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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Birchthorn Scam

Birchthorn the novel funded through Kickstarter that never was. Please folks share your experiences.

34 comments:

  1. Here's a link to the Kickstarter page for Birchthorn so you can see for yourself the timeline of excuses, lack of updates and also comments (people upset about buying it as a Christmas gift and it not being ready and also comments from people wanting a refund).
    Make no mistake Jenna Woginrich flat out STOLE over $15,000 from her fans.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/565140028/the-legend-of-birchthorn

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    1. Yep, she really did. Watching her weasel this way, weasel that way, and make one excuse after another about Birchthorn availability whenever someone asks her when they will get her copy is rather disgusting. Bottom line is, she happily took the money, all $15,000 of it, and has not given people what they paid for. And this is just one example of what she gets up to. And yet people on her blog say she inspires them?!! Are these people crazy, incredibly stupid, or just seriously blind?

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    2. WTF - 4 people pledged at least $1,000 in the Kickstarter; 3 people pledged at least #350; 18 people pledged at the $145 level; and 5 people pledged at the $100 level. Did she have any workshops or Antlerstock that those backers could attend in 2014/2015/2016? I hadn't been keeping track of if/when she had those.

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    3. No workshop pictures or comments from workshops or a sign up for a workshop yet. She has tried to get people, since about April? to sign up for fiddle lessons. Either people aren't signing up or she's not talking about the outcomes. Apart from years back when she used to put up sold out on certain workshops, her workshops have been poorly attended. I talked online with a guy that attended one where she made it sound like it was sold out. Yet, he was one of three people in attendance and her helpers/friends were out there the most, while she sat in the house, or on the internet or on the phone. You need insurance to be able to hold workshops. She's had issues with this in the past, so maybe no more workshops until she can get it together?

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    4. So....never?

      I originally thought the workshops were a great idea. Then it occurred to me that she lives in an area where there are already farms. It doesn't strike me as having a large suburban population very close.

      We have some farms here that host workshops but we are in an area with tons of suburbanites that love to learn about chickens and gardening and all things farm. They're always packed.

      She's not close enough to anywhere to really make that a worthwhile business. Maybe as a webinar... Oh, wait....

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  2. I donated $45 to the Birchthorn kickstarter, which was a bit more that I thought I'd give originally, but I liked Made From Scratch, and thought that after establishing herself with several non-fiction titles, she'd make good on a new book. Apparently not.

    The thing that irks me the most is that our income comes almost entirely from the online shows my husband produces...which are viewer-supported. Different audience/content, but still, pulling crap like this makes people more wary about supporting artists/musicians/writers/etc. who distribute content independently.

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  3. Many burned bridges .

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  4. I have been mulling this over for a while now and wanted to share my thoughts.

    I read her first four chapters that she linked to in her Kickstarter pitch. They weren't terrible. It's not my style and not a genre that I enjoy reading, but she's not a terrible writer.

    Thing is, writing fiction is so different from writing non-fiction/memoir - which is all she has had experience in. In novel writing everyone will tell you two things: 1) Your first drafts will always be garbage and 2) Don't even think about trying to publish your first novel.

    I can attest to both of those as true! I have written four novels. I am working on my fifth and it will probably be the first to see the light of publishing. Maybe.

    I think she bit off more than she could chew trying to write this book. Novels require plots, and not just one. A good novel has multiple plot threads though it may only be driven by one main plot. You have to really work on making the characters three dimensional. Her story had a strong start in those first four public chapters, but based on the rumored final word count (I think I heard 40,000 words) it sounds novella length and I would guess is a single plot story.

    I also can't imagine what is taking so long.

    I've written 5 full length novels in 18 months. That's all first drafts, so no editing.

    This last novel is 83,000 words. It's taken me 2 weeks to go back through and make notes on changes. I think it will take me another 2-4 weeks to do rewrites and add new scenes.

    An editor usually takes about 2 weeks once they start working on it. Then it's another week or 2 to make changes and a week after that to format the book for delivery.

    So, at my part-time pace, I could have a book done and ready to publish (with planning ahead to book an editor and cover design) in about 6 months. Tops.

    I would have expected to see the final e-books no later than mid-July if she got it back from the editor early June. That's being generous and allowing for another round of edits and fixes.

    I'm wondering if she's embarrassed by this, her first effort and hopes that everyone will just forget? Lord knows my first book is on an external hard drive and will never, ever, ever be seen by anyone else. Ever. It's that bad.

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    1. Great points... ones I've often thought about as well. She can pound out a thousand words in some awful purple prose post, 70,000 should be a piece of cake for her and should have been done years ago.

      If she's embarrassed... it should be asking and GETTING $15,500 for a first novel. And then not even having the balls to get it done, awful or not. Everyone that contributed would have just been ah, good job Little Jenna, if she actually got it done and it was still, kinda, first novely. But now, she's just pissing everyone off. Or should be.

      I don't know why everyone is so lax about this. It's her worse sham scam. It's dispictable.

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    2. "[–]ShieldmareTyr's Good Hand 3 points 3 hours ago 2/15/16
      Take all of your essays, get them in a word doc, give the collection a name, i'll design the layout and cover, let's get this published."


      December 7, 2014 (almost 4 months AFTER Kickstarter campaign funded 100%)

      http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2014_12_07_archive.html

      "I write for a few hours, working on the novel Birchthorn. Over 15 thousand words into that novel now, and it is coming along at a farmer's pace. I imagine it'll be finished by late spring at around fifty thousand words, a chunky novella. The new section will be uploaded tomorrow morning to the blog for the Kickstarter members. When that is done I update the blog a bit. A mention of the importance of Game Night inspired by a post I saw on twitter. The farm is quiet but the tweets can be heard."

      10,000 words were already written when the campaign started. She was apparently able to write 5,000 more in less than 4 months time. By February of 2015 there were 30,000 words written and it was being called a novel again. By June of 2015 -16 chapters had been written. By October 2015 we are back to calling it a novella and she states the book is near completion-(first time writing fiction you know, so book is overdue according to her at this point). Dec 2015 we're back to calling it a novel, with 50,000 words written and it is finished. Now off to the editor! February of 2016-we're behind at this point, book is not yet with editor. Book is with editor beginning March 1, 2016 and finished June 6, 2016. Book is now being called a "weird little novel small and scrappy."

      Novel- a thriller should have 100,000 words (JW called her book a mystery, paranormal thriller)

      Novella-17,500 words to 40,000 words.
      Novella it is!!

      Those that pledged at $45.00 and up were allowed to read the entire book, uploaded to the blog she created, as she went along. This is probably why there is so few people complaining. Yet that leaves 95 backers who couldn't see the book online out their $ and out their e-book thus far.

      And yet, yes she did steal almost 16,000 because by her own words she should have had cover art, layout and whatever else was left done in 2 weeks. At most a full month to make allowances for swimming and marathon running. Which would then put the e-book in the hands of backers by July 6th. Nope. August 6th Nope. As far as hardbound books- backers can kiss those goodbye. She would need to come up with $ to print 140 hardbound to satisfy the backers that bid at that level. I follow a homesteader who finished a cookbook this past year. She had to order a run of 5000 cookbooks just to get the process started. I've heard that printers will not start a print for under 5000 books, most will only start at 10,000 books. Not sure if this is accurate? I know though no printer will start up for 140 books.. The cookbook writer's cost was 5000 books @30.00 a book. She's selling book for $35.00. Very expensive deal for sure, not something JW would be able to handle I'm thinking- financially anyways.

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  5. When is the new due date for Birchthorn? It's been pushed back so many times, I've lost track. Or did she not issue one and hope everyone loses interest and goes away.

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    1. She hasn't given a date yet that I can see on her Kickstarter page. On June 6 she said she had the edits and would begin working on them shortly.

      Before that (February 15) she said that the manuscript was with the editor who would start editing March 1 and would take 6 weeks.

      That means she should have gotten the edits back no later than April 12.

      Yet, her update on 6/6 indicated that she had just gotten word from the editor that the edits were done? She apparently booked the world's slowest editor.

      Anyway, she was promising cover art and sample chapters "soon" but with no promised end date in sight? I am guessing she just wants it to all go away.

      Several people have asked for refunds. Only one indicated that she had received it in the comments of the Kickstarter.

      Is anyone here a backer? Is she communicating at all with you guys off the Kickstarter site? She only updated in June because someone had posted a comment on the February update asking for an update.

      Someone needs to ask for another update. Though it will probably be something to the effect of:

      I've gotten the edits back! I am combing through the manuscript on my ancient laptop and boy it is slow going! I had some doodled cover art and will be asking for input on that soon!

      The layout hasn't started yet, because I have to apply the edits first in between all of my many farm chores as a I get ready for winter!

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    2. She has publicly stated that she refunded two people for $45.00. She refunded me during that same time frame for $145.00 and I also know of someone else who got a $20.00 refund. She chooses not to mention the real extent of her refunding in this scam. Although judging by the people commenting on Kickstarter there appears to be only a handful of disappointed people seeking refunds. Kickstarter will not allow me to report the campaign due to lack of updates. Though since being refunded I no longer have an issue as far as anyone is concerned. But, even before my refund, Kickstarter has denied me from asking for any more updates after the first time I asked for one. Nice huh? If I had been a $1000.00 backer I would have been seeing red a year ago. I suppose the $1000.00 backers are patrons paying for her time, or her fantasy life, or her shammy lifestyle or perhaps her revelations like naked yoga hint hint. Jack M. isn't mad at all. I am sure even if she had actually finished this he would have said- "Just hold onto it for me, would you?" smh

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  6. At some point she has to come clean. Kickstarter will ban her.

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    1. I don't think there is anything Kickstarter can do at this point. So far it looks like she walked away with $15,000.

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  7. Maybe her next book can be "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". Oh, wait. That title's been taken.

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    1. How about- Begging 101, or The art of the steal, or living like a millionaire without the 9 to 5, or The Grind- life as an internet beggar. My favorite of all-
      Conning people today so I can live like fiction tomorrow.

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  8. Has it ever been established who is doing the art and layout stuff that is allegedly what the current hold up?

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    1. That would be the person with the graphic designer credentials and degree. The author herself-J.W.

      There shouldn't be a hold up. On Reddit some months back a fellow heathen wanted to publish something he/she had written. JW immediately piped up and said she would do the layout, cover art and help the person with formatting it for e-book publishing. She stated this entire process would take her 2 weeks to do. At the same time all backers were still waiting for the editor to get done with Birchthorn. A month or so after the editor was done a backer asked for an update. At that time JW said all that was left was her part- layout, cover art and formatting. That was 6/6/2016. Still waiting. Apparently helping others, the Going Postal scam, all the artwork she has been hawking comes before a book paid for by backers in 2014.

      Once J.W. has the $ there is no more motivation for her to finish a project. She's motivated by her ability to get the $.. Just like a junkie wakes up motivated to get a fix. She'll do back flips for a donation. If she had too, and she has a time or two, she'll put on an Oscar worthy performance to "save the farm." But once she has the moola, you can kiss whatever she promised you goodbye. You either won't get it, there will be a long delay or what you receive won't be worth a quarter of what you paid for it. Birchthorn backers- still waiting!

      Her comments on Kickstarter 6/6/2016 contradict what she said on Reddit (surprise surprise). Apparently she has zero experience laying a book out or with cover art? Yet, she promised months ago a heathen on Reddit she could do it in 2 weeks, it's easy!

      She's lazy. She's unmotivated to finish it and besides the 2-3 people calling her out on it, the other 241 backers don't seem to have a problem throwing their $ away.

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  9. Is anyone willing to go to her blog or Facebook page and ask about Birchthorn? I would but I've been blocked.

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    1. I'd love to, but she blocked me when I asked about Birchthorn in February.

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  10. When you think about it, giving refunds to the few people who complained was ingenious. Now she can say they have nothing to complain about. And the other 241 backers don't seem to care. So Birchthorn can remain unfinished indefinitely (or forever) and she will have walked away with $15,000.

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  11. I am sure the 241 care . They are more disappointed than anything else. BS to the starving artist she is a professional internet panhandler . With many names and scams . A Grifter .

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  12. So while she is splashing in the river, riding her horse, jogging and napping, is there any way she can squeeze in a little time to finish Birchthorn?

    Oh, I forgot. Once she receives money for something, she loses interest.

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  13. Maybe her next book could be entitled "The Great Birchthorn Heist: or how I Stole $15,000 and Got Away With It".

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  14. What next book ? She has burned to many bridges .

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  15. Know what else is strange about this Birchthorn thing? She has an adversarial relationship with her editor, Heather/Crashdown. The are constantly bickering on her blog or Facebook. At one point JFW told her to 'screw off'.

    Why would she choose an editor she doesn't like? Nothing makes sense.

    This is stranger than living like fiction.

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    1. She has "an adversarial relationship" with many people, including her own immediate family. Judging by some of her mom's comments on Facebook, she's ashamed of her daughter's money mooching and constant scamming.

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  16. Posted on CAF blog comments on 8-26-16.

    Birchthorn is in pre-publication now, the edited manuscript is being reviewed chapter by chapter and then once it is done being reviewed it will go to the publishing house I am hiring to print it. I am not giving a date of shipping until I know from the publisher the estimated times.. There's still formatting, layout, ISBN/library of congress applications, etc. I am going to be using a small publisher, who will have the ebook ready to go first, I think. Again - not sure, it's all one step at a time.

    This book, Dark Horse, is just an unsold manuscript right now. I am writing it because it's a passion project, but it isn't contracted. If I sold it tomorrow and a team of 50 people was working on it, it wouldn't come out before Birchthorn.

    August 26, 2016 at 8:33 PM

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    1. Dark Horse sure isn't a unique title. There's a song by Katy Perry written in 2014 called Dark Horse and I just recently watched a UK movie called Dark Horse about a race horse (true story)- released in 2015.

      If the book is strictly about Merlin dark horse fits- he's a black fell pony. If it is about her being a dark horse- someone that competes in a race and isn't expected to win- then No. Or the 2nd definition a person who has interesting qualities and abilities no again. The only thing I've found to be unique about JW is her ability to con, conned people over and over again. And I believe if a publisher announced tomorrow they would publish Dark Horse, that book would be the only thing anyone would hear about- Forever and Birchthorn would remain as it is- lost and never to be found. Ever, not Ever.

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  17. Jenna was very misleading with the Birchthorn donor rewards, since there have been no workshops! No Antlerstock! No arrows rising! What a rip off!

    Donate $100+ : 2 tickets to workshop or 1 ticket to Arrows Rising or Fiddle Camp
    Donate $250+: 2 tickets to Antlerstock
    Donate 2K+: Lifetime pass (Lifetime pass to what?!?!)

    She does have a fiddle class offered here & there, but I doubt that's what people had in mind when they donated.

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    1. Exactly! In reality no one knows what could go on with their health, farm or business two years in advance. Yet, then to be responsible one shouldn't, especially when they are in foreclosure(cough cough) as much as JW is, promise lifetime passes to anything. Those that have followed along with her previous to her 2014 Kickstarter campaign for Birchthorn have long heard the instability of CAF and also what a lot of the workshops have turned out to be. But imagine, because I imagine there must be someone somewhere, someone new to it all in 2014 who backed at a considerable amount so as to get a workshop thrown in. Heading into September, thus far, there have been a couple fiddle camps offered at a discount at the last moment. Most backers of anything above say $25.00 that had also been following CAF in 2014 had to have just donated the $ with no anticipation of anything coming out of it. For those new to it that donated above $25.00 they must be the kind of backers that just throw good money after bad either hoping for a miracle or just plain wealthy hipsters.

      That said in my opinion any transaction with JW lacks integrity. Someone considering doing business with her should know she lacks a conscience. Then if they want to continue on, so be it. There's considerable evidence on the internet dating years back of the same type of scam worked by JW with all different kinds of audiences. By this point in time some 10 or more years later she has likely perfected it. No one with good conscience would entice people to back at the $100-1000 level, because workshops were thrown in, when that same year red vans were driving by taking pictures and the wolves were at the door. No one with an ethical business practice or integrity would leave their backers hanging and only update the campaign under pressure from Kickstarter. Someone with integrity would make a blog post explaining in great detail all the issues she has dealt with, if that really is the case, trying to publish Birchthorn. She would feel compelled to be kind and grateful and humble toward her backers who gave her $ for a book she promised to publish. A lot of her backers were really really interested and intrigued by Birchthorn. She in as much spit in their faces once she received the money by so blatantly forgetting what she was paid for. Misleading is one word, but I much prefer the more accurate words of a profitable scam.

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  18. A Cold Antler poster named Betsy Earley posted that she wants to make a big donation to Jenna and her farm and asks about Birchthorn & asks if it has been published. Jenna replies:
    "talked with the editor just last week. We are prepping all the files for the ebook, which comes out first. I am still editing the ebook and going over her work and she is presenting it for Kindle, pdf, etc and it will be delivered first. I don't know if the ebook will be available to buy right away for others. But I will find out from her once we have more details. All updates, cover design, notes, etc are on the Kickstarter."

    No mention as to why it's been 4 years since Jenna first solicited for funds to complete the book, or why, with all of Jenna's spare time to go hawking etc., she can't finish the book and send it to those who paid for it.

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  19. I am BE and am posing as a contributor cause I know that would get her interest. Anyway asked her questions about Birchthorn. I think if enough people bugged her maybe she will do something.

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