Thomas Wictor

Beware of Magnus Publicity

Beware of Magnus Publicity

UPDATE: Sandpiper Publicity’s Website is back up. That means my campaigns against both Sandpiper and Magnus continue.

If a single man is amazing, another must be reduced.

—Chinese spambot

* * *

Now that Mike Albee has closed down Sandpiper Publicity, it remains for me to get the word out on his second fake company, Magnus Publicity. This operation is identical to Sandpiper, as the Website itself shows.

Before I lay it out, I want to offer a big thanks and a wet kiss to all the spineless media figures I contacted who either never responded or told me that they were terrified of being sued.

Today Mike closed up shop in Healdsburg, California, without a fight. All it took was a month of me talking about him every day. So what good are you media figures, then? You’re terrorized into submission by a cheap flim-flam man who doesn’t brush his teeth.

You quake in your boots over the thought that this woman might take you to court.

Unbelievable. A housebound, dizzy amateur with PTSD did your jobs for you because you were too afraid. Sometimes I can’t even spell “cat,” and I don’t have a massive war chest and an army of lawyers. But I exposed these predators while you so-called professional journalists trembled impotently.

You should all be ashamed of how far you’ve fallen.

On to Magnus Publicity.

First, Mike Albee runs it. When I signed the contract to publicize Ghosts and Ballyhoo, the screen version showed Magnus, while the PDF had Sandpiper.

Second, Albee screwed up and sent me e-mails from Magnus.

Third, the methods of Magnus and Sandpiper are identical. At Magnus they sign you up on Basecamp. This makes everything look really professional. Here are screen shots from Magnus Publicity’s Website.

And another.

Fourth, the fake publicity campaign is structured exactly the same as at Sandpiper. The giveaway is the claim of 30,000 reviewers and the six-phase process that starts out with a press release and ends nationally.

I documented it all on “Anatomy of the Mike Albee Scam.” Magnus and Sandpiper are identical.

Sandpiper was based in Healdsburg, California.

This is a house that Mike and Lura rent. Magnus is located in Chicago.


Albee makes the same bogus claims for Magnus that he did for Sandpiper.

You can read the whole lie here. Magnus was founded in 2013, not 2009. And Mike has no history with Random House. He told me in our initial phone interview that he worked at Random House for over twenty years. There’s no record of Mike Albee in the publishing industry. None at all.

It was thrilling to be told that Ghosts and Ballyhoo was the best book this former Random House publicist had ever read. But it was a lie. That’s okay. Lies have horribly impacted much of my life. I’m not heartbroken over this. It’s just a book. I can write more if I want.

When the Ghosts Trilogy is finished, I’ll look for a real book publicist. My press release must include the fact that Mike Albee and Lura Dold scammed me for $40,000 by exploiting the suicides of my parents. I’ve been dealing with this for the past eight months now, and it derailed my attempt at being a professional writer. It’s part of the trilogy’s backstory.

But it fits in with the unifying theme of the books. The Ghosts Trilogy is about overcoming trauma. Mike Albee and Lura Dold inflicted great trauma on me. Think what it’s like to find out that people you thought supported you and wanted to help you were actually using your pain to make money. I’ll go a step further: I accuse Mike Albee of tampering with my Website to further add to my stress and trigger dissociative episodes.

It’s not possible to convey to you how caring this man sounds on the telephone. His rumbling voice exudes professionalism, and he reassures you over and over that everything’s coming up roses because you’re such a good writer.

Writing books is a crapshoot. You face nearly insurmountable odds. The big publishing houses are gummed up with all sorts of “social justice” agendas that have nothing to do with quality, which is why their starlets flame out after one book. Those of us rejected by the big publishing houses become vulnerable to rumbling, reassuring voices. We hope and believe, usually in vain.

Well, I’m no longer emotionally invested in my books. Ghosts and Ballyhoo was the last one I really wanted to succeed. I’ll probably still write books, and they’ll be good, but it won’t matter to me whether or not they’re successful. That aspect of writing is gone forever.

In a way Mike Albee did me a favor. It doesn’t hurt anymore that this book—a story that meant so much to me—is a failure. That was just luck of the draw. People fail all the time. I fail all the time. Now I can keep writing without dread. What will be, will be.

So thanks, Mike. You’re a pal. I’m still going to pursue you until you stop defrauding authors, though. I’ve grown to enjoy it. Today I called the current employer of that young cutie you’d hired who liked me so much. The boss and I had a long conversation. I told her everything and then e-mailed all the documentation. Here’s how I ended that message.

For your own protection, I think you should confront her and gauge how she reacts to this. If she’s the type of person who would target a housebound guy with PTSD and whose parents committed suicide, there’s no telling what she’d do to you.

I just might’ve destroyed your former employee’s budding new career.

Give my love to Lura.

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