Tabetha Hoover Jones appears to be handing Dark Storm Publications over to Leah Diane Hutchinson, lock, stock, and barrel.
There are whispers floating around about why, and when I have proof positive, I’ll post it. Until then, I want to assure the public that just because Dark Storm is changing hands, that doesn’t mean that it automatically falls off my radar. Hoover Jones likes to say that I have a personal vendetta against her, but that’s not entirely true. I’m dedicated to making sure that authors don’t get scammed by somebody fraudulently posing as an indie publisher, no matter who has the keys to the front door. If anything, I’ll be looking closer.
There are a few observations that I’d like to make.
First, it doesn’t matter what some dodgy contract says. When a company is closed, sold, given away, or otherwise changes hands, CONTRACTS DO NOT CARRY OVER. So, if there are any authors still with Dark Storm (with a pulse. Not those that are alts), The screen cap above is all you need to walk. That’s confirmation that you can take back ownership of your work, and consider yourself no longer legally obligated to that company.
And you do NOT owe anybody a single thin dime. So if either the old or new owner of that company try to hit you up for that $125 sep fee, tell them to stuff it.
There are a whole host of reasons pertaining to publishing and business law that probably make Dark Storm a completely illegal company that doesn’t exist, like Phoenix Fire and Mystic Press before it. I could list them, but suffice it to say that there’s a LOT of paperwork that needs to be done when a company changes hands, and if you haven’t seen that paperwork first hand, it doesn’t exist. Take note, authors. You’re clear. You’re free. Walk away. There’s not a single legal thing they can do to you.
I’ve already mentioned LD Hutchinson in relation to other projects, like Midnight Hour publishing and Black Diamond Designs. If she’s taking over as the owner of Dark Storm, she can expect to see her name all over this blog, one way or the other. If she doesn’t like that, she should have thought of that before she agreed to take over a company that has a history of scamming people.
Also of note is that, while the change of ownership has been made public on Facebook, the DSP website still has Tab as the owner. There’s nothing at all on their blog. So, unlike a professional company that would announce changes after they’re made and the company is ready to roll, they’ve got their online presence scattered and disjointed, with different sites showing different information. Can we say unprofessional, much?
It’s pretty obvious that DSP isn’t being improved in the least by the announced change of ownership. Instead, it’s being handed over to someone who’s far too young and inexperienced to do any publishing company any justice. The fact that her ownership was announced before the company is even ready to roll alone shows that there’s a screaming lack of professionalism going on. Rather, it looks like she thinks she can just plug in the passwords and pick up where Tabetha left off.
It doesn’t work that way.
Authors, you’ve been given your walking papers. Use them. RUN. You don’t have to pay anything. You don’t have to sign anything. Just take your work and walk. Find a publisher that can treat you and your work with the respect and professionalism you deserve.