Writer

Book on war hero stopped by the 'Bonny and Clyde' of the print industry

Pictured are Neill Malcolm Stuart John and Clare Hunnisett

In a dramatic story the trade journal Print Monthly has updated its readers on the troublesome duo known as 'The Bonny and Clyde of the Print Industry.' A book on a war hero that was to be published by the writer Mike Palmer.

The war hero, the Nazis and the printer’s ‘vile abuse’ ran the headline as they recounted the Cornish based author's treatment at the hands of Neill Malcolm, Stuart John of Barry in South Wales. John is a print broker and claims to have printing works and staff but in reality operates his business from his home and a mobile phone. Scores if not hundreds of his customers have demanded their money back from botched print jobs organised by John who advertises on various websites offering massive discounts but only if money is paid up front. 

Print Monthly reported the Palmer had penned and self-published his volume on the live of Sir Frank Nelson who was a pre-wartime secret agent and the director of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) founded to fight the Nazis. He paid for the printing up front and was assured by John all would be well. However on delivery it was clear there were numberous mistakes. 

The trade publication he wanted to warn other authors of using John and his various business names such as the Hard Back Book Printer, the Magazine Printer, The Best Printer and so on. Print Monthly says: "Palmer wrote the biography and put his trust in its printing it in Best Press, another manifestation of the business activities of the print farmer Neill Malcolm Stuart John and his partner Clair Hunnisett. Like scores of other self-publishers, he quickly discovered his error.

Palmer told the magazine: “My writing and researching project had taken two years to complete, with the final draft being proofread by a professional and highly rated proof-reader. All I had to do was to send off the text PDF, for Mr John's attention, which was to be checked and made press-ready by his staff, also I needed to send the art-work for the cover, which should have cost an extra £150 but through his generosity, his art department would waive their fee, and he would also send me a bound proof copy before the printing process began.”

The magazine continued the story: "So far so good and Palmer sent off payment of £1,921 with an order for 1,000 A5 hardback books with the dustjackets in May of this year and eight weeks later they arrived. He recalls: 'My heart pounded loud when I opened the first box. Untitled, black laminated hardback books yes, but no title on the spine? No dustjackets? Disappointed, I opened a copy, it seemed well printed but then the beginning of Chapter Two was half way down page 45, while Chapter Three and Chapter Four, were all in the wrong places, and there were side-lines on a number of pages too - what the F**k! My world collapsed around me and not one book could be sold, not one. Utterly broken, I carried the boxes to my garage, where they would stay until their disposal.'”

And it didn't get any better says Print Monthly: "He admits he was taken in by the charm of the resident of Barry and trusted him to do a good job but as soon as he complained about the errors and quality of the work the other side of John quickly emerged. As with other victims he said the customer was at fault due to problems with the artwork and directed Palmer to read his terms and conditions refusing to take any responsibility for the quality. When Palmer checked out the Spanish printing firm involved with his job after the offer of a reprint was made John immediately threatened legal action and withdrew the offer. The upshot is Palmer like many others has lost a large amount of money and has no books to show for it."

Print Monthly says they have previously contacted John for his point of view but he did not take up his right to reply.

Have you had business dealings with John and Hunnisett? ICSM would like to know your stories as ICSM is dedicated to stamping out bad practice within the industry and preventing bad debts - email us at icsm@icsmcredit.com and mark it for the attention of the news department. For more news and views on the printing and allied industries visit www.icsmcredit.com or call 0844 854 1850 on how to join ICSM and protect your business from bad debts. Follow ICSM on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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