Shoddy, unprofessional work, refuses to return manuscript.

My experience with Thornton Publishing and Books To Believe In was not a positive one. While my book did get published, I got very little assistance in helping me launch the book. I wasn't informed before the book was launched, there was no consultation about the price, and my questions met with scant understanding or service. Then, when I tried to move to another publisher Ms Thornton refused to return my manuscript files. My contract was explicit that I couldn't sell books through another publisher during a 30 day "notice" period. That was fine. But, Ms Thornton became very stubborn about returning my files, claiming it was a long "process that can not be rushed". That was completely disingenuous. I cannot recommend her service.
View full review
#630548 Review #630548 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Ellensburg, Washington
Reason of review
Refusal to return my property
Preferred solution
Return my Property
New Reviewer

Thornton Publishing, Profitable Publishing, Books to Believe In

Thornton Publishing of Parker, Colorado and Englewood, Colorado, which is also Books to Believe In, Profitable Publishing and perhaps other entities, and which is headed by Ellen Jean (aka EJ) Blake-Brock-Thornton-Craig although she never uses all of her names at once. It seems as the most common names she calls herself are Ellen Craig, Ellen Blake-Thornton or EJ Thornton. She is also my youngest sister. After dealings with those entities I feel the need to warn the consumer away from them. Thornton Publishing, Books to Believe In, etc., are really nothing more than the lowest possible quality Vanity Press, which charged, in my case at least, unconscionable and false charges for web hosting, that in fact was not paid for by the publisher but rather by the author, costing thousands of dollars in addition to the monies originally spent on printing. I never received a dime in the admittedly meager royalties the publisher received from the few customers who came across it buried in a poor quality link. When, after my book (which is called "A Dolphin's Tale," and is now at this link languished for years, along with every other book I am aware of at these publishers, I lost patience and l asked to terminate my relationship with the publishers, requesting a refund of $1500 that I had previous paid and which had not been spent by the publisher according to the publishers own books. EJ dimply juggled the books to reflect an outrageous monthly charge for web hosting that she had not even paid for and claimed at that time that I owed HER money. Worse than the poor and overpriced print quality, the taking of an author's dream and wrecking it was the dishonest way that Thornton takes advantage of authors foolish enough to sign on with them.
View full review

Newsflash real publishers never ever ever ask authors for money. They make money selling books.

Scam fake vanity publishers ask for money. Real publishers only take the best 3% or less of manuscripts send to them.

BUt you can publish for free with kobo writing life as they make money only when you sell copies of your ebook. Print is a complete waste of money for self publishers as very few people want to buy print from self publishers because print is more expensive than ebook but people make money self publishing ebooks.



Upon reviewing the responses from Mr. Craig on behalf of his wife Ellen Thornton and their vanity, subsidy or partner publishing company I am gratified that Mr. Craig is taking this position, as it puts libel and slander against me in writing, and opens the door to litigation.

I had not wanted to open the whole window of family business for all to see but apparently that is what the business has tried to do by defaming me online. That being the case I am forced to respond to their twists of the truth and outright falsehoods directed against me. I invite EJ and Mr. Craig to go after me for defamation if you believe any of the following statements are untrue.

It is a provably false accusation that I attempted to get my father to sell me his house for $1 after he had a stroke in 2011. In fact I never offered to buy his house at any time for any price. In fact I had been my father’s primary caregiver since 2006. Prior to that in conjunction with my father, I was a caregiver to my mother also since 2006. She was suffering from COPD and passed away in 2009 at home from the same. She had been on oxygen since 2000 or 2001.

It is a serious twisting of the facts to make the allegation that I was been imprisoned by Judge Dodson on “very serious charge.” The charge was made in 1972, now over 40 years ago. I was a good dealer younger then and omitting that fact from their allegation is not telling the whole truth. I was a good deal younger , in my 20s. And admittedly I was much less inhibited, but who isn’t at that age? Since then I have had a spotless record including a very good driving record. Even then the charge was a joke “Possessing Checks with Intent to Utter and Pass,” which did, in fact, not ever actually utter or pass or was any attempt made to do so. They actually had been written by a fellow who had been a tenant with my family and I in California. While I was in jail they repeatedly tried to match my handwriting with the writing on the checks and were unable to do so. I pled to a ridiculous charge just because I was unable to bail out which Judge Dodson declared to be a misdemeanor.

In 2005 I had separated and was later to divorce from my second wife. We had been living in Issaquah, Washington near Seattle. On a visit to the folk’s house during that period my mother asked me to move in with them and help them out and I agreed to do so. My other sister, Diana and surviving brother , Jim can attest to the fact that this was the arrangement my folk’s wanted. Everyone who ever observed my interactions with the folks can attest to the fact that I took the very best care of them. Donna, my daughter(s), even the Halford’s who are friends of the family and worked with EJ and John Craig at ARCO Solar, would not be able to say that I ever treated my mother and father with less than the greatest respect and love.

My father informed me that some years (2001?)prior EJ had relocated from Idaho to their house in Centennial. I was the oldest. She was the youngest of five. Coincidentally this was also following a separation and divorce of her own. My father told me that EJ had told the folks that she would take care of them. She took care of them all right. She, on the very first night threw an enormous tantrum and my father told me that my mother told him that if she did not go she would have a nervous breakdown. They paid her to move out to an expensive apartment and then home for which they “loaned” her close to $40,000.

In 2001 I learned that she was starting up a subsidy publishing company (the misnomer partner publishing was not yet in use) and, as a good big brother offered to be either the first or close to her very first customer. I sent her $1500 to publish my children’s book A Dolphin’s Tale. Over the years she hit me up, once with a huge tantrum, for additional sums over the years totally about $4500 which does not include royalties owned. For that she provided me with around 100 books of about 30 pages and charged me $75 a month for webhosting services which they did not even perform as witness to the fact that the actual webhost disconnected me for non-payment, further injuring my book and my finances. $4500 is a lot to pay for just 100 books and false webhosting charges.


Companies that charge people to publish and pretend they are real publishers are all scams. You can self publish for FREE with kobo writing life.


Richard Blake's accusations are nothing more than a vindictive stunt. Richard Blake is my brother in law. It's usually best to just let stuff like this go, but these slanderous accusations I find extremely offensive, and potentially damaging to my wife's business, so as a first step, here are the facts and some resources where I encourage people to find out the whole truth for themselves.

Richard Blake's book was published by my wife in 2001. To the best of our knowledge, it has never sold well. In 2004 Richard got frustrated and took it to a different publisher, where it continues to languish. Richard does owe us money for web site work back then, but 9 years is well past the statute of limitation for debts in Colorado and we have no plans to pursue payment. Regarding Richard's accusation that we owe him money - refunds by publishers for books that do not sell well have never been part of standard publishing business practices, by any publisher.

Unfortunately, Richard Blake's credibility is shot. He has had several run-ins with the law. Family shared documents describe incarceration for a very serious offense in 1970 under Judge Dodson in Santa Barbara, California. More recently, last year we and other family members took Richard Blake to court after he had his father sign documents in the hospital the day after a stroke to take control over his entire estate, including selling his house to Richard for $1. Arapahoe court Judge Fasing ruled against Richard, assigned a court appointed conservator at our request to protect his father (he did pass away from the stroke later in the year), and evicted Richard from the house. Richard has been vindictive to his family ever since.

On a more positive note, my wife's publishing business has many very happy customers, and we'd be glad to provide non-family references if you have any questions about how well her Partner Publishing has worked for her authors.

View more comments (3)
#320084 Review #320084 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Denver, Colorado

Why Trust Reviews on PissedConsumer?

  • Professional auto and live moderation
  • 100% user-generated content
  • Equal opportunity and protection
  • Zero tolerance for fake reviews
  • Verified content

For more information read Blog article