The bait and switch

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.

Sound familiar?

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.

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8 thoughts on “The bait and switch

  1. Wow. That’s pretty egregious, even for the Tabster. Bad contracts are written every day. But any existing contracts cannot be scrapped, modified, or have riders attached without mutual agreement of all parties involved. So, people, these “new” contracts are no more legal than the original ones. Don’t sign them. Period.

      • Doesn’t matter. They didn’t sign them. Tabby scanned and copy-pasta’d their signatures. Even if she resized them, they’re traceable as a non-original signatures. Nobody signs exactly the same way twice. It doesn’t require a handwriting expert to demonstrate the “signatures” on the revised contracts are phony.

  2. They never sign with a real signature just type it in. Then that signature is copy and pasted or then added to the new/ old so called document. New header with name all over contract name of book that when signed was never put on it has now been added. Forgot to mention it even has a modification clause. So all thus swapping of one to another makes all the transfer without the authors new singiture non binding a worthless as the paper it on to begin with. Hence the bait and switch. So people no matter what you sign keep your original so then when this or theses do called documents come a calling you have proof that it nothing you ever signed. Spell errors should never be on a legal document from any respectful attorney. However again if it is a self made legal doc copied from a sample of the net it will, it can. Copy and paste can be fickle. So when you sake why is my contract looking different then the one you first sent me then your told” oh hon there was some spelling errors so I fixed them” big red flag people! Or in the clauses case MODIFICATION. So what have we learned? Anything worth signing needs a real signature deliveried to your door and then to be on the safe side it will usually need a witness signature also.

    • The original is worthless too, as it comes from a company that doesn’t exist legally.

      I love your point that no attorney would ever claim to have written a document with so many errors in it.

      She can’t just change a contract. Even if she says you have a “verbal” agreement that makes it binding because you talked about it on the phone, it’s rubbish. Don’t fall for it. She’s just trying to intimidate you into thinking you have to pay to get away from her.

  3. 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.

    Peace.

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