The Implosion of BBB Publishings: A Peek Into the Sometimes Dysfunctional World of Paid Anthology / Boxed Set Publishing

BBB Publishings logo

A Niche Publishing Specialty

The world of paid anthology/boxed set publishing is a niche that I suspect many people aren’t familiar with.

Paid anthology/boxed set publishers (it should be noted that there are boxed set publishers that don’t require an author buy-in) specialize in collections of themed stories, novellas, and/or novels. Writers buy in to these collections for fees ranging from less than $100 to three or even four figures, depending on the publisher or set organizer. Often they must commit to pay for advertising and publicity as well. Promotion is important, as many collections are “list-aiming”, with the goal of appearing on bestseller lists such as USA Today. A long pre-order period (as much as 12 months) allows the publisher’s and authors’ publicity efforts to bring in sales, so that the collection (hopefully) hits the list on the day it debuts. Collections stay in print for a limited period–three to six months–after which they’re removed from publication and rights revert to the authors.

Publishers or organizers keep a management fee of anywhere from 10-40% of sales proceeds. To maximize income, some publishers issue as many as 40 or 50 collections a year. Remaining income is split between authors on a pro-rated basis. If the collection debuts high on bestseller lists and continues to sell, authors can make their investment back and then some.

Many authors who buy in to boxed sets do well and are well-served by their publishers. However, there’s always risk, since there’s no guarantee the set will hit its goals. And as in pretty much every area of publishing, there is plenty of room for scammery and cheating–such as set organizers including several of their own stories in a collection under different pen names, so they can claim multiple royalty shares.

In 2017, I received a large number of complaints from authors who alleged rank-fixing, bullying, and unsavory promotion tactics by boxed set organizer Rebecca Hamilton (similar complaints have been posted here). Among other fallout of this explosion of complaints was a defamation lawsuit in which Writer Beware was peripherally involved (Hamilton tried, unsuccessfully, to force us to reveal the identities of complainants). Hamilton, whose real name is Shana Raywood, is still active in publishing and marketing.

In 2019, Widstoe T. Bastian, a convicted felon on the run from the law (though his victims didn’t know that at the time), ran a boxed set scam that used fake accounting to avoid paying authors any royalties. I’ve also received complaints about Margo Bond Collins’ boxed set operation (which uses several publisher names, including Bathory Gate Press and Dangerous Words Publishing), from authors who say they haven’t received full accounting or full payment, among other issues. And I’ve gotten complaints about several boxed set publishers that no longer exist, such as Hydra Productions.

The implosion of BBB Publishings (no, that extraneous “s” is not a typo) offers another window into how paid anthology/boxed set publishing can go wrong.

The Demise of BBB Publishings

A different BBB Publishings logo

BBB Publishings appears to have begun in 2018 as a personal assistant service. At some later point, it morphed into a paid anthology publisher. On its Amazon author page, it describes itself as the “brainchild” of two “besties”, Nichol Smith and Sosha Ann. (These names may be pseudonyms; Nichol apparently writes under several monikers, including Beth Hendrix, and it isn’t clear whether Sosha Ann has a surname.)

BBB published a lot of anthologies (you can see some of this output here). It also scheduled unusually far out into the future, with open calls and buy-ins for anthologies planned all the way through 2025. Buy-in fees were small: $35-40 in most cases, although many authors purchased additional services, such as editing and formatting. As with similar publishing operations, authors were expected to actively participate in promotion, according to a procedure described here–including “optional” donations to fund release giveaways. Authors granted rights for 90-120 days, depending on the project, after which they could choose to leave their story in the collection or request that it be removed. BBB charged a management fee of 10%, and promised to pay royalties.

With a substantial backlist and huge catalog of upcoming projects, BBB certainly seemed to be a going concern. But on September 13, writers logging into BBB’s Facebook anthology groups were blindsided by a lengthy announcement from Sosha Ann. Nichol Smith was seriously ill, “unable to fulfill any of the obligations of the BBB Publishings brand”. As a result, BBB was on “hiatus.”

But DON’T PANIC! There was a plan. BBB Publishings projects would be allowed to “run out and be canceled in their current incarnations.” Which, somewhat confusingly, didn’t mean actually canceled–just postponed, so they could be taken over by a brand-new publishing operation called Set It Right Publishing (SIR).

Helmed by Sosha Ann, another BBB staffer, and the owners of Haney Hayes Promotions, this new publisher would issue new contracts and establish a new timeline. The catch? New buy-ins (but hey, 20% off)–and no immediate prospect of reimbursement of the money authors had already paid, since Sosha Ann was only an employee and had “zero access to [BBB’s] accounts with no way to recover them as Nichol’s family has made it very clear that she is to remain incommunicative [sic] until further notice” (a pretty odd situation for these two supposed best friends). To get their buy-ins back, writers would have to “apply for a refund from BBB Publishings”–which, because all invoices were paid through PayPal, in practical terms meant opening a claim with PayPal for services not rendered.

“We know that this is a lot to process,” the announcement closed. “We truly hope that our honesty and transparency during this shift will help to set you at ease so that we can move forward together.”

Honesty? Transparency? It wasn’t like problems hadn’t been simmering for a while. Editing, author copies, and other services paid for sometimes weren’t received, buy-ins for canceled anthologies weren’t always refunded, some authors weren’t getting royalties, and some collections lost money.

But no one had any inkling the company was in real trouble, or that Nichol was sick. With Nichol incommunicado, and many buy-ins and service purchases much older than PayPal’s 180-day claim window, how would authors get their money back? Who were Haney Hayes Promotions? What was this new publisher all about? Why hadn’t Nichol herself made any announcements? Why was Sosha Ann, whose name appeared alongside Nichol Smith’s on BBB’s contracts, and in multiple other contexts to indicate that she was co-owner of the company, now claiming to be just a helpless employee who’d been in the dark about BBB’s problems and had no access to its finances? And if she was just an employee, what gave her the authority to transfer BBB’s anthology projects to a new publishing company?

Furious not just at the sudden transition and unanswered questions, but at the callous offloading of financial responsibility and the demand that they essentially pay twice for inclusion in the same anthologies, writers poured out their anger, confusion, and hurt on Facebook and in the new SIR Facebook group. Also unleashed: a flood of complaints and reports to me, which in addition to the problems mentioned above, exposed the extreme unprofessionalism of BBB’s operations.

BBB’s official name is BBB Publishings LLC, but no one has been able to discover an actual business registration for the company. Part of the problem is that BBB doesn’t disclose an address, which makes it hard to search. There’s a clue in the header of its Twitter account, which indicates a Kentucky location…but I’ve checked, and there’s no registration for BBB Publishings (with or without the extra “s”) in that state.

Header of BBB Publishings' Twitter account

Some writers received contracts (which are no prize, with an excessive claim on rights and vagueness about royalties) but many told me they didn’t. For those writers, their relationship with BBB was governed solely by this small paragraph at the end of anthology sign-up forms, which doesn’t mention rights, reversion, copyright, payment schedules, accounting, or other relevant items:

Paragraph at the end of anthology sign-up forms in lieu of contract

For buy-ins and other payments, some writers were encouraged by Nichol to use PayPal’s family-and-friends option, which is intended for personal rather than business use (this practice, which enables sellers to avoid transaction fees, is widely abused on PayPal). That’s not the only way the line between personal and professional was blurred at BBB. Writers report various forms of drama involving banning, bullying, and retaliatory invoice-canceling in Facebook groups and chat, as well as a string of raffles and fundraiser anthologies with profits going to Sosha Ann to help with her apparently frequent personal and family problems. Here’s one example.

"For The Love Of You", a fundraiser anthology for Sosha Ann

In the days since the September 13 announcement, Sosha Ann has gone radio silent, supposedly upon advice of counsel, also supposedly as a result of being “threatened.” Hayes and Haney have reportedly decided to “step back” from SIR, also because of “threats”. BBB writers report that the SIR Facebook group is quiet (comments have been turned off), and there’s no current sign that SIR is moving forward. And there’s still no word from Nichol, or any formal announcement of BBB’s closure.

Meanwhile, some BBB writers have been able to get PayPal refunds, but others have lost sizeable amounts of money (up to four figures) thanks to PayPal’s 180-day chargeback window. And all are unsure about the status of their rights.

No one seems to have any contact info for Sosha Ann, but I reached out to Nichol Smith for comment via one of her several email addresses. As of this writing, I’ve received no response.

Final Thoughts

So what really happened? A real illness precipitating a real crisis? A falling out between two friends? Financial mismanagement? Appropriation of company money for personal use?

Probably no one will ever know. But I suspect that, at least toward the end of its life, BBB operated as a sort of Ponzi scheme, with money for future projects diverted to pay for current expenses. It would be one explanation for why the company scheduled anthologies into 2025, and encouraged authors to buy in to them so far in advance . Such schemes nearly always topple eventually of their own weight. Perhaps that’s the real story behind BBB’s demise.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are boxed set publishers that run their businesses professionally and don’t cheat their authors. But there is definitely shadiness in this publishing niche, and some people who’ve been the focus of author complaints in the past are still operating. If you’re thinking of buying in to one of these projects, you do need to be careful.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to judge company stability and business practice from the outside, and you don’t really get inside until you’ve paid your fee. But at a minimum, do not ever agree to participate in a boxed set or paid anthology without a written contract that clearly lays out terms on rights, fees, royalties, and the like. Ask questions, and be wary if answers are evasive or refused. Contact other authors and inquire about their experience. Buy the books so you can assess quality. Do some research–are there complaints? Is a publisher that claims to be an LLC actually registered as one? Email me–I might have heard something.

Be careful out there.

71 Comments

  1. I don’t understand why Hamilton and Collins have been mentioned here when they have nothing to do with BBB. I’ve worked with both and had no issues. I did lose money to BBB though and it is likely we will never know the answers.
    As to why boxsets are running up to 2025, a lot of them are at the moment, with many different set runners simply because people fill their writing schedule well in advance. We’re almost into 2023 now so it’s not that far out. Although yes, this can cause issues with PayPal so it is always a good idea to read contracts thoroughly and only work with people you trust.

  2. The only truth here is that we tried and failed to get you to provide the names of the people bullying and slandering me, and that is because we had evidence that the “evidence” was fabricated. If you know Donald Maass, he may be able to speak to you about how someone sent him a file they say I sent them that plagiarized him. He looked at the properties to who created the document and it was actually the person who was sending it to him as “evidence.” They were caught fabricating and staging things. Ask Mr. Maass.

    Additionally, I have not run sets for years now. I refer to other providers who do a wonderful job, but I’ve been busy using above board methods to get my clients to 6-7 figures a year writing fiction while maintaining a family of 6 homeschooled children and making sure my child with autism (wording used how he prefers it) gets what he needs as he transitions into adulthood (he’s 17 now).

    Thankfully, many of authors saw what happened in real time so know the “recap stories” are misleading and slanderous, so I don’t need to prove myself to them. Beyond that, many are seeing these posts and can feel something is “off” about them. That something doesn’t add up, that dragging my name into things 5 years later when so many people have a great experience with me seems strange. Several people have mentioned the claims they made against me often contradict each other, and today, one person sharing this with me mentioned how strange it was you wanted to use my pen name and legal name to start an article about an unrelated company, and then the person CHARGED WITH A FELONY didn’t even get a name mention.

    Do you know why criminal charges were never made against me? Because there was no criminal action. Theft IS criminal, and if I had stolen from people, I could understand the concern, but I always pay every one every cent owned. And I even gave money to a girl who was mocking me for having a miscarriage. Even when people treat me wrong, I do the right thing. And that’s what actually really bothers some of you guys.

    As for my case, the only thing I am legally allowed to say is my motives for settling, and not relate to the case or specifics. So I will say it here: I settled or the safety of my family. And I have screenshots and police reports made by my neighbors who were looking out for my family and me that may one day be shared to shed a light on the misogyny that’s happening toward women leaders online, because that’s what this all really stems from.

    Anyone who doesn’t know me and wants to get to know me before taking someone else’s word for who I am, is more than welcome to join my author group and spend the next few years stalking what it is I actually do for authors, and then they can decide if I’m this terrible person you want to paint me as…or if perhaps there’s another reason there are people trying to stop authors from learning how to be successful from me. Because everything I teach is above board, and those who have seen what’s been said and see what I teach always come to me and say they’re glad they didn’t fall for these online attempts to disillusion them with falsehoods.

    All that said, I do respectfully request you remove the slanderous comments and inaccurate statements about me from this article. Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Will note, that since making this comment, Victoria has decided to add the name of the man charged with a felony. I’m glad at least in retrospect she saw how her failure to do so was supporting misogyny. Now if we can just get her to stop using my name for clicks when it’s been publicly proven I did nothing wrong and stop doxxing me.

    2. Also note, her original post said I still run boxed sets when I don’t, but she also removed that. She should add that when she received a “large number of complaints” about me that the majority were people who hadn’t worked with me. There was an organized effort to get a bunch of people to email her their dishonest claims. At that time, I shared what was happening with my actual clients, and they emailed her counter claims and counter experiences. She does not note that in this article, which shows the kind of bias that is not congruent with true journalism.

      1. I mention this because editing a journalistic article without noting that you made retractions on it due to initially posting incorrect information is not only unprofessional, it’s misleading and could be taken as a form of gaslighting, as though people in the comments are commenting on things that aren’t in the article when initially they were. Also, incorrect information originally in the article could have spread before you edited it.

        There should be a note that an error was originally made. Which is okay. You’re human, Victoria.

        Just like me.

        Those weren’t the only 2 mistakes you made in this article pertaining to me, but I’m glad to see you correcting some of them.

        If you ever want the other side of the story you keep sharing to get clicks, let me know. There’s some things I legally can’t divulge, but there’s plenty as it relates to boxed set that would irrefutably prove my innocence against the claims made.

        I know you don’t have the whole story. You also don’t seem open to getting it, though, or sharing the other side of things – like how while some people that are part of a clique had an issue with me, the vast majority of authors don’t.

        It’s the small but vocal few, and that I haven’t spoke to any of you in half a decade but you still drum on about me I think is a red flag for some people.

        While I choose to forgive you even as you drag me through this again, that doesn’t mean I’ll say nothing when you assist in perpetuating defamatory lies about myself. I don’t hold grudges, but I do stand my ground.

      2. Good grief. How do you know what complaints were submitted to Writer Beware (since they are confidential) and “the majority were people who hadn’t worked with me”? “There was an organized effort to get a bunch of people to email her their dishonest claims.” Give it up, Rebecca, and go home. For someone who claims they are innocent, you sure are spending a lot of time trying to defend yourself. What you are posting is not even making sense.

          1. CORRECTION: To my recollection, I wasn’t a co-manager on any sets in 2020, but maybe I’m forgetting some. 2019 I believe was my last set that I ran, unless you mean co-manager in the sense of providing guidance – but authors did not submit a buy in to me and I was not the publisher. Just to give the context that for some reason keeps being left out that in turn makes things appear different than they were in reality. When I said correct, I was thinking you meant that I was the comanager of your set, which to my recollection, is true and what I was speaking to.

          2. Okay, adding another correction, because I pride myself in accuracy and I messed up on some details.

            I looked deeper into this, and you are right, the publisher did remove you from the set and refund you because he felt “it was causing an unhealthy environment for the other members.” (I went through our old messages to find that.)

            That was his decision, not mine, which makes sense why the things you were saying sounded out of character for me. Because it wasn’t me or my decision. I just relayed the message.

            I apologize for misspeaking about the events in this case; and I’m sure you’re sorry for misspeaking as well about the details. Based on our past conversations that I reviewed where I relayed the information to you from the publisher, you and Marty had been released from the set with a refund.

            I understand you may be unhappy about that experience with him, but I was only a co-manager for that set. I was NOT the host of the set. I was NOT the final decision maker. And I was NOT the publisher.

            Also, you weren’t stolen from in any way, since you got a full refund from the publisher, which was in line with the contract you had with him. He didn’t break the contract; he released you from it and as it was his decision, he refunded you, which is what the contract called for in such an event.

            Again, the contract was not with me. This is what I mean about gaslighting, though. You make someone question their memory with the way you tell things with such certainty that I can’t recall – and the reason I can’t recall it, is because it wasn’t my doing.

            Which, in this case was good you made me question my memory. It led me to look into the details and refresh myself on the specifics of what happened, since I deal with thousands of authors and that was years ago so not at the forefront of my mind. I’ll further apologize by saying I should have done that FIRST.

            I don’t mind correcting where I was wrong, as I’ve done here. At the same time, it showed me that your own comments were even more misleading than I originally believed. Perhaps you mis-recalled events too, though, so I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

            Also, you say you messaged me and I refused to contact you again, but you actually told me not to contact you again. Here’s the transcript from our conversation where I relayed the message from the publisher to you.

            ME: We have passed in all communities to the publisher. He feels its best to refund you and Marty and release you from the set. Please let me know what email you guys paid under so we can resolve this for you guys 💕

            YOU: We havent agreed to leave yet. I am waiting for Marty’s answer.

            ME: The publisher has reviewed all of the content and doesn’t feel comfortable continuing forward after reading everything. He is releasing you and refunding you. He doesn’t want anyone in a set where they feel abused, and hasn’t seen any abuse, so can only see this as the solution.

            YOU: I will talk to Marty

            ME: You can contact him directly at [email redacted] if you wish to discuss further.

            YOU: Sure.

            YOU: Wow refunded without us agreeing. Unbelievable.

            ME: As I said, the publisher made a determination based on the behavior in the sets. You were not happy, and it was causing an unhealthy environment for the other members.

            ME: You can email him to discuss further if you like.

            YOU: How dare you. Thank god I am a legal assisstant.

            YOU: I will be contacting the publisher. Do not contact me again.

            If anyone needs to see screenshots of this for verification purposes, you know where to find me.

            Again, I am sorry for MY part in misrepresenting the events. I genuinely feel bad about that and I shouldn’t have jumped to respond without refreshing myself on the specifics first. In essence, it wasn’t far off the mark, and I still don’t appreciate you maligning me with your untruthful comments that you are yet to correct, but as I said, I don’t hold grudges. I just stand my ground when people lie about me.

        1. And also, those who HAD worked with me were defending me and those who HADN’T were trolling me publicly and SAYING they were emailing her. It wasn’t hard to tell who was messaging her. They were vocal about it, and the majority had never even spoken to me. I also shared my evidence at that time that they were pirating my books to report to Amazon for breaking KU TOS. There’s a LOT of shady things that happened. I still have the screenshots. Victoria has not once asked to see them. And yes, I will stand up for myself because I’m innocent. If only guilt people defend themselves, where are the other accused parties over all these years? I will keep being kind even as others are not kind. to me, but as I said before, while I don’t hold grudges, I do stand my ground. I believe strongly that one day the truth will come out in a more public way than just those who saw what actually happened speaking up for me.

          1. 1. “I co-managed once.”
You were involved with the boxset. You made the decisions in the 2019/2020 boxset. Not many years ago.
            Correct. That’s what I said. That I was one of the comanagers on that set, along with Heather, who says you were also very unkind to her as well.

            2. “You were one of the people who accused me of “pocketing the money” and not spending it on ads.
False Statement: Myself and other authors were worried and asked you to provide how the money was being spent on ads. You freaked and started to call out authors. You were asked to stop with the abuse behavior. You also posted that if we wanted to see any accounting (ads) we would have to pay for it.
            This is inaccurate. It was actually someone ELSE who pointed out to me that I had provided proof of spend. And what was actually said was that it takes a lot of time to gather all those screenshots, and that we provide that information at the end of the set AUTOMATICALLY FOR FREE. And that, per the contract you signed and agreed to when you joined, there was only a fee if anyone requested the information ahead of the end of the set and ONLY if my numbers were correct. If the numbers reported didn’t match the spend, there was no charge for that extra work. But to remind: in EITHER scenario, there was a way to get that information for free, and that’s exactly what happened.

            3. “When I provided proof of where the ad spend went, you left…”
            False Statement: You kicked out 4 authors. Or was it 5 authors? Did you or didn’t you breach the contract?
            We did not kick anyone out. This is false.

            4. Refused to let me even answer your email after I told you that I was having trouble with FB, which was true.
            I don’t recall that, but I’ll take your word for it! I apologize for doing that to you. I’m uncertain the context, as that sounds of of character for me to do that for no reason. Sounds like something I usually do if someone is attacking me to protect my time, however, if that wasn’t the case and I did that to you for not reason, I am truly sorry.

            5. You also accused me of…let me quote you directly from the screenshot. “…it has been brought to my attention that you and others are conspiring with my trolls to find a new way to hurt the people who work for me and/or myself.T hey want to use you to do a new wave of attacks against me…” Rebecca, why would I pay to be in a boxset to conspire against you with your trolls?
            At the time you joined the set, they were publicly posting about “sending people into my sets to get info on how I run them.” They also had a habit of raising money through crowdfunding sources to do things like hire private investigators to look into me – something they also announced doing publicly. So it stands to reason that given your behavior, I was skeptical myself. Let’s note that you said in another comment that you’ve been aligned with Victoria Strauss since the beginning and that you stand behind her always. Well, at the time you started your set, she was speaking out against my (without having all the facts) in alignment with my trolls.

            6. “in your posts that you have a personal vendetta against me fueling your comments,”
False Statement: I don’t have a vendetta against you or anyone. I don’t waste my energy on that. I am, however, a big believer in the truth.
            Actions speak louder than words.

            7. You may want to remove all the false statements you have made against me in your comments, Rebecca. Just some friendly advice. Documents don’t lie. They never do.
            I see you are threatening me, but you yourself are misleading people regarding the whole story. It’s easy to post only pieces of the story and make things look one way, but when you add in additional pieces (the pieces I have) the story looks a lot different in context. Both sides of the story are needed for full context. The other side of the story that provides that context is what’s missing and what I’m able bring to the table.

        2. One of my friends just reminded me how we know each other. You were in a boxed set I co-managed once. You were one of the people who accused me of “pocketing the money” and not spending it on ads. When I provided proof of where the ad spend went, you left (I think with one friend of yours?) without apologizing for the false accusation, but thank you for at least not continuing to repeat the lie after you saw the evidence you were wrong. The other 18+ people stayed and became bestsellers and were paid every cent in royalties owed to them. This seems important to share to give context to people reading the comments, since you didn’t disclose in your posts that you have a personal vendetta against me fueling your comments, and as Victoria doesn’t report all the information that’s been shard with her. Only certain parts that seem to result in certain image being conveyed that is not accurate in its essence.

          1. Thank you for the reply. Here is my opinion based on documents because it is in your words, “This seems important to share to give context to people reading the comments…”

            1. “I co-managed once.”
            Once?
            You were involved with the boxset. You made the decisions in the 2019/2020 boxset. Not many years ago.

            2. “You were one of the people who accused me of “pocketing the money” and not spending it on ads.
            False Statement: Myself and other authors were worried and asked you to provide how the money was being spent on ads. You freaked and started to call out authors. You were asked to stop with the abuse behavior. You also posted that if we wanted to see any accounting (ads) we would have to pay for it.

            3. “When I provided proof of where the ad spend went, you left…”

            False Statement: You kicked out 4 authors. Or was it 5 authors? Did you or didn’t you breach the contract? Refused to let me even answer your email after I told you that I was having trouble with FB, which was true. You also accused me of…let me quote you directly from the screenshot. “…it has been brought to my attention that you and others are conspiring with my trolls to find a new way to hurt the people who work for me and/or myself.They want to use you to do a new wave of attacks against me…” Rebecca, why would I pay to be in a boxset to conspire against you with your trolls?

            4. “in your posts that you have a personal vendetta against me fueling your comments,”
            False Statement: I don’t have a vendetta against you or anyone. I don’t waste my energy on that. I am, however, a big believer in the truth.

            5. You may want to remove all the false statements you have made against me in your comments, Rebecca. Just some friendly advice. Documents don’t lie. They never do.

        3. Rebecca, for a professional you sure have shown how unprofessional you are.

          The least you could have done is post our full conversation.

          You can send to whoever you would like the “screenshot”. Go for it. That is outstanding professionalism. I would not stoop that low but I’m not you. Like they say, history always repeats itself.

          It’s interesting yet again, that you continue to claim that you weren’t involved in the boxset, but only in an ad capacity/co-manager. Your involvement was much more than that which was confirmed by a well-known third party.

          I also feel bad for you because you simply can’t stop. You don’t know when to stop posting and walk away. The problem with that is, it always gets you into trouble. You should also review the settlement statement again and how you have also used some of the same phrases, tactics, etc with me.

          Hurry, and gather the groupies! Because that is always what comes next…and a zillion more of your posts.

          1. I think we have both adequately shown what kind of people we are here. I still wish you the best, and the free promotions I am offering to all affected by the BBB situation is still on the table, even for you. When I offer something, I’m a woman of my word regardless of how the other person treated me.

            For purposes of transparency, I showed every part of this ur conversation relating to you departing the set. If based on your comment anyone would like to everything we ever said to each other in correspondence, they can message me for the full exchange of messages before those ones that were unrelated to the specific area of conversation where I related the publishers message about refunding you and why he did.

          2. I’ll also note, it didn’t evade me that you are trying to discourage people from speaking up with me by saying there is a pattern of people speaking up for me.

            Your goal with that comment was to challenge ne to prove you wrong and get ne to ask me people NOT to speak on my behalf. That would then silence the other side of the story so the other side can control the narrative.

            That is a form of narcissistic manipulation.

            Yes, we all have a patterns. That effort you just made is part of yours. Victoria using my name in her article to get more traffic and shares is part of hers. And me standing my ground when someone lies about me is part of mine.

            As for the settlement: I’m not allowed to talk about things specific to that case. I am allowed to talk about my experiences being bullied, however. I am allowed to talk about my experience from when I did sets. And I am allowed to talk about what scared me into settling when I didn’t want to.

            I am not required to say I did something when I didn’t. I’ve been clear from the start: I signed the document under duress. My lawyers know this. This was never a secret.

    3. And for those who want an example of the proof we provide for ad spend, we have a folder of screenshots here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1322972541110132&type=3

      Seeing it all may help understand why we had a policy of waiting until the end, because it takes a LOT of time to gather all of that, and it would have been a counterproductive use of time to do it 2 or more times.

      The examples above is not from the set Kim was in, which I share for the sake of giving full context, as I don’t want to accidentally insinuate the wrong message.

  3. My heart goes out to anyone who throws money at a publisher in the hopes it will make them ‘big’ only to find themselves hurt and out of pocket. I fell into the trap of a vanity publisher at the start of my career, and I got hurt – seriously hurt, emotionally and financially. But I picked myself up, learned from my mistakes and carried on. I’m learning my craft, honing my skill and doing what I can to hopefully find my break one day. It saddens me to see you dragging Rebecca Hamilton’s name into the quagmire of such a despicable practice. Due to my very first publishing experience, I have been very discerning about where I invest my money in the publishing industry. I lurk on the periphery, I learn what I can and I make choices based on what I see, for myself and feedback from others. I took the plunge and I invested in Rebecca’s Publishing Mastermind Course. From the very beginning she is open and above board, she is also extremely clear in her advice that as authors we should also be professional and adhere to all terms of service, or are acting within the letter of the law for all that we do, from building mailing lists, to creating (or hiring) cover art to ensure we are safe from legal reproach.
    I have been in Rebecca’s author groups from a number of years now, and I have never seen her personally running any box-sets or list aiming projects. She has, however, directed people to others who are running the sets, and have been proven to use legal and above board methods of running projects – one of those being that projects are not stacked one on top of the other nor so far out that they fall by the way-side.
    I think it is admirable that you would want to warn authors of the pitfalls of the publishing industry, but I also think you should be careful not to get caught up in libel of big names in the industry – who are still successful in the industry – because if they were as shonky as you claim how could they actually still exist?

  4. I work for Rebecca, I was by her side through everything, and saw everything happened. I wouldn’t keep working from someone who does what she’s accused of to others, but she didn’t and that’s why I’m still be her side.

    I get that you don’t know me so you could take it with a grain of salt. What I can say is that I’ve not only seen what she’s done to help authors and how many lives she’s changed, but I’ve also seen what she shared publicly versus their bogus “evidence” of things I never saw her say despite me being by her side through all those boxed sets.

    I’ve been BEHIND the scenes too. Seeing how the bullying mentally affected her. Seeing how the bullying led to legitimate fears for her family’s safety. And I’ve also seen what she teaches and how adamant she is about following the rules…and how her wanting to follow the rules is actually what set this whole thing into action.

    She’s weird and emotional and many times overshares but she’s also true to her word and operates from a place of wanting to make people’s lives better. You obviously don’t know her at all, but the people who have actually worked with her do, and there’s a group with over 12,000 of them who very much appreciate what she does for the indie community, which is probably more free support than anyone else out there.

    Notice how the people tearing her down do so little to help others… All they do is gossip and stir up drama and then post links to their own similar services. Seems to me, the only reason Rebecca gets mentioned in these situations is because there’s some kind of elitist insiders club that doesn’t like that she’s making success possible for ANYONE and not just the “cool kids.”

    You want to tie her to scammers so that people keep running to the elitist gatekeepers instead of her while knowing full-well they won’t actually help those authors.

    1. I came here to say exactly this! A someone who works closely with Rebecca, I too have seen what went on behind the scenes.
      Rebecca is a victim of bullying and harassment and for those who claim that she must be guilty because she settled – ask yourself, has the law ever been known to fail a victim and what would you do in a situation where you can either continue pouring money into a trial and fight, despite threats against your families safety, or make your family a priority and do what you need to to keep them safe?

  5. About time these paid anthologies were called out. I’m seeing some management fees of 40% on top of the buyin and these “organisers” put in their own books.

    The result is with a huge number of authors in then the share is tiny and not worth it.

    Added to that the bullying and blocking that goes on with organisers when they don’t like something said or questioned.

    I’m seeing these organisers throw up anthologies in genres they have zero experience in. My fellow authors would be better off burning their buyin money.

    Added to all this is that some (not all) have cheap, nasty covers. That means will all the money they get from these immediate Buyins they don’t even invest in a half decent cover.

    Another issue is the supposed “no refunds on Buyins”. I’m no legal expert but that screams shady yo me. If these organisers believe they are so awesome and good to run these sets – they do it without a Buyin! They should work their arse off like everyone else to promote and sell rather than getting paid upfront – no motivation.

    The worst offenders in this anthology grab are well known ones. You only hear the glowing reports – not the authors who are burned. Why? Because some get threatened to keep quiet and told they will have their author career ruined.

    In eight years of indie publishing this is what I know: there is a highly toxic element to the community.

    At present I’ll only do no buyin anthologies. I dig deep about those organising to see who they are, how many books, how they rank etc

    You learn a lot by looking. A shame some of the other dodgy “leaders” and “organisers” weren’t called out.

    1. Sandra,

      I can only report what’s reported to me. I would welcome any information and/or complaints about the dodgy enterprises you mention. My email is beware@sfwa.org, and all information shared with Writer Beware is confidential (something we vigorously defend).

  6. With regards to the honesty and transparency you talk about, maybe it should be clarified that Rebecca Hamilton does not run boxsets anymore – and to be honest, I don’t understand why she was mentioned in an article that has nothing to do with her. And don’t get me started on the fact that you have unneccessarily given her legal name out. Please remind me what the point of sharing her personal information, and highlighting an incident that happened years ago and has since been settled was? Other than to continue to punish someone for something they were never proven to have done! People use pen names for a reason, usually for the security of themselves and their family and by calling her out like this, all you have done is make yourself known as a malicious and vendictive bully.

  7. Good morning Ms. Strauss
    While I agree, there are many shady disreputable companies as well as some non-existence companies that profess reputability in the publishing arena as well as in many other professions. I do not agree with raising questions as it concerns two authors that for me personally, I have had no negative experiences, nor have I heard of any negative experiences. I heard of the lawsuit some years ago, but that was many years ago. And with that said, I believe everyone deserves a 2nd chance or a 3rd chance if it is called for.

    Let’s put yourself in the shoes of the two authors you mention in your introduction…
    For example, Let’s say you made a mistake or did or didn’t do something you weren’t proud of, and five years, ten years or even 25 years later, someone brings up that something you did or didn’t do years ago. Would you appreciate having to revisit a mistake or event that you made or didn’t make for the sake of, let’s say a news story? Let’s say you didn’t do anything wrong, but for the sake of your family, you decide that your family is more important than money or rumors of a said impropriety.

    I disagree with the use of that case or any other case as an example. I disagree with the naming of names by anyone, especially if you have not presented evidence of what you are accusing these other authors’ Hamilton and Collins, of doing. An accusation of something from the past or something at this very moment perhaps would be better to support your argument of deceptive practices in the industry. If you have such proof currently, then I believe you should present such evidence.

    I disagree with accusing others of impropriety without backing up your accusations with evidence. Accusations such as this is one reason many people end up in court.

    Now, if you have evidence, then I say present it all. I am not sure that the evidence collected from others could be used in a court of law since there is no chain of custody, and I am not sure your witnesses would be protected under the guise of Reporter’s Privilege under the 1st amendment of the constitution as it refers to Freedom of the Press as you are not a news organization, a journalist or the like but are a blogger unless you work under a news organization, but with that said, I am not an expert on constitutional law, and I would have to research as to the status of Blogger as reporter protected under the reporter’s privilege, but I am not invested as much as you may need to be.

    I understand it is a free country, and you have a 1st amendment right to say what you wish, but that right doesn’t give anyone the right to slander or defame another. I am disappointed that this blog that I have been reading for some time has dug into the depths of ugliness to attack fellow authors without getting both sides of the story and or affording those named equal time to defend themselves. There are always two sides to every story, and without getting those sides, you are failing in your journalist integrity as well as making yourself look bad.

    This blog article could’ve easily been written with evidence that many have seen presented already as it refers to the deceptive practices of BBB and without the naming of other authors. I see no reason the other authors’ names were even brought into this article since the name of the article is The Implosion of BBB Publishings: A Peek into the Sometimes Dysfunctional World of Paid Anthology / Boxed Set Publishing.

    I tried to find the reasoning behind your use of the previously mentioned authors as a way of establishing a history of deceptive practices and as a way of supporting your argument, but all I see that you have accomplished is using the words of others and not doing your due diligence, researching and getting statements from both sides.

    You have accomplished one thing, though, you highlighted BBB for its deceptive practices, and you used evidence to support the claims. But I feel you should’ve cited the use of anonymous Confidential Informants without using the CI names but only by citing CI evidence and or testimony.

    I have multiple friends that have been affected by the deceptive practices of BBB, as well as a couple of other companies you did not even mention. I am utterly disgusted by the practices of these so-called publishers, and I hope they are brought to justice. But instead of naming the other companies to be wary of and have been deceiving authors currently. You choose to mention others whom I have not heard any negative comments about, i.e. the previously mentioned authors; the only reason I can think of that you would mention the previously mentioned authors are that perhaps you have a vendetta against these two women and their companies.
    Just my two cents.

  8. Oh man, it’s hilarious how all the “people” defending Rebecca Hamilton sound EXACTLY THE SAME. Gee, lady, at least try to mask your writing style a little.

    1. I don’t see it as defending anyone. I’m saying if you are going to accuse anyone then back up the accusations and if you are saying all the comments here are from one person, then you are welcome to look me up on Facebook and i will tell you there as will every single person who commented. I put my name on here so look me up

    2. I don’t need other people to reply for me I have replied as myself. If other people are replying on my behalf, and you doubt that they are there on people, then go find them on Facebook and ask if they really made those comments or if someone else made those comment under their name. 🤷🏼‍♀️ But it stands to logic that I must obviously still have clients if you guys are still trying to bully me and dissuade people from talking to me anymore. So deep down you know that of course there’s going to be people who defend me. And that’s because they know the truth and they don’t wanna sit there and watch lie continue to be told.

      1. You understand that every comment you leave makes you seem more unhinged, right?

        I had never heard of you before today, but you for sure seem like someone to stay faaaaaar away from.

        1. I’m not gonna argue with you. Especially as now you seem to want to attack your o reception of people’s mental health. Your energy and mine are very different, and that’s okay. You are right that we would not be well matched to work together, as I come from a place of supporting people and showing kindness and only want to work with people who operate the same. And just as you were able to see that our energy is not well matched other people read these things and realize that I would be a good fit for them. So it works out where we can each attract the right kind of person for our lives. I wish you the best in life, though, even though our energy is different. 🙂

        2. Unhinged? Really?

          Kuddos to you Rebecca for sticking up for yourself and not bending the knee to individuals that take the word of an article with zero evidence.

          You’d think authors wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but actually seek to understand first and foremost, before casting judgement on someone whom they don’t know.

          Keep doing you!

  9. Since we’re all here and some people have been reaching out to me asking to see my side of things (thank you), i’ll just short cut it to say if you go to Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/sixfigurefiction/ you will be able to find screenshots that show how I handled my box sets in the past (though I no longer run any) and proof of how money was spent as well as hundreds of testimonials on what it is like to work with me from people who actually have worked with me rather than people who just use my name to get website traffic or repeat rumors that aren’t true with no personal experience to speak of. You’ll also be able to pick up a ton of free resources and free tools designed to help authors. And you’ll have the chance to watch me in action and see what I’m actually all about for yourself 🙂

  10. I’m a hybrid author – indie romance and traditionally published thrillers and RS. My current publisher is a digital imprint belonging to a “Big 5”. I’ve won awards. I’ve spoke at conferences. I’ve done all the things that a “real author” does so I can assure you, I’m a real person. When I first jumped into the indie pool, I was taken in by a popular promotion company that also published anthologies. I paid $500 to join one of their anthologies and the result was nothing short of a disaster. The entire set was a trainwreck, from formatting to management, to such a proportion that it would’ve been damaging to my still developing romance brand. When I asked to be let out without a refund, they refused. I hired a lawyer who read the contract and discovered buried language that basically gave this company and the man running it rights to my book forever. Even after the 90-day term was over and book rights were reverted back to me. It took weeks and more money than I had at the time to extricate myself from the mess (I’m not allowed to disclose who they are or what company they ran). The ordeal left me bitter. I had no faith in the indie community and to be honest, it’s still a little shaky.
    Not long after that, the amazon book stuffing/scam authors scandal started to make waves. I’d been hearing wild accusations and watching what felt like a witch hunt… and then I became the subject of what can only be described as harassment and bullying. My Facebook ads were constantly being reported. When I signed up for a takeover, my name was removed from the lineup. Anything I posted on Facebook was reported as spam. When I did manage to get a spot on a takeover roster, my posts were reported and I was tossed in Facebook jail. My ad account was suspended for attempted to sell “sexually based services” and my books were tossed in the Amazon erotica dungeon. I write hot romance. Not erotica. At the time I chalked it up to hazing. Now I think I was branded as a “scam author” and targeted on purpose, either because the people doing the targeting really thought I was a scammer or because I was a rival they wanted to get rid of. I don’t know and honestly, it’s not something I lose sleep over. This went on for nearly a year and given my previous experiences, I was giving serious thought to hanging up my indie hat and going home. I’d come from gentler waters (the mystery/thriller community) and wasn’t sure I could take it. In an act of desperation, I hired Rebecca Hamilton for a small service and when she emails me with my results, I asked her what her thoughts were about the accusations and subsequent witch hunt over scam authors. Her answer was honest and objective – yes, scam authors do exist. Yes, there are people out there trying to game the system but don’t fall into the trap of attacking people, just because others are. Trust your gut and your own personal experience.
    That was the first sane and reasonable thing I’d heard anyone in the indie community ever say to me. After that I started taking some of her smaller classes. I joined her marketing club. I even joined the last anthology she ever ran. Given my last boxed set experience, I was apprehensive but hopeful. ILLICIT hit USA TODAY at #69. The set was well organized, and everything ran smoothly throughout. We even received a pay-out for royalties (not something I expected).
    That was in 2019 and I’ve been working with Rebecca Hamilton ever since. She’s taken me from barely breaking even to being able to put my daughter through college and cutting my husband’s work week in half. I make a very healthy income doing something I love to do. Her services make it possible for me to focus on what I do best – write. I write the books, but she’s been instrumental in helping me grow my author career and a wealth of help, advice and guidance to me over the years. Do I pay her? Of course, I do – don’t be silly, no one should work for free.
    I can’t speak to anyone else’s experiences. I can only speak to mine, and I have had some doozies when it comes to the romance indie community – but NEVER at the hands of Rebecca Hamilton. Approaching things objectively, I can understand why she was mentioned in this article. I get it. She was accused of doing some shady stuff and she’s well-known in the community, so her name and the old, tired drama attached to it is a draw… but accusation doesn’t equate guilt. I’ll give you the same advice she gave me all those years ago: Don’t fall into the trap of attacking people, just because others are. Trust your gut and your own personal experience. It’s advice that’s served me well and I’m glad I listened.

  11. It’s interesting to witness how 70+ authors who have lost 10s of thousands of dollars because of BBB Publishings becomes about one person (me, me, it’s about me! Look at me! – same old glee club).

    It is also interesting how the word “bullying” is thrown around every second without a grasp as to what the word actually means.

    Narcissistic behavior has no place in the author community but it appears to be a common denominator in (some) of these cases.

    Thank goodness that Writer Beware supports the author community along with other professional watchdog groups.There is also a lack of understanding that complaints to Writer Beware are confidential. Just because one person didn’t have a negative experience with BBB as an example, doesn’t mean a hundred others didn’t.

    BBB Publishings took authors for a ride. They took me for a ride. Whether it was intentional or not, I am confident the authorities will get to the truth. Time will tell.

    1. It is interesting how Victoria took the limelight off BB by making this about me (starting her article with me). A lot of us are equally perplexed why she did that, unless it was to get clicks. When you slander someone, you can bet people will come to their defense if they know it’s a lie. It’s a shame her mentioning me took the spotlight off the real issue. I didn’t ask for this to be about me :/ I have nothing to do with BBB, I don’t run sets currently, and the claims from years ago were publicly disproven. It’s a shame that Victoria’s hard work appears less credible to some because of her including false accusations in the mix. Yes, lots of narcissists. People who want to call you “crazy” after instigating you. People who want to lie about you to others and paint you to be someone you’re not. People who want to make the victim being ganged up on to be the bad guy. People who will stalk you for half a decade without ever having spoken to you or hearing your side of the story. Narcissism, indeed. I would LOVE to not be dragged into every article just because someone needs clicks. But Victoria did that, not me. It’s a shame because it appears it takes away from the attention being on the supposedly intended concern. Have a great day.

      1. Rebecca, YOU took the light off of BBB Publishings and made it all about you. I support Victoria and Writer Beware, have since the group began and will continue to. You are harping to the wrong person. I’m not interested…actually no one is.

        I hope that the all authors who have been affected by BBB Publishings will eventually get every cent owed to them.

        1. I did not ask Victoria to start her article with me or tell lies about me. I have the right to defend myself and everyone has the right to share honest experiences. I’m doing my part to help the authors who were hurt by this BBB situation even though it wasn’t my fault this happened to them. Nothing I do will never be enough for the people who want to paint me as a bad person, though. The offer I am offering is still available to you, though, even after how you are treating me here. While I’m not the one who did that to you, I’m sorry you lost your money with BBB.

    2. I’ll be honest – I never heard of BBB before reading this article. I’m sorry about what they did to you, truly and deeply sorry because I know what it’s like. My first boxed set experience was beyond horrible. It was a nightmare that I was lucky to get out of. I wish I’d known about WB before I signed on with them. I HAVE been subjected to bullying and harassment. What I went through damaged me. I still don’t trust people in this community. I still have a tendency to avoid other authors and service providers (probably why I’ve never heard off BBB), so I understand all the things you’re feeling right now. I’m glad the authorities are involved and I hope the truth comes out. I hope you get justice. I hope you can move past it, both personally and professionally. If there is anything I can do for you or if you just want to vent, you can always message me on Facebook I’ll listen and help if I can.

      1. Thank you for your kind words. My first boxset experience was a nightmare as well, long before being involved with BBB Publishing. I do believe you when you said you have been subjected to bullying and harassment. I am sorry you were damaged because of it. I watched a lot of bullying and harassment that happened in 2018/2019. From what I witnessed especially back then, a toxic environment was created and many cult-like followers played along. As far as BBB is concerned, I do believe we will get to the truth. The truth has to come out.

    3. As I stated earlier in my comments. This article should’ve been about BBB. But instead of making it that way, this blog article, in the first paragraph of the introduction used naming Ms. Hamilton and Ms. Collins as examples This in its essence, made it about them and not about the 70 plus authors who were swindled and taken advantage of by BBB. The author of this article could’ve used a few of the other “COMPANIES” currently working in the space that have had complaints. But the author of this article choose to name names, I truly believe if this article, written the way it should have been by highlighting those authors that have been swindled out of 10’s of thousands of dollars then this would’ve been a good article. The plights of the authors’ who lost thousands of dollars have been overshadowed by a choice the author made by turning the blog piece into a hatchet piece and in turn victimizing those authors who trusted BBB once again. Had the article started by focusing on BBB, then it might have received the attention it deserved. Instead I blame the author of this article for not doing her due diligence. Instead, the author got lazy by taking the easy way and continued a vendetta. I feel absolutely terrible for those authors who were swindled out of their money. It is sad and it id disgusting. I have author friends who were part of this some of these anthologies and lost alot of their money too. The way the author handled this article was not in any way a journalist endeavour it started as a hit piece and because of that the victims of BBB are being victimized again.

    4. I used the term bullying in my response and for it to be implied that I have no grasp of what it means just because I spoke up for Rebecca is quite frankly, offensive.
      I have been bullied multiple times in my life, and I have lost friends to suicide as a result of bullying. Trust me, when you find your best friend after they have hanged themself as a result of a witch hunt (when they did nothing wrong), you know the full weight of what being bullied actually means.
      The author of this article made it about one person when they used an example that had no relevence in this post within the opening paragraph. Turning an article that could have done something good, and highlighting a issue that needed to be addressed, into nothing more than a joke.
      I am sorry that you have been taken for a ride by BBB – I too am in the same situation of trying to recover money they have ‘stole’ from me as a result of this, so I definitely feel your pain – but I just don’t see how someone who has not been involved in boxsets for many years was a relevent example when there are so many other ligitimate scammers still operating and not being highlighted.

  12. My comment regarding bullying was not to say that some people have not been bullied. The word is over used. I have watched authors being called bullies for having a difference in opinion. I have watched authors being called bullies for putting in complaints about publishers etc. That certainly is not being a bully and takes away from those who have truly been bullied. It is yet another common denominator in the sometimes toxic boxset community like narcissism. Again, I have witnessed this coming from some set leaders, a select few, who use the word bullying to mask the fact that they can not admit they have done something wrong. Then they gather their cult-like followers and actually have them bully those who speak up.

    I am sorry that you have lost friends to suicide. That is truly heartbreaking.

    As to your comment about Rebecca not being involved in boxsets for many years is incorrect. She certainly was involved with boxsets in 2019/2020.

    1. I am a participating author in a boxed set. Victoria updated her article to reflect I’m no longer running sets because I’m not. I refer people to sets they can participate in from trusted providers. Some of those set providers will have me run FB ads as a FB ad service, just as I do for solo titles and authors. Providing a service doesn’t make me “involved” in boxed sets anymore than you would say “Ereader News Today” is involved in boxed sets for running promotions on them.

      Yes, I have been bullied. Myself and my family’s physical safety were threatened as a result of the online attacks and doxxing. Our neighbors had to call the police on our behalf at one point due to this. I ended up therapy and yes, was suicidal at one point. I can admit when I’m wrong. And anyone who knows me know I do – OFTEN – as well as admit when I can improve.

      I’ve never said there weren’t situations I could have handled better. Of course there are! I’m human. I’ve admitted my mistakes and taken steps to improve, and will always be improving. However, I am not going to say I did something that I didn’t do.

      I’ve never robbed anyone.
      I’ve never scammed anyone.
      I’ve never broken my end of a contract or agreement.
      I’ve never withheld money from someone it was owed to, and in one case where the money WASN’T owed to someone, I found a way around it that still honored the contract to get them their money back to them, even though they had broken their end of the contract.

      Do I set boundaries? Yes. Do some people attack you when you set them? Yes.

      Who is the real narcissist when that happens? The boundary setter? Nah. I don’t think so. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

      Look, setting boundaries isn’t easy for me as someone who battles anxiety and depression. I’m probably much a target because your clique can tell that I’m a people pleaser and want to make people happy. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it’s easy to see that it distresses me to see other people lie about my character in a way that would result in people not being happy with me. But even as that is my reality, I know that part of my growth is setting boundaries.

      When all this started, setting boundaries was new to me. It was hard to have to enforce boundaries to protect 19 other people when 1 person was breaking boundaries that could effect the rest of the group. I had to choose between 19 people being mad at me for not enforcing contract or 1 person being mad at me.

      Could I have found a better way to enforce that boundary? In retrospect, yes. No one is perfect at something the first time they do it. I’ve gotten better bout the HOW of setting boundaries over the years, but I probably still have work to do in that department since, relative to the length of my life, setting boundaries is still new to me.

      All that you and your friends put me through did position me to become a better person through learning how to navigate those situations, but that’s not because I was a bad one to begin with. I don’t deserve what you or your friends did to me. I didn’t deserve those lies. And I do deserve an apology, though I accept I’ll never get one.

      To borrow from what you said, some people just will not admit they have done something wrong. And how they treated me and lied about me was wrong. It’s up to Karma to handle that, though. Not my place.

      1. “All that you and your friends put me through.” What? Asking for accounting for ads? Poor girl. It must have been horrible. Drama queen theatrics don’t work on me. Again, some friendly advice…remove your false statements about me. You have clearly shown that you have not changed. I really do hope you do change one day. It does take some people longer, so I am told. I won’t be commenting any further on your ridiculous posts but they have been saved. Have a wonderful day, Rebecca!

  13. I’m not sure why Rebecca Hamilton was even mentioned in this blog post she has absolutely nothing to do with BBB. I’ve worked with Rebecca for years, she has never been associated with BBB. She is amazing person to work with!!! She is a phenomenal author. I’m so very proud to say we work together.

    I wish people could find something else to do than slander good people. In all the time I’ve known Rebecca she has never said anything cross about other service providers yet she seems to end up being talked about even when she has nothing to do with this? How come? Y’all need to find something else better to do. And do you research, cite your sources because this article has none of that…

  14. I think it’s really unfair to lump Rebecca and others in with the BBB drama. Though I have never done a box set with Rebecca and know she no longer runs them herself. I have been working with her for several years. Her courses and mentorship’s have helped me greatly in my career as an author and she is always giving advice NOT to violate any TOS on any platform whether Amazon or Facebook. She has never advised me to do anything shady and always gives me value in my paid mentorship’s and courses I have taken with her.

    Mentioning her here just seems like an excuse to slander her again when she doesn’t even work with box sets anymore.

  15. Hi, Rebecca.

    I thought you had a fair point about including the name of Wid Bastian, the convicted felon (although all you’d have had to do to see his name was click on the link to my blog post about him). So I made that edit.

    As to boxed sets, it’s my understanding that you were organizing as late as 2019. Also, you yourself acknowledge that you refer people to other set organizers, and sometimes run ads for those organizers, which sure seems to me like still being active in the boxed set publishing world (which is what my post originally said). But it’s a minor point, IMO, and anyway, my post is not about you (really). So I made that edit too.

    As to the complaints in 2017…you actually have no idea who contacted me and what they shared. This is because, although you attempted via subpoena to obtain that information as part of your cross-complaint against Christina Garner and several others, you were not successful. Yes, I did receive emails from authors who reported good experiences with you–but what you didn’t mention is that you encouraged writers to contact me, suggesting what subjects they might address and assuring them that I’d keep their names confidential (kind of ironic in light of that subpoena attempting to get me to break confidentiality). I can send you a screenshot if you don’t remember. Given the tone of some of the comments, as well as the unusual traffic this post has had over the past couple of days, I’m sensing some possible encouragement here as well.

    Finally…for readers interested in the defamation lawsuit mentioned in my post, a lengthy discussion is here. You can read the settlement stipulation that closed the case and Rebecca’s cross-complaint here.

    1. I know who contacted you because they were public about it. They didn’t hide that they were emailing you.

      No, unfortunately, I was never able through my subpoena to get this information to see what ALL the lies were that I needed to defend myself against. You held those close and never asked for counter information to see if the lies you were told held any weight.

      While others had the goal of “taking me down” and hurting me, my only goal in the legal case was to clear my name. When the doxxing efforts began, I got scared for my family and settled. I WISH I had felt safe enough to take it to court.

      And yes, I did tell people to contact you because there were people against me telling people to contact you. There’s a lot of pot calling kettle black here. You also put out a call asking for negative things about me but never asked to hear the other side. That’s not journalism. That’s witch hunt.

      Yes, other people brought this blog to my attention. And I posted about it on my FB page to share my experience that half a decade later, I was still be targeting for things I didn’t do. Some commented without me even providing the link. They went and looked for it themselves. I commented as myself as I’m capable of speaking for myself.

      You seem bothered that people defend me. It’s still so strange to me you tied my name to this.

      As for the legal case you’re referencing: the case never made it to court, the judge never got to see ANY of my evidence. Maybe my legal team let me down in that regard. I certainly do have qualms about how things were handled, because justice was not served.

      Anything I signed was signed in duress. I told my legal team as much. I signed something I didn’t want to sign out of fear for my family’s safety. I have the evidence to support that, and I do have plans one day of speaking out about that fear because it all really stems from misogyny running rampant in this industry, and the way women and men alike seek to tear down successful women. The man at the forefront of this witch hunt is well known for that behavior, then using the wave of traffic generated by the drama to try to sell his books.

      Some of us in this community work hard to help others. And it’s telling that others in this industry want to stop them from doing so.

  16. It’s a shame that the subject of this article, BBB and the allegations of fraud and mismanagement, has been overshadowed by a choice to lead with authors not even involved in this situation. Some of the accusations laid against two authors included in the article can be made against other prominent authors not mentioned here that received coverage in national and international news and I can only assume that your choice to select one over the other has to do with your personal involvement in a previous litigation which was settled outside of court and without a determination of guilt. My choice to comment has to do with my personal experiences as well and as this article is making the rounds, I felt compelled to share my positive experiences on behalf of one author you mentioned. I will refer to her by her pen name, which is her preference and her right. Exposing an author’s legal name when they have made a personal and professional choice to do so, is concerning and invalidates your statement of protecting people’s identity. You don’t seem to have that same reservation here in this article. I was involved in three sets while Rebecca Hamilton was active in the boxed set community. One for a list run and two for brand promotion. In each set I received full disclosure of ad spend and royalties upon the end of the set run. Rights were reverted without issue. The set was run professionally and without any issues or drama from the organizers. Based on my experiences, I continue to work with and for Rebecca, and haven’t looked back. Which may be something to consider. This matter, one that has been settled from a legal standpoint, seems to be brought up again and again, to the point of defamation. I can’t speak to your intentions. I haven’t met you and as such, I won’t formulate my opinion based on this one instance because we’re all human. Your article, would have been informative and stood on its own without the opening paragraphs you chose to lead with. Bringing the issue with BBB to light is helpful to authors navigating boxed sets and the various active organizations running them. Just like the issues with vanity presses that often plague the author community. I would hope that we can focus on the cases that have been tried with verdicts actually rendered in the courts, rather than a court of public opinion.

  17. Amazon didn’t pay Margo for months. As soon as they did, we were paid. She’s been very transparent about this. I don’t know what people expect her to do- take out a loan?

  18. I’m really sad to see that Rebecca was doxxed in this article. Out of my own choice and my own pocket, I’ve been working with Rebecca as my coach for more than 3 years because I love her teaching style and the reliability of her methods. She’s never encouraged me to break Amazon’s TOS and has always gone above and beyond to honor her professional commitments to me.

    Regardless of who it’s directed against, I think that doxxing leaves people vulnerable to the possibility of stalking and threats, which I know is something that’s impacted Rebecca and her beautiful, innocent children quite a lot. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of her, just as I’m entitled to mine, and I’m not here to change that opinion. I just wish all of us could contribute to making the author community a safe place instead of putting so much time and effort into publicly threatening and humiliating each other.

  19. I witnessed the false accusations and horrific bullying against Rebecca Hamilton play out on social media several years ago. It was shocking and upsetting because I know what kind of person she is. It hurt my heart that she was experiencing such unfair treatment at the hands of vicious and jealous people and most of them didn’t even know her. To just blindly follow along with such a hateful campaign against someone that you don’t even know is mind boggling to me. I have always witnessed her be nothing but kind, fair, and at times too forgiving. I am speaking from outside the publishing world here, because I am not a published author, but I have been involved in the book world as a reader/reviewer/blog writer. Rebecca Hamilton has been treated horribly for absolutely no reason. I watched what she went through during that time and nobody should have to go through that kind of treatment.
    As a reader I became familiar with Rebecca Hamilton and enjoyed her writing. We soon became friends and she has always been incredibly supportive of me and has gone above and beyond to help me out in times of need. When I found myself in a devastating situation, she was the first person to step in and help out. When she became aware of my desire to become an author, she encouraged me to follow my dreams. She never pressed me to sign up for her services, but when I expressed interest in them, she made it affordable for me. She didn’t have to do any of these incredibly generous acts that she has, but that’s just the kind of person she is, kind and selfless. I know she will always do what is right because I have seen her, on multiple occasions, do things she didn’t need to.

  20. I will address some of Rebecca’s ridiculous comments before having Thanksgiving dinner.

    “I’ll also note, it didn’t evade me that you are trying to discourage people from speaking up with me by saying there is a pattern of people speaking up for me.”

    Huh? You may want to reread what I said in the earlier post. Here you go: “You should also review the settlement statement again and how you have also used some of the same phrases, tactics, etc with me.”

    Rebecca: ***”For purposes of transparency, I showed every part of this ur conversation relating to you departing the set.”*** We didn’t depart the set, we were kicked out.

    Rebecca, your “full transparency” is lacking. Here is the OUR full conversation exchange, meaning the whole conversation between you, not your version. You approached me out of the blue when you were involved with the set. This how the conversation began…

    “Hi, Kim! If you would like to drop out of the set, I will buy out your spot. I don’t want you unhappy. List aiming sets are supposed to be fun. Offer stands to any friends you have who are having the same issue. We don’t want drama or gossip or people trying to hurt anyone. We would rather resolve things professionally.

    Me: “We I get in my laptop I will answer this. Facebook is having issues on my end.”

    “Yeah facebook is crazy today. But it was brought to my attention that you and others are conspiring with my trolls to find a new way to the people who work wiht me and/or myself. They want to use you to do a new wave of attacks against me. I don’t want that drama. if you are unhappy to the point you are trying to maliciously Hut myself or others, I would rather refund you and we can both move on.”

    Me: (typos included) Realky? Wow.

    “This what I was told. Maybe that person is not being honest with me. I just wanted to say if it was true. I would give you peace of mind by buying you out. Also, I realize it’s entirely possible this person is lying about you, and if that’s the case, I’m sorry if initially trusting them was hurtful to you in any way. I am feeling hurt myself right now, but I never want to assume the worst of anyone. (Name removed] is the one who said you are the problem. Where would you like me to email you the screenshots of what she said? [Name removed] is mad that I am giving you the benefit of doubt. Saying o should trust [Name removed] about what she said about you.”

    Me: “I am done with the childish games. I will talk to [co-author] and see what she would like to do at this point.”

    “I am done too! I can send you the screenshot of what [Name removed] said to me so you can understand my confusion and why I was trying to leave an open mind to either a) [Name removed] is lying or b) you really said those things.

    Me: “Sure…send them.”

    “FB messenger isn’t let pictures through. What’s your email address?”

    Me: {email address sent]

    “Sent. Again sorry if I assumed fault on your end this entire time. I was going on what [Name removed] said. Today I started to doubt the things she was saying – but then you told me I should trust her! So I hope you can see the bad situation I’ve been in this the whole time and why I’m confused.”

    Me: “Please send the complete discussion with the screen shot.”

    “It’s a ling conversation. Ask [Name removed] to send it to you. It’s my birthday and I’m heading out. And either way, we can release you from the box set. You don’t need a lawyer for that, if what [Name removed] said you said was true. I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

    Me: “I will be talking to [co-author] to see what she wants to do.”

    “Sounds good.”

    About three hours later…

    “We have passed in all communities (should be communication) to the publisher. He feels its best to refund you and [co-author] from the set. Please let me know what email address you guys paid under so we can resolve this for you guys.”

    Me: We haven’t agreed to leave yet. I am waiting for [co-author’s] answer.”

    “The publisher[Rebecca’s cousin or uncle] has reviewed all of the content and doesn’t feel comfortable continuing forward after reading everything. He is releasing you and refunding you. He doesn’t want anyone in the set where they feel abused, so can only this as the solution. ”

    Me: “I will talk to [co-author].”

    “You can contact him directly at [email address] if you wish to discuss further.”

    Me.” Sure. Wow refunded without us agreeing. Unbelivable.”

    “As I said, the publisher made a determination based on the behavior in the sets. You were not happy, and it was causing an unhealthy environment for the other members. You can email him to discuss further if you would like.”

    Me: “How dare you. Thank god I’m a legal assistant. I will be contacting the publisher. Do not contact me again.”

    That is the WHOLE email exchange related to being kicked out of the set. And this is also the only email conversation I had with her during the boxset.

    “If based on your comment anyone would like to everything we ever said to each other in correspondence, they can message me for the full exchange of messages before those ones that were unrelated to the specific area of conversation where I related the publishers message about refunding you and why he did.”

    Yes, Rebecca, keep threatening to show other people private messages. Keep it classy. Like I said earlier, history always repeats itself.

    You also made a comment about me being mean to someone. lol How old are you? 12? This is the same repetitive behavior seen during the time of the boxset that is verifiable.

    I think you will find that once you accept the fact, and move on, that not everyone has the same experience in these boxsets, hence, why some authors have made complaints to Writer Beware and other industry leading watchdogs. These watchdog groups have done more for the author community than anyone in helping authors form informative decisions.

    “Your goal with that comment was to challenge ne to prove you wrong and get ne to ask me people NOT to speak on my behalf. That would then silence the other side of the story so the other side can control the narrative. That is a form of narcissistic manipulation.”

    Huh? Rebecca, since I have not commented on anyone’s post regarding you or your services, how does that have me controlling the narrative? Do you get great enjoyment sitting around and make things up?

    Since it is Thanksgiving here, I am going to spend my time with my family since my family is more important to me. What is also important to me is the truth and finding out what happened with BBB Publishings since so many of us have been affected as it is the main focus of this post. Every single minute of the day is not about you, Rebecca, even though you have shown here…that you think it is.

    I hope that more information regarding BBB is revealed in the near future as it is important for the authors involved to get some real answers.

    Move on, Rebecca, and allow people to form their own opinions. I can guarantee you will be much happier.

    The Rebecca Show has ended. Exit stage right…

    1. Thanks for sharing the whole conversation! I think this captures things beautifully. I handled that difficult situation and your behavior as best as I could at the time. And I was so thankful when the publisher refunded you so I didn’t have to buy you out – but that was still his decision and not mine. Still wishing you the best and still willing to help you if you need it. Take care!

    2. Also, yes, again, it’s a shame Victoria made this about me by starting the article with my name. I didn’t ask for her to do that. I have asked many times that you guys stop tying me to every little thing that happens in the author world just to get clicks, but you don’t. If you don’t want something to be about me…stop making it about me. That would make ME happy. You’re SAYING that’s what you want, but you’re not SHOWING it. Notice how I never pipe in when my name ISN’T mentioned? That’s how that works. If you want me to stop speaking the truth, all you have to do is stop speaking lies. It’s really that simple.

      1. Rebecca, you are the one who is making it about you. My post, as anyone reading with an unbiased eye will recognize, is in fact not about you. To refresh your memory, it’s about BBB Publishings and what happened to its authors as a result of its abrupt closure.

        Is your name included in the post? Yes–along with three others, as examples of the kinds of complaints Writer Beware has received about boxed set publishers and organizers. This is known as context. Readers of this blog will know that I often mention past or similar complaints or cases as a way of putting an issue in perspective. Does your name “start” the article? Not really; it appears five paragraphs down. It appears ahead of the other names because…chronology.

        I’m sorry you think this article is about you. I’m also sorry that you felt the need to hijack the comments with so many lengthy screeds that have absolutely nothing to do with BBB Publishings or its defrauded authors. You don’t do your supporters any favors by encouraging them to do the same.

        I doubt anyone is reading at this point other than me, you, and your supporters. Right now it’s mostly just repetition, anyway. I’m going to give it till tomorrow evening; I’m happy to let you have the last word. And then I’m going to close comments.

        1. I hate to admit that I’m also still reading (I’m a Writer Beware reader/supporter), but holy molly, it’s hard to look away from the train wreck down in the comments caused by Hamilton’s derailment of the comments section.

          1. I’m reading also and I have zero to do with any of the parties here. This Rebecca person seems to be really stuck on herself and, well, not-innocent based on everything she herself has said. Makes me think of what Dolly Parton said: “Get down off your cross, somebody else needs the wood.”

            As for Buy Ins, I do find them pretty suspicious and never bother with them because of all the things that can go wrong. It is unfortunate that BBB managed to sucker in so many people

        2. There is an attempt to use a single case from the past to manipulate me into silence because of an agreement that parties in that case would not speak I’ll of each other or speak about the details of the case specifically.

          So let’s be clear about what that *doesn’t* mean.

          It doesn’t mean I can’t talk about things other people said before, during, or after the case.

          I am addressing the claims of a clique of people who, early on, we’re determined to be NOT part of the case.

          I am addressing Why I settled, which places no blame on the complainant, but rather, events that happened during the case and because of the case. This is not the case itself.

          YOU are talking about the case specifics. And if someone on “my side” did that in support of me, it would be blamed on me. The reverse isn’t true, is it? So there’s some level of hypocrisy at the core here as well.

          Y’all keep wanting to talk about the case. Go ahead. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a man who led a witch hunt against me, and did that lead to the case? Yes. But is it the case itself? No.

          I’m talking about a bully group who has levied this behavior against other successful female authors in the past – especially those who write romance. These people were not who my case was with.

          So, A for effort to make my comments about that, but if you read what I’ve said, I never discussed case details. Just the truth about my practices as a boxed set owner.

          The fact is, I’ve never stolen from anyone and I’ve never scammed anyone. And my name has nothing to do with this BBB article.

          And Yes you are right. No one really read this except people reading things about Rebecca Hamilton. Exactly my point. You used my name for that reason. And that’s where YOU made this about me.

          When you lie or perpetuate a lie about someone, they have the right to clear their name. If you didn’t want that to happen / if you wanted this to be about BBB / then you could have done that. Instead, you chose to lead the article with me.

          That was your choice, Victoria.

          Maybe a little accountability?

        3. And Yes, we are are aware what the “main topic” of the post was. But when you name other people, it becomes “about them” too. She did the authors hurt by BBB a disservice by dragging her personal Vendetta into things under the guise of “context”.

          There’s a difference between “opportunity to hurt someone you take issue with” and “giving context to similar situations.

          Me *not* stealing from anyone is not context for a situation where people stole from others.

          Truths got repeated because lies got repeated. Thanks for giving me the opportunity at least to address that.

          1. Final words: what you did here is absolutely an attempt at narcissistic gaslighting. Baiting the person you’ve spent 5 years stalking and harassing. Someone who otherwise never talks to you or about you. Someone who usually just ignores you but you just never leave her alone and then she finally responds. And when she responds, she’s met with “you’re crazy” and “this isn’t about you, just be quiet.”

            I bet some women out there? If they put themselves in my shoes, will relate to this. If so, and they are need of support? They can reach out as many others have: we have a support network for that.

          2. Gee, not a last word but three of them.

            “Stalking and harassing for the past 5 years”? Are you serious? Please provide even one example of an article, post, tweet, email, or anything else from me or by me even just mentioning you after early 2019 (when the Garner lawsuit was settled). Please screenshot it and share it here. Go on. I’ll wait.

            You have a really inflated idea of your own significance.

  21. It was Rebecca’s choice to respond here. She certainly was not baited.lol Her CHOICE. She has responded 25+ times so her statement about people trying to quiet her are clearly untrue.

    I stand by my comments about her involvement in boxsets in 2019/2020.

    I stand by my comments as to how abusive the environment was, created by her and another person under her wing. It was a horrifying experience. That was my experience. If you questioned the two about anything including how OUR ad money was being spent they would freak out, call authors out, stomp away like two year olds and then at one point threaten that they would quit the boxset. The lack of professionalism was mind-boggling. Neither of them understood that we were paying for a service and they were the ones who were the problem. Talk about manipulation and narcissism.

    After SHE, the person who claims she wasn’t involved in boxsets, kicked us out, offered to buy us out, we asked the “publisher” her family member I believe, for royalties up to the date of termination. We were refused even though we worked our butts off for months. When the “publisher” was told they could deal with our lawyer, suddenly, we were offered a gift of royalties from his own pocket. This was so unprofessional that we refused. I still believe the contract was breached and also in my opinion, a total misrepresentation of actually who we were really dealing with contact wise.

    Then there was the copyright infringement issue after we were kicked out as our book was still being sold. Draft2Digital was contacted along with the publisher demanding it be immediately removed from the boxset. We never received a cent for the use of our work.

    She has also made numerous false statements about me here and one after another, regarding that boxset and her involvement.

    Then to make false statements accusing Victoria that she “has been harrassing and stalking her”. That is an extremely serious accusation.

    Like I have already said, she does not know when to quit and once again, her lack of control is what always gets her in hot water.

    I would like to see those screenshots as well, Rebecca, of Victoria harassing and stalking you.

Comments are closed.

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