Kinship down

It appears that Kinship Press is finished.

I can’t say that I’m surprised. When Kinship started, I really had high hopes for it. I helped come up with the name. I truly thought that they were starting up with the best of intentions, to help the authors that were wising up and moving away from Tabetha’s scam endeavors. And maybe that was their intention.

Unfortunately, the folks at Kinship established their company using Tabetha’s companies as a model, with roles that weren’t clearly defined within the company, with authors editing each others’ work, and a whole bunch of work slated to come out at the same time.

Kinship did start out by properly and legally establishing themselves as a taxable entity, so they at least had a legal foundation going for them, unlike Tabetha. That was a great start.

But I think Kinship was too ambitious. A small company that has no experience in the publishing industry should never have taken on as many authors as they did. They seemed eager to take on as many authors as possible, looking to sign Tabetha’s entire roster. The real people, anyway… never mind all of Tab’s many alts. That was a mistake.

They should have started out publishing only their own work, to get their feet wet. Then, after they knew that they were comfortable with the process of publishing, they should have taken on first a single author, to get comfortable publishing someone else’s work. From submission through the publication, launch and promotion process. It’s a lot of work to put out even ONE book properly. And there were only two or three owners and executives in the company. They took on far too much. I pressed this issue many times with Kinship’s owner, but my advice fell on deaf ears.

It’s highly suspect and completely inappropriate and unprofessional for any publishing company to have authors edit each other’s work. That blurs the lines between employer and client. The publisher works for the author, not the other way around. Authors are represented by publishing companies. That’s it. That’s the extent of the professional relationship. Tabetha did that, “hiring” authors to edit each others’ books, promising to pay them with an extra percentage of royalties – which she didn’t pay, anyway. This is absolutely wrong.

Authors who don’t know any better might think this is acceptable or professional, but it’s not. Most authors are neither trained nor qualified to be professional editors. Neither is the owner of a publishing company, unless he or she is trained in that field.

It is the responsibility of the publisher to secure the best possible editing for an author’s work. It’s the job of the publisher to make sure an author’s work gets the best treatment in a whole series of events on the road to getting published. Editing, formatting, pagination, illustrations, if there are any inside the book, cover art, and more.

Kinship published books with errors. They quickly paid to correct them (something that can not be said of Tabetha), but the errors should never have happened in the first place, If they’d had professionals editing and formatting their books, it wouldn’t have.

Another resemblance between Kinship and Tabetha’s companies is personal drama. In the past week or so, authors who wanted answers from Kinship’s owner heard only about the owner’s personal drama. Nothing about the books and business.

I’m not heartless. I’m sorry whenever anybody has hardships going on in their lives. But I do maintain that Bantam’s authors don’t hear about it if one of the executives’ dog gets hit by a car (heavens forbid). There’s personal, and there’s professional, and ne’er the twain should meet.

I’ve said it many times before, and will probably say it many times again. An author and publisher should have a comfortable working relationship, sure. But that relationship should remain professional. Period. If the two know each other independently of publishing, that’s great. By all means, they should be able to chat about whatever’s going on. But if a conversation is about business, that conversation should remain ABOUT BUSINESS. Personal conversations can happen another time. And never, EVER should personal troubles be offered by any executive as an excuse for why something’s not getting done professionally. That’s the height of unprofessionalism, and simply should. Not. Happen. Ever.

I’m kind of sorry to see Kinship fold. That leaves all of those authors with nowhere else to go. I fear that they’ll gravitate back toward Tabetha. She’s one of the two worst publishers in the history of the industry, but if the authors think that she’s the only game in town, they might feel that they have no choice.

If you’re an author, I’m here to tell you that YOU HAVE A CHOICE. You have the very real choice to publish yourself through Createspace. That’s how these small presses are publishing your work, anyway. You might as well do it yourself and keep all of your profits.

Whatever you do, DO NOT go back to Tabetha, under any name. Do NOT. take up with any small publisher that you don’t thoroughly investigate. There’s a new one out there right now that’s questionable as all hell, with only a gmail address for contact information. No phone number, no location, nothing. That sends up red flags, right there. If a publisher doesn’t even want you to know where they are, what else are they hiding?

More about that new company soon. For now, I urge you to remain calm. Don’t panic just because your publisher is folding. Don’t go rushing back to a known scam. Keep your wits about you and examine your options. You’ll likely find that you can do for yourself the same services that these companies claimed to provide.

Breathe. Think. Publish yourself.


12 thoughts on “Kinship down

  1. Truthfully there is only one person who is to blame about kinship. That is Jackie, and only Jackie, unless she hasn’t removed Sabrina from the ownership also. She had asked me and another author to work with her. I told her flat out that I did not want my name associated with any type of ownership.

    I truly wanted to believe that Jackie was going to be a different breed of being. Sadly I allowed my hatred for Tabetha to cloud my judgment. I really wanted to stick it to her. To prove that I was good enough to actually be published. I ignored many signals.

    The biggest was my reprimand that Jackie swore she didn’t write or even give Sabrina permission to send to me. Even agreed with me that instead of me being told bad girl, they (Sabrina and Jackie)should have stood up for me so I wouldn’t have been put in the situation to speak out as I did. What she couldn’t explain was why if Sabrina sent it, why did it come from Jackie’s FB page and not from the company page or Sabrina’s page.

    Then there was the memorial day book. And she refused to answer who was editing my poem. Along with a few other authors’ works. Not counting many times she mentioned Tabetha in conversation, then played dumb. If anyone remembers Tabetha was screaming for me to be fired on the book fiasco blog. So I left Kinship.

    Jackie contacted me, saying sorry, telling me that she was wrong. Blah, blah blah. I gave her another chance, my mistake. In the time she started I have given her 4 books, only 1 needed a cover. I was told another author had a hardship and would I mind being put on hold to do something nice for the author. No problem, but the deal was all 4 would be out by April. Needless to say that only 1 seen that deadline.

    Then comes the next slap in the face. I never received my proof copy, I was sent a pdf of the completed book. Looked good. I would not have known how screwed up my book was in print if it wasn’t for a friend from another group, who was doing a book it forward thing. She sent me my book. I cried, a poem that was 3 pages long, was condensed into 1 page. A 1 page poem into half a page. She promised to fix it. Again nope.

    Then she up and disappeared for a month. Next thing I hear is her patent I’m sorry, I am ready to do right. She promised to get all going and fix everything. The next thing I know she is pretty much taking pages from the fucked up Tabetha lessons 101. It is family issues, her health, you all know the routine.

    But the total pisser is she told other authors to not associate with me, not to talk to me. And that JT and I are liars and weren’t to be trusted. But yet she called me everyday, sent me cute things on FB, so WTF? Then there were the excuses of meds making her not remember saying those things. Then she out right denied it all. Why would 4 people who I didn’t even know, never spoke to, hell I didn’t know that they were part of Kinship, tell me this?

    And before anyone who knows whatever Jackie has filled them in about me, I will say this. Yes Jackie assisted me with getting my van up and running, she also helped me with a few other things. I will always be grateful for that. But that doesn’t give her any right to do and say what she has. Again I will say no shame in my game. Yes she assisted me, but I also told her to keep the royalties of my books until my debt was paid. I don’t accept charity, I pay my way. So since it was hinted about previously, I am stating the whole story. Say what you will about me, but I own my mistakes and admit all I have done. Like me or not, I am at least honest.

    • I had a similar incident. I was willing to submit a piece for Kinship’s Liberty anthology, to benefit wounded warriors. But I was flat-out lied to about who was editing my work. I was told that it was somebody named “Chris” but when the finished edit was sent back to me, it had somebody else’s name all over it. When I called Kinship out on that, the excuse was that everybody else was afraid to work on my story. Okay, but why lie to me about it? I withdrew my piece. I can handle a LOT, but I do not respond well to being lied to. I can handle any truth, but don’t lie to my face.

      The up side is that I have a piece I can add to another anthology, if I can find one deserving enough. They almost got a piece out of me. Almost.

  2. And where is this Jackie person? Why is she not responding or admitting her wrong doing or even denying her role in this mess? Why is she not saying anything? Honestly if it were me, and these things were said about my behavior and character I would stand up for myself. Unless she really was that cruel, followed her mentor’s lead and is as prickly as a cactus. Or maybe she wanted to go a step further then Tabetha. She more than wanted to abuse people, maybe it’s a sick pleasure. Tabetha used people and stole from them. Jackie seemed to take that friendship, family theme beyond sick and made it abusive times 100. Playing a “friend” role and getting people to feel comfortable as she lies about them, and tells people to stay away from them. Personally I prefer to be kissed before I am fucked. But isn’t that just what she did. She preyed on these already victims, twisted them up even more then fucked them without lube. And yet we hear crickets. And I don’t want to hear about her terrible family issues, her health or anything else. She doesn’t care about her authors, the people she claimed were friends, why should anyone give a rat’s ass about her and her situation. And that bullshit I am sorry. Don’t be sorry, sorry doesn’t mean shit without honesty. And from my porch she has no idea what the hell that is. Lying to people about her association with the very person who harmed the authors she said she was going to take care of. Have these idiots no shame? I am betting not.

  3. It has come to my attention that Jackie is up to new tricks. She has been in contact with a few of the Kinship authors with new contracts, and more bullshit promises. She states Kinship is up and running and she is working on getting books out there.

    I am saying this, let me find out ANY of my poems are in any anthology, OR writer’s books and there will be no need for court. Take this as you will. I am tired of these fucking games, lies and manipulations. If any want to trust her, that’s on you. DELETE me as an associate NOW. I don’t need this nor will I stand by and let this cunt mess with my head or my friends.

    Jackie I know you read this blog. So I am publicly saying I don’t want, I DEMAND my book thongs back. No question no lies no nothing. Also stop fucking with people and their dreams Tabetha JR.

  4. I want to clarify a few things. I am definitely not on the paperwork anymore. I am listed as a founder (not by choice) but that doesn’t make me liable for any issues that arise. I have been clean of the drama for a long time now. I came on here to check out the situation for a friend of mine who is trying to remove his books from her company (under a new name.) that’s right it’s no longer Kinship Press. She is already signing authors under J&D publishing. But I have looked and there is no record of the company anywhere. When I asked the author I’m helping about it he said that she isn’t registering it anywhere other than as a name change with Amazon. Hmm that’s not a legit company then.

    • J&D publishing? Just changing the name? Wow. That really IS a Tabetha move. I can only suggest that if this company is being handled in such a way, that authors steer very clear.

      Looks like I’ve got a little more reporting to do.

      Thank you for clearing that up.

      • Any time. I figured I was out of the drama long enough but a little birdie told me that Jackie is still insisting that her and I are still close.

        That is so far from true. I have her blocked on my page. I have only contacted her once since I cut ties with everyone a long time ago and that was because I found out she was using me to make herself better. All I did was tell her to leave my name out of her mouth and then we were done. I have not spoken to her since that and I have no need to. I’m only looking to help an author who has been scammed for too long get out.

  5. It is not associated with it. I have tried to get my name off the paperwork as a founder but they said that is not something that they can do. My name was on at the start of the company but it is off on any other part that has to do with the company as far as legal standing goes.

    As for Jackie sayonf

    • Saying we are friends in any sort is a lie. I want nothing to do with her or the company. My friend is leaving her now that he sees her lies.

  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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