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Publisher's book fair questioned amid financial troubles

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An Indianapolis vanity publisher that has rankled at least a handful of local authors insists that a book fair to benefit the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital will eventually take place despite a string of postponements.

New Century Publishing on East 86th Street had been scheduled to host the charity event on July 31 at the Marten House Hotel and Lilly Conference Center, near St. Vincent Hospital and its children’s hospital.

The publisher now says the "Festival of Books" event, which could attract up to 60 local authors, will be held Oct. 2 at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 30 before being moved to March 6, then to July 31.

But whether the book fair actually occurs—at least at the museum—remains in question. A museum spokeswoman confirmed that it has received a request to stage the event, but a final determination has not been made.

On top of that, St. Vincent is reconsidering its affiliation with New Century in light of the postponements, hospital spokesman Johnny Smith said.

While St. Vincent typically trusts the credibility of individuals and organizations that want to support its children’s hospital, it’s going to “take a closer look at its alignment with New Century Publishing and the Festival of Books in the coming days,” Smith said.

Authors pay $50 for a booth at the book fair and agree to donate $1 to the children’s hospital for each book they sell.

New Century Publishing was founded in 2004 by David Caswell, who operated it in his Indiana Authors Bookstore downtown at 36 E. Maryland St. until the bookstore closed in 2008. The publishing company then moved to 1040 E. 86th St.

Caswell, who has been sued by the state before over questionable business practices, didn’t return phone calls from IBJ. But Dan Fischer, New Century’s production manager, maintained the book fair will be held despite concerns about the publisher’s financial stability.

“Publishing companies are all experiencing problems, but we’re still hanging in there,” Fischer said. “We’re still answering the phones; we’re still addressing the questions as they’ve come up.”

New Century operates by charging a fee to publish an author’s book and typically takes a percentage of the profit of any book sales.

For Fred Cavinder, a retired Indianapolis Star editor who spent 37 years at the newspaper, that meant giving the company $2,500 in March 2009 to publish two of his books: "Hoosier Book of Humor" and "Toilets, Tubs and Tomfoolery."

But after New Century stopped answering his e-mails and telephone calls about a month ago, and still without any books, Cavinder questioned whether the publisher is still operating. With seven previous books under his belt, he insisted he’s “not ignorant” about the publishing industry.

“This time I violated my standing policy and I invested some money in it, so it shows you what greed does,” Cavinder said.

Fischer maintained he was unaware of Cavinder’s situation and said he would check into it. Meanwhile, Cavinder, who still has not heard from the publisher, said he is not confident about getting his money back, or getting his books published.

Cavinder, though, is not the only author who has experienced problems with New Century.

Rex Early, former chairman of the Indiana Republican State Committee and a principal at Indianapolis-based Consolidated Insurance Services Inc., wrote a satire of Indiana politics, "It’s a Mighty Thin Pancake That Don’t Have Two Sides." New Century printed about 2,000 copies of the book in 2008, with proceeds going to charity. But when Early paid the publisher to print 1,000 additional copies, it only produced 200, and those books fell apart, Early recalled.

“My relationship with New Century Publishing was disappointing to say the least,” Early said.

Local attorney Kip Tew, a former Indiana Democratic Party chairman, signed a contract in March 2009 to have New Century publish his book, "Journey to Blue: How Barack Obama Won Indiana in 2008."

But Tew cut ties with the company in November, after it became evident the book would not be available by Christmas, Tew said. Carmel-based Hawthorne Publishing published the book instead.

Tew declined to divulge how much money he gave New Century. But he said he’s contemplating litigation.

“The book ended up costing me twice as much as it should have because [David] Caswell didn’t do what he was supposed to do,” Tew said.

Caswell has been sued before for questionable business practices.

In March 2008, he agreed to a “consent judgment” without trial in a lawsuit brought by the state of Indiana. Marion Superior Court documents said the judgment does not constitute an admission by the defendant of any wrongdoing.

The state sued Caswell and two others in 2005 for violating its Deceptive Consumer Sales Act while working at GCM Group of Indianapolis Inc., a career services firm. The defendants claimed they had access to a “hidden job market” to assist clients who purchased their services to secure employment.

Under the judgment, Caswell agreed to pay $60,000, including more than $56,000 to the state, in civil penalties and litigation costs, in addition to more than $3,000 in restitution to three consumers.

He also was ordered to cease doing business as a supplier of career services in Indiana.

The state also sued Caswell in 1990 for similar claims while he operated Thomwell Deil and Associates Inc. He then was ordered to pay a total of $39,600, including $16,600 in restitution.

In December 1993, he pleaded guilty in federal court to four counts of interstate transportation of fraudulently obtained money and two counts of failure to file income tax returns.

His 14-month sentence was upheld in September 1994 following a failed appeal challenging the calculation of the prison term.






 

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  • "Publisher" David W. Caswell
    Your July 10, 2010 story re David Caswell's New Century Publishing...I, and I am sure the others involved in the attorney general's filing against David Caswell: Received a nice sheaf of papers from the AG, but not a penny or any other satisfaction from Caswell and company. Any follow-up from your interest?
  • a year I won't get back
    I signed a contract with New Century last year with a loan from my mother. I have waited a long time while they've used every excuse in the book. As recently as two weeks ago David Caswell emailed me to say he still plans to publish my book. I've never been more disappointed about anything in my life. At 53 I just lost a year to a dream killer, not to mention money. How can I move ahead here?
  • Off to Court
    I have recently filled charges against New Century, David Caswell, and Dan Fischer. I would encourage all of you who have been ripped off by these people to do the same.
    • Author
      New Century Publishing entered into contract with me in February 2009 to publish my book, A Dark and Bloody Ground: Sowing the Wind. After excessive delays the book finally came into print in September. After bantering with Daniel Fishner for 3 week we finally received our 100 book order the day before we left for a critical event. We were sitting in the parking lot waiting for the UPS truck on the morning we left for Kentucky to attend the event. In November NCP stiffed us for a forty book order and we've yet to receive either the books ordered or a refund of the monies spent.
    • CLOSE THE DOORS
      It is very sad that David Caswell has turned out to be so dishonest. It is time for NCP to close the doors FOREVER and David needs to serve time in jail as well as pay everyone their money back. I am SOOOOO disappointed in the whole staff. He has trained them well to lie and cover for him!!
    • Very Unhappy
      I too am a New Century author. I received my book initially, although 10 of the 125 covers were damaged. Dan Fischer said he would take care of it immediately. That was August of 2009. No replaced covers yet. I ordered another 125 books three weeks before Christmas after an assurance that a reorder takes only 2 weeks. I received 65 of the books in March 2010, and was told by Dan that he could not fit the remaining 60 nor the 10 replacement covers in his car since he was carrying so many other author's books that day. I was told the remainder would be in the following week. Three weeks later I asked him, where are they? He said the printer must have lost them since they were sitting on the dock when he picked up the partial order three weeks earlier. They also have a $50 table fee paid to them last fall for the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital benefit signing. Unfortunately a lot of us have been hook-winked. Yes, some have said that New Century Publishing, Dave Caswell, Dan Fischer and crew have followed through at times, but little honesty packed with a lot of dishonesty does not make for any integrity at all.
      • Really Dave?
        I saw you on the news today. I thought the first time I would ever see you would be at the book signing. Guess I was wrong.
      • not a surprise
        no big surprise here. David Caswell was a fraud at Haldane, now he's a fraud in publishing. I couldn't believe when i heard him on a radio commercial a while back on WXNT 1430 promoting this publishing company. What a joke you are David.
      • Wrong
        This wasnâ??t financial stupidity or a bad business decision; this is about a con. A straight up con committed by a convicted convict. This is about a tag team effort by Dave and Dan to enter into contracts and accept money with no intention of making good on their end of the deal. This is about fraud. If it were only poor business decisions then NCP would have, at the very least, contacted the authors, the editors, the printers, the graphic artists, the customers, any and everyone else they owed a product or money and acknowledged their mistakes, but they never did that, nor have they ever. Instead, as many have stated in the comments below, they made excuses or became hostile when asked direct questions, never owning up to their mistakes because I donâ??t feel these were mistakes, NCP knew exactly what they were doing and they have succeeded. How many times and in how many different ways is Mr. Caswell going to be allowed to get away with this?
      • Rafael Sanchez investigates
        It seems this article spurred Rafaeal to look into NCP. If you haven't already, check it out here:

        http://www.theindychannel.com/news/24530952/detail.html

        And there's a follow-up here:

        http://www.theindychannel.com/news/24542858/detail.html

        Former congressman Jacobs' comments are most interesting.
      • Caswell in the news
        In a Sept. meeting, Caswell promised a rooomfull of authors "you'll all have your books for holiday sales." It didn't happen..editors and designers weren't paid, books didn't go to press, lies and phony excuses were given...people were bilked. The man has owed the state of Indiana $39,000 for 20 years; who gets away with that kind of debt..how about the IRS. He started up so many fraudulent business and got away with them for a time, someone will write a book about him.
      • reply to Karma
        You people exaggerate beyond belief.New Century has published many fine books.They didn't sit in their office and take people's money and publish nothing.They eventually fell on hard times and could not produce what they promised.That doesn't make them mugger's and thieves...it makes them vulnerable to financial stupidity. They should have realized at some point that they couldn't handle the situation and informed everyone of the problem. Instead, they kept trying to stay afloat. Unfortunately, they all drowned in the process.How many people out there have charged things knowing they couldn't pay for the services and ended up in bankruptcy? We don't call them thieves and throw them in jail. If people want to get mad and get their money back somehow, that is fine but don't add gasoline to the fire while doing so.
        • i will probably take them to court
          they didnt do my book at all the way I wanted it done, it was not edited at all. Im probably going to take them to court as well. They are good cons on the first meeting preying on people's dreams to publish their first book.
        • Dave, Dan and the Crew
          Yes, Author House may publish everything, but they don't deceive anyone. They are self-publishers and don't claim to be anything else. New Century Publishing makes a point to state repeatedly that they are NOT a vanity press or self publisher, which is also true because they really don't publish anything. They are thieves, plain and simple, they take your money and you don't get what is promised in return. They manipulate and exploit people. Is it as a Head Hunter preying on someone's need to get a job or is it as a Publisher telling a frustrated writer exactly what they want to hear? Does it matter? Taken down to the lowest common denominator, Dave, Dan, and the crew are no better common thugs who will mug you on a street corner for your wallet. No, wait, that's too harsh, with a mugger at least you know where you stand.
          • Dave, Dan and the Crew
            Yes, Author House may publish everything, but they donâ??t deceive anyone. They are self-publishers and donâ??t claim to be anything else. New Century Publishing makes a point to state repeatedly that they are NOT a vanity press or self publisher, which is also true because they really donâ??t publish anything. They are thieves, plain and simple, they take your money and you donâ??t get what is promised in return. They manipulate and exploit people. Is it as a Head Hunter preying on someoneâ??s need to get a job or is it as a Publisher telling a frustrated writer exactly what they want to hear? Does it matter? Taken down to the lowest common denominator, Dave, Dan, and the crew are no better common thugs who will mug you on a street corner for your wallet. No, wait, thatâ??s too harsh, with a mugger at least you know where you stand.
          • author house
            Author House will print anything regardless of whether it is good or not. They are a mass producer of printed material. If you were to go to any big publishing house it would take anywhere from 1 to 2 years {or more]to get a published book. New Century is a small publishing firm. I have heard people complain because their book wasn't finished in 3 months. Get real! You people have no idea how much effort, time and money it takes to publish a book from scratch. I am not defending New Century concerning their financial problems, but I get tired of hearing writer's complain because they didn't have instant results.
            • tip iof iceberg
              story and comments are tip of iceberg. 16 months ago I paid for a book, put off and put off. Two months ago I went to Author House and they gave me the book in 13 working days and it's now on Amazon and on sale at the Victory Field Gift Shop. Caswell says that Symphony orchestra leadrtr's book will solve all the financial problems and adds that Sunday at the Circle wil,l be a book signing for Raymond Leppardf and that England's Prince Charles will accompany him to the formasl affair. Sure!
            • comment out of place
              Aren't you special! This isn't grade school and no one is asking you to correct spelling in the first place.
            • NEW CENTURY PUBLISHING
              I am sure NCP has been a major part of many authors getting their book(s) published. However, they have been or shall I say currently are a major cause of many authors, designers and editor suffering, emotionally and financially. They knew they were in trouble financially and it is WRONG to take money for a product that you cannot produce. It is WRONG to take money for books that you do not have. WRONG IS WRONG...
              I am glad someone had a good experience, but for those who did not - they deserve A REFUND and AN APOLOGY!!
            • bad spelling suggests limited?
              Learn to spell "separate"--I judge opinions and merits by author's grasp of English--and politics, in this case
              • Mayor Greg Ballard
                Mayor Grey Ballard started the Indianapolis Writer's Group that met each month at the New Century Bookstore downtown. When New Century moved to E.86th street they opened the Center for the Written Art. The mayor attended the dedication for the support of all writers...not for support of New Century Publishing which is a seperate entity. Please get your facts straight before you make remarks that could hurt someone.
                • Get the facts straight
                  Nothing in the article sites Dan Fischer in any wrong doing, nor is he mentioned in any lawsuits with or without Dave Caswell. Let's not slur people's names because you are upset about something. They had a receptionist. Are you going to call her a crook too just because she worked in the office?
                • Good Experience
                  I'm not sure if all of these comments are from different people or one or two disgruntled people. I had a book published by New Century and it was well made. I also was given the opportunity to attend book signings, symposiums, etc. hosted by New Century. My overall experience has been positive. I do believe that the company has been plagued by financial problems and should have been more up front with people about what was going on. I am disappointed to see people drag Dan Fischer and Betty Burgess down with Dave. Even if Dave Caswell has a history of questionable practices, that doesn't mean that Dan and Betty are aware of what's going on. They could very well be victims of the situation.I know other people have had good experiences with NCP. I would like for them to come forward also.
                • Mayor Greg Ballard
                  Was not Mayor Greg Ballard a featured speaker at the dedication of New Century Publishing new office on 86 street in 2008? Any background checking on Dave Caswell or Dan Fischer? Are not weatherman Chris Wrights books featured on their walls in their office as them promoting his work ie. photographs of the room show this to be the case. Is anyone checking up on fraud?
                  • Maybe many authors
                    The lead sentence about "maybe a handful of rankled authors" may turn out to be an underestimate of the number of people,(authors,editors and designers) who have been bilked by David Caswell and Dan Fischer.
                  • Some info you need to be aware of
                    Hello, you may want to read the info on this site and the comments after just so you know about this company.

                    http://www.ibj.com/local-publishers-book-fair-questioned-amid-financial-troubles/PARAMS/article/21357

                    http://vlex.com/vid/america-plaintiff-david-w-caswell-defendant-36103247

                    http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=17935&print=1

                    http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/36/29/563074/

                    To name a few, also check with the Attorney General's office.

                    Check the July 30 issue of Indianapolis Business Journal - an article exposing long-time fraudulent businessman David Caswell and his partner Dan Fischer who have stolen from and duped people including some big names in Indianapolis in their rip-off publishing business.
                  • Completely Dissappointed
                    Wow, I appreciate that this article has happened so hopefully others won't get ripped off the way I have. I was promised a published book of my poetry. I signed a contract about a year ago and sent $1500 in the mail. How was I to know it was this bad----so many people ripped off, a history of business practices ripping people off. Dan & Dave at New Century Publishing are constantly making promises and not keeping them. Dan even said, "Jennifer you deserve a refund." Will I ever see it? Doubtful. I have filed formal complaints with a number of places and hope some accountability can be required of Dan, Dave & New Century Publishing.
                  • Same Aweful Experienc
                    I too am an author conned by New Century Publishing/New Century Communication. BBB had no negative comment on their business practices so I went ahead. Like Kip Tew and others I was promised an order of books by last December (2009) and I still am waiting for them. Dan Fischer & David Caswell insisted that money be paid the day ordered in order to receive my portion of the books within a few weeks. In their typical 'nice' voices they have delayed and lied. I do hope the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau go down on them hard and stick up for Indiana citizens. I also have confirmation that one of the authors also stiffed is from out of state and paid via the mail. Is federal mail fraud as well?
                  • I smelled a rat
                    I sincerely hope the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital will not have anything more to do with them, and also that the Indianapolis Children's Museum will NOT have any book signing or anything more to do with them. The last thing either of you needs is to be associated with the trash that calls themselves New Century Publishing and David Caswell or Dan Fischer, let alone anyone else that works there.

                    They are criminals and liars. Go online and Google their names etc. I was lucky, after talking with them I had a very bad feeling and did not give them a dime nor anything else. Even though I got several phone calls and e-mails trying to talk/pressure me into it. Finally I told them to never contact me again. I didn't trust them any further than I could throw them.

                    It was a very short time later when my cousin contacted me about all the legal problems she was having and what she had found out from the Attorney General and her attorney. These guys are con artists and embezzlers. Their reputation or lack thereof is in the gutter. The quality of their books is trash.

                    If the Hospital and Museum cares about their reputations they won't let these criminals on their property and will disassociate themselves form them 100%. A disclaimer in the paper would be a good idea... I hope the Attorney General sends them to jail. Good luck to everyone that was swindled by them, I hope you all recover your money and send them to jail for a long time.
                    • Book editor, got stiffed
                      I edited two books for NCP and have not been paid anything. I was promised "as many books as I could handle" to edit. I'm glad I didn't accept any more projects. They are deceptively nice people who had no business hiring me as an editor if they couldn't pay me.
                    • Need a good Lawyer
                      Wow... I'm suing. Any good lawyers want to take on a case of a bunch of broke writers?
                    • Flim Flam Man
                      David Caswell is a convicted felon and con artist. I too fell sway to his con game but caught on soon enough to get out (after suing him to get my money back) and I and my book are both much better for it. Stupidly, I never checked him out before I signed with NCP because a cursory check will tell you everything you need to know about his business dealings.
                      If you think you will get your money back by negotiating with him, you need to think again. He will lie, stall, and divert while never paying you a cent of what he owes. If you are one of the many authors who have been swindled by him or one of the many people who ordered a book that either fell apart or was never delivered, I would recommend letting someone know. The Attorney general has a consumer complain division for just such things.
                    • Lied to.
                      When David Caswell hired me to edit one of his clients book, I tried to refuse the job. I told him I had no prior book editing experience. Yet he insisted that I was the perfect candidate for the role, and all but twisted my arm until I reluctantly accepted.

                      He paid me half the fee we agreed on up front. When the amount of editing work the book required far exceeded what Caswell initially described, he promised to pay me an additional $700. He forced the author to pay half of it. Then, he fell mysteriously ill, and stopped returning both my and the author's phone calls and emails. The book was never printed by NCP, and I never received either the second half of my original fee or the half of the additional fee Caswell promised to pay. Likewise, my wife has also been stiffed for some design work she did for the company.

                      One other thing: My comments, as well as the others here, really don't do justice to just how shady the NCP folks are. Caswell, Betty Burgess, Dan Fischer -- they're unfailingly nice, yet (and I think others who have dealt with them will agree with me here) there's a faint yet unmistakable sense of creepiness about them. They smile too broadly. They praise too readily. And, quite obviously, they promise too much. I should have run away -- fast -- as soon as I sensed this. Unfortunately, many. many others -- undoubtedly desperate during a tough economy -- have been duped by these scam artists. Good on IBJ for finally shedding some light on their dark dealings.
                    • NCP
                      I forgot to add that I received an email from Michael Veon (who ever he) stating that "NCP's interest in the publication of my book can be purchased, otherwise they would be foolish to terminate the agreement. - WHAT!!!
                    • NEW CENTURY PUBLISHING
                      Like Kip Tew, NCP promised that I would have my book available by December 2009. After countless emails and phone calls. I finally received my books in May, 2010. My book; talks about my life since the homicides of my brother, and husband. The experience with NCP caused more stress for me than the deaths of my loved ones. At this point, NCP refuses to give me something in writing to end the agreement that they never kept to start with. I too paid $50.00 for the book signing that I know will NEVER happen. People have ordered my book from NCP, they didn't get a book and NCP will not give a refund!
                      • New Century Publishing
                        Caswell & company has owed me $l,570.00 since the end of last year. Toward the end of May, his lawyer asked if I'd accept installment payments; I said yes. No payments; a lump sum in June; no lump...it's now August and I have no hope of getting back the money which Dan Fischer led us to believe that (in an after-hours phone call in December) would, if promptly paid, insure prompt printing of a book. Someone else printed my book. There's a long history of fraudulent business going on here that is a matter of public record. Alibis, obfuscation, delaying tactics - and lies. I would never want New Century's name on anything I wrote.
                      • Unhappy Designer
                        I'm not one of the unhappy authors but I'm a very unhappy graphic designer that is owed a lot of money for cover and interior design of many, many author books. They have owed me money since December. The Indiana Attorney General is aware that they are still doing this and still have not shut them down. I agree, they should not be allowed to do business anywhere. They are just con people!!
                      • Same experience
                        I was one of the many authors who participated in the Indiana Author book anthologies published by New Century Publishing. We had the same experience with Dave and Dan. They had promised multiple promotional opportunities and advertising, most of which never took place. They took our money - $1500 from each of us, to go towards publishing and advertising, with the promise of a full return on investment and then some - then never paid us the full amount of our proceeds even for books already sold, mostly by the authors themselves. When I questioned them, I received rude answers and was never paid. These two should not be allowed to do business in Indiana.

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