This article is reprinted by permission of J.A. Aarntzen:
7/18/2009 11:32:00 AM
by J.A. Aarntzen
Beware David Byron and NVH
David Byron, also known as Dan Byron and Iron Dave, contacted me through email about a year ago. He was then starting up his New Voices in Horror (NVH) online magazine and inquired if I would be interested in submitting a story for it. I sent him "Talking Libra" and this story was featured in the premiere volume of NVH Magazine.
A few months later David inquired if I would like to be interviewed for an upcoming NVH issue. I agreed to do this as well. The interview never did appear in any editions of NVH.
In February or March of this year, David decided to go into the book publishing business and asked through a general email for submissions. I sent him my just completed manuscript "Mosquitoes in Heaven". David liked it and it was going to be the first novel published by NVH Books. David had his people edit the book and once that was complete, he provided me with a cover. I was pretty impressed and was looking forward to having a good relationship with my new publisher.
In the meantime David also went into an agreement with another author whom I won't identify outside of saying that his first name is Stuart and that he is an Englishman that lives in Spain. Stuart started sending me emails and he was greatly looking forward to having his first novel published. Even though Stuart was excited he was a little reticent about sending Dave money for copies of his books. He asked me if I thought David was above board and I had no reason at that point to think otherwise. Dave had afterall featured my story "Talking LIbra" in his online magazine and I had actually seen it there.
It was time for me to make my order. I wanted fifty copies of my book but strangely Dave talked me down to twenty-five. We agreed on a price of $400 and this I sent to him through PayPal. This was near the start of May. David told me that it would take two to four weeks before the books arrive. Stuart had also sent Dave the same amount of money for his books at about approximately the same time.
About two or three days later both Stuart and I received emails from David's email address. The emails were not from David but from his brother. His brother informed us that David had a stroke and would be incapicatated for a time. The brother did say though that he would be looking after Dave's business and that we could expect our books shortly.
After about three weeks my books and Stu's books had not arrived. I started receiving worried emails from Stuart. I told Stu not to worry. These things take time.
In the meantime there are new emails coming from NVH Books saying that they are not going to accept any new submissions and that they were going out of the publishing business.
When I contacted the brother and asked about my books, I was told about a new emergency in the family. Their mother had broken her arm and required the constant care from both brothers. This seemed rather a flimsy excuse but I was still told that my books were coming.
Stuart was getting very worried at this time. I told him to still wait. I still had some faith in Iron Dave. But when two more weeks lapsed without any books, I suggested to a very concerned Stuart that he perhaps check out the ISBN numbers on our books. Both books had one. When Stuart did this he discovered that our ISBN numbers actually belonged to Lulu Books and had nothing at all to do with NVH Books. Stuart wondered that maybe Dave was using Lulu Books to print our books but both of us thought it unlikely.
Both of us contacted Dave but we were now only receiving automated responses about NVH no longer existing. Dave nor his brother were answering any more.
Still more generic emails came from Iron Dave. He collapsed NVH Magazine and was now opening up a new website devoted to horror films. It was called New Voices in Film (NVF). He was out of promoting authors and was now promoting independent film makers. He kept his original mailing distribution list and he had the gall to send Stu and me these emails about his new operation even though he had never come through with his original contract obligations with either of us.
Both Stuart and I were in despair about what had happened to us. We sent Dave nasty and threatening emails but with no real response from him. We both really had no recourse to stop this man as he was an American and we were not, Stu being in Spain and me in Canada.
In late June I posted a message on my other publisher's author's forum warning the authors there about David Byron and NVH. And I am only now posting this news release here at Author's Den. I am angered about what had happened but I am not obsessed by it. I have learned a lesson although I really don't know what lesson I learned. Dave was legitimate at first as witnessed by his publishing of my story on his e-zine and Dave had talked me down from fifty to twenty-five books. These seem to be incongruent with what I would associate with a scam artist. But I have not received my books. Stuart has not received his books. Both of us are out money. Either Dave and his brother are very inept businessmen or they have taken shadiness to a more insidious level where you almost feel guilty about exposing them.
The one good thing that has come out of this is that Stuart and I are now good friends and we exchange emails on what it is like to live in each other's countries and we hardly mention Dave at all.
So in closing I wish to thank Iron Dave for introducing me to my displaced Englishman friend and for allowing me to having a news event to report here at AD. And I would like to warn any author or film maker to stay away from David Byron and any of his NV scams.
After I posted this news article, I received an email from Stuart. He had some interesting news. It appears that his book which is titled "The Well of Despair" now appears on Amazon but it is authored by somebody named Jack Burnett. When I looked this title up on Amazon and clicked on the book cover, it can be clearly seen that the name of the author of the book is not Jack Burnett but my friend Stuart and furthermore on the inside it also shows that the book is copyrighted by Stuart.
I searched Amazon for my title, "Mosquitoes in Heaven" but was unsuccessful in finding anything. But when I searched Amazon for Jack Burnett, lo and behold, among the dozen or so listings under this name were several issues of NVH Magazine!
I have a feeling that my book is out there somewhere under a different title and different author name.
So beware not only Iron Dave, David Byron, Dan Byron, but also now Jack Burnett!
So there you have it. If you too have been a victim of this guy there are a couple of websites I would like to share.
1. Entertainment and copyright attorney