Ok guys, this is a post that I didn’t really want to do, but felt it was my only option. When I decided to self publish my book I wanted to do it right. The only way to do a good job was to get it edited. I chose someone I met on Twitter (yes I know not everyone on Twitter can be trusted). Jessica Hollis Brown, whose Twitter tag is @jbrowncr seemed nice and friendly. I sent her the first chapter, which she edited and sent back. It seemed ok.
We agreed she would edit my book. This was in December 2011. Before she did any more work she requested 50% of the money upfront, which is perfectly normal. What isn’t normal, is that after I paid the $400 I didn’t receive any more of my edited manuscript. As time went by I emailed and it usually took 3 of my emails to get one back. Then the excuses started: from “my computer cord broke” to “my husband had an epileptic fit” to an email from her ‘husband’ which told me she was in hospital with pneumonia, even the fact that she had to travel out of town to attend a friend’s funeral. I don’t know if I’m naïve, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
By March I was sick of it so I told her she had one week to send me the manuscript or I was cancelling our agreement and wanted my money back. Of course I haven’t seen the manuscript or one cent of my money. She offered to pay it off in installments, about a month ago, but nothing has come through. I sent her an email over a week ago, telling her the only option I had left was to tell everyone about my experience. I haven’t heard back from her, surprise, surprise.
So this is just to let you know my experience. I am very disappointed and $400 poorer, money I can ill afford to lose. But I guess some people are dishonest and I was unlucky enough to find one of them. So just a warning, because there’s nothing else I can do. Paypal cannot get my money back and because I didn’t pay with credit card the bank can’t help. I’ll be more careful next time, but that’s little consolation now. Her website is http://jessiebincr.wordpress.com/category/creativity/ and she is on Facebook.
Sorry to be a Negative Nelly but I want to make sure I save someone else the trauma of losing so much money. If Jessica wants to pay me back, I will gladly take this post down, but until then, it stays.
UPDATE 25th July, 2014: She is active again as Jessica A Hollis. Authors, beware. This is her Facebook profile https://www.facebook.com/jhollismomo4/about. She may end up making it private when she finds out about this, but as long as everyone is wary of her, my job is done.
UPDATE 17th August, 2019: I decided to see what she was up to, and ha ha, she’s still in jail. She was extra stupid and tried to flee to Canada to avoid her 60 month jail sentence for fraud. The Justice Department kindly gave her an additional 48 months of jail time. Her husband, who commented on this post, or maybe it was her commenting and pretending to be him, is also in jail, so yay. Glad the FBI are good at what they do. If you want to read about how stupid she is, here’s the link to sentencing information https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/north-carolina-woman-sentenced-48-months-prison-fleeing-country-avoid-telemarketing-fraud. I know it’s not zen of me, but sucked in, Jessica scam artist. You got what you deserved. Nice to know Karma is doing her job :).
UPDATE 6th December, 2021: Just a quick note to let you know she’s out of jail. Maybe she’s going to be a decent person this time around, but maybe not. Just in case, I would avoid her, or, at the very least, avoid doing business with her. This is her Facebook account https://www.facebook.com/J.A.Hollis1215. Feel free to check it out so you know who she is.