Tabetha’s Phoenix Fire has a “division” called Phoenix Rising that offers individual service “packages” to any writer that wants to self publish.
Here’s what she calls them, what they offer, and what they cost:
Let’s break that down, shall we?
Formatting in multiple digital formats: Calibre is a free source anybody can use to create multiple ebook formats on their own. Note: I said it’s FREE.
Full edit of Book: By other authors. For FREE.
Book cover design: Not only are there several sites where an author can create their own book cover for FREE, Createspace has a really nifty book cover service that authors can use to make their own covers for FREE. Since most authors are going to use Createspace to publish, anyway, they might as well take advantage of it. And it’s FREE.
Standard book Trailer: All PCs come with a version of Windows Movie Maker that anybody can use to create a video with clips, images and music. For FREE.
Pre-release reviews: That come from within Phoenix Fire’s network of authors, many of whom are the owner’s alts. This happens for FREE.
Blog tour: Most, if not all, of the blogs that will host an interview or review of a PF book are owned by none other than the company’s owner herself, an incestuous little network of blogs and sites posted by alts in order to make the company and its network seem more impressive than it actually is. And it’s FREE.
Book blitz: I’m not even sure what the hell that is, but it sounds like it’s FREE.
Cover/trailer reveal: Your cover and trailer are made public? Yup. FREE.
Release banner and timeline photos: Again, there are all SORTS of paint and photo-editing software out there that an author can use to create an eye-catching banner for FREE.
If an author doesn’t feel handy or talented enough to do it, they can hire someone to handle it for them, by all means. But they should contract with an artist directly.
Custom swag: This might be the one and only thing that PF does for its authors that actually costs something. We’ve heard from at least one author, though, that this service is badly overcharged for. Certainly not worth a minimum of a hundred bucks, when every other service in the “package” comes for FREE.
So what the hell are you people paying $450.00 for? Swag? Buy your own stuff from ebay and make that shit yourself.
I’m also told that the services from Phoenix Rising aren’t backed up by any contract. At all. The author pays and they get what they get. The website claims that there’s a satisfaction guarantee, but how can that be enforced when there’s no contract?
If any publishing service isn’t backed up by a legitimate contract, RUN.
If the best thing your publisher can say about itself is that “We make SWAG!” RUN.
If it’s a publisher and the name Tabetha Jones is anywhere near it, RUN.