Phoenix Rising

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 every version of your publisher’s companies all appear on both Editors and Predators and Writer Beware warning lists, RUN.

If it’s a publisher and the name Tabetha Jones is anywhere near it, RUN.


14 thoughts on “Phoenix Rising

  1. I fell for this. I didn’t know better, I thought I was getting a great deal. Thank you for posting this so others can learn from my mistakes. There is nothing Ms.Jones is offering that we can’t do for ourselves.

  2. This sounds like the stuff Kristy Tallman pulled back around 2006 or 2007. She set up a “company” with a couple of other self-published authors to offer these sort of services. The website she set up for it lasted a few weeks before she took it down and closed up shop, after much criticism. Never did find out whether she got any clients. Her own writing is badly in need of editing, unless she’s improved over the years. Her attitude toward her critics was very similar to Tabetha’s. However, Kristy never pretended to run a vanity press, or any other kind of publishing venture, for that matter.

  3. Book trailers, I didn’t think of this until you brought it up but I sincerely doubt that using a song to which you don’t hold the appropriate rights in order to advertise your own work falls under Fair Use. Oh dear, do you think Tabby was able to obtain and afford the costs for the rights to the songs she used in her trailers?

  4. Hey now, maybe we can learn something from Tabs. I think I’ll put an ad in craigslist: “Give me $500 and I’ll teach you to brush your hair. I will also need an extra $300 so I can buy you a brush, an extra $1000 so I can buy you a mirror and an extra $250 to buy you some hairspray. It may sound like a lot of money, but I’m A FUCKING PROFESSIONAL HAIR BRUSHER!”

  5. I notice she didn’t say how many of all that swag stuff you get either. It’s just another ripoff and if anybody doesn’t like what they get there’s no contract so they don’t get their money back for anything. And I notice too that Tabby stopped posting, I guess she realized she couldn’t win against Lepplady. Oh way I forgot, her lawyer told her not to say anything anymore.

  6. Update:

    As of June, 2016, Tabetha Jones has no publishing companies in operation that we know about, so our investigation of her has been halted. The point of examining her in the first place was to advocate for authors that reported no royalties and other related abuse from her. If she’s not involved with publishing anymore, that job’s done.

    The posts about her remain in public view in case she starts a new one in the future.

    If more publishing concerns about Tabetha Jones (Willis, Farmer Hoover, Saulters, etc) – AKA Zooey Sweete, Emerald Rai Fleurs, et al – arise in the future, we will post relevant updates. But for now, we’re focusing on happier topics.


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