How To Work For A Ghostwriting Novel Client & Julian Taylor of Allaboutbikes.com... And Not Get Paid
Latest Edit: Note the comments below from JA, EBK and others... According to their unsolicited comments it seems that Mr. Julian Taylor of JVH Media owes a fair chunk of change to at least three people + me. It seems that we have a pattern developing here. More as it occurs.
In the Eighties I had a stint cranking out magazines for a notorious New Jersey publisher who had recently gotten out of jail for embezzlement and it didn't stop him from bouncing around $100,000 a week in checks, including about $25,000 to me... until I eventually wisened up. As my faithful readers know, I have since never hesitated to take on publishers and clients who contract writers for work and then fail to pay them. After 35 years in this business I'm still amazed how many clients simply take for granted that writers are not really entitled to fair and timely payment.
I recently finished up a massive ghostwriting job for a client: a 83,492 word novel over four months. All along, the client was extremely happy with my work, as archived in his many gushing emails and the progressive tranches keyed to completion of various chapters which he paid right on time and in full. Of course, that didn't stop him from bouncing the big check for my final payment: $7,153.60.
I'm not going to go into too many details on that novel project as my lawyer has instructed me to leave that particular deadbeat to him. However, I certainly don't mind sharing with my readers my misadventures with Mr. Julian V. Taylor of JVH Media Group / Julian V Holdings, LLC, 438 Division St., Sewickley, PA 15143.
At first glance Mr. Taylor seems to have a reasonable publishing resume, as is witnessed by the verified background of a Julian Taylor with Red Coat Publishing and other magazine ventures. That is why I was not overly concerned about extending myself with his company to the tune of $1,200 of motorcycle articles, as I figured that it was one of the safer clients I'd deal with this year. After all his press releases carry the following credit line:
JVH Media Group is a publishing company consisting of over sixty publications. Based in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, JVH Media Group was founded by Julian V Taylor, a 20+ year publishing veteran. The company's series, "AllAbout", has seen great success, gaining national recognition in the lifestyle industry.
There are dozens of titles for magazines and or websites shown on the JVH Media Group website and listed as of February 24, 2009, but as of 10:30 am EST June 16, 2010:
Allaboutsnow.com is "down for maintenance."
Allaboutthegrape.com is stuck at January 2010.
... and the other 26 magazines listed on the site... well... nothing there. No links. No trace of the existence of those 26 or any of the others to make up the missing 57. Just titles, some without even as much as an image to go with them. Not exactly the publishing megacorporation that the illusory claim to 60 titles would lead you to believe. So Mr. Taylor seems to be at least 58 publications short of his claim of 60, and some (but not me) would say 58.5 short.
Interestingly his AllAboutMotosport.com listed on
was available for registry at the time of writing. Maybe I should register it! But then again, it might be a misspelling on his site as shown in the image... or maybe not, considering that AllAboutSatellitetelevison.com is registered to him. I guess nobody else wanted a site that misspelled "television".
Therefore: Outright Lie #1
Now let's look at the "great success, gaining national recognition in the lifestyle industry" claim. It certainly isn't confidence inspiring that Alexa.com not only rates Allaboutbikes.com at 333,199 in the USA. That is so low that not only is there no historical data on Mr. Taylor's site, but that whatever little traffic it is recording was down 40% in the last month. The news over at Quantcast.com is even worse. It shows the traffic down nearly 80% from March! In fairness when traffic is that low, both sites have trouble estimating exactly what is going on, but let's just say that Allaboutbikes.com is not a Hubpages.com, ranked by Alexa as the 126th most visited site in the USA, way ahead of powerhouses like Skype.com, Mashable.com, Tripadvisor.com, Reddit.com, and Reuters.com. The power of Hubpages is the main reason behind my 2.2 million page views to date as it truly is a remarkable platform!
I find it very funny that when I informed their Executive Editor, Rodney Burrell that I was going to publish this Hub, he replied: "if anything it will send us new readers." Looks like they really need them! I don't know if it's the kind of reader they're looking for, though. But, hey, I guess when you're rated 333,199th, a click is a click!
So: Outright Lie #2
The Outright Lies #3 through X all surround the lack of payment by the company for the articles which were ordered by Mr. Burrell and received by gushing emails: "I’m loving the articles", "very exciting stuff", etc. Although their "standard terms" call for payment 14 days after publication, that's one of the biggest crocks in the industry and I was very clear to Mr. Burrell that I was not going to accept that. Look at it this way: Go to your local supermarket, stock up on everything from frozen pizzas to ice cream, and explain to the cashier that once you eventually take it out of your freezer and eat it, whether the next day or six months later, you'll be happy to pay for it. See how much food you get.
Supermarkets get paid at the checkout counter and freelance writers get paid on acceptance. It's not our problem if a publisher can't manage to figure out how slap them onto HTML. That apparently was Mr. Burrell's claim... they were late putting up my articles since they were having problems with their programmers. Hmm... wonder why...
However, Mr. Burrell wanted many more articles and fully and repeatedly agreed to have me send in an invoice right away and that would result in a payment "in a week or two." That was on May 24. Of course, no money has been forthcoming.
The best part was when I informed the publisher Mr. Taylor that I was going to publish this Hub showing the facts behind his non-payment and "Oz-ian facade" of 58 make-believe periodicals if he didn't cough up the money that was so overdue. His reply was: "Do I know you Hal? I have not seen any of your work so why would I pay for it?"
Well, it's understandable. Mr. Taylor must be so busy gaining success and national recognition with his 58 imaginary titles that he's a very busy man and certainly can't lower himself to actually read articles ankle-biter freelance writers provide his vast publishing conglomerate. Or paying for them, for that matter. Yes, he's far too engaged in "Expanding His Business Model:"
A ride through Sewickley will also be led by Julian Taylor, CEO of JVH Media Group, and avid roadracer. The ride will finish at The Sewickley Hotel where they will offer drink and food specials.
Whoohooo! First let's find Sewickley, PA on a map (FYI it's between the burgeoning metropolises of Leetsdale and Coraopolis), and then lets get a couple of bikers to chug through town so they can feast on drink and food "specials". Wow! A publishing junket worthy of William Randolph Hearst!
Too bad that the discounts on the beer swilled by whatever bikers that show up in Sewickley will be paid for by money Mr. Taylor owes me.
Well, since almost all of my 1,000 plus official Hub Followers and many other readers are freelance writers, let's see what you think. Would you want to write for Mr. Taylor's massive and glorious publishing megacorporation?