I’ve blogged before about how illegal Phoenix Fire’s contracts are, but I’m hearing some things that warrant a new post.
Not only are PF’s contracts illegal to begin with, Tabetha’s got a nasty habit of switching them out.
I’m hearing from more than one soon to be/ex PF author that Tabetha sends them a new version of the contract they originally signed, re-worded, and with their signatures “electronically” transferred to the new document. The new contract, it states, voids out the previous version and takes its place. In some cases, more than one new contract is sent to an author, each version “voiding” out the version before it. With that same electronic signature transfer. In almost all cases, the changes are made by Tabetha without the agreement, and even without the knowledge of the author in question.
Gone is the 30 day loophole that tripped Tabetha up when trying to insist that Thea breached the contract. What remains in the new versions is the statement that Authors must comply with the publishers (editors, artists, etc) or they, the author, is in breach of the contract. That’s it. No timeline, no specifications. Just that they must comply. Then, if the author doesn’t meet some outrageous demand, like to have a complete rewrite done in a day, Tabetha can say that the author is in breach of the contract. The contract is void, then, and Tabetha is no longer obligated to fulfill any of her “publishing” duties. But if the author wants the rights to their work back, they have to pay for it. Out comes the famous Phoenix Fire release form, which includes a “no retaliation” clause that says that the authors aren’t allowed to talk about Phoenix Fire.
In short, she:
Switches contracts without the author’s permission or signature.
Sets the author up to breach it.
Charges the author money to get their rights back.
And bullies them into silence with a “no retaliation” clause in a release form that the author has to sign if they want the rights to their book back.
I cannot even begin to tell you how illegal all of this is.
If you have ANY contract from Phoenix Fire, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on in the first place. Illegal company, illegal contract. Still, some of her authors believe that they’re bound to it. It’s so LEGIT and all. But I can guarantee you that if you’ve received a new contract that you didn’t ask for and/or didn’t sign, IT IS ILLEGAL and you are not bound to it.
If you’re a Phoenix Fire author that wants out of your contract, you can walk away from Phoenix Fire and take your book with you. Period. You do NOT have to sign any bogus release form. And, more importantly, you do NOT have to pay any money to get your rights back. They’re yours. She never had them to begin with. She just wants you to think she’s got you by the short and curlies so that you’ll pay more money, and so that she can bully you into thinking that you can’t talk about what she did to you.
Don’t fall for it. Don’t let her bully you. Don’t let her take a single dime more from you. Take your book, take your talent, take your dreams, your dignity, and your power and walk away from that thief.
If you feel that you’ve been scammed (which you have) and want to do something about it, you can report her to the Texas Attorney General by filling out a form online here.
If you feel that you’ve been ripped off by way of fraud (which you have), you can file a report with the McLennan county District Attorney by calling their office: (254) 757-5084
Don’t be a victim. It’s your destiny. Own it.