Editing and publishing at its best.

From Phoenix Fire’s blogspot:

peek

Authors that peek their interest? Really?
I’d rather find authors that pique mine.

Having posted this, I wonder how fast that gets fixed. Crying shame that it takes a correction on some third party blog for a so-called professional editor and publisher to correct a (VERY ) simple spelling mistake on a supposedly professional publishing website.
Well, blog. It’s not a website at all, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I ask it again: is that really who you want editing and publishing your books?
Me neither.

The effects of being a self-contradictory, lying, thieving moron

With recent blogs exposing Phoenix Fire as the rip off that it is, they have decided to lash out with a tirade that is blatantly ridiculous, very self-contradictory and decidedly unprofessional.

Here’s a screen cap of their response:
pfslfcontradictory
First off, call it a pet peeve if you will, but I can’t STAND it when a supposed professional repeatedly starts paragraphs and sentences with “Now,”. If this were somebody’s drunken late-night blog about how blitzed they were when they got pulled over for that DUI, I’d be willing to overlook it as common crap. But this is supposed to be a professional within the literary field, and she doesn’t know any better.

Honestly, people, is that who you want publishing your book?

Tabetha blathers;

Now I have heard through the grapevine that we charge our authors for advertising, promoting, or even blog tours. This outrages me. I believe a publishing company should offer these things for their authors as a part of providing a service to them.

Really? If you look at my last post, dear reader, you’ll see that I got the information that she charges for these services from her own website, complete with costs. That’s why I took a screen cap instead of simply linking to it, in case it got changed or removed.

This self-contradictory, blatant lie should be enough to tell any new authors that might be thinking of signing with PF screaming the other way. If TJ will lie about what’s right in front of them, what else can they expect when dealing with her but more of the same?

If nothing else, do they want to deal with someone so unprofessional as to call herself “Bosslady” on her business website? This isn’t some drunken party blog, it’s a business. As such, it should lend itself to at least a minimal level of professionalism.

“Now,” (sorry, I had to), if it were only a matter of PF allowing its authors to write in a guest spot, that would be one thing. Completely useless and ineffectual, but nothing to write home about. But that’s not the total of what’s going on. According to HER OWN WEBSITE, she’s charging her new authors for these new services. And up.

Tabetha insists:

Another route we are working at is hosting each other on fellow authors blog spots, taking turns supporting and spotlighting one another. I believe that in this business we need to work together as a team to make a name for ourselves.

There’s only one name involved. Tabetha Jones. Most of the others, like Sweete, Wicker, Willis and Lovelace are aliases. They are none other than Tabetha Jones herself. These aren’t blogs that are going to get a new author’s voice or work out there into the world. This isn’t “building small and working up.” It’s a con. The author is paying for guest spots on blogs that will do precisely zip to promote or market their books. They would get more exposure if they created a Facebook page for their books and joined writing clubs online.

Throughout its time, Phoenix Fire has had its share of bad press from time to time. So did its predecessor, Mystic Press, which shut down in the face of charges of scam, fraud and theft. And it will probably continue to do so as long as the owners keep charging authors for bogus services.

This isn’t a matter of people having nothing better to do that rag on poor, innocent little Tabetha and her noble, righteous, upstanding publishing company. This is people who have been scammed and stolen from, people who published with Mystic/Phoenix and got ripped off for royalties by a publisher that refused to disclose sales reports until they’d been doctored to say that all books had been returned (neat trick with Ebooks past a certain date) in order to avoid paying royalties. This is editors who didn’t get paid because TJ told them the work wasn’t “good enough.” This is artists that never got paid for their work at all. This is people that have been ripped off and badmouthed by Tabetha, called liars and haters for speaking up about her lying, stealing “business” practices.

This is people who are doing their damnedest to make sure that she doesn’t rip off a single trusting, unsuspecting soul that gets lured into thinking PF is legit. Every person that’s warned away from having their heart broken, their dreams dashed, is a victory, and we’ll take ’em one by one.

I find it disturbing that even after being exposed as a fraud and a scam, this “company” continues to try to hurt people within the literary industry. It’s “publishers” like PF that give small presses a bad name and make upcoming authors weary of small presses in this business.

Slander her good name? It’s not slander if it’s true, and she’d have to have a good name to begin with. As it is, the name Tabetha Jones stands for theft, fraud, scam, and every other pitfall a new writer needs to be wary of. It will be a happy day in the literary world when she takes on a career better suited to someone of her talents. Like a greeter at Walmart or flipping burgers. Anything that doesn’t allow her within a thousand miles of the publishing industry.

But I’m sure that Phoenix Fire will continue to do as they always have and that is to rip off authors. They will continue to create adversity through their blatantly criminal activities and stand firm in accusing those that expose it of defaming them. And their authors will be happy. Those few authors that aren’t TJ under an alias, that is. Right up until they expect to get paid the roalties their book has earned. When that time comes, and they get excuses and doctored sales reports, when they don’t get a fraction of what they were led to believe they’d get, then they’ll look back to these blogs and wish they’d listened.

We’re not here to hurt a soul. We’re here to try and stop it.

Phoenix Fire additional services

Here’s a screen cap of the additional services PF tries to sell its new authors in addition to the other charges they rip authors for up front.
pfservices

First, when a price is given as “Starting at” the entire world knows that it’s the “starting” price, and that higher prices may apply. The words “and up” are redundant and unnecessary.

Secondly, the word is APIECE when you’re referring to separate items. A piece (repeated at least 4 times on this page) is one thing. I would think an author, editor and publisher would know the difference.

Next, let’s look at the sentence “Starting at $15 and up depending if you have the art or if the art needs to be created.” This is so poorly written it’s hard to know where to start. It would read much better as “Starting at $15. Prices vary depending on whether you have the art or require that it be created.”

What I’d really like to take a look at is PF’s blog tour.
While blog tours can be a legitimate and effective way to promote a book, any author considering a blog tour with Phoenix Fire should realize that the blogs on which their book will appear are all belong to Phoenix Fire’s co-owner Tabetha Jones.
Consider the case of Cindy Franks-White. Her blog tour with PF consists of placement on blogs belonging to Zoey Sweete, Rai Willis and Skylynn Wicker. All three, as well as Anna Lovelace and others, are Tabetha Jones aliases. All of them. The picture on Rai’s blog and  FB profile is a tattoo model.

Tabetha Jones is charging authors for a blog tour that consists of placement on her own blogs. That’s a fact.

If authors want services from a publisher, they should find a real publisher that
1) doesn’t charge authors up front. That’s the first sign of a scam. And
2) will actually provide marketing and public relations that reach farther than their own pocket.

They might also look for one that can actually string a sentence together.