Below is a reblog from Indie Author, Christoph Fischer. Although his blog post says, "little warning", he has a big warning for authors!
I'd like to add that, I am familiar with this company, this man, and his scam. I have worked with and still work with several of the authors who have fallen victim to this. It is outrageous, appalling, disgusting..... Please, please, please, beware of this man! A Liar and A Thief!
This man, Wid Bastian, has taken so much money from Indie Authors, and now CHARITIES! Verified 501c3 Charities(For Veterans and Animals) The lowest of lows! Please share this far and wide so we can get the word out. Stop the cycle!
I’m usually sceptical when it comes to professional indie author support but was taken in by his string of box sets. So many authors couldn’t be wrong?
Our book, Do No Harm, A collection of Medical thrillers, did well. Thanks to advertising and our own huge efforts we made USA Today and gathered 1.5 millions page reads during the short time it was in KU.
Two charities were named for this set, both 501c3 charities in the US and were to receive the pre-order proceeds. The charities advertised and marketed the set along with the authors. I’ve seen predominantly the marketing efforts from charities and the authors involved – actually next to nothing from his company.
Anyway, when it came to the end of the project and payments were due Wid stated in a Facebook post to us that Genius Media spent over $15,000 on the set (his own fee was $7,050 USD not counting his two staff members) and the total revenues for the set were only $14,000, hence no payout.
Hang on – we already paid the expenses upfront. Per contract our own fee to him should have covered all advertising and labour already so he double pocketed – fees and earnings! And even if our fees hadn’t been paid, we earned well in excess of the fee, with some KU money still to come. Yet, at a rate of $75 per hour for his ‘work’ or more and despite what’s in the contract there will be no money for the charities and no royalties for the authors. It’s appalling and I am so sorry to all the people who helped us promote the set under the impression they were helping veterans and dog shelters. Beastly to rob charities. Some of us have donated their own money to said charities in embarrassment while others are pursuing legal action against Wid.
I understand Wid has other Box Sets as a marketing product line in KPC and is currently engaged in recruiting other authors and promising them potential success in a USA Today run. Please let other authors be aware of him. This is so wrong on so many levels. He keeps moving companies and apparently uses variations of his name but the picture is verified by one of our authors who has met Wid.
Here’s what our contract stated:
“For the purposes of the USA Today Bestseller Medical Thriller Author Publishing Collaborative Boxed Set program, Genius Media shall not incur any publication and promotion expenses of any nature in excess of the fees paid under the terms of its author agreements and shall have no power to obligate the author or any other author for any publication and promotion expense above author fees paid whatsoever at any time.”
We paid a total of $12,750 which was the total amount GM would receive for publication and promoting expenses for DNH, which, of course, would include labor costs associated with that promotion and publication.
Sarah Jane Butfield, Rukia Publishing, RPBP News, @SarahJanewrites, Glass Half Full, Two Dogs and a Suitcase, Our Frugal Summer in Charente, The Accidental Author, The Amateur Authorpreneur, Ooh Matron