstrates the “unfitness of an attorney to practice law.” In re Bell, 147 Ill. 2d 15, 39, 588 N.E.2d 1093, 1104 (1992).

There is also mitigation in this case. The Respondent has been licensed to practice law since 1995 and has no prior discipline. (Tr. 133) He acknowledged he committed the misconduct charged in Count I. (Tr. 76, 129) He admitted that he “improperly deceived the client concerning a number of matters” and that his misrepresentations are “not acceptable under the rules of professional conduct.” (Tr. 63, 69) It was stipulated that Nancy Steinbeck’s current attorney would testify that the Respondent’s misconduct did not cause her to lose any claim against M & O or its employees. (Resp. Ex. 2) As discussed below, the Respondent’s misconduct was related to his mental health condition. (Tr. 69, 103)

It is also mitigating that the Respondent self-reported misconduct in February 2004, which was before his client indicated to him that she would file a disciplinary complaint against him. (Tr. 35-36, 70, 78) However, the weight of this factor is diminished because, in his letter to the Administrator reporting his misconduct (Resp. Ex. 1), he sought to lessen his culpability by making vague, ambiguous, and misleading statements. (Tr. 95) For example, he referred to his false statements to Nancy Steinbeck as “apparent misrepresentations.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p.1) He said “[s]o far as I have been able to determine the misrepresentations were not made with the intent to deceive or to harm client interests.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 1) He suggested that he had prepared a complaint to file with New York disciplinary authorities, and said “[m]y files do not reflect any proof that the complaint was actually filed.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3) He also stated “I appear to have represented to Nancy that I had obtained documents that tended to demonstrate bad faith [by M &O]” and a “significant majority of those documents do not appear to have been received here.” (Resp. Ex. 1, p. 3) As discussed above, the Respondent knew he had not filed a complaint in New York, knew he had not received any documents from M & O, and, nevertheless, he told Nancy Steinbeck he had filed such a complaint and had received such documents. (Tr. 51-52, 56-57, 60, 62)

In addition to the above, Dr. Lawrence L. Jeckel, a psychiatrist, evaluated the Respondent, prepared a written report (Adm. Ex. 11), and testified about his findings and recommendations. Dr. Jeckel diagnosed the Respondent with a “Mixed Personality Disorder,” which is an enduring, usually life-long, pattern of maladaptive thinking and behavior that “significantly impairs one’s life.” (Adm. Ex. 11, p. 10-11; Tr. 93-94) Additionally, he diagnosed the Respondent with a “Dysthymic Disorder,” which is chronic depression, and with a “Major Depressive Disorder.” (Adm. Ex. p. 10-11; Tr. 93) Dr. Jeckel said that the personality disorder is the Respondent’s “primary problem.” (Tr. 94)

Dr. Jeckel voiced the opinion that the Respondent’s psychological conditions affect his ability to practice law (Tr. 93), and that his misconduct was related to his mental problems (Tr. 103, 105). He voiced the further opinion that the Respondent “is not fit to practice law.” (Tr. 94, 104; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12)

The Respondent is apparently taking medications, Wellbutrin and Flexeril, prescribed by Dr. Luke Yang, and is attending sessions with Harry Vandervelde, MSW, a counselor at the Mental Health Center of Champaign County. (Adm. Ex. 11, p. 6-7, 9) However, Dr. Jeckel stated that the Respondent has not yet addressed any of his mental issues in therapy. Mr. Vandervelde is not providing “real therapy” for the Respondent, but is “mostly a sounding board for Mr. Petit.” (Tr. 97-98)

Finally, Dr. Jeckel recommended that, in order for the Respondent to be mentally fit to practice law, he should be evaluated “for at least six months to a year” by a psychiatrist or psychologist who works with personality disorders. The Respondent could obtain “beginning therapy” during the period of the evaluation. After there is a better understanding of the “extent of [his] problems” an appropriate course of treatment could be implemented. (Tr. 110-13: Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12-13)

In light of Dr. Jeckel’s expert opinions, which we found very knowledgeable and credible, and our own observations of the Respondent during his testimony, we find that the Respondent is currently unfit to practice law, that his mental or psychological problems have not been sufficiently addressed or treated, and that he poses a threat to the public and the integrity of the legal profession.

As noted above, the Respondent requested that we recommend a term of probation for him. We do not believe probation is appropriate in this case. Supreme Court Rule 772(a) provides that an attorney may be placed on probation if the attorney “has demonstrated” that he: “(1) can perform legal services and the continued practice of law will not cause the courts or the profession to fall into disrepute; (2) is unlikely to harm the public during the period of rehabilitation . . . ; [and] (3) has a disability which is temporary or minor and does not require treatment and transfer to disability status . . . .”

The Respondent has not demonstrated that he meets any of the above requirements, and, in fact, the evidence showed the contrary. Thus, probation is not appropriate. See In re Sutherin, 03 CH 61, Review Board Report at 13-16 (Petition to file exceptions to the Review Board Report denied in M.R. 20636, September 20, 2006); In re Handy, 03 SH 118, Hearing Board Report at 44-45 (Hearing Board Report approved in M.R. 19825, January 14, 2005).

We also note that the evidence in this case would support a finding that the Respondent is incapacitated from continuing to practice because of a mental disorder, warranting a transfer to disability inactive status. However, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 758(a), only the Inquiry Board can initiate the filing of a petition to transfer to disability inactive status. (Tr. 127-28) We suggest that the Administrator consider seeking a revision to Rule 758 so that the disposition by the Hearing Board in matters like this could include a recommendation for transfer to disability inactive status.

The cases cited by the Respondent do not support probation in this case. The Supreme Court has granted probation when an attorney has obtained appropriate treatment for his or her mental disorder, addiction, or other impairment that was related to the misconduct and there is evidence that the attorney is fit to practice law while undergoing the course of treatment. See In re Ackermann, 99 Ill. 2d 56, 67-69, 457 N.E.2d 409, 413-14 (1983); In re Harrison, 02 SH 84, Hearing Board Report at 44-45, 47 (Hearing Board Report approved in M.R. 19281, March 15, 2004). Three of the cases cited by the Respondent are classic examples of the above situation. In In re Aulston, 98 CH 101, M.R. 18122 (May 24, 2002), the attorney’s misconduct was related to his depression, he was receiving treatment, and his doctor said “with continued treatment and medication, [the attorney’s] condition should not interfere with his ability to practice law.” (Review Board Report at 5, 12) In In re Forsberg, 02 CH 111, M.R. 19331 (May 17, 2004), the attorney’s “depression and anxiety” contributed to her misconduct, she “sought and continues to receive treatment for those conditions,” and according to a psychiatrist, “her anxiety and depression are much improved.” (Petition to impose discipline on consent, p. 1, 5-6, 9) Finally, in In re Hubbard, 04 CH 135, M.R. 20917 (September 20, 2006), the attorney was “suffering from mental health and [alcohol] abuse conditions” at the time of her misconduct (a DUI and failure to report the conviction to the ARDC), she had maintained sobriety for about 16 months, she was taking anti-depressant medication and otherwise participating in psychotherapy, and “she appears to be in solid recovery.” (Petition to impose discipline on consent, p. 1, 4) Unlike the foregoing cases, the Respondent in this case has not received and is not receiving necessary treatment for his mental conditions, which were related to his misconduct, and he is simply not fit to practice law at this time. (Tr. 93-94, 102-05, 110-11; Adm. Ex. 11, p. 12-13)

The Respondent also cited the Hearing Board Report in In re Olton, 05 SH 27 (April 28, 2006), in which there was a recommendation of suspension, stayed by a period of probation. (Tr. 130) We note that subsequent to the hearing in this case, the Review Board issued a report in the Olton matter, on February 14, 2007. The Review Board concluded that probation was not appropriate, and recommended a suspension for 60 days. In any event, unlike in this case, the attorney in Olton did not have any mental problems or addiction impairments that adversely affected her ability to practice law. (Olton, Hearing Board Report at 34-35; Review Board Report at 16-17).

Lastly, the Respondent cited In re Spak, 188 Ill. 2d 53, 719 N.E.2d 747 (1999), in which the sanction of censure was imposed. However, the misconduct in Spack did not involve dishonesty. The Court stated “we find no reason to disagree with the Hearing Board’s finding that respondent’s actions . . . did not involve a dishonest or fraudulent motive.” Also, when considering the appropriate sanction, the Court stated “[w]e rely most heavily upon the Hearing Board’s finding that respondent did not act with any fraudulent intent.” (Spak, 188 Ill. 2d at 66, 69, 719 N.E.2d at 754, 755). The Respondent’s misconduct in this case included numerous false statements to his client, plus additional false statements to the ARDC, and is much more egregious than in Spak.

We believe that based upon the nature of the Respondent’s misconduct, in light of the aggravating and mitigating factors, a sanction of suspension is appropriate in this case. The cases discussed below support a suspension for the Respondent.

Further Reading:

Complaint filed against attorney from Urbana

Urbana attorney loses law license for at least 6 months

Suspension urged for Urbana lawyer who defrauded client

License loss should not be end of story

11-11-09: World Fantasy Convention The Google Books Settlement

Second Circuit Dismisses Claims of Steinbeck Family

US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Jenner Wins Appeal for John Steinbeck’s Wife’s Estate

PRICE DROP: $13.19 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25.

Click here for Kindle Edition

References

“ARDC: Disciplinary Reports and Decisions Search.” Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <https://www.iardc.org/rd_database/rulesdecisions.html&gt;.

“Book Country And Self-Publishing: Why the Hate?” Writer Beware ® Blogs! Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-country-and-self-publishing-why.html&gt;.

“C.e. Petit.” SFWA. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sfwa.org/tag/c-e-petit/&gt;.

“Editorial: Is AAR Out of Touch? – Bauer Barbara Literary Agency, Matawan.”MerchantCircle.com | Find New Customers. Web. 07 Dec. 2011.

http://www.merchantcircle.com/blogs/Bauer.Barbara.Literary.Agency.732-566-0446/2011/12/Editorial-Is-AAR-Out-of-Touch-/838156&gt;.

“Filed May 14.” Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.iardc.org/06SH0030HB.html&gt;.

Hazard Owen, Laura. “PublishAmerica Responds To Rowling Lawyer: You Can’t Keep Us From Her House.” PaidContent – Mobile. 18 Aug. 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://m.paidcontent.org/article/419-publishamerica-responds-to-rowling-lawyer-you-cant-keep-us-from-her-hou/&gt;.

“Intro to Publishing Contracts.” SFWA. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sfwa.org/2009/09/intro-to-publishing-contracts/&gt;.

“Jaws (1975) – Memorable Quotes.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073195/quotes&gt;.

“John Steinbeck.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Steinbeck&gt;.

“Locus Online News: Nebula Awards Winners.” Locus Online: The Website of The Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.locusmag.com/2004/News/04_NebulaWinners.html&gt;.

“Making Light: The Pitch Bitch: I’m Not Buying It.” Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/008561.html&gt;.

“Member Directory.” SFWA. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/member-list/%5BSearch: Petit]>.

Scrivener’s Error. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/2010/12/ac07x.html&gt;.

Scrivener’s Error. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/2005/01/inside-job.html&gt;.

“Shark | Define Shark at Dictionary.com.” Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shark&gt;.

“Victoria Strauss — Much Ado About Nothin'” Writer Beware ® Blogs! Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/01/victoria-strauss-much-ado-about-nothin.html&gt;.

“Victoria Strauss — Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them.” Writer Beware ® Blogs! Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/11/victoria-strauss-why-you-shouldnt.html&gt;.

“Womon Accused of Scamming Aspiring Authors | Amarillo.com | Amarillo Globe-News.”Amarillo Globe-News | Breaking News, Weather and Multimedia. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. <http://amarillo.com/stories/071005/fea_2307429.shtml&gt;.

http://www.sff.net/people/victoriastrauss/beware.html

December 2011 Articles

In Amazon, Amazon Rankings, amazon sales, Amazon Sales Rankings, American Book Publishing, Attorney Victor Cretella, Author, Author Watch, AuthorHouse, Authors, Awards, Barnes & Noble, Best Sellers, Bestsellers, blog postings, Book, Book Dealers, Book Marketing, Book Reviews, Book Sellers, Book Signings, books, Bookstores, booksurge publishing, Court, e-book lending, e-books, e-reader, ebooks, Fact Checking, Free e-book, Free ebook, Harbor House, Helm Publishing, Hilliard and Harris, Investigations, iUniverse, Law Suits, lawsuit, lawsuits, Legal Issues, Librarians, Libraries, Library, News Tips, Oak Tree Press, outskirts press inc, police investigation, police investigators, Positive Reviews, Publish America, PublishAmerica, Publisher, Publishers, Publishing, Richard Tate, Royal Fireworks Press, Self-Publish, Self-Published, SterlingHouse Publisher, Strategic Book Group, Strategic Book Publishing, Tate Publishing, The Write Agenda, Traditional Publishing, Untraditional Publishing, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victor Cretella, Writer, Writers on December 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

“An Author site/blog using Google ads to generate revenue from authors probably isn’t anyone you want to read.”

- The Write Agenda

ALERT: John Steinbeck Family Defrauded by Writer Beware™ & SFWA Attorney: The 2007 Scam that Writer Beware™ Didn’t Report . . . Why?

11/25/2011: Writer Beware seems to be defending Book Country (Writer Beware – Victoria Strauss)

ALERT: Blogger Get’s it Wrong: Amazon Sales Rankings are Valuable Metrics if Benchmarked over Time

ALERT: Victoria Strauss Critical of Indie Authors Successes: The Voice of Envy

ALERT: (Posted 10/25/11) P.N. Elrod Claims Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers (SFWA) Has Hackers: Cyber Crime Incitement?

ALERT: (Posted 10/24/11) American Book Publishing: No Case, No Criminal Contact & No Legal Action Taken

ALERT: American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims

12/31/3011

Bookstore closing ‘huge loss’ for patrons
Georgetown Barnes & Noble quietly shuts its doors

Innovate or Be Left Behind: Lessons From Amazon | SEO Expert 

Straight From Hel: Wanna Be in Print?

Cost Of Publishing a Guide Evaluating the costs Affiliated With 

Amazon Stops Selling ‘Not Gay, Just Sissy’ Calendar

Chaska native publishes book of his travels (PublishAmerica)

Amazon Announces Unexpected Holiday Sales for Kindle Line

New Year’s resolutions – write that book you’ve always been talking about

How to Choose the Best Method for Publishing Your Book by 

2012 publishing predictions part 2 | FutureBook

Thrown to the Wolves! HarperCollins Sues Over Julie of the Wolves E-Book Rights

How publishing changed in 2011: O’Reilly’s take

Booksellers enjoy late sales boost – The Bookseller

How to Sell More Books in 2012 – Matilija Press

Publishers Weigh In On The Future of Ebooks

No happy ending for book industry

Bookstores must reinvent themselves

Amazon: 4M Kindles sold in Dec., e-book sales up  – GameSpasm

Book sales – The Atlantic Wire

Lump in the road: Woman pens children’s book based on personal  (Tate Publishing)

When Amazon Calls: Two Self-Published Authors Reflect

US Jewish publisher out with Talmud index

Small publisher says Amazon helped it to survive and prosper 

HC US sues over Open Road e-book

Levelland author Eric Taylor releases ‘Mist’ novel (Tate Publishing)

Is Jesus Divine? : The Christian Pulse (American Book Publishing)

12/30/2011

Tracking Amazon: The Top Books of 2011

Mark Coker « The Write Agenda™ (The Write Agenda)

Smashwords Top 20 Books Perform Equally as well on Amazon: It’s  (The Write Agenda)

Books That Are Never Done Being Written

Publish-Me! Self-publishing introduction – YouTube

2011 The SelfPublishing Year In Review | David Gaughran

Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing « Self Publishing Advisor

Self Publishing Predictions for 2012 | Book Cover Cafe

Author’s Edge – Eloquent Books & Strategic Book Publishing  (Eloquent Books & Strategic Book Publishing)

tatepublishing’s Channel – YouTube (Tate Publishing)

12/29/2011

Amazon Says It Sold More Than 4 Million Kindle Devices; E-Book Gifting Takes Off

A Year In Books: Telling Me Something I Didn’t Know

Why Traditional Marketing Doesn’t Sell Books « Kristen Lamb’s Blog

When a Book Comes Out in Ebook – Interview with Sherri 

Bestselling Books Of 2011

PublishAmerica Author Janice Tuzo schedules book signing News By  (PublishAmerica)

12/28/2011

Used book market a thing of the past

Outskirts Press Announces Winner of the Free Amazon Kindle in Their 25 Days of 

Top 10 Literary News Stories of 2011 « Commentary Magazine

12/27/2011

Outskirts Press Announces Winner of the Free Amazon Kindle in Their 25 Days of 

HarperCollins Sues Open Road Over E-Book Rights

12/26/2011

Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War

Dean Wesley Smith » New World of Publishing: Failure is an Option 

Interview: Jami Alden, co-author of ‘SEAL of My Dreams’

Hackettstown author recognized in national book contest

Print On Demand and Epublishing News She Writes

12/24/2011

Self-Publishing Review | Blog | Boost Your Book Sales with Press 

How Book Sales are Influenced « Savvy Writers & e-Books online

Local student publishes book (PublishAmerica)

12/23/2011

Ventura author claims literary award (Tate Publishing)

Area woman shares her faith experiences (Tate Publishing)

Kindle Author: How I Got 4800 Amazon Customers to Download My 

Bestselling authors aren’t always what they seem

Google tries to kick Authors Guild out of court in book case

USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS | The Republic

The great ebook price swindle

Startup e-Book House Releases Crime Anthology

Borders may be gone, but book store stays in the community 

Sudbury man puts Thoreau’s principles into action (Park East Press)

Salisbury News: Local Author Releases Children’s Book Nationwide (Tate Publishing)

Local author hopes to uplift others through book (Tate Publishing)

Eastchester groundskeeper publishes poetry (PublishAmerica)

12/22/2011

Waterstone’s backs down over Mein Kampf

E-book Sales And Self-Publishing : NPR

The Overlooked Books of 2011

Milli Brown Will Publish Your Book—If You Can Afford It

Craig James’ attorney seeks depositions from book publishers

Wimpy Kid Goes to Court Against Zombie

Wimpy Kid author files lawsuit against Zombie Kid publisher

Craig James Files Complaint Against Book Publishers

Wimpy Kid author sues Antarctic Press over Diary of a Zombie Kid

National Agents Alliance announces bestselling author Jon Gordon will be 

Imperfectly Matched – Legal Thriller Brings Together 2 Opposites  (Strategic Book Publishing)

The Downside to Self-Publishing: Not What You’d Think | Life is but 

Self-Publishing Review | Blog | Guidelines to Consider in Marketing 

A Christmas memoir (PublishAmerica)

PublishAmerica Presents Red Mars and Other Poems from September  (PublishAmerica)

F.C. Resident, Poet Dies at 69 (PublishAmerica)

Delaware author gets inside betrayer’s head (Strategic Book Publishing)

12/21/2011

Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter returns to author’s Cuban home 

Michael Chabon Challenges Publishers On Digital Royalties – GalleyCat

Amazon Updates Kindle Fire Software: Fixes Some Nagging Issues

Publishers pick their wishes and misses of 2012

Contact 2: BBB Warns Of ‘E Reader’ Scammers

Book Publishing Insider Tipped Law Firms About eBook Price Fixing 

Venti, daughter write book (Tate Publishing)

Amazon Makes the Fire Less Balky

12/20/2011

Official Outskirts Press EVVY Award Nominees for 2011 « Self 

And the Lead Counsel in E-Books Price-Fixing Litigation Is…

Book Marketing Mistakes That Cost You Sales | SmartAuthorSites 

Borders era over as judge confirms bookseller’s liquidation

Amazon Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Tablet getting software updates

George Pelecanos novel steers marketing in new direction

Changes made to Alberta Readers Choice book award

East Lansing Barnes and Noble Set to Close

East Lansing Barnes and Noble Set to Close

Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 update rolls out

BBB Warning: eBook Scams Rip Off Readers, Authors And Publishers

12/19/2011

Publisher accuses SCAF of libel after incitement accusations

Thank You For a Great Year in 2011 | Publishing Perspectives

Over 10,000 Facebook Fans (PublishAmerica)

HarperCollins Selects Ingram Publisher Services/Spring Arbor for Christian 

The Peach Tree Kids Author to Appear on KAZVTV’s Central Valley  (Strategic Book Publishing)

Brick-And-Mortar Retailers Want You To Boycott Amazon

Does the cream really rise in self-publishing? | Leah Raeder

A look at self-publishing | TeleRead: News and views on e-books 

News to Use (PublishAmerica)

Sales jump for books written by Hitchens

What can free do for your book? – Erik Emery Hanberg

The Tim Tebow Phenomenon Translates Into Bestselling Book

Author Mistakes | Motion Publishing

eBooks Could cost More Than Printed If Publishers Get Their Way

The Importance Of Reviews

Why authors don’t need traditional publishers anymore

Self Publishing news

Self-Publishing IS Real Publishing-The Difference is up to You

Amazon Kindle Fire Is Far From A ‘Failure’

Craig resident’s new book promotes tips for happier living (Tate Publishing)

12/18/2011

Review: Biography: One Click: Jeff Bezos And The Rise O Amazon.com by Richard 

Self-Publishing And Ebook Predictions For 2012 | The Creative Penn

Five reasons NOT to self-publish your novel as an e-book

Self Publishing, Inc – Publishing service for the self-publisher

Self-publishing vs. Big-house publishing | The Free-eBooks.net Blog

Setting Goals For Self-Publishing | CCC’s Beyond the Book

12/17/2011

Author Amanda Hocking – An Inspiration for All Writers

M&M to launch digital publishing system in Saudi

At Amazon, Talking Long Term and Meaning It

E-readers: Amazon selling 1 million Kindles per week

Author relates lesson in sport to lesson in life (PublishAmerica)

Sales jump for books written by Hitchens

The Library Alternative

Author-it Software Launches Author-it Cloud

Author Hitchens always a humanist

Interview: Marliss Melton, co-author of ‘SEAL of My Dreams’

Self-publishing: it’s crucial to be realistic

When Self-Publishing Goes Wrong – Grasping for the Wind

So Cupcake: Brenda L. Wagstaff (Tate Publishing)

12/16/2011

Barnes & Noble (BKS) Orders 1.5M NOOKs, But Competition Stiffens

Writer Beware: Buying “Access” to Studio Execs and Agents 

2011 December 08 « Self Publishing News For Self-Publishing 

Horror author Stephen King helps raise $240000 to help poor Mainers pay 

Will Amazon Respect Its Kindle Fire Customers? | Geoff Livingston’s 

Publishing News: “Hating Amazon is not a strategy” – O’Reilly Radar

Bodyguardz offers protection for the Amazon Kindle Fire » Coolest 

Amazon announces new free expedited shipping deal

Local Bookstores Call For Boycott Of Amazon For Advertising Their Prices

Does It Matter That Kindle Books Were $9.99 Before Anyone Used E-Readers?

Nook Headed to the UK?

Barnes & Noble to Take Deliveries of 1.1 Million Nook Tablets in Q4 (BKS)

Amazon vs The World | The Big Picture

Amazon offers some Kindle numbers: 1 million sold a week — Tech 

Amazon: For The Third Week, Kindle (Including The Fire) Sales 

Amazon Reports Blowout Kindle Sales Numbers — Close To The 

Here’s A Real-ish Kindle Number From Amazon | paidContent

Self Publishing Has Taken on a New Form in the E-Book Market 

Publishers Block the Path to Successful E-Book Sales | SixEstate

Facebook Fan Page – How To Use It For Book Marketing

E-book reader sales to boom as prices plunge

Featured Book-of-the-Week – Self Publishing News For Self 

Newark author gets 2nd story published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Publisher Happy About Gives its Authors an Early Holiday Gift with 2-for-1 Deal

USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

Joe Simon, a Creator of Captain America, Is Dead at 98

E-book readers

Save $200 When Self-Publishing This Holiday Season

Amazon Spent $450000 Lobbying Gov’t in Q3

“KDP Select is the best way I know to bring my – Amazon Media 

Christopher Hitchens, author and polemicist, dead at 62

12/15/2011

Local author writes about Pat Boone (Tate Publishing)

Tate Publishing – Marketing Department Blog: Serving to Sell

Using SquidLit to Promote Your Self-Published eBook – Article 

A writer’s guide to getting self-published

Amazon’s contentious relationship with authors and bookstores

Why Authors and Social Media Are Meant for Each Other

Publishers Are Still Missing the Boat on E-book Prices

Amazon selling over 1 million Kindles a week

The Self-Published Author as the Self-Employed Author | The 

Russell Hoban, ‘Frances’ Author, Dies at 86

Shakopee Author Catches Ancestral Spirit in First Novel (Tate Publishing)

West Michigan book publisher capitalizing on Tim Tebow mania

Author Russell Hoban dies aged 86

New Book Trailer Added – The Book Marketing Network

From Published to #1 Amazon Bestseller in 3 Months

3 Simple Book Sales Techniques | Sales Training

Successful Self Publishing – Go Sign Me UP!

Writing and Publishing News » Blog Archive » Secrets to an Author’s 

Raindrop Story by Brighton Teen Fits Rainy Day at Hartland Montessori (Tate Publishing)

Student Run Press Has Published 31 Novels

Video Interview: The Future of Publishing | Jane Friedman

7 Things I Learned from Publishing a Book

Flipside: Bringing Filipino e-books to the market

Barnes & Noble accused of “censoring Christmas”

12/14/2011

Interview with Emma Marris, Author of Rambunctious Garden 

Bestselling Author and Screenwriter Prepares His Memoir for the Big Screen

Author Success Stories – SBPRA (Strategic Book Publishing and  (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency)

Amazon to stab retail in the heart, says report. Welcome to Q4!

The Kindle Fire’s big security problem

Court clears ‘Bookseller of Kabul’ author

SBPRA Family of Authors Can Help Author’s Son This Holiday Season

Russell Hoban, cult author, dies aged 86

Authors leave publishing houses out of the plot

Amazon Price Check May Be Evil But It’s the Future

Self-Publishing Enables Dual Career Paths

Writer Wednesday: Surprising Things Literary Agents Can Do For You

eBook Exclusivity — A Good or Bad Idea? « An American Editor

Amazon plays hardball with bookstores and writers

Amazon Price Check Discount Has Competitors Crying Foul | PCWorld

Booksellers Deplore Amazon ‘Poaching’ Ploy

Amazon Kindle Fire Improvements: 10 Must-Have Fixes for a New Version

Dymocks responds to criticism of D Publishing contract

Saray Publishing

Read for success? India’s business books take off

20 Little-Known Marketing Blogs You Should Be Reading – A SPN 

Apple Faces Another Set of Antitrust Accusers

Q&A With Brittany Geragotelis: Author Of “Life’s A Witch” | Ypulse

Interview With A Successful Writer: Rebecca O’Connor, Award 

New Self Published Authors – Stephen’s Lighthouse

Woman’s Bestselling Self-Published Book Will Now Become A Movie

How C. Leigh Purtill Self Published After a Traditional Book Deal 

Handbook of Nutrition and the Kidney – Helm Publishing (Helm Publishing)

W. Robert (Bob) Gouin’s New Book Studies Of Biblical Chronology (AuthorHouse & Tate Publishing)

Sares leaves the boxing world to delve into crime in his newest book (Tate Publishing)

Strategic Book Publishing Signs Groundbreaking eBook Deal for  (Strategic Book Publishing)

12/13/2011

EU Investigates e-Book Pricing

With 5% Discount, Amazon Triples Use of Controversial App

Amazon.com CEO Bezos and wife donate $15M to build Princeton Neuroscience 

Strategic Book Publishing Signs Groundbreaking eBook Deal for  (Strategic Book Publishing)

Twin Cities book publisher Ned Waldman dies at 78

Amazon’s Bezos Gives $15 Million to Princeton for Brain Research

Author claims Somali pirates burned his books | Washington Examiner

Author claims Somali pirates burned his books

Print Books Still Rule the Holidays: The Trouble With Gifting an E-Book

e-Book Sales Double – Association of Independent Authors (AiA)

Kindle Fire: good reviews, but some complaints

Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit

The Case for Self-Publishing, with John Mackey and Steven Bryant 

3 Ways to Use Market Research « Self Publishing Advisor

eBook authors cashing in on popularity of eReaders this holiday season

Yahoo countersues Singapore publisher on copyright

A feast for book lovers at international fair

Jeremy Thompson from Matador publishing at the London Book Fair 

Have You Heard About FBA? | Bookshop Blog

An electrifying new twist in the plot as books turn over page for fresh chapter

Vancouver author signs two-book deal with D&M

Self-published authors find e-success

Interview with Debra Burroughs, Author of She Had No Choice

PERPETUAL FOLLY: Indie vs. Self Publishing

Self-publishing vs. Big-house publishing | The Free-eBooks.net Blog

Greg Goldstein promoted to President of IDW Publishing – ComicList

Interview: Whitney Stewart, Author of Give Me A Break: No-Fuss Meditation

Fisherman becomes author at 98

Victoria Strauss Interview YouTube

12/12/2011

Chamber chief calls for Amazon.com boycott

In the Wake of Protest: One Woman’s Attempt to Unionize Amazon

US-Israeli Author Found Guilty of Plagiarism

Writing and Publishing News » Blog Archive » When Can I Quit 

Kindle Self-Publishers Soon to Become Amazon Exclusives

“The Help” author’s next book almost year late

Amazon Kindle Fire Update Promised | WebProNews

Amazon Dies In A Fire

Amazon’s Publishing Reputation

Rob Lowe Lands Another Book Deal

Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency

Brenner GRAND PRIZE Winner (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency)

Lambert Wins First Prize (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency)

Amazon’s Fire is Fueling Debate

Why Are Google and Amazon Fighting?

Amazon set to roll out update to Kindle Fire

Writers Need To Be Adaptable In Order To Succeed: The Porter 

New Free PDF e-Book: 10 Things You Need to Know About Self 

PUBSLUSH: Publisher Uses Readers to Find New Writing Talent 

US the latest authority to probe e-book pricing

New media regulator could cover digital publishers

Is self-publishing really only for genre writers?

Self-Publishing in Print Update « Shanna Hatfield

Self Publishing for the Eco-Conscious « Self Publishing Advisor

D Publish, Dymocks Offer Self Publishing Deal For Authors 

The Precarious Portentious Perils Of Self-Publishing

Seal Press Author Offers Eight Ways to Give Back During Hanukkah (Mitzvah . . .  the Right Way)

Jerusalem court finds author Naomi Ragen guilty of plagiarism

12/11/2011

Controversial Book Gives Daring Twist On Black Culture! (PublishAmerica)

How to DELETE your Smashwords Account

Censorship causes blindess. This is a complaint against Smashwords.

Publisher defends Shore author against plagiarism claims

How Amanda Hocking REALLY Did It- An Inspiration for All Authors 

What is Amazon’s KDP Select Program? – CrimeSpace

Kindle Publishing and how it works. « Madame Guillotine

10 Reasons Why I Am Self Publishing

Local Author Will Discuss The Pros And Cons Of Self-Publishing 

When the supposed scam busters & watchdogs are scamming

Publication Proposals Ways to Get Your own to the Top of the Stack

Self-published author sells 400000 copies of debut novel 

How 3 Publishing Myths Kill the Author | Savas Publishing 

Self-publishing: Upending the Book Industry | James Russell Ament

How One Author’s Self Published Book Became a Best Seller 

Darcie Chan – a self-publishing success story – She Writes

What I Got Out of Self-Publishing | The Gatekeepers Post

REMINDER: If you are participating in Amazon’s KDP Select, remove your books from all other distribution channels!

Local author to hold book signing at Town Center mall (Tate Publishing)

Top-Selling Authors Adopt New York Area Schools, Meet with Local (Tate Publishing)

Children’s Care BlogTalk – Book signing December 15th at 

12/10/2011

Authors, Have you ever been censored by Smashwords? Tell us your story.

Pay Me, Bug! vs. Smashwords: Round One | Eviscerati.net

Amazon KDP Support : Smashwords’ Mark Coker Blasts KDP …

Mark Coker, Amazon and the value of indie authors

Nancy Steinbeck « The Write Agenda™ (The Write Agenda)

About books: Victim of bullying writes book about his experience (PublishAmerica & Tate Publishing)

C. E. Petit « The Write Agenda™ (The Write Agenda)

Self-Publishing Packages – MindStir Media

Rachel Morgan Writes: Why Self-Publishing Appeals to Me

12/9/2011

Charles Emil Petit « The Write Agenda™ (The Write Agenda)

Police arrest crime author on suspicion of DUI

Local Bookstores Ask Customers To Boycott Amazon Over New Price Check App Offer

E-Library Books Ready for Checkout on Kindles Through North Carolina Libraries

Smashwords Founder, Mark Coker, Trying to Take on Goliath: Obviously Concerned

Mark Coker of Smashwords is Showing Evidence of Being in Bed with Writer Beware

Nancy Steinbeck « The Write Agenda™ (The Write Agenda)

Local author loves writing about turtles for children (Tate Publishing)

Amazon’s Evil Price Check App: Kicking Bookstores While They’re Down

Do Writers Really Need a Book Business Plan? by Deborah Riley 

Top 10 ways to promote your virtual book tour

Former resident writes third book (PublishAmerica)

How I Became a Best-Selling Author

Local signs romance book Saturday (Strategic Book Group)

12/8/2011

Amazon Bribes Self-Published Authors to Sell Exclusively Through the Kindle Store

Amanda Knox to release tell-all book

Taylor Armstrong ‘Didn’t Feel Safe’ To Publish Book Until Husband’s Suicide

Publish an Ebook Now

Publishing in Latin America

Diana Colbert, wife of author Charles Bock, dies

BISG Issues Best Practices For Assigning Digital ISBNs

Why I don’t self-publish | Myke Cole

Amazon Sets Up $6 Million Royalty Fund for Lending Library Authors

Amazon launches $6M fund to fuel Kindle Direct Publishing

China’s Dangdang Does An Amazon With E-Books, Apps, E-Reader

Future is here with Library Without Walls

Neil Cavuto Asks Donald Trump ‘If All This Is Just To Get Publicity 

Yes, but look at $9.99 upside-down — The Horn Book

Australian authors and publishers get a new advertising outlet

Would You Pay Dymocks $499 To Publish Your Book?

Vanity, thy name is publishing

The Seduction Of Self-Publishing

Bachmann book sells just 3000 copies in two weeks

Should Amazon.com pay Michigan tax? Retail groups say yes, as Amazon offers 
Amazon Kindle Will Win Thanks To Hype, Not Performance

Retail groups lash out after Amazon announces Price Check app promotion

Justice Department confirms investigation of e-book industry

12/7/2011

Get a read on books for the wine lover on your list (Oak Tree Press)

30 Book Awards for Self-Published Authors — The Book Designer

3 Things Mark Cuban’s Self Publishing Can Mean for You 

Albertville Christian author inks the deal (Tate Publishing)

What You Need to Know About Amazon’s Book-Publishing Move

Publishing News: E-book market forecast to hit $5.2B as the book 

What’s the truth behind multiple personality disorder?

Justice Department Confirms E-Book Probe

Amazon will launch Kindle Fire in the UK in January

Publishing company launches young adult line aimed at peer readers

Author Emma Lou Thayne Receives Utah Governor’s Mansion Artist Award

Amanda Knox inks multi-million deal with Blair and Obama’s book agent

Jolie Accused Of Stealing Croation Author’s Story For ‘In The Land 

New Charles Dickens coin honors author

Amanda Knox book deal on its way with Robert Barnett’s help

Amazon strengthens drive into publishing

Sylvia’s book for her mum (PublishAmerica)

Price Check! Amazon App Takes Aim at Brick-and-Mortars

Amazon to Pay Your Customers $15 to Dump You

Amazon app will pay you $15 bucks to walk out on retailers

Readmill goes public: is the future of books social? — Tech News 

Books, like diamonds, are forever | Adverblog

Amazon acquires 450 Books from Publisher Marshall Cavendish

Six Shortcomings of Small Presses | LitReactor

Do you Wattpad? | Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

Leaked Document: Hachette Explains Why Publishers Are Relevant 

New option for self-published authors | www.clarkhoward.com

South Vienna writer to debut mystery novel | The Madison-Press (Tate Publishing)

12/6/2011

How to Evaluate Book Marketing Services | Jerry D. Simmons

Amazon Publishing to Acquire Marshall Cavendish

Literary Review: No Author is Safe from the Bad Sex Prize

Apple in e-book price fixing probe

EU Investigating Possible Cartel in E-Book Market

Publisher: Author didn’t lift material for novel about Edgar Allen Poe’s child 

How to Make Your Writing More Visible Online

Award-Winning Author Stephen Stark Chooses Lulu.com

Amazon – Please Fix the Fire

Overstock.com Announces Partnership with Barnes & Noble to Sell eBooks Through 

The most influential bookseller in Britain calls Amazon the devil

Trending toward the truth: Poll shows internet retail relies on brick-and 

Ask Shama: How Do I Market My Book Using Social Media?

Marketing with Spiritual Intent for Memoirists–Lynn Serafinn 

Bill of Rights for Friends of Authors | Hannibal and Me

APW: The Book Marketing Minefield « A Place for Writers

Thomas Allen and Cormorant launch e-book initiative for indie bookstores

Amanda Knox Teams with Lawyer to Broker Book Deal

Blog Business Success Radio – Blog Business World (Tate Publishing)

ECU freshman published at 16 | ECUNewsletter (Tate Publishing)

SHAW: Are libraries next to go?

EU in antitrust probe of Apple, e-book publishers

Apple, Book Publishers Face European Antitrust Probe

Rewriting the rules for publishing

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Crime writer gets better with each book

Southland libraries delve into e-reader mystery

book enthusiasts « Self Publishing News For Self-Publishing Authors

Amazon’s Kindle Fire Has Business Potential

Publishers warm to e-books on their own terms

Amazon’s cloud extinguishes Kindle Fire?

Self Publishing, Inc – Publishing service for the self-publisher

Famous Self-Published Authors: Benjamin Franklin « Self 

Self-Publishing Review | Blog | Interview with Henry Mosquera

12/5/2011

Author Press Release (Strategic Book Group) – Posterous (Strategic Book Group)

Inspiration Creates Aspiration: A Guide to Help Develop New  (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency)

Area graduate writes book about retriever’s many antics (Strategic Book Group)

Susan Whitfield’s Blog: Marilyn Meredith (Oak Tree Press)

Google Plans to Seek Books Lawsuit Dismissal

The Ugly Truth About Consumer Book Reviews: Part One

Beware of fake Amazon account confirmation emails

Daunt is wrong: Amazon is no devil

The Truth About Amazon Publishing, Part II

With 13 Million Readers on Wattpad, YA Novelist Tries Self-Publishing

Eagan businessman’s marketing strategy: self-publishing a book

Booksellers, Multinationals Battle Over Spain’s E-book Buyers 

High Praise for Budding Author from Bestselling Jacquelyn Mitchard

Workshop to teach authors how to publish works

David Shanks, CEO of Penguin Group (USA), Named US Book Publishing “Person of 

The First 10000

The Arts: On Writing and Publishing – Lawrence F. Lihosit on “Self 

The Writing Bomb: Turning Self-Publishing Into Self-Employed

How To Write & Market Your Business Book [Resource Page] | The 

Book Marketing « Savvy Writers & e-Books online

You Sold How Many Books? | The Gatekeepers Post

Kobo offers a free e-book each month

Barnes & Noble In Financial Trouble – The Borders Syndrome 

Bestselling Self-Published Novelist Ja Konrath Talks Writing and 

Tips And Tricks To get Self-Publishing Your Book 

Amazon.com executive dies in Lake Huron plane crash

Anne K. Albert: Day 11: Mystery We Write Tour with John M. Daniel (Oak Tree Press)

12/4/2011

Publisher faces flak for ‘silence’

Breaking News: Highly-Publicized Book Tour Placed On Hiatus

National Writer Series receives kudos from Publishers Weekly |

Niche Authors Offered Customized, Comprehensive Marketing Services At Your

Hotsheet – Helmi Jensen – Strategic Book Publishing & Rights  (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency)

The Unusual Story of Girelli the Gelliphant | PRLog (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency)

Victoria Strauss Reaches 666 Facebook Fans: The Satanic Association is Worth Noting

Author Watch – Best Sellers – December 3, 2011

December Article

Interview: Author Melissa Foster

Marketing strategist Frank Sonnenberg discusses success, book publishing

Park East Press » It’s Not About You (Park East Press)

Publish America Presents Clouds of a Ghoulish War by Bobby David  (PublishAmerica)

Life no storybook for homeless Lancaster woman (PublishAmerica)

The Kill Zone: Literary Agents in the Digital Age

Livia Blackburne: Tips On Responding to Public Criticism (Inspired 

Michael Larsen’s tips for becoming a successful writer

12/3/2011

Yuma author releases ‘Travels of Tommy T. Turtle” (Tate Publishing)

Tuttle teacher authors book (Tate Publishing)

Writer offers sobering account on life in Rwanda (Tate Publishing)

About Books: Learn about e-books at library events (PublishAmerica)

The trouble with Word Mills: Writers Beware.

The way to Market a E-book | Piano Trio Spirale

Authors in Grand Junction today (Tate Publishing @ B&N)

Kobo Launches Free E-Book Club

Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List | The Passive Voice

Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Modern Disciples « Self 

Oak Tree Press Blog: December 2011 (Oak Tree Press)

Cory Doctorow: Copyrights vs. Human Rights

How publishers gave Amazon a stick to beat them with

Yup, Silk is Slow – Tests Confirm Amazon’s Browser is Slower Than 

Nielsen Research Finds Metadata Helps Increase Book Sales

European E-Book Sales Hampered by Tax Structure

Barnes & Noble Nook Is Now A $220 Million Business

Author seeking investors for epic Port City history

Has book blogging hit the wall? William Morrow’s blogger notice

In Case You Missed It: “What makes a beautiful (and marketable) book?”

David Shanks: PW Person of the Year 2011

Marketing Links You’d Be Crazy to Ignore | Copyblogger

Author of One Lucky Pound Puppy to do book signing (Tate Publishing)

Area authors to gather for readings, signings (Tate Publishing)

An Author’s Help To Publishing A E-book | Aawco

12/2/2011

Interview: Author Melissa Foster

New! The 11th common book publishing myth & misconception

Marketing and Selling Your E-Book

Help! I Need a Publisher!: Publishing Deal – Forget the Clichés

What To Keep In Mind When Publishing eBooks | The Official 

Nobel author Gabriel García Márquez wins 17-year legal fight over 

Are E-Books Destroying Mass Market Sales? – Partners West Blog

Why books are better, from a Kindle owner

Author Writes Collections of Powerful Epiphanies (iUniverse)

Internet Book Marketing, an Authors Secret Weapon | David Hamann

National Print Advertising Possible for Self-Publishing Authors via Co-Op Programs (OutSkirts Press)

Dan Goldie tells how his NY Times bestselling book has changed his practice 

Author Promotions – Author Publishing – Benefits of Self Publishing 

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

Amazon.com: The PublishAmerica Style Guide eBook  (PublishAmerica)

Flogging the Quill: How self-publishers can maximize earnings

HUGE News From Helm Publishing! « Author Yvonne Mason  (Helm Publishing)

12/01/2011

How can a book coach help you get published?

What Authors Need to Know About Virtual Book Tours – Workflow 

Rethinking Book Marketing: Why Discovery Matters More | The 

MediaShift Ebooks and SelfPublishing Roundup Dec 1 2011 | PBS

‘Fahrenheit 451′ goes digital. Is Ray Bradbury mellowing?

Congressman Still Has Privacy Concerns About Kindle Fire’s Browser

Amazon Has Some Kindle Book Rentals Beyond Textbooks 

Why Publishers Are Afraid of Amazon

Amazon launches Kindle in Italy and Spain, brings Kindle Store to 

Happy Birthday Mark Twain; Huck Finn Author Born 176 Years Ago Today

Renowned East German author Christa Wolf dies

Adam Gopnik – The Barnes & Noble Review

100 sites for fiction writers: #81 – Self-Publishing Review – Digg

Ebook Self-Publishing Alternatives: Amazon Kindle, Moodle, Tizra 

Self-publishing, Pricing, and Print-on-demand : Michael Montoure’s 

A Quick Note About a Common Self-Publishing Misconception 

Thad McIlroy – Future Of Publishing » Advice for Self Publishers

Publishing News – Clive Thompson on the Future of Printed Books

Publishing News

10 Odd, Self-Published Books Found on Smashwords

Barnes & Noble hires former Microsoft legal foe David Boies

FOSS Patents: David Boies joins Barnes & Noble’s legal team in 

The Trafford Self-Publishing Experience Arrives in Singapore (Trafford Publishing; Author Solutions, Inc.)

Self-Publishing Review | Blog | Self-Publishers and eBook Authors 

Traditional Publishing to ePublishing: What you need to know

Amazon Tells Lawmakers It Supports Sales Tax

British Library’s Promotion of Amazon Listings Draws Ire of One MP

Eric Brock, local historian and author, dies

Best Selling Author Robert G. Allen Launches a New State of the Art Website 

Writer Unboxed » The No. 1 Overlooked Skill for Every Author

The bookstore Is dead

Publishing Insiders Wrap-Up: Promote Your Book – Author Marketing 

14 Authors I’d Love to Have Coffee With – Ecademy

Interview with Marcus Taylor, Co-Author of Get Noticed

Feds: John Hinckley browsed assassin books

Self-Published Author Amanda Hocking Sells Over 1 Million e-books

Sci-Fi Publisher Orbit Expands E-Singles Program Internationally 

Les Cockrell: Hospice’s Light Up a Life tree on display at mall (Tate Publishing)

Park East Press » The Genesis One Code (Park East Press)

ALERT: (Posted 10/24/11) American Book Publishing: No Case, No Criminal Contact & No Legal Action Taken

ALERT: American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims

Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

© The Write Agenda 2011

Blogger Get’s it Wrong: Amazon Sales Rankings are Valuable Metrics if Benchmarked over Time

In Accountability, Amazon, Amazon Rankings, amazon sales, Amazon Sales Rankings, Author, Author Boycott, Author Watch, Authors, Best Sellers, Bestsellers, Book, Book Boycott, Book Marketing, Book Sellers, books, Bookstores, Boycott, Boycotted Authors, Boycotted Books, Credibility, Fact Checking, false information, Goy's Law, Money should flow toward the author, New York Times, New York Times Best Sellers, Propaganda, Publisher, Publishers, Publishing, Recommended Author, Recommended Authors, Recommended Book, Recommended Books, Reputation, Reputation Management, Royalties, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Publish, Self-Published, Self-Publishing, SFWA, Untraditional Publishing, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Writer, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on November 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm


“Uh, the Amazon Sales Ranking? That completely useless metric of book sales . . . . In other words, it means nothing. It’s a hourly popularity contest. If someone buys 100 copies of my book, my Amazon ranking will shoot way up for that hour then fall again.”

 -      From an Author’s Blog

The author of this quote (above) would like readers to conclude that The Write Agenda is “wrong” regarding its use of Amazon Sales Rankings. However, in fairness, it is true that Amazon Sales Rankings are updated every hour. Also, Amazon Sales Rankings are only one benchmark in measuring the success of an author and his/her book(s). We’ve never claimed that Amazon Sales Rankings are the exclusive resource; it’s a valuable tool and nothing more.

The Write Agenda’s use of the Amazon Sales Ranking data is not an hourly process. The data is measured over time (weeks and months) for consistency to establish a history for a particular book. For example, Author Anna Mara’s Her Perfect Revenge, published by Outskirts Press, was listed at #1 on our Author Watch – Best Sellers List for 12 weeks straight.  The Amazon Sales Ranking were: 81, 82, 86, 81, 107, 190, 228, 271, 334, 472, 572, and 961. In addition, Author Anna Mara’s Her Perfect Revenge, while no longer at #1, has continued to remain on the Author Watch – Best Sellers List since that time and consistently performs within our guidelines. Dr. Laurence B. Brown’s The Eighth Scroll, published by BookSurge Publishing, was #1 six (6) times.  Moreover, there are numerous examples of other authors books that are consistent performers on our Author Watch – Best Sellers List. We would also be remiss not to mention that many of these successful authors, to the dismay of Writer Beware™, are in fact published by entities listed on their so-called “Thumbs Down” list. The significant difference here is that 100’s of books are being sold beyond the “hour” window. In the spirit of Yog’s Law, money is flowing to these authors . . . as it should. The difference is that they have written good books that people want to read.

 We find it ironic that the author of the quote above would even make such an intransigent statement as this. Upon a cursory review of this particular author’s book sales data we discovered, as expected, some very dismal sales data. A book that he published in 2002 has a current sales ranking of 10,269,826 with one (1) 4-Star review. There was a subsequent book, published in 2004, that has no sales data available or any reviews. Therefore, it appears unlikely that his Amazon Sales Rankings will change anytime soon. Unless, of course, “[if] someone buys 100 copies of [his] book.” Just as bad spellers always say that “bad spelling has nothing to do with intelligence,” bad authors with bad books will always say: “Amazon Sales Rankings are a completely useless metric of book sales.” These comments were posted by this author with the intention of defending Victoria Strauss (see Victoria Strauss Critical of Indie Authors Successes: The Voice of Envy). Victoria Strauss has continued to downplay the significance of Amazon Sales Rankings as well. While many view our Boycott List as an opportunity to boost their book sales, the placement of Victoria Strauss on our Boycott List has not improved her Amazon Sales Rankings. Again, this is historical data and not an “hourly” measurement of Victoria Strauss’ Amazon Sales Rankings:

THE VICTORIA STRAUSS TITLES – AMAZON SALES RANKINGS

 Guardian of the Hills

Current Rank

7-Day Average

30-Day Average

90-Day Average

Lifetime Average

Best Rank

Worst Rank

5,884,506

5,850,367

5,779,492

5,598,080

5,838,144

335,805

7,800,304

Worldstone

Current Rank

7-Day Average

30-Day Average

90-Day Average

Lifetime Average

Best Rank

Worst Rank

3,825,886

3,458,585

2,662,751

4,980,576

6,106,142

109,084

7,793,756

The Burning Land

Current Rank

7-Day Average

30-Day Average

90-Day Average

Lifetime Average

Best Rank

Worst Rank

2,252,986

2,192,183

1,955,658

1,748,220

1,515,424

77,905

2,277,598

Awakened City

Current Rank

7-Day Average

30-Day Average

90-Day Average

Lifetime Average

Best Rank

Worst Rank

2,141,490

2,010,611

1,536,556

1,996,144

1,810,186

99,275

2,586,300

The Arm of the Stone

Current Rank

7-Day Average

30-Day Average

90-Day Average

Lifetime Average

Best Rank

Worst Rank

422,782

2,145,811

2,119,431

1,876,787

1,424,559

75,797

2,158,066

The Garden of the Stone

Current Rank

7-Day Average

30-Day Average

90-Day Average

Lifetime Average

Best Rank

Worst Rank

350,363

326,903

276,467

268,780

225,359

31,606

377,630

 Let’s take this opportunity to review the Amazon Sales Ranking metric once more. Again, Amazon Sales Rankings are only one of the numerous benchmarking tools.  There is a logical mathematical equation that proves that there is more validity in actual science (and proofs) versus mere rhetorical and salvation-based opinion. The equation can convert the Amazon Sales Rank into the actual number of sales on a weekly basis. The formula is:

Sales/week = e to the power (10.526-(.87*sales rank)

To put this into an Excel spreadsheet: =EXP(10.526-(0.87*LN(rank)))

This data has been actually vetted by four scientific studies that reviewed 1000’s of various titles. In addition, the authors of these studies found a direct and predicable relationship between the Amazon Sales Rankings and the actual Ingram sales data. In conclusion, Amazon Sales Rankings are a valid benchmark to measure and predict your book sales. Don’t be convinced by rhetorical statements, ignorant conjecture or opinions when scientific evidence is readily available. This is science not Science Fiction. Amazon is the world’s #1 online bookseller.

Rank

Copies Sold/day

1

3000

10

650

100

100

1000

13

10,000

2.2 (11 copies every 5 days)

100,000

0.2 (1 copy every 5 days)

1,000,000

0.006 (3 copies every 500 days)

2,000,000

0.0001 (1 copy every 1000 days)

References

“Power Law Converting Amazon Sales Ranks to Units Sold « Nimble Books LLC.” Nimble Books LLC. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://www.nimblebooks.com/wordpress/2006/06/power-law-converting-amazon-sales-ranks-to-units-sold/&gt;.

“Why Your Self-Publishing Service Probably Didn’t Cheat You.” Writer Beware™ Blogs! Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-your-self-publishing-service.html&gt;.

“Wired Blogs.” The Long Tail. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <http://longtail.typepad.com/the_long_tail/2005/08/amazon_methodol.html&gt;.

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at  thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

Creative Commons License

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

Protected: T.W.A.N.G.: Janrae Frank Dossier Project (Updates Loaded 11/17/11-wp_hr180_stmt.doc)

In abused women, abusive marriage, Accountability, addictions, Alcohol Abuse, Alternative Lifestyles, Archived Articles, bi-sexual, Cocaine, depression, Drug Abuse, EBSCO Enteries, Emotional Instability, Ex-Husband, Fact Checking, Gay Lifestyles, GLBTQ, Hollywood, Illegal Drugs, Incitement, Interviews, Intimidation, Investigations, investigative journalist, Janrae Frank, Journalism, Journalist, lawsuits, Legal Issues, Lesbian, Lesions, meth and cocaine, Polio, Poliomyelitis, Propaganda, ProQuest Enteries, PTSD, Rehabiltation, Scientology, Sex Change, Spinal Column, The Washington Post, Therapy Sessions, transsexual, Veracity Check on November 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: