CONSUMER OR CRIMINAL?! Did the (Alleged) Victims of America Star Books / ASB Promotions / PublishAmerica File Complaints with the WRONG DIVISION at the Maryland Attorney General’s Office?? (NOTE: It’s not too late to re-file!)

CONSUMER OR CRIMINAL?! Did the (Alleged) Victims of America Star Books / ASB Promotions / PublishAmerica File Complaints with the WRONG DIVISION at the Maryland Attorney General’s Office?? (NOTE: It’s not too late to re-file!)

There’s nothing more heartbreaking for an author than when their publisher stops paying their royalties, and stops responding to their correspondence. America Star Books / ASB Promotions (previously PublishAmerica) has been accused of these misdeeds, and much more. 

But, have the hundreds of authors who have filed complaints been reporting their publisher to the WRONG DIVISION at the Maryland Attorney General’s Office? Based on the information below, it appears they have! Remember, just because YOU, as an AUTHOR, understanding publishing and royalties doesn’t mean someone working at the attorney general’s office will. 

The Maryland Attorney General Apparently Needs YOUR Help Understanding the Complaints!!

Authors may have been reporting America Star Books / ASB Promotions / Publish America to the WRONG DIVISION at the Maryland Attorney General! If you are owed royalties, or if you paid for services or books that you never received, you may need to report them to the CRIMINAL DIVISION of the Maryland Attorney General…NOT the consumer division!

Specific contacts:

Elizabeth M. Embry, Chief (410) 576-6406; e-mail –
Katherine A. Dorian, Deputy Chief (410) 576-6383; e-mail –

Here’s what one author reported last week, which exposed the confusion at the AG’s office:

According to the MD consumer complaint line’s operator today, the department does log in the complaints against ASB (50 to date), and had done so against PA (230 reported), even though they were not actionable as consumer complaints. However, that is as far as it went and no action has been taken.

To confirm this, I telephoned Unit Manager of the AG’s Consumer Complaints Division, Maryland. She returned my call, and restated that my complaint is not a consumer issue, and is not actionable, but that my complaint and all others received are logged in.

She said my complaint is not a crime being committed, it is “just a company going out of business.” She said the Tate Publishing case in Arizona involved embezzlement and that was a crime.

I told her my royalties are not being paid and that 50 complaints about ASB and 230 complaints filed about Publish America document the company collecting payment for actual goods, and royalties being collected, but no goods have been provided in return, and the author’s share of the royalties have not been paid, and that is a criminal complaint.

She said she didn’t realize this and she will notify the state’s criminal division.

As I explained in THIS ARTICLE, this is how money is supposed to flow from a book-buying consumer…all the way down to the author:

1. Customer pays retailer
2. Retailer pays distributor/printer
3. Distributor/printer pays publisher
4. Publisher pays author

Publishers are supposed to put their authors’ royalties into an account until it’s time to pay those authors. If they don’t, and if they spend that money elsewhere (and never pay the authors), they can (and should) be charged with a crime.

With regards to complaints about undelivered books and services – if they were (allegedly) collecting money for services they knew they’d never be able to perform, or books they never planned to print (because they may have been planning to shut their doors), that, too, would get them into hot water. Likewise, if they collected money for services or books, failed to deliver, and then didn’t issue refunds to the authors (because they may have spent the money elsewhere), that can also lead to additional legal problems for the publisher.

If you believe you are a victim, and especially if they owe you royalties, you may want to contact the Criminal Division  of the Maryland Attorney General’s office. If you already filed a complaint with their consumer division, you can file another one with the criminal division.

Next week, we’ll explain possible options that authors of America Star Books / ASB Promotions / Publish America have for getting their books back on the market.


Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors. - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

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See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE

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One Response to "CONSUMER OR CRIMINAL?! Did the (Alleged) Victims of America Star Books / ASB Promotions / PublishAmerica File Complaints with the WRONG DIVISION at the Maryland Attorney General’s Office?? (NOTE: It’s not too late to re-file!)"

  1. pamelaallegretto  November 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    You are so kind to pass along this information.