Ahmed Shalaby is an graphic designer that contacted me through Facebook after reading my blog. He does book covers and photo manipulations. Unfortunately, he read the blog too late. He had already interacted with Tabetha jones in a work proposal. Ahmed was supposed to deliver 6 photo manipulations for $100 USD. Tabetha got the photos and posted them.
You might have seen these. Here are a few of them:
As usual for her, Tabetha promised him the moon, telling him how many people he’d meet and how much work he’d get.
Then, when it came time to pay for the photos, she wheeled an dealed, asking first if she could pay through Paypal,
and then gave some song and dance about sending through Western Union online, but forgot her info.
But Ahmed was game, even though Tabetha asked him to wait a few weeks.
This is a very familiar scenario. It’s the same way she tried to get out of paying Thea the money she’d promised, even after Thea kindly waited a number of weeks, maybe months for payment already.
Ahmed agreed. And waited.
On Oct 7th, Ahmed got in touch.
The first thing Tab did was point out that she was on the hook for a hefty surgery copay.
That’s the first red flag.
Tabetha pretended that she “misunderstood” the price, saying that she thought the photos were presented to her as an example of his work.
Out comes dodge number one, citing surgery for sympathy and the promise of more work.
Red flag number two:
He got no answer.
This is about the time that he found this blog, and asked her abut it.
That went over like a lead balloon.
She went on the offensive, saying that a man “of his background” couldn’t understand, calling him a jerk and accusing him of trying to get money out of her. Sooner or later, those true Tabetha colors shine through.
So, editors and artists, take heed. It’s not just authors that get swindled. There are editors from as far back as Mystic Press that never got paid, and that trend continues to this day.
It would be easy to excuse her faux pas as inexperience, but when the same pattern scans three years or more, it’s not hapless ineptitude, it’s a pattern.
Deal with Tabetha Jones and Phoenix Fire publishing at your peril.
Here’s Ahmed’s Facebook:
And his gallery on Deviantart:
He does really good work. I hope he gets jobs from a lot of honest new people in the near and immediate future. I know I’ll give him my work, for whatever that’s worth.