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Blockbuster And Netflix Unethical Contracts – Corporation Nation & Crude Capitalism, A New America

Blockbuster Online decided to alter and modify my existing movie rental contract, which initially allowed me unlimited rentals and exchanges at the store for a fixed price. On October 17, 2007 when I walked into the store to exchange a video the store rep told me I had met my limit for monthly exchanges and would have to pay over $2.00 per movie on any additional exchanges. The manager came out and agreed it was bogus and fraudulent, but said he couldn’t change it.

Upon looking at Blockbuster Online they have since phased out unlimited rentals altogether on their website, but such was in operation when I was sold the contract by the Blockbuster representative.

I phoned the competition at Netflix who told me they only lowered their prices, unlike Blockbuster who has since significantly raised their prices. The idea according to my research is for Blockbuster to put the competition out of business for a short while by their online services, than alter their contracts after the competition has been eliminated – kind of like an anti-trust price gouging operation.

The Netflix website contract for similar services, which verbally the rep on the phone said there would not be any price increases……says otherwise. Read the fine print online and you will see a contractual stipulation stating “changes to terms of use.”

Changes to Terms of Use
Netflix, Inc., reserves the right, from time to time, with or without notice to you, to change these Terms of Use in our sole and absolute discretion. The most current version of these Terms of Use can be reviewed by clicking on the “Terms of Use” located at the bottom of the pages of the Netflix Web site. The most current version of the Terms of Use will supersede all previous versions. Your use of the Netflix Web site or continued use of our service after changes are made means that you agree to be bound by such changes.

This is the new corporation nation which cares not for consumers but financially raping and taking advantage of us. I say let’s protest!

Write your Better Business Bureau and Congress representatives and cite these unethical billing practices and procedures. What we tolerate will dominate. Close the floodgates before capitalism overtakes we the people and honesty and integrity entirely leaves the marketplace.

Tonight on May 24th, 2008 when I went into Blockbuster’s store I noticed the computer conveniently reduced my monthly exchanges from 5 to 3 when I recently updated my credit card information. I wonder how many people are being falsely taken advantage of every month by Blockbuster. It sounds to me like a class action lawsuit needs to be initiated soon. Blockbuster is always tipping the scales to screw the consumer and make themselves rich on the sly.

Paul F Davis – worldwide minister, international speaker, and author of United States of Arrogance

http://www.PaulFDavis.com
RevivingNations@yaho.com

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Xulon Press & Townhall Press – Beware & Do Your Homework with Publicity & Press Releases

Writing a book is one thing, getting it published and enduring the many money-making schemes of publishers is another. I found publishing to be a very expensive and daunting task.

Xulon Press is a Christian publisher that published 4 books of my books. I had some major discrepancies in regard to promises unfulfilled in regard to their press releases. I published four books with Xulon Press within a year and encountered some problems.

Upon making some inquiries, I learned that Xulon Press uses PRWeb to do its press releases. PR Web offers four press release packages:

– Standard – $80

– Social Media – $120

– SEO – $200

– Media Visibility (includes all of the above) – $360

Xulon Press only did a press release for one of my three books they completed, while engaged in publishing my fourth. Upon thoroughly researching why Xulon’s press releases and publicity I paid for weren’t producing any press for me, I made a shocking discovery.

It seems two of my three books done with Xulon never received a press release done for them at all. Upon doing my homework, I learned that the one press release Xulon did for my book on Adultery 101 was under the “standard” package.

My fourth upcoming book with Xulon, Poems that Propel the Planet, I asked them not to do the press release as I feel Xulon publicity and press releases are weak and leave much to be desired. Any PR obtained by their authors as they advertise “Christian Book News Alert” does not necessarily mean it came as a result of Xulon’s efforts. Popular, famous, and noteworthy authors who diligently market their books can generate press without Xulon’s help.

The purpose for this article is to warn authors of what they are buying, or thinking they are buying when they pay for press and publicity at Xulon Press or any other publisher for that matter. Do your homework and ask several questions before assuming what you are getting. Many selling publicity packages and press releases are essentially merely selling an illusion.

Upon asking the publisher’s representatives, I learned Xulon always uses the PRweb’s standard package, though they don’t tell their authors that on the front end. On the Xulon Press website for the “best-seller’s package” costing around $2,000 – authors are told that Xulon’s “media publicity” press release could get them on Oprah or Larry King.

This is very unlikely considering the press releases at the “standard package” are not released nationally, preventing national exposure to be seen by such high level talk show hosts and producers as Larry King and Oprah. I know because i’ve been on Oprah & Friends Radio three times, plus Fox News Radio, Playboy Radio and several other top media outlets.

When a publisher like Xulon promises the possibility of national media attention as a result of buying their publicity package, but fail to mention no national press release will be given; it’s a bit misleading and unethical.

Xulon Press however only saw fit to refund me $287 as they claim it takes time to write a press release and allege their press release will put authors in front of national media. It’s interesting I never got a single inquiry from the Xulon Press release.

The way I see it, my refund for the press releases needs to be in the amount of $1,440. Each full publicity press release costs $360 with PRWeb. (4 x 360 = 1,440)

Considering I chose Xulon primarily based on the publicity pacakage they offered, the opportunity cost lost of publishing with them is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars considering my expectation was getting on Oprah & Larry King where an author can sells millions of copies of books. Yet at $2,000 per book, I should at least be able to recooperate $8,000 for the four books published.

My argument against the “Christian Publisher” is very solid both morally and legally.

1. Xulon Press states their press releases provide media exposure to TV and radio. This however is not accessible with the “standard” $80 package you use at PRWeb. Such media publicity comes with the $360 package at PRWeb labeled “media publicity.”

2. PRWeb archives all press releases. Neither the Supernatural Fire book, nor the Are You Ready for True Love? press releases were archived. Hence the power of the ongoing press release accessible by the worldwide web is non-existent.

3. The Supernatural Fire attachment Xulon Press initially sent me claiming a press release (which can’t be found at PRWeb) was poorly written. “Catch the only seasonal bug worth keeping” adorns the headline which has nothing to do with the book, neither is desirable to read.

4. Opportunity costs lost for me as an author by reason of press releases not sent (though promised) far exceed the cost of the releases themselves. My life consists of time which Xulon Press has greatly robbed me of personally and professionally.

5. Selling an illusion of being on Oprah or Larry King when you are merely doing “standard” press releases that cannot reach such people is unethical, immoral, and by no means Christlike for a Christian publisher.

Xulon Press advertises their “Press Release Service” saying:
“Let our professionals craft an effective press release for your book. It’s not easy to grab the attention of the media, but we’ll separate your book from its competitors with copy that sizzles. Our one-page press release gives the media all the information they need to contact you for news stories, columns, articles – even for TV and radio interviews. You never know, you might end up on Oprah or Larry King Live!”

Xulon Press says, “You never know…” Well, as an author of 4 books with Xulon Press, I do know! Don’t buy the lie.

Incidentally, I have only received a check for $64 for royalties – again indicative of their poor publicity. When I inquired about my royalties, I was told the checks would be sent out two months late this year. I suppose they don’t cncern themselves with authors living off of those royalty checks. I guess their press release doesn’t generate much PR, nor sales anyhow.

My last book done with Xulon was another nightmare as they nickled and dimed me trying to charge me $75 to change the back cover which I as the author never got to see before it went to print. How does that work when a paying author can’t even see his own back cover before it goes to print. Thankfully they waived the $75 fee for changing the back picture, but not before some unpleasant exchanges by email.

That being said it is awfully difficult to figure out what picture to use on the back cover when the publisher won’t even show or tell you the color combination their are going to use. If you later see your first 10 books in a box at your house and don’t like the back cover, Xulon charges its author’s $75 to correct it. If you want to change your picture on the back cover and text summarizing your book thereon the cost is $150.

Such practices don’t make for a great publisher, nor a pleasant experience for an author. Therefore before dealing with any publisher, be sure to ask crucial questions about the above mentioned.

Writing a book is one thing, publishing it can be a daunting task.

Though Xulon Press is not great, they certainly are good and a viable option if you’re willing to pay a bit more. The staff rarely spoke with or dealt with me over the phone, mostly through email only. If you can endure that during the creative process, than perhaps Xulon would work well for a first-time author.

My passion is writing and speaking internationally. Sometimes I consider a prospective author for serving his or her publicity needs, providing they pay well for my valuable time. Otherwise you’ll just have to kiss some frogs and figure things out the hard way over some years because I don’t give free advice, nor let people “pick my brain” without compensating me for my intellectual property.

I’m still hunting for more a special publisher myself for my 200 page Christian alternative to Oprah & Eckhart Tolle’s “New Earth”. I’ve used a total of four publishers thus far to publish the 14 books I’ve written. All have their pros and cons. Publishing is meaningless however without adequate publicity, that’s my passion without which a book will go undiscovered.

The business of publishing is a painful process and certainly not for the faint in heart.

Paul F. Davis is a highly sought after worldwide professional speaker, purpose coach, and change master transforming organizations and empowering individuals to live their dreams.

Paul is the author of several books including United States of Arrogance; Poems that Propel the Planet; Breakthrough for a Broken Heart; Adultery: 101 Reasons Not to Cheat; Are You Ready for True Love; Stop Lusting & Start Living; Waves of God; Supernatural Fire; God vs. Religion; and many more!

Paul’s compassion for people & passion to travel has taken him to over 50 countries of the world where he has had a tremendous impact. Paul’s organization Dream-Maker Inc. builds dreams, transcends limitations, & endeavors to reconcile nations.

Contact Paul to speak at your event or for book consulting:

RevivingNations@yahoo.com

http://www.PaulFDavis.com

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Xulon Press vs. Publishing Options – Beware of Christian Claims & Xulon Press Promises & Publicity

Don’t be duped by Xulon Press & Salem Communications Christian claims & empty promises.

Xulon Press sells an illusion of publicity & media accessibility that it can’t back up. Xulon Press & Salem Communications failed Paul F Davis author of 4 books.<br>

http://www.PaulFDavis.com<br&gt;

RevivingNations@yahoo.com<br>

Xulon Press, a Christian book publisher, provides 10 reasons to choose a publisher on their website – helpful information indeed when considering any publisher. The publisher owned by Salem Communications gives authors some guidelines, but fails to fulfill many of their own promises to its authors.<br>

Author Paul F Davis published 4 books with Xulon Press and gives his opinion in this true & false assessment below.<br>

10 Guidelines to Measure a Publisher By<br>

EXPERIENCE: Xulon Press claims to have published more than 3,900 Christian books since 1999. Title by title, they say they are larger than any other Christian book publisher. That is highly questionable when you consider enormous Christian publishers like Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, and Creation House. I’d like to know how many of Xulon’s books sold more than 100 copies?<br>

AFFORDABLE: For as little as $999 you can get published! If you do your homework when it comes to print on demand (POD) publishing, authors can actually get published for a third of the cost Xulon offers. Therefore $999 is not all that affordable. As to Xulon’s assertion about no “hidden fees” that might be so, but certainly there are flawed promises about publicity and press releases that go unfulfilled. What authors expect and what authors get greatly differs. Xulon’s “proven, time-tested ways to distribute and market your book” are very weak and feeble. I have published 4 books with Xulon and none of their marketing and distribution efforts produced for me.<br>

REPUTATION: It’s important that you find a book publisher you can trust. Well that’s quite obvious. Yet just because someone claims to be Christian or a big Christian company does not make them to be trustworthy. Hitler also claimed to be Christian. Owned by Salem Communications, which Xulon Press claims to be one of the country’s largest faith-based publishing and communications organizations, it is interesting that Xulon Press could not produce in their publicity package for any of my 4 books a single radio interview.<br>

http://www.PaulFDavis.com<br&gt;

RevivingNations@yahoo.com<br>

Yet they sold the illusion on their website that you could get on Oprah or Larry King if authors used their publicity package. Hogwash! Salem Communications and Xulon Press together claim to be connected to more than 100 Christian radio stations, a cornucopia of Christian magazines, and more than 40 million monthly online page-views representing the largest faith-based audience on the Internet. Ironically and curiously, I as an author with Xulon Press never received a single radio interview or magazine article from Salem Communications promoting my books Xulon Press published .<br>

I can assure you the quality of my books content is noteworthy as by reason of my own publicity and hard work I was able to get radio interviews across the country (without any of Xulon’s help – for such help never came, though was falsely promised) and even radio interviews with several outstanding syndicated radio show hosts including Playboy Radio for 45 minutes about my book Adultery 101.<br>

As for Xulon Press and Salem however, their promises about radio stations and multiple magazines are empty promises that never delivered. Authors therefore should not be falsely seduced by such because Xulon Press is just selling assumptions as they are in the business of selling books. Their publicity services are the worst I’ve ever paid for.<br>

QUALITY: Xulon Press does print high-quality hardcover and paperback editions on a trade-quality cream-white paper and a cover stock that is UV coated for a sleek look that adds durability and longevity to your books.<br>

SPEED: Xulon promises you’ll be a published author in less than 90 days; then we can print your book in less than 60 seconds. A word of caution however is unless you submit everything according to Xulon’s specifications, Xulon won’t budge when it comes to your back cover layout (that is without a fee). Xulon wants it’s authors to submit no more than 300 words for the back cover. I once wanted to change the picture on the back cover and they tried to charge me $75 to do so! Thankfully upon refusing they waived the fee, but it was a mini-battle that was less than pleasant.<br>

YOU KEEP YOUR RIGHTS: Xulon lets you keep 100% of the rights to your book. If another publisher comes along and wants to publish your book, you are free to cancel your agreement with them anytime. This agreeably is a good thing for authors, but I have yet to try to do it. When that time comes if anything changes, I shall modify this article.<br>

DISTRIBUTION: Xulon claims to work with book distributors and retailers worldwide. They say your book will be available to 25,000 bookstores and for sale on the world’s biggest Internet sites including Amazon.com, Target.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and many others. True! Xulon does get your book listed with the above websites, for which I commend them. That’s a good thing for authors. I sure would like to know who the “many others” are by name.<br>

100% ROYALTIES: We are the only publisher who gives you a 100% royalty rate on copies sold to bookstores. Unlike other publishers, who keep up to 75% of your royalty, we give it all back to you.<br>

That is a plus for authors however the royalty check I received only amounted to $64 from Xulon Press for my 4 books – which is reason for concern. I recently received a letter from another Xulon author who also has yet to receive her royalty check. A third Xulon author wrote me telling me they felt they were overcharged and currently disputing some matters.<br>

Considering many of the executives running Xulon Press were trained and used to work for Creation House Publishers, lets compare apples to oranges.  I published 2 books with Creation House and always get more timely and larger royalty payments from Creation House than I do from Xulon with whom I published 4 books. You would think my royalty payments from Xulon would be larger, but it’s the reverse as my royalty checks from Creation House have been three figures versus Xulon’s two.<br>

HUGE WHOLESALE DISCOUNTS: Each time you purchase copies of your book we give you a HUGE wholesale discount of up to 70% off the retail price of your book. Up to….is always a clever way to say something from a sales perspective. Up to does not always mean you get it. “Up to” means at any given point in time you might randomly be able to. Certainly a 70% discount is good, but usually you have to buy a substantial quantity of books to apply for such a sizeable discount.<br>

I like this department at Xulon because their shipping department actually answers the phone. I suppose when a sale is involved this warrants immediate attention. <br>

PERSONAL ATTENTION: Xulon claims they are “here for you by telephone or e-mail whenever you need help or have a question.” My experience however has been that Xulon communicates best by email and is very good via correspondence. Via telephone I found rarely did they ever answer the telephone. That says a lot considering I published 4 books with them. POD publishing is such that other publishers like Publish America don’t ever answer their phones either and this is problematic for authors with questions needing to be answered. So at least Xulon is good about answering emails, which I found to be way better than trying to get through by phone.<br>

As a Xulon author I just want every author to get a fair shake and know the full details of the publishing agreement and with whom they are dealing. I can suggest some better publishing options for sure for the price and poor publicity offered by Xulon. Don’t buy the lie and swallow assumptions when publishing your prized book.<br>

If however you want a quick Christian publisher and aren’t worried about spending a little, go with Xulon and come to me for your publicity needs. <br>

Paul F Davis – author of “Supernatural Fire”; “Adultery 101”; “Are You Ready For True Love?”; and “Poems That Propel The Planet” all published with Xulon Press<br>

http://www.PaulFDavis.com<br&gt;

RevivingNations@yahoo.com<br>

Paul F. Davis is a worldwide minister who has touched over 50 countries & 6 continents building bridges cross-culturally and empowering people throughout the earth to live their dreams!<br>

Paul is the author of 14 books. Thanks to his own genius and publicity, Paul has appeared on Oprah & Friends, Fox News Radio, and Playboy Radio among many other shows to promote his books.<br>

Paul builds dreams, transcends limitations, and reconciles nations.<br>

http://www.PaulFDavis.com<br&gt;

RevivingNations@yahoo.com<br>

Contact Paul for a book consultation if you are a serious author willing to invest in your future. Knowledge is power, time is money and your life’s work is precious. Design a publicity package that will produce for your book and maximize your message.<br>

Paul’s primary passion is writing and international speaking, but will consider helping a few promisng authors with projects of interest who pay him well.<br>

Paul is the author of 14 books emowering people to love passionately & live fearlessly.<br>

http://www.PaulFDavis.com<br&gt;

RevivingNations@yahoo.com <br>

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