It would be easy to craft a blog post proving that a certain scam publisher said she’d be offline for a while, yet trolled my blog every single day and concentrated her efforts on flinging unsubstantiated venom at me and her other former victims that are trying to move on after getting out from under her hefty reputation rather than focusing on family during a difficult loss. Very easy. In fact, I had one written up as a draft.
But then I thought. If she’s putting so much energy keeping the attention on me, what’s she keeping the focus OFF of? And I found it.
Tabetha Jones recently announced that Phoenix Fire publishing had been taken over by Dark Storm publications. All of the authors’ contracts had been bought out, she insisted. Here. I’ll remind you.
That means that Phoenix Fire no longer exists, right?
So why are there all these books still for sale with Phoenix Fire still listed as the publisher?
It doesn’t matter that we all know that Tabetha Jones is Zoey Sweete. Phoenix Fire is supposed to be closed, according to her own announcement. The fact that there are any books still up for sale with PF listed as the publisher proves that she’s a liar and a crook.
It bears mentioning that it’s not just Tabetha’s books are still for sale. There are also anthologies still for sale, like Tattooed on my skin, Blood games/Bloody kisses, To my lover’s dismay, Deviants after dark, Beautifully broken and Primal Howls. I’ve bought, read, and returned a couple of them. And I’m pretty sure that when I did, there were different authors listed as having contributed.
I may be wrong, but I’d swear that at least one of the authors now listed on multiple anthologies as a contributing author didn’t come along (get fabricated by Tabetha out of thin air) until long after those books were published. Yet there are their names.
It also bears note that Beth Wright’s Devils Pet Kitten remains for sale through Phoenix Fire even though she left Mystic Press/Phoenix fire and never returned. Yet her book remains for sale with PF listed as the publisher. And I’m pretty sure Beth’s not seeing a dime of any sales, third party or otherwise. But I’ll bet the publisher does. Think about that.
Authors, if you’re no longer with Tabetha Jones, Phoenix Fire or Dark Storm, and you contributed to any of the anthologies still for sale, it might be worth investing a buck to buy the Kindle version to find out if your work is still included – with a different name. And if you find that your work is still included even though you’ve severed all ties with that fraud, I strongly suggest that you file complaints with the FBI for piracy, her local District Attorney for theft, the Texas Rangers for fraud, and the Better Business Bureau for questionable business practices. Just remember to name the new place in your complaint. Dark Storm. They’re the ones that own the contracts now. The old place doesn’t exist anymore, remember? It’s the same people that run them both, anyway.
If you find that your work is being used without your knowledge or consent, you can certainly file a civil suit nailing her ass to the proverbial wall.
One little fact about publishing that the average indie author might not know is that if major changes are made to a publication, it needs to be issued a new ISBN number. A publisher can’t shuffle around the content of an anthology to fill in gaps after an author has left and republish it with the same ISBN. That’s illegal. Just saying.
Authors, this is everything you need to know. Tabetha Jones is, at best, shady. At worst, she’s a liar, scam artist and fraud. She announced that Phoenix Fire had been taken over. Sold. Whatever. It doesn’t exist. Yet there it is, still listed on books that are still for sale. Did you know? Are you being paid?
She did the same thing after Mystic Press “closed” down, continued to sell books until she was turned in and forced to knock it off.
If you published anything through Tabetha Jones and Phoenix Fire, it behooves you to Google yourself on every book site you can think of (Amazon, Ebay, Goodreads, Smashwords, etc) to make sure that your books aren’t still being sold by a publishing company that’s not supposed to still exist. Make sure your stories aren’t still being peddled in anthologies with different names on them. If they are, you need to find out where your royalties are going, and you need to make the thief doing it accountable for her actions.
Protect yourself from a fraud.
Still don’t think Tabetha Jones owns Dark Storm? Check out these screen caps that show Dark Storm transacting business with Tabetha’s name front and center.
Seeing the light yet?
If you’re an author that’s still currently signed with DS, I can only ask WHY? There’s PROOF, right in front of you that you’re dealing with a shifty character that’s lying right to your face. What makes you think that you’re any different from the authors that have come and gone before you? Because it’s, as she says “In the past?” Well, take a good look, my friends. This isn’t “in the past.” This is today. Right now. And if you don’t think she’ll do it to you, you’re sadly mistaken.
If you continue with that company, brace yourselves to get lied to and ripped off, the same way these other authors have been. And when you find out that we’re telling the truth (if the evidence in front of you isn’t enough to convince you) you can’t say you weren’t warned.
And don’t worry about any contract you might have signed. The same is true with Dark Storm as it was with Mystic Press and Phoenix Fire. If a company isn’t legal, its contracts aren’t legal. You can wipe your ass with that thing and walk. Take your work and leave. If she tries to tell you that you have to pay $125 bucks to get out from under her, tell her to stuff it up sideways. There’s room for it.
If she tries to say you have to pay $125 because it’s in the contract, remember that contract isn’t legal or binding. Tell her to shove it, take your work and split. You’ll do better self publishing on Create space than you would with her. That’s how she publishes you, anyway, using a free service and keeping your royalties. You can do that on your own and keep the royalties you earn.
And continue to protect your work from being sold out from under you. When you do publish yourself, make sure that you’re listed as the only person that can sell your work. That way, there are no mysterious “third party” sales going on behind your back that you’re not getting paid for.
And if she tries to tell you she’s going to sue you, tell her to go ahead. Tell her to send you her lawyer’s contact information so that you can talk to him yourself.
She can’t, and she knows it. First, she doesn’t have a lawyer. She talks a big game about having a lawyer do all her contracts, etc. So… if she had one, she could cough up his phone number, especially if she plans to sue you. Right. All you’ll get is some lame excuse about why she can’t put you in contact with him. She’s been saying for years that she’s got some lawyer doing her bidding (and for free, at that). She’s threatened to sue many authors that tried to leave her (and many a blogger that’s exposed the truth about her, too), but has yet to let a single person talk to him. She’s never filed a single suit.
She won’t. She can’t. She knows that what she’s doing is illegal. The last thing she wants to see is the inside of a courtroom. If she threatens to sue you, call her bluff. It’s just a lot of hot air, one last bid to get money out of you as you walk out the door. Tell her to sit and spin.
It’s your reputation on the line. Protect it from a known thief and scam artist.
It’s your money, keep it in your own pocket.