Have you been scammed? My personal experience with Balboa …

Tamra MerciecaBlogs, Mental Health58 Comments

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you ignored your internal scam-radar?

I have.

Big time!

And this is what I’d like to share with you today, so that maybe you can take something away from my experience, to ensure you don’t fall into the same trap.

It all started five years ago….

After entering a writing competition run by Hay House – the publishing house established by one of my favourite authors Louise Hay – I received a phone call from Hay House’s self-publishing arm Balboa.

The guy on the phone wanted to offer me a self-publishing distribution deal.

What that meant for me, was that for $5000 I could publish my already self-published books through Balboa, and they would distribute both books worldwide.

So they’d get me on all the main book selling website, such as Amazon, and they would also get me an interview on Hay House Radio and a review by some independent review company that would apparently help me promote the book.

Given I’d already self-published my book and had Australian distribution, the main drawcard for me was getting worldwide distribution and the interview on Hay House radio which I was pumped for!

When I told the Balboa guy I’d need a few days to think about it, he began laying on the pressure, about how I would need to accept within 24 hours, otherwise I would miss out.

Warning bells began to ring.

Something didn’t feel right.

Was this a hard sell or was this an opportunity?

When I got off the phone I wasn’t sure whether to be excited or suspicious.

Yet when the 24 hours was up, I accepted the deal.


Because I really really wanted my books to be distributed worldwide and I really really wanted to be associated with Hay House.

I thought that signing this deal would get me closer to reaching the masses with my two books, so I could help more people struggling with depression and low self-esteem.

What played out over the next there months was me submitting my already edited and formatted book files to Balboa.

When I got the proof, I was shocked!

They had completely messed up all the formatting, which took days upon days of my submitting corrections to the editing staff, in order to finally get the book back looking as it was originally.

As this happened I started to question the competence of the people of I was working with.

The formatting was already complete.

Why had they messed with it?

Next warning bell?

I received the review for my book Getting Naked – The Dating Game which proceeded to completely bag out my book, totally missing the book’s message.

I certainly wasn’t going to use that review to promote my book now.

I didn’t take it personally, as I’d had dozens of random readers email me previously saying how much they loved the book and couldn’t wait for the sequel.

I was however, pretty angry that I had wasted big money on something that was meant to help me.

Three months later and both my books were in print and being distributed through all the appropriate channels.

Every three months I would receive a measly royalties cheque for my first book The Upside of Down: A personal journey and toolkit for overcoming depression, but never for my second book Getting Naked – The Dating Game.

I thought that was so odd, as the Hay House radio interview we’d done had been on the dating book – so surely there’d been at least a few sales?

I emailed Balboa and they said: ‘No. You haven’t sold any of that book.’

I had a few of these emails over the next few years until finally I thought, you know what, this just doesn’t feel right.

I got online and bought my own book.

I left it two royalty statements later, and still nothing.

OK, now I knew there was something dodgy going on.

I emailed Balboa and let them know there was clearly a problem, to which they initially denied, before penguin up an investigation into the missing royalties.

During this time I sent an email to my large database asking that if anyone had bought my book, could they send me their receipts.

Receipts started rolling in.


Now I knew for sure, I was being duped.

It wasn’t until three months later that they found the error and revealed to me four years of sales figures for my second book.

I asked for all of my royalties to be released and sent to me, to which they said they would do.

Months past, and still I received no royalties for either book.

I kept emailing and was told that now there was apparently a software upgrade problem that was delaying all royalty payments being sent out to authors.

This carried on for a few more months.

Finally, I’d had enough.

Despite many emails, I was getting nowhere.

A quick Google search found hundreds of articles from other Balboa authors sharing how they’d also been scammed.

I wasn’t alone.

In fact, my story wasn’t nearly as bad as what some of these authors had experienced.

Getting nowhere with Balboa, I called Hay House, and the guy there was brilliant, forwarding my email straight to Balboa management.

The guy in charge at Balboa emailed me within 24 hours saying he had expedited my royalties and I should receive them soon.

Only one hitch!

The figures he said were owing did not match the figures from the initial sales reports.

I emailed back, asking for him to investigate the discrepancy in figures, to which I received no reply.

Oh, we were back to that again!

By this point, I’d come to terms with the fact that I probably would never get my royalties, and requested that my contract with Balboa be severed.

This meant my books would no longer have worldwide distribution.

This was a HUGE decision, because I felt that if my books didn’t have worldwide distribution, then they were failures.

That’s why I’d stayed with Balboa this long, for fear of not being taken seriously as an author.

I thought I needed to have worldwide distribution, otherwise no one would ever get to benefit from what I had to share.

Of course, this was simply my fear at play.

I knew deep down, that by allowing Balboa to mess me around, and earn money on my behalf (that I would probably never see), I was giving my power away.

Within a week ties with Balboa were cut.

A huge sense of relief washed over me.

I continued on with my life, and you know what, my life didn’t fall apart because I no longer had worldwide distribution.

It didn’t affect my happiness or my career one bit!

Months later, the royalties still have not been paid.

Chances are I will never see them.

And you know what, that is ok, because I learnt a very important lesson out of this 5 year saga:

If something doesn’t feel right, trust that feeling, no matter how big the promise.

Hey, I’m only human.

I have dreams of sharing my words with the world.

And when someone comes along offering to fulfil those dreams, it can be really easy to ignore the signs that are screaming to you ‘This is dodgy! Don’t go there! It’s a scam.’

I’d love to say that the world is a beautiful supportive loving place.
In many cases this is the case.

But just as there is much love in the world, there is also much fear, and this fear causes people to do things and run businesses that are not in integrity; that are essentially designed to take people’s money.

Your take home lesson?

No matter how shiny things may seem, trust you inner voice.

If something doesn’t feel right, there is a reason for it.

Even if that strange feeling has no logical evidence to support something being amiss, trust that feeling.

It never lies.

We all have an inner GPS that is there to guide us to what’s in our highest good.

If we ignore this warning lights from our GPS, then yes, we put ourselves at risk of being scammed.

If you’re in the same boat as me, and have already been scammed, don’t get down on yourself.

Trust that this was all part of your perfect journey to help you grow and move onto better things.

Our life lessons – no matter how shitty they may seem at the time – are such formative times.

In order to move forward – in order to grow, we need to take risks; make big decisions.

Sometimes we make the decision that get us the results we want.

Sometimes we don’t.

But even when we make a decision that, upon retrospect, we may not have chosen in the present with our current knowledge, doesn’t mean we stuffed up.

It means we were given an opportunity to grow.

We can gather learnings which will help us move forward, or we can bask in self regret.

The choice is yours.

But if you are holding negative emotion towards the person or business that scammed you, it’s only hurting one person.


Instead of getting angry, take back your power – in my case it was terminating my contract with Balboa – and then gathering the lessons from that experience.

My lesson?

To trust those initial feelings.

If I’d trusted my initial feeling that something wasn’t quite right, I would never had signed that deal and lost $5000, plus all the time I spent trying to track down my owning royalties.

An expensive lesson, yes.

But hey, sometimes our life lessons come with big price tags, and that’s ok.

If we get the lesson, we won’t have to keep paying for the same lesson further down the track.

I feel so grateful to have gotten myself out of that contract, and while the only place you can purchase my books these days is on my website, I’m ok with that.

In the future I will get them back on all the book websites, in front of the people who need them most, but in the meantime, I will continue to write the sequel to my second book.

As long as I am writing, I am happy 🙂

If you’ve been scammed or had a feeling and then gone against it, only to find out later that the initial feeling was on the money, please comment below and share your experiences.

The more we share, the more we learn from each other.

Thanks for reading and I hope this blog helps you trust those inner feelings when it comes to making decisions.

All the answers really are within you!

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58 Comments on “Have you been scammed? My personal experience with Balboa …”

  1. I know this feeling!
    The dodgy practices of Balboa Press and their Vanity Publishing.
    Leeching innocents off the lure of the Hay House name, by promising the world for your book and preying on your dreams.

    I shared a book brief with them after participating in a video series on how to write a book by Reid Tracey. A few days later, I received a phone call from Balboa Press – We loved your idea, we want to run with it, its so different from anything out there etc, etc, etc. The catch, once we got to it – I have to sign up today and it doesn’t matter that the book isn’t started, because we have coaches and a writing team to support you. I was blown away with excitement. Hay House loved my book – Yet when I asked for more time to consider the commitment – the conversation tone, energy and feel changed dramatically and my consultant/sales person got irritated, quickly. The first step was payment, pay now and then we can look at all my ongoing questions. I asked to review the contract, only to be told that contracts were only emailed out after the payment was made…. ummmm. No. Not the in business world I work in. Seriously, Major alarm bells. Eventually they agreed to 24 hours and I wanted to see a copy of the contracts.

    After some time they did send me the contracts – which were a cut and paste copy of the web site, in a word document….. ummmm – serious alarm bells. Who in the business world, uses word to distribute delicate contracts……. they don’t.

    So I said No, something didn’t match up – only to be told by the sales person – that she had to eat too and that I had wasted hours of her time.

    whoa baby!!!!!! settle down.

    the moral of both these stories.

    Listen to your intuition. if something feels off – it is.

    and as for Balboa Press – Everything has a shadow, including Hay House.

    1. Jess, thanks so much for sharing your experience, which shows that unfortunately, this is a common occurrence with Balboa. And good on you for trusting your intuition on this one. That takes real courage. One small question: Did you end up writing book?

    2. I have the same experience with Balbia and I also signed up with XLibris and the same people have been mixing up their emails and sending me emails from Balboa, Xlibris and Author solutions.
      All in all they have taken over $6000 from me and I owe another $6000.
      I also gave them a completely formatted book..
      I wonder if there is a way to break the contract and stop them access my account?

      1. I am so very sorry to hear about your experience, ad unfortunately I’m not sure what rights you have now in trying to break the contract. I know they were non-responsive to me for a while, so breaking my contract – after I’d paid what I owed – was a difficult task in itself. I wish you the best of luck in both moving on from them, and finding a way to share your book/s with the world in a more congruent way xxx

  2. Putting yourself out there was really brave . I applaud you for your bravery. I was scammed but it was with my heart . I was in a very dark place after my son committed suicide and met this man from the Middle East . He was younger than me but we hit it off or so it seemed . I am telling you we talked every single day for two and a half years . This year was the year we were going to get together and figure out our paths . It is June and in September we were going to meet . He moved to Dubai and got a good job and I helped him with his English his resume and kept his spirits up. He texted the other day and told me that it just wasn’t going to work out . I think my inner voice had screamed several times before but I stuffed it down in hope of love . Yes I feel dumb . I was scammed and I have a difficult time forgiving myself . Now the lesson ….I should have required a meeting early on and not given so much of my life and time to him . I am licking my wounds and trying to move forward .

    1. Marianne thanks for sharing your very personal story. Just know that there are some beautiful souls out there who are also looking for love, and the best thing you can do for yourself is practise self-love. Fill yourself up, so that when someone else comes along, they are simply an added bonus, as opposed to filling a need. This is what I did when I was single and wanting a relationship, and now I am very happily married to a beautiful man 🙂

  3. Thank you Tamara!!! I will avoid Balbia at all costs!! And share this with readers like myself to do the same!

  4. hi. I just did research on google about balboapress and see how many people are tricked, the picture on their reputation is not good at all.
    I wonder what happens to those authors whos books are on balboa website now, what will happened when they will want to terminate agreement with this so called publisher, how much will balboa try to squeeze out of author for getting out of this crap and is there is legal way not to pay any termination or pdf file fees to balboapress… jeez, what a scam, balboapress must end up bankrupt or get legal punishment for scam, lies, theft of authors earnings.

    1. Yes it’s horrible what they are doing. All we can hope that people like myself continue to speak out about what is going on, so other authors don’t have to have the same experience.

  5. Thanks for the validation. Balboa recently called me as a “follow up to my email”, which I never sent, and my already self-published book “Thinking From The Infinite” It’s a new guy with a heavy NY sales drive style, the opposite of what Hay House stands for. After days of phone calls and propositions, I finally said “No, no, and no!”. Today he called three times to pick up where we left off. This is no longer the Balboa Press I know. I haven’t spent a cent because the vibes were so far off and now I know why. Thanks for writing about this topic.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have been contacted by Hay House to attend a Writers’ Workshop. I was going to call them and seriously follow up with attending, and getting at least one of my projects completed. I think I’m going to pass on it, if they are associated with this type of practice.

    I empathize with you regarding your experience. I am glad that you have been able to move on.

    Thank you again, Darlene Peters

    1. Absolute pleasure Darlene. I am so glad that hopefully my sharing will prevent you from having the same (or worse) happen to you. And good luck with your project, however you decide to move ahead. Where there is passion, there is a way 🙂

  7. I am at a loss as I am inexperienced author, I received a phone call from America last night as I live in Australia saying how excellent my book was and mentioned the Book Excellence Award and mentioned Books Avenue and Random Rights to which I have to look into further. I would also appreciate any light you can shed on all this for me they even mentioned movies. This was all at 9.30pm I was half asleep they said they would send me an email explaining but thus far have received nothing. Here’s the kicker they asked me how many books I had sold and three years later I had to say one to which I received a check for $5.00 and that was in the beginning. Also can you advise me on the best way to terminate my contract with them, this is all scary stuff to me as I like you just wanted my words to reach others,I do not have a website.


    1. I am so sorry you have had this awful experience. I know this kind of treatment from Balboa is widespread. My suggestion (and this is what I ended up doing) was contacting Hayhouse in Australia. Explain what has happened and how you wish to terminate your contract with Balboa, and ask them to put you in touch with the appropriate person. Then send them an email, and go from there. It took at least a month for my termination of contract to go through, so it may be a drawn out period, but I believe it’s best to severe ties with a company that is clearly fraudulent. I hope that helps Mary.

  8. These stories are all too familiar! I am so incredibly disappointed by the treatment I’ve received – inconsistent information regarding royalties, a marketing campaign that wasn’t worth the paper it was written on, a very ordinary media release that was supposedly sent to media outlets that were non-existent and editing skills that were flat out incorrect I terms of spelling and punctuation. Now what? I hear you about canceling my contract but what do I do with my book? Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Oh I hear you Karen and I’m sorry you have had this awful experience also. In terms of marketing your book, there are so many different avenues for you, and I suppose it really depends on your strengths. For example, do you like public speaking, do you like blogging, do you like creating videos? These are all ways of promoting your book. I have also found giving books away for free one of the ways I share my book. But again, it really depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the book and how that supports any other work you do. Sending you big love as you find your way forward with this xx

  9. Hi, I came across your site as I was looking for scams and balboa press. I’m in the same boat. I have been with them for 3 long years and I submitted my book already formatted etc and they screwed it up and I had to pay more for changes etc. and it still has errors but I won’t spend another $400 to change it. I also noticed my book on Amazon for $5.84 and asked them why and why wasn’t I informed. They said they don’t have any control over pricing. BS I say as I looked again today and it’s back to the normal price. 😳 and it goes on. I to want to get out of my contact. My question to you is whew are you now? And do you have an agent? I have considered a book fair but not sure if I have to be represented by a firm. Any advise would be appreciated.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you are going through this experience too! To be honest I’m not sure I can help. I actually made the decision to simply sell the Ebook on my website. My books are resources for my clients, so in that way, I simply use them for that as the main revenue I earn comes from the courses and programs I run. I’m sure at some point in the future I will look to get my book back out there in a larger way, but for now, I’m happy saving trees and sharing with my community. I hope you find the right option for you xx

  10. Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences. I am in the early stages of self-publishing and also spoke with Balboa Press. My radar went off on the first call so I continued to look for other companies. They called again this morning looking for payment on the “special discount” offer that expires today. I pointed out that I hadn’t finish my book yet and she said if I wanted to make the 1st payment they would help me finish my book. I know I am new at this but that didnt sound right to me. I started to do more research on the company and found this site. I’m glad I held off. Thank you again.

  11. Hi , I have just spent the last 2 hours talking with Balboa press about my autobiography, I heard all the right oohs and ahhs and was tempted to shell out the $9,200 for the package offered. Now I have read this page I won’t be going ahead with it . Breaks my heart after the blood, sweat and tears I have put into this very personal book .
    Thank you so much for making me aware of the scam I nearly signed up for .
    Dene .

    1. Oh Dene. I am so glad you found my blog before you spent all that money. Keep looking for the right publisher or do what I did and self-publish. It’s a lot easier than it once was. Good luck with getting your book out there xx

  12. Hello omg I wished I saw your blog before I signed up to balboa press 2 weeks ago. I smelt a rat yesterday when they wanted another 6000$ fir marketing … I also found another Facebook group balboa press survivors. I read my contract and I haven’t sent my manuscript in yet. I will be terminating this Friday but I feel sick inside whether I’m going to be able to get my money back. I value that you put this blog up and how disturbing there are sites like this preying on the vulnerable. Is it possible to send you a private email at all ? Any assistance or help would be greatly appreciated. I spent all last night when I discovered balboa reviews and I cried myself to sleep and this morning as well. My niece rung tonight with your blog details. Blessings to all you beautiful warrior woman and lettuce stick together supporting each other.

    1. Oh Chrissy, I am so sorry to hear about this. But so glad that you can at least get out of it before it becomes a big headache. Yes, please send me an email. You can contact me via the ‘Contact’ page on the website 🙂 Good luck and fingers crossed you can get your money back xx

  13. Hi. I published through Balboa with all the same woes Please can you tell me how to get out of my contact? I do not want to spend a minute longer fighting for what I know belongs to me.

    Thank you.

    1. Honestly, I asked to speak to someone higher up who was willing to help me, as the person I spoke to was not willing to terminate my contract. And then when I was speaking to this person, they were able to send me a document to sign to terminate the contract. That said, there was a lot of back and forth and this ended up being quite a lengthy process, because as you’ve experienced they are quite dodgy, and make the process difficult for you. So I would just be totally upfront with them and ask them the quickest way they you can terminate your contract, and if they mess you around, keep following them up, until you get what you want. Good luck!!

  14. Another one drawn in. Ha! If you believe in Karma it will go around just like some of the prestigious Hay House writers like to tell us about. For 2 books, I’ve been told I haven’t sold any and I know copies have been sold as I’ve seen some book outlets in the US with second hand copies available. Wonder about that!! As for them, I will be doing the same, terminating my contract. Oh and when I asked for information on royalties I could not access their roundabout avenue to see what I should have earned. Hard push.

    1. Oh Pat, I’m so sorry that this happened to you to. All I can add, is that I actually bought one of my own books, and then sent them the receipt, and so they had no choice but to locate my lost royalties. So in the end, I did finally get some royalties. But whether it’s worth the effort or not, only you can decide. Best of luck in terminating your contract and sharing your book xx

  15. Hi. Tamra, You are a God sent at this moment. I am a first time writer and was surfing the web for Publishing companies self and or traditional. Among some of the publishing houses, Balboa Press a sister company of Hay House have been trying to persuade me to go with them as I have almost completed my book. An autobiography/inspirational story. They have been calling me constantly and offering 50% discount expiring end March and promising moon and the stars.

    Yes, like you felt, my inner self said something was not right as they sounded too good to be true. Another company Xlibris Publishing was also trying hard to convince me putting me high on the pedestal. For some reason the guy I talked to at Xlibris and Balboa Press sounded the same. Same tone and pattern. I inquired from the Balboa press guy if he was the same person, to which he denied.

    I was almost on the verge of signing a contract next week but as Providence would have it, I just read your message and thank God and thank you for guiding vulnerable people like us who get caught in such scams. I am a widow and explained to them that I earn my bread butter working very hard and cannot afford the deals they are offering. I was stressed and was thinking how to go about it. They also assured me of their honesty and how Karma will turn against them if they do something wrong. I’m grateful to you for this huge favor and saving me from a disaster by falling into wrong hands. May God bless you.

    1. Oh Mary! My absolute pleasure!!! I was in the financial position to sign the deal, but I know many writers who were not, and they have put themselves in precarious positions to agree to these deals that lead to a complete mess. So I am so very glad my experience has been able to save many people the stress and heartache. I wish you well in finding the perfect publisher for you, or the perfect self-publishing journey you need to take. Just remember, to trust your heart. She will always guide you in the right direction. Much love xx

  16. My worst fears confirmed . Things were going well . I was writing my book – now with an option to publish . Before Xmas , the hard sell began to purchase an editing package . I’m not financially well placed let’s say , and I was promised a payment plan of a nominal amount paid fortnightly . I just had to call 5 days before the first payment was due to arrange the different payment plan . No payment plan exists ! A big lie to get a sale . Thankfully when I think about it as I would’ve started paying for it . I’m trying to break my contract and they of course want to charge me cancellation fees even though they have breeched the contract terms ( scamming not allowed ) . Any way , from reading all of this it doesn’t even look like they refund what they owe without a titans battle . Being Aspergers I don’t know if I should . Your so right and I needed to hear it – if I fight them it will be me who suffers . However … Has any one got their money back from a cancelled contract ? Consultants and finance department all based in the Phillipines .

    1. Oh Michele. I am so sorry for this. All I can hope is that you hadn’t paid too much too them already. Sending you lots of love as you navigate the best way through this one. And please know, sometimes, the most loving thing you can do for yourself is let it all go and start again. xx

  17. Hi there,
    Thanks for all these warnings about BALBOA!
    I have signed up with them years ago after I participated in a Hay House workshop in Sydney.
    Now that my book is ready to be published, I just couldn’t overcome this gut feeling that they are dodgy.
    Many red flags in a few days!
    So I will pull out of this!
    And then?
    Does anyone of you know a good self publishing company???

    1. Pleasure. So glad the blog was able to help you in making a better decision for you. I’m yet to find a good self-publishing company, but when I do, I will certainly share it xx

  18. G ‘day my fellow writters. I too came close to falling for their scams. however i was onto them quicker than a seagull onto a sick prawn(shrimp)!
    after many phone calls my alarm bells wear screaming out loud… they wanted me to get a NEW ISBN witch they do I my behalf at a cost.. I already printed a few thousand copies at my own cost, but the “New” isbn would make bigger sales.. really? Q how does a new ISBN translate into new book sales. ? the saleman, was flopping around on the beach… i said NO! they even threatern me for copyright breach on my own work… “really go for it ” I said..no legal action to date. I am still waiting… my childrens book sales are growing and getting more and more notice,without them. yes a hard slow slog…. I just wish the writting press would not publish these scammers advertising ads….sand save the new writters pain. as for me and trevor the tram we are contining our journey on the road of self publishing…

    1. Yes, as you can read from the comments, I’m not the only one who had this experience. It’s just quite shocking that this is still happening to people. I am so sorry, but I actually decided just to offer my books for sale from my website, as I have a stash of hardcopies I had printed before I signed up with Balboa, so I’m not currently working with a publisher. Although that may change in the future 🙂 Good luck in finding the right person for you xx

  19. Hi Tamra. Another sucker is born. I have read a lot of your followers reviews about Balboa Press, and I realise that, from your first review till now, this company is still successfully scamming. Unfortunately, in my computer skills Naivete’, I asked the question online, How does one Self Publish? Balboa were the first and only group to call me, much to my later, regret. Knowing absolutely nothing, I was taken in. The Package offers they make are now called Chapters 1,2,3 and 4. I chose Chapter 4, which was offering me a hardcover copy for self, 40 soft cover copies for self distribution, and all the other incentives you were offered, all the help I would need, web site, royalties etc, and it was only going o cost me $5800.00 AU, but if I made my decision quickly, the Chapter 4 package would only cost me $3,400.00Au. Unwittingly, I accepted, thinking that that was the end cost, Oh no. That was just the beginning cost. I sent them all my material, which had to be transferred from Pages, in which I had saved it all, to Word, which they would only accept. One month and they sent me back 4 of my first Poems,(I am a Poet and my book was to be called Poetically Speaking: An Anthology), completely covered in red ink, showing me the error of my poor diction. I thought I had edited quite well but, as they pointed out, they must provide the highest standard for my benefit, based on the requirements of the Standards of San Francisco, or some place like that. I could see a year of self correcting, so I was convinced to utilise their editing service. When the work came back, all the spacings had disappeared, everything was cramped up into a small font, and all my Poems flowed straight on, from one Poem to the next, with only the title separating the actual poems. Then, the marketing costs followed. They pushed me to the limit of what I had set myself, and then pushed some more, till I finally had to say, you can’t get any more blood out of this stone. I want my initial contract honoured, that is, provide me with my 40 books and the money you have taken for publishing, and I will terminate my contract. I heard nothing for a month, and then a personal phone call offering me an Audiobook contract, utilising what I had already paid for publishing, plus just another $2000.00 Au. When I let fly at her about how badly I felt I had been treated, she said that she was not from that company, but that they had received many similar complaints about disgruntled clients of Balboa. It didn’t even click that she had my telephone number, to ask where did she get it. This company is called Booktrail Agency, and I have learned that this company name used to be Balboa before all the complaints. Now, according to my source, this is where Balboa sends people, when they figure they can’t bleed any more money from them. I have heard nothing from either company for well over a month now, and this debacle has gone on for the last 12 months since I first started looking. (September 2020 till 2021)
    I don’t hold out any hope of ever seeing even poor quality books, much less returned money, but I hope that this may help other would be writers to DO THEIR HOMEWORK VERY CAREFULLY FIRST. The sad thing is that, because of Covid Worldwide, and because I am a primary target, for underlying health reasons, I thought, to gift a book of my Poetical works to Family and friends as a Legacy, to remember me by, would be a nice thing to do. I have never lived through such a time of so many deceitful uncaring so called Human Beings. I am quite honestly, ashamed. Thank you Tamra, for giving me a platform to vent my spleen.

    1. Oh David. I am so very sorry to hear about your experience. Sorry but not surprised. Honestly, the whole process is fraught with flaws, as you experienced. You know there are places online where you can publish your book yourself for a limited number of copies. If you want to leave it to your family, I would recommend that route, as it’s far cheaper. I wish you well, and hope you can move forward from this awful experience with Balboa. Thanks for sharing your story – hopefully it will help others stay clear of them, and save themselves the heartache and money.

  20. I note with interest your comments and those of the others that responded. I myself have also been bitten by the same dog, but I would like to add some others, e.g. Lawrence, Book Trail, Folio Lane, Golden Pen and more. I have been writing for 5 years, and have published 5 books. I recently noted all my books appear without any permission from me on Amazon, and interestingly, I have not yet received one cent in royalties either from the publishers or from Amazon. I have written to Amazon and had no response. Shonky publishers is one thing, But Amazon?? Can we believe this? Anyone else out there with the same experience? Signed, Anthony.

    1. Anthony, I am so sorry you’ve had this experience too, and with so many different organisations too! I hope you’re able to find a way to publish in a way that has more integrity. Big love on this journey.

  21. Thank you for your experiences. I have the same experience with not only Balboa Press but also with Austin Macauley – London. After all the “selling” to the world they managed to sell 18 copies for a royalty payment of 96 pounds about 160 AU dollars. I am waiting for my Balboa Press royalty statement to come in June but have my doubts. I paid $5500 for the first book Around New Zealand in 14 days and only paid $1800 for the 2nd book Around Australia’s Coastline – plus Norfolk Island, some Papua New Guinea and Lombok (Indonesia. These books are photo log books and Balboa said they guarantee worldwide sales! I have seen only 2 online websites listing the book so I believe you are right. Once they have the money that is it. As for hard sell. They continually ring me asking if they can book the next book at a cost off course. My advice is TO STAY AWAY FROM BOTH PUBLISHERS and see if you can find a really reputable one for your book. Good luck.

    1. Thankyou so much for sharing your experience. It really helps, with all of us sharing, so that hopefully people in the future will be able to publish is a trust-worthy way. I hope you have been able to stay positive through this and are able to find the right publisher for you 🙂 Big love xx

  22. I have been with Balboa Press for a year now. For the past 8 months, I have been feeling this strange feeling in my gut, that something very wrong is taking place. Yet I could not place my finger on it other than the project coordinator had left and they put someone else on my file without letting me know. As it turned out that person was extremely rude, I asked to have another project coordinator and was told she was the boss of that department. My book is a self-actualization book that was seriously channeled to me within 10 days with images and techniques and tools etc…so it is my baby and done also for my clients and others who would benefit from it. I spent time getting images done on Canva as I saw them in my vision and placed them lovingly in every chapter according to what was written. They screwed it up royally when they submitted my final review, some were just black the rest were placed in all the wrong order plus no one reviewed them or even looked at their resolution. Prior to that, my book was perfectly edited and they sent me an edited review that I loved and so I said yes to only discover the person they used to edit the first few pages was not the same person that edited after I paid extra. I asked why and they said it is not my choice who edited it. I was flabbergasted and told them I only asked for more editing due to the person who edited the sample edit. They keep taking money. I closed that door. However, I was arguing with all of them as they refused to admit that they screwed up my book. I really wanted Hay House to find my book and publish it (yes the glittery glowing fantasy got me to say yes to BalboaPress) My inner guidance system stopped me from sending my final review and approval. As the cover design they created was terrible, my 8-year-old did a better job. They added an image that the liabilities team had said they cannot put it in. They have been throwing me from one person to the next. Extremely unprofessional and they have no idea what they are doing. They see dollar bills and have no care about anything else. I came across the group on Facebook that was also in distress from Balboa Press. And I finally found this amazing post today after I asked the Divin to help guide me. I was afraid that I would not know how to self-publish. I am not even sure if I can fully trust Amazon though, Have you tried to publish with them? And how did you publish it on your website as an e-book? Is it a PDF version? FYI I published my first book with Freisenpress however they do not help with marketing at all…yet it is on Amazon and now discovering problems with the royalties that are not showing up. So I feel like there is so much deception taking place in the world of publishers and causing so much distress and pain to the authors. I am not looking to make money off my books (maybe a little) however I want my book out there to be of service….. it is crazy honestly what is happening. Where are the trusted souls out there, the lightworkers who are in publishing companies to help the creatives of the world to read? I wonder

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had this awful experience. Thankyou so much for sharing though. Hopefully, we can help stop others from going through the same thing. I only have my books available on my website now. I had a print run done before I joined Balboa and I also had a professional do the EBook formatting for me. So I have three different format options available for each E-book. At this point I’m not actively promoting my books, but am working on two more, so when they’re finished I will most likely self-publish on my own, and go back into promotion. If this is a route that you want to go down and have some guidance, you might like Amanda Francis’ book publishing course. She’s a bold character, but she has really valuable information to help people do it on their own. I hope that helps 🙂

  23. Thank you for your article, and the help you offer authors who have suffered the deceptions of BalboaPress. I will take a look at Amanda Franci’s book publishing course and see what she offers, I appreciate the info you shared 🙂 I did not know that there needed to be so many different formats for E-books!!! It is amazing that you are in the process of writing two more books, that is pretty exciting 🙂 I just noticed the time you sent me your reply 11:11. I will look I love it when I am connected with another Lightworker (being of light) that is also helping guide people to their self-love and self-actulaization. I finally left Balboa 3 days ago. I sent them an email and waiting for them to send me papers to cancel my contract. Of course no refund, however, I learned a lot due to this experience. They triggered so many of my shadows and I was able to work through it and release lots of ancestrial wounds and trauma. I am also very vocal about what happened in hopes that others can avoid that experience with them.

    Thank you again Tamara for this blog post, for your help, and for your honesty. May your books be seen and loved by humanity and help evolve them to a higher vibrational frequency. 🙂 In loving light Rain

    1. Good luck with cutting ties with Balboa. And yes, it’s all a learning journey – that’s for sure 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. And may you also get your words and magic out to those who need it most. Big love xx

  24. Hi Tamra …big thanks for your Balboa rant…have just discovered I’m in the same boat…with my 5 year work on ‘Earthing, A Biodynamic Gardening Novel. ‘ How can they get away with being such criminals? I’m not tech savvy but perhaps we victims of their abuse could promote each others works. Thank you so much for your letting go of the trauma…it was helpful for me. Wishing you love and luck.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you too have been taken advantage of. You book sounds amazing! Would love to have a read, if it is available, and promote it if it is aligned with my audience 🙂 My email is hello@gettingnaked.com.au Sending lots of love as you navigate a new path to promoting your book xx

  25. So glad I found snd read your write up on this printing company, as I’ve had communication with them today and felt something just wasn’t right.
    So tomorrow when they ring, I’ll decline their offer..
    Thank you do very much..
    Kind regards

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