Here’s why you should always research your publisher.

Authors, it’s not just important, it’s imperative that you research your publisher before you sign on the dotted line. If you don’t, you could fall into the clutches of a scam publisher. They’re out there, poised to take advantage of your eagerness to publish, and to exploit your work to their own financial gain.

Like this one did:

Erotica publisher, author charged for manipulating book sales
Erotica publisher Jana Karetko is facing charges after altering her clients’ book sales reports and pocketing the stolen royalties. In some instances, she even inflated or exaggerated book sales to make the authors believe the novels were doing well or becoming bestsellers. Among the many thefts, she’s also accused of falsifying her income on a tax return and not filing returns for two consecutive years.

That sounds so familiar, doesn’t it?

She was arrested and charged Monday with five counts of money laundering, four counts of felony theft, nine counts of computer crime and three counts of tax evasion.

It’s been more than a year since I typed the words ‘Tabetha Jones’ in a blog post. I got sick of her taking up space in my head. I got sick of her headgames, her miserable, crooked treatment of authors. I got sick of HER.

But when I saw that article, it made me think.

I originally blogged about Tabetha because she scammed my kid, among many other authors. To date, my daughter is the only author I know of that Tabetha repaid. There are maybe dozens of others that were scammed through a multitude of bogus companies she owned (but never properly formed) like Mystic Press, Phoenix Fire Publishing, Sweete Sinz, et al, that were lied to, cheated, and have never been repaid. For their sake, I continued blogging about her and her shady dealings, to vindicate them and warn new would-be victims.

I last blogged about Tabetha, saying that as far as I knew, she wasn’t actively trying to publish anybody’s work but her own-but if I heard anything new, I’d report it.

Well, I can’t prove that she’s at it again (if she ever left off), but I have heard whispers about a whole flurry of new names, new bogus companies, new aliases, etc.

I’ve also heard rumors about her claiming that she and her “powers” are to blame for my house burning down last year, “karma” from her angels and guardians. Saying that’s why I don’t blog about her anymore, because I’ve finally been “put in my place” and that I’m too scared of her to dare.

Rubbish.

As if she had the power to do anything but wipe her own ass.

An outlet shorted and lit up the sofa. End of story.

But it’s important to mention because if this is the sort of thing she’s telling people to frighten them into submission, it needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the light of day and exposed.

That’s the sort of thing she became infamous for, intimidating her victims, either with exaggerated tales of her imaginary powers, or threats from the men in her life (real or imagined. Like the fake and ill-fated Bo). Getting authors so afraid of her wrath that they wouldn’t dare question the ineptitude of her services or discrepancies in their (lack of) royalties. They just shy away, battered and bruised, some too traumatized to try to publish again.

That’s why, when the first brave souls stepped forward with horror stories, bloggers like Emily Suess, Janrae Frank, Erotic Romance and I spoke up. To warn new authors from falling victim.

I also urged her victims to report her to the authorities. The FBI. The IRS. Her local Attorney General. The District Attorney. That’s how the Colorado crook was caught. A victim turned her in to her local DA. Et voila. Come July 7th, she’ll stand in front of a judge to answer for it.

And now, seeing this article, I wish more of the victims I advocated for would have turned Tabetha in. All evidence indicates that she did exactly the same thing this woman from Colorado did. And if she’d been found guilty earlier on, it would have saved countless others from being victimized. Including any that might be in her clutches now.

If so inclined, I could chase her down and find out what, if any, new schemes she’s using to sucker new victims. But, truth be told, I don’t want to give her that much of my energy. She doesn’t deserve that much of my time. I’ve got a life to live, loved ones to dote on, and my own projects to finish.

There’s another reason I put that woman’s name on my tongue. One of Tabetha’s favorite tactics has historically been to sucker new authors victims in by saying “That was in the past!” “I’ve learned from my mistakes!” “Everybody deserves a second chance!”

No. She hasn’t and they don’t. After so many chances, so many victims left in her destructive wake, enough is enough. If you’ve heard these platitudes from your would-be publisher, run. Seriously. Run.

If you’re an author that’s been unfortunate enough to deal with Tabetha Willis/Saulters/Hoover/Jones/Simpson/whatever, I strongly urge you disentangle yourself from her and protect your work.

Always, ALWAYS research your publisher before you sign any contract. Make sure the company exists. Make sure it’s legit. Check watchdog sites like Writer Beware, Absolute Write water cooler. Google your publisher’s name to see if they show up on warning blogs like this one. If, like Jones (et al), they show up on multiple sites and blogs warning you about dealing with them, it’s probably a good idea to listen.

Ask the hard questions. If you don’t get the right answers, don’t let yourself be snowed. This is your work, your career, your name on the line. Don’t be shy or polite about protecting it.

Now, if it’s okay, I need to go shower to get that foul wretch’s stink off me. And meditate to get her out of my head. Distract myself with something pleasant. Like a cute and fluffy kitten named Brutus.

Ah, that’s better.

Take care, folks.

The (other) Willises

I first saw the Willis clan when they appeared on America’s Got Talent and went all the way to the finale. Cute bunch of talented kids.

Then, when I saw commercials about them having a reality show, my thoughts were twofold. First, I thought “Good for them!” Then I paused. Growing up in the spotlight doesn’t always bode well for young children. Not even Christian children. Just look at the Charlie Foxtrot that is the Duggars.

This family reminds me of that one in a few ways. They’re growing up in the spotlight of reality tv, and there is a HUGE number of kids. It looks like there are 12 of them now, not counting 6 that were tragically lost in a car accident.

I don’t know if the Willises subscribe to the same branch of faith as the Duggars, but I sincerely hope they fare better.

What REALLY bothers me, though, isn’t their fame or faith. It’s their name. Willis.

We all know Tabetha Jones. She’s a scam artist that’s defrauded thousands of dollars out of authors, collectively, and continues to do so through clandestine sales of their titles on foreign markets.

And I think we all know that Jones is just one of the many names she’s used, both through marriages and adoptions. Her birth name, though is – you guessed it – Willis. The daughter of Darlene and Larry Willis, Tab has claimed pride in association with her father’s alleged ties to both the Bandido and Hell’s Angels motorcycle clubs, claiming that he belonged to both somehow.

But we all know that isn’t true, either. Her father was a trucker with a drinking problem. Unable to be proud of him for the man that he really was, she’s built up this bad-ass biker fantasy for him. And, unable to be proud of herself, she includes herself. In that fantasy and many others.

Now here comes this family, talented and beautiful, bearing her birth surname. They’ve done what she never has, WORKED for the success that they enjoy. They’ve overcome the kinds of tragedy that she only invents for people to pity her. And they’ve made it to the big stage, something she will never do.

I wonder how long it’ll take for her to find a way to latch onto their coattails?

I offer a nod to Cindy Franks White.
williseswannabe
I tend to agree. She’s a copycat, the worst wannabe in the world, with no real identity of her own. All she can do is rip off others and invent fantasies.

I only hope for the sake of those lovely kids that they never have the misfortune of meeting this freak, nor having her associate herself with them on any level. They’ve had enough tragedy in their lives.

EX-ploitation

You remember Josh, right? The young fellow that Tabetha moved into her house and had her daughter calling daddy. Dressing her kid up in bandannas and biker boots to look like “Daddy’s little biker girl.” The guy she posed for pictures with in violent poses, covered with bruises from their private practices.

He’s the guy she tried to accuse of abusing her – trying to use those kink pictures as proof – after he realized what she was and left.

He’s also the guy that was one step ahead of her the whole time, getting statements in her own words that she consented to rough play. Took the air right out of those abuse allegations. Bravo. I hope the next guy is as smart. And the guy after that. And so on.

Josh has moved on, is very happy with a new girl, and would be delighted never to hear the name Tabetha Jones again. As it should be. As it would be if not for her penchant for exploiting anybody that leaves her. Authors, artists, she continues to sell and/or exploit their work. We’ve proven it again and again.

Same thing with models. She keeps their photos up on her site long after they cut ties with her.  One glance at her Phoenix photos website shows a whole host of models that wouldn’t piss on her if she was on fire, she’s treated them so unprofessionally. But there their pictures still are.

And it’s the same with ex boyfriends. Husbands. Whatever.  By claiming that each and every man she’s had a relationship with has abused her, she keeps them in her life. By crying victim, she gets to keep their names associated with her. She forces people to keep dealing with her, the act of a control freak that refuses to let anybody go for good. They might move on, but they’re stuck with her in some form or another.

When it comes to former friends and associates, she’ll lie flat out and say that they’re still friends and associates, long after they get sick of her shit and leave, too. If she can’t keep ’em, she’ll ruin them by telling people they’re still associated with her. Her reputation is such crap that she’ll claim that a friend or former partner is still thick as thieves with her in order to make them look bad to other people, by association. The same way she tries to ruin these men by accusing them of abusing her.
counsel-clipart-hidden-agenda-clipart

In at least one case, Josh’s, she keeps more than his name in her game. She’s still also got his pictures up on her website.
couplesstill
They might be gone tomorrow, but those images are still there today.

Now, somebody help me understand this, because I’m confused. If a man abused a woman as badly as she claimed he abused her, why would she keep his photos? Especially if they depicted the sort of violence she claimed she was traumatized by? Wouldn’t a battered woman want to erase any reminder of such a horrible experience?

Of course she would.

Her claims of abuse at his hands are lies. He proved it. If he, or any of her exes truly abused her, there would be police reports. There would be some jail time going on. There would be revenge metered against them by her biker buddies. There would be SOME evidence.

And there would be less of an inclination to move a man into her home who has a violent  criminal history. Not with her, and not with her young child. A woman that was truly abused would make wiser choices. Any mother in her right mind would be more careful than that.

But this post isn’t about her ludicrous abuse claims. It’s about how she continues to exploit her exes. It’s about how she’s STILL exploiting Josh for her own gain by keeping his images on her site, even though she has no contract in place that allows her to display them at all.

Take this as a warning, all who deal with her. If she’ll lie about her ex authors, models, editors, authors, artists, partners, friends, husbands and boyfriends, what’s to stop her from lying about you? If she exploits them this way, what makes you think she won’t exploit you? Think about it. Hard.

You’ve been warned.

You’re welcome.

Oh, look.

Tabetha’s a public figure now.
publicfigurenow
Or, Zoey Sweete is. I know, same thing. Either way, it’s funny as hell.
Self publishing some illiterate spank-smut and rolling around naked on the couch so her sister can take pictures makes her a public figure.

And I am the queen of Sheba.

Let her have her delusions. She got a picture into a vanity magazine, so of course she’s the next morbidly obese supermodel of the world. More power to her. At least she’s not pretending to be a publisher anymore. And that’s a good thing, because she still hasn’t learned how to spell. There are several faux pas in her ego-stroking write-up of her involvement with a local model-broker.
ZoeyCantSpell
Wouldn’t her new boss be proud, having somebody with her literary skills in their corner? I know I would be. Not.

Wait… what? She’s still playing publisher, too?

Well, it is true that she’s still got books out there by former authors victims on sites like Amazon UK, among others. And I hear whispers that she’s quietly planning to re-release her entire “catalog” of books by authors that have long since cut ties with her.

I hope she does. I hope she keeps every third party sales going, and has the nerve to re-publish work she has no legal right to use. And, unlike before, I hope the authors nail her ass to the wall. The only reason she’s still out there ripping people off is because they get so sick of her that they walk away. They simply don’t want to deal with her anymore, even if that means letting her get away with it.

I can understand that. I’m sick of her, too. Nothing would make me happier than if she fell off the face of the planet tomorrow. No lie. But I guarantee that if I had the grounds to prosecute her, I wouldn’t walk away from it. I’d be too worried about the next person she hurts. I couldn’t have it on my conscience that somebody else got hurt after I could have stopped her. That’s why I still blog about her: to let people know what sort of person (author, editor, whatever) she is, so that they can be warned going in.

Whether it’s the next lover, model or author she suckers in, people have a right to know who they’re dealing with, so that they can avoid the lies and abuse.

Troy, you don’t see it because you’re new to the game, but you’ve already fallen into her pattern. She’s got you suckered in with whatever lies she’s told you. She’s got you playing her internet games for her. Is she using you for money, yet? She got the last guy to take out a loan to pay off her probation fines for her, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts he’ll never see that money again. What about you? Got a job? Contributing to the household bills yet? She’s already got you entwined into her drama. Has she got you contributing to her habits, too? Or has she still got those hidden? Has she got you thinking she’s little Suzie homemaker? Or have you caught her partying all night and sleeping her lazy ass in all day? Hey, if that’s your idea of a hot catch, more power to you. But make no mistake. Whatever story she told you about herself (that she’s some emerging superstar model, publisher writer, whatever), whatever she’s said about us (that we’re all liars and haters, whatever), whatever she said about anything, IT WAS A LIE.  We’ve known her a hell of a lot longer than you have, and we’ve seen it all before. Repeatedly.

Every single guy before you – and the last one was RIGHT before you, by a matter of days, maybe weeks  (she called him her king dragon, too, in case you didn’t know) – has discovered the same thing: That we’re right about her. It takes them a while, because she does lying to people’s faces really well, but sooner or later, they all see it. If you’re a smart man, do what I invited you to do in the first place. Read this blog from the oldest post to the newest one. Read. Learn. Save yourself the time and pain of finding out the hard way.

As for the rest of you, I hereby challenge you. If you’ve got any legal action that you could take against her, do it. I know a couple of her former authors that are cooperating with local, Federal and international authorities to investigate her crimes against them. And that’s a beautiful thing. If the rest of you would step forward as well you’ll not only be reclaiming your own destiny, you might be stopping her from doing it to the next person.

Same thing about her kid. If you’re someone with knowledge of any actions or circumstances that present any sort of unhealthy situation for her child report her to CPS. Imagine if you were a child living like that. Wouldn’t you wish that somebody had advocated for you? It’s not about “getting” Tabetha. It’s about doing what’s right for a little girl that can’t fight for herself. One that deserves a decent life.

Stop letting her skate just because she’s so detestable you don’t want to deal with her anymore. Put a screeching halt to her path of destruction. Once and for all.

Then we can dedicate more time to pointing and laughing at the little femme, Nikita. Won’t that be fun?