Violation

copyright-violation
In a recent comment, a former victim reports that she continues to see her work in publications put out by  the various, assorted publishing company incarnations owned by Tabetha Jones.

A quick google of Amazon.com’s terms of service confirms that the publication of unauthorized written content constitutes an intellectual rights violation.

So, authors, if you find any of your content being published or sold by Tabetha Jones without your prior knowledge or consent, don’t bother asking her to remove it. She obviously doesn’t care. Instead, report the infringement to Amazon.com. Maybe they’ll yank her account. And the literary world can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

You’re welcome.

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BD heads up

Just a quick heads up. Tab’s planning to re-release her Beautiful Disasters anthology.
upcomingreleasesBDremake
So if you’ve got work in the previous incarnation(s) of that (or any other MP, PF, DS, SF, SS) book, or if you’ve ever given her anything to read, keep a close eye on BD to make sure none of your work shows up in it on the sly. Just to be safe.

And if any of you know Aradia Wadjet, Norbert Gora or Natalie Moon, please let those poor people know what they’re getting into.

It’s official… sort of

Sweete Sinz has been announced by Tabetha Jones.
Sweetesinzreopen

I scarcely know where to start.

I guess I’ll start with her usual lack of a single clue about how to be professional. If the first thing you read about a business is that it has “haters”  “on believers” (?) “nosy bitches” and “stalkers” that alone should tell you that this is a “business” to avoid at all costs. It says right up front that this “imprint” isn’t about books. It’s about drama. This is reinforced by her continuation that she’s protecting her names (both Tabetha Jones and Zoey Sweete) from “slander” and “malicious talk” by trademarking her company.

First, let’s not forget that she started off saying that she was Copyrighting her business. It wasn’t until after I corrected her that she started using the term Trademark. Hell, just about everything she tries (and fails) to get right is because she learned it from me correcting her. That’s pretty sad for somebody that has been claiming to be a publisher for, what, four years now? After all that time, she still hasn’t got even the most basic grasp on how business works.

Next, I can only say it again, for the millionth time. It’s not slander unless it’s false. I don’t know what language she wants it in, but it’s not slander to point out that a person is a crook if they are, in fact, a crook. Never has been, never will be.

Yes, you register a Trademark. Requesting a tax ID and making sure a business is legal at the state and local levels are different things. But as she has so far seemed unable to do a single legal thing regarding any of her so-called companies, it seems unlikely that she’d know the difference.

I take that back. She did do one legal thing. She requested a tax ID for Dark Storm (after first lying to her authors and the public by claiming that the company was owned by someone named Destiny Rane, who turned out to be Tab herself). With that one, feeble stab at trying to appear legitimate, she provided a direct link between all of her past shady companies and herself, through Dark Storm. Where she had previously used alternate accounts, “family” names and other shady shenanigans (to avoid paying taxes?), she put the name Tabetha Jones on Dark Storm. That provided a direct link for the IRS to walk straight up to her front door and knock. So kudos to her for that.

Same thing with this new company. She claims to be procuring a tax ID, registering and Trademarking Sweete Sinz, setting herself up to be all proper and legitimate. If she succeeds, more power to her.

But let’s not forget the twisted path she’s walked  to get here. First (that we know of), there was Mystic Press, which has been proven to scam and rip people off. There are authors, artists and editors from MP that never got paid, and never will. She literally gloated when the statute of limitations ran out for those poor saps. Next came Phoenix Fire, which was just more of the same. Many of the fine folks that speak up about how crooked she is were PF authors, editors and artists that have come forward to say how crookedly she dealt with them, lying to them, involving them in her personal drama and bilking money out of them, offering sob stories about needing new shoes for her kid or having to make payments on her computer or else all of their work would be lost – things of that nature.

After PF came a convoluted series of one-offs. There was the short-lived Silver Fang, which was actually the brainchild of one of her former co-owners, Dark Storm, and Demons and Deities. Mostly (if not all) in rapid succession within this year alone.

And now, there’s Sweete Sinz, the latest in her efforts to bring Zoey Sweete, her pen name, to life. Tab doesn’t even sign her own name to her books, anymore. She attributes all of them to Zoey, including a memoir about her groupie days at the strip club. You know, the one that the club refuses to permit. I guess she thinks by changing the author name, she can slip it in under the wire on them. It won’t work, of course. But with the success of films like Magic Mike and the film about her favorite club, La Bare, her skewed image of herself as part of that world is more glamorized than ever, and she’s desperate to insert herself into that limelight by any means possible. Even if it means trying to publish bold-face lies about romantic adventures with male strippers that would rather gouge their genitals off with a spork and become eunuch monks than touch her. Even if it means treading upon the cherished memories of a fallen dear friend and family man that deserves much better. She doesn’t care. If she can glorify herself, she feels justified.

Even within the formation of Sweete Sinz, there have been lies.

First, she claimed that Sweete Sinz was going to be an imprint ONLY to publish her own books. Her own self publishing efforts.  Not words that I’m implying, but her own words in her own post:
BMisback

And now, here she is setting it up like MP, PF, SF, DS and DD, to work with other authors “one on one” to make their dreams of publishing come true. We’ve seen those words before, haven’t we, boys and girls?

Amusing as all get-out is her assertion that because she trademarks her company, she thinks that protects her from having her crooked activities pointed out if she commits them, as if a trademark is a magic umbrella under which she can do anything she wants and nobody can call her on it. If that’s really what she thinks, she’s got a rude awakening coming.

Also amusing is that by saying that “this time” she’s going to do everything right, she admits that she got it wrong before. She admits that PF and DS were “rushed” and wrong. What is she thinking, saying that “Well, those companies were wrong, but this one will be right”? What can she offer as any reason for people to think that she’s learned anything new, or has any intention whatsoever of changing her ways? Has she taken business classes? Doubtful. Has she had some change of heart? Doubt it. Considering the lies that have already swirled around about the formation of this “new” company, all evidence supports that she intends to pick right up where she left off, using the same methods and means. She’s already using the same catch phrases about working “one on one” with authors to “make their dreams come true.”  Nothing’s changed at all, except for the name of the company. And even that isn’t very original, as there are companies a round the world already using it, including a bakery a chocolatier in India, and an adult escort in Atlanta. One has to wonder if any of them have trademarked the name. Worth finding out.

Does she really think that just because she says so, this new company won’t be compared to the train wrecks of her past? Sorry, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Especially when everything appears to be exactly the same about all of them, from the formation to the wording and especially the owner.

I can only shake my head at the folly.

Well, that and all the rest of it. It doesn’t matter that she’s announcing a company that has no legal foundation, no website or online presence at all. Even a partner that isn’t prepared to be named in association with her efforts. Yet. All of that, hilarious as it is, can be shrugged off as a work in progress. I’m still working on my own sites. It’s part of the job.

What really matters is that there’s nothing in her recent past or present that gives a single hint that this company is going to come together and be any better than any of the past ones were. Exactly the opposite. If anything, this one looks to be even more of a  joke.

Why does she even try? Because she’s her biker-daddy’s tough-minded little girl? Even that’s up for dispute lately, isn’t it? Because she promised her mother on her deathbed? The mere notion is an insult to a sweet lady that was burdened with stress and drama that probably hastened her into the grave. No. She does it for one reason, and one reason only. Money.

Sure. The rest of us work for money. If we said we wrote and published for the pleasure of it, we’d be liars. We’ve all got bills to pay. Difference between her and us is that we do the work expecting to get paid for our labors. That’s it. Nothing more, and nothing less. We don’t rip the beating hearts out of others, bleed them dry and then trample over their broken corpses in search of a fresh victim.

I’ll wait and see what her website looks like. Let’s see who that new(?) co-owner is. Let’s wait for those same, tired old books come out, including her magnum opus, anthologies written by authors that can no longer stand the sight of her. Let’s wait and see if any single thing happens with this new company that smacks of something fresh and new, or even remotely professional and legitimate. So far, it’s left wanting.

Riddle me this

How does a book that was (re)released only a few days ago, without the content of an author that demanded to be removed, have a publication date that throws back to March 11th?
WEauthors562015 WEisbn
And how is it that the paperback version has 14 authors, but the “new” e-book have only 10?

Chunks of missing content and that many fewer authors, that sounds like a major change. And yet, there it is, released with the same publication date and ISBN as from March 11th. *tsk tsk* That’s a no-no.

It doesn’t look like that new “manager” and her business degree are helping shape things up at Dark Storm at all. Maybe “business management” is a completely different thing that PUBLISHING. Just because somebody’s got a diploma in business management, that doesn’t mean they know the first thing about how to publish books. So all of those protestations about helping Tab “fix” the company amount roughly to a fart in the wind. From the look of it, nothing’s changed.

The print version of WE has been yanked so that a writer’s content can be removed.
WEpulledauthorsWEpulledISBN
One can only wonder. When this one comes back on the market, what will be in it? The same 10 authors as the e-book? Shuffled content? More fluff from more alts? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The good news, here, is that an author got away from Tabetha Jones and MP/PF/DS. Here’s hoping the rest of them catch wise and do the same. The real ones, anyway. I’m sure there will forever be a plethora of alts in Tab’s stable, just like there will forever be some mystery man observing, waiting in the shadows, dreaming of a time when he can be with her, just raring to rush to his soul-mate’s defense on the blogs. When they’re not beating her up or threatening to put a bullet in her head, that is. No, none of those things ever happened, of course. But she hysterically insisted that it did, in front of one author, and in front of her 7 year old daughter. It’s no wonder that author has chosen to leave. I can only hope that other authors are looking, so they can do the same.

Run, authors. RUN!

Shifty shuffle

sander-shoots-stack-of-pages
We’ve all seen it.

Tabetha talks authors into contributing stories, poems, whatever, to anthologies. She slaps those together along with content from several of her own alts. We all know how shabby the editing and formatting are, so she can crank these anthologies out by the dozen. I’d say “a dime a dozen” but I doubt that she spends that much.

There are a couple of reasons why she cranks ’em out so abundantly. First, there’s more of a chance that some poor reader will happen across one and buy it. In all fairness, the covers aren’t bad. It’s not until a reader delves into the content that the truth of how abysmally poor the effort is. And by then, the money’s already been spent.

Mostly, though, I think she does it so that there are that many more titles on her website, making her company look more successful than it really is, than it will ever be. A prime example of quantity over quality.

Not all of the stories suck so profoundly. Every now and then, one of the real, breathing authors Tabetha cons into signing with her contributes something that isn’t bad. With proper editing and attention from a publisher that knows what they’re doing, some of them would do exponentially better than they ever will with her.

Royalties get divided equally among the authors, according to Tabetha. So, if she’s half of the authors using multiple pseudonyms, well, she gets half of the proceeds, doesn’t she?

More than half, if the publisher keeps a percentage of royalties as well.

Then, when the numbers and excuses don’t add up, authors leave her. It’s not an easy task, because all those smiles and promises of being “family” fly out the window and the real Tab shows up. The one that waves that contract in their faces, telling them that they’re legally obligated for at least a year, because that contract is legal and binding. It’s not, of course. But if she can get people to believe it, it’s done its real job. Convincing authors that they’re stuck.

If the author persists in wanting to leave, she hits ’em with that separation $125 fee. There’s been some debate about whether or not a publishing company should have a separation fee. Let me clarify.

Yes. A publishing company should have a termination fee, but only IF the only fault is the author’s. If the publisher isn’t getting the job done, isn’t paying, or isn’t living up to their end of the deal, then that fee flies out the window. And, since Tabetha Jones is the publisher we’re talking about, I think we all know where the fault really lies. Too many authors have come forward with horror stories about botched work, abuse and stolen royalties for any reasonable person to believe that whenever somebody comes to their senses and leaves her, that she’s squeaky clean. Exactly the opposite.

Eventually, just about every author she’s ever conned has gotten away from her. Some stand up to her and call her bluff, leaving her no choice but to “release” them. I use the term loosely, because she never owned the authors or their rights to begin with.

Other authors pay that extortionary separation fee just to be rid of her.

Whichever the case, they get free of her. And when they go, they take their work with them, if they’re smart. Including the work they contributed to anthologies. That’s where the shuffle comes in.

More than once, Tab’s been caught leaving people’s work in the anthology and only removing the name of the author that wrote it. At least until she’s caught, blames it on somebody else, then finally removes it.

At that point, she’s left with gaping holes in anthologies. Even though she “wrote” most of it, there are too many holes. So she either shifts stories from other anthologies or fills it with more horrid fluff from another one of her own alts. That constitutes a major change of the content of the book. So does changing the cover.

According to Bowker:

A new edition means that there has been substantial change: content has been altered in a way that might make a customer complain that this was not the product that was expected. Or, text has been changed to add a new feature, such as a preface or appendix or additional content. Or, content has been revised. Or, the book has been redesigned.

Same thing applies if the book is issued with a new cover.

If the change in cover substantially changes the product, then a new ISBN should be used.

So if you see a book that’s recently been re-issued with new content, missing content, or a different cover, look closely to see if it’s got a new ISBN to go along with the new content.

For example:
To My Lover’s Dismay was published with 11 authors and 138 pages.
TMLDauthors
TMLDisbn

But was recently re-released by Dark Storm with fewer authors and only 98 pages, not to mention an entirely different cover.
Dismayauthors512015DismayISBN512015

Nah. Nothing shifty going on here at ALL.

Authors, past. present and future, if you’ve ever contributed anything to an anthology, or plan to, keep very close eye on your work and where it ends up. Just a heads up.

The Call

phone

Last night, I received a phone call from Dark Storm’s new(est) manager. She approached me in a polite and businesslike manner, at first, addressing concerns about her company, about how, now that she manages the company and is an author in it as wall, my blog affects HER, her reputation and her livelihood.

I appreciate that. But, if she’s so concerned about her reputation, her career and her livelihood, she certainly picked the wrong company to stake it all on. And I said as much. “I hate a liar,” she said at one point. I told her “Boy, are you working for the wrong company, then.”

During the course of the chat, she assured me (several times) that she’s about to graduate with a degree in business management. That’s great. I congratulated her. If she really can bring some professionalism to the company, all the better for the authors. I’m all for it. But if she’s just there to intimidate the authors, she’s nothing more than the literary equivalent of a loan shark’s leg-breaker, and that won’t fly.

She named her concerns one by one, starting with the live links I posted to those photo albums in my last post. They’re illegal, she insisted, and demanded that I remove them. I reminded her that, as a well educated person who assures me that she took law classes as part of her business degree, I’m sure she knows that posting live links does not infringe upon copyrights. She insisted again, that yes, it does. I invited her to forward me the statute. I also invited her to forward me emails that she and her boss claim they were sent PROVING that I contacted and harassed a magazine to force them to drop photos of Tab and another model. Not a screen cap, not copy and paste. FORWARD it to me. All of it. I’d LOVE to see all of that.

As of two minutes ago, I still haven’t received either of those. Funny how that works.

What is it called again when people accuse you of something you didn’t do… ?

She went on to express disdain at my comments that without Salena in those pictures, Tab looked like she was having a bad menstrual day. I said that she really had no room to complain when she’s rolling around covered in buckets of blood.
“It wasn’t blood!” she insisted, explaining that it’s corn syrup with dye in it.
“That looks like blood. So…”

She addressed other concerns, including the infamous “Dwarf whore” comments. I explained that those comments were in defense of that child, not to attack her. The new manager went on to say that because of my blog, that child is now having self-esteem issues, and mentioned something about anorexia and bulimia.
I said “Hang on. You’re telling me that because of my blog, that 7 year old child is an anorexic or bulimic?” She backpedalled quickly, saying no, but if she DOES become either of those, I would be liable for it.
I asked her to answer one question for me. How does that 7 year old child even know about my blog?
“Because you don’t have it blocked for under 18.” and because that child is old enough to get on the internet.
I said: “No, you’re not answering my question. How does that child even know my blog exists?” If her mother didn’t tell her about it, that child wouldn’t know the first thing about my blog. The new manager insists that Tab never told her daughter about the blog directly. Rather, the child overheard her mother talking about the blog to someone else.

I personally know that isn’t true. I’ve been on the phone and heard Tabetha RANTING about my blog with her daughter in the room. So have many others, both on the phone and in person. Tab doesn’t just talk about my blog, she foams at the mouth about it, in front of her daughter and anybody else that will listen. This manager claims to have known Tab for the last 5 years, yet says she’s never seen that happen. She also insists that she’s never seen Tab engage in other questionable behaviors that others have seen with their own eyes. So it’s pretty obvious that this new manager is just another hired sock puppet, spouting off Tab’s manifesto on cue. But she was polite, and it was fun shooting down each point she brought up, so I kept chatting.

There was the matter of the picture of that key that I posted. This new manager accused me of hacking Tabetha’s computer because there’s no other way I could have that picture. It was only sent in PRIVATE MESSAGE. So I must have hacked Tab’s computer to get it.
“Unless,” I instructed her “the person it was sent to gave it to me along with permission to post it.” Which is exactly what happened. That seemed to piss them both off — Yes, Tab was there, too, talking in the background, just like she was when she got Dee to call me and say many of the same things. But, like it or not, that’s the fact. No matter how many people she gets to call me to plead her case. Ir try to intimidate me. Or whatever.

This new manager touched upon the subject of people saying that Tab takes/took drugs, by insisting that If Tabetha went and took a piss test and came out clean, all those people that said she took pills would be liable for slander/defamation/etc, right? And maybe me, too, for allowing them to say it.
“Absolutely not,” I laughed. “That would mean that she’s not on drungs NOW. It wouldn’t mean that she wasn’t on drugs then.”
That didn’t go over very well. Drugs, she insisted, stay in a person’s body for a year, so if she tested clean now, that would vindicate her for ALL of those allegations. I could only laugh. But sure, let’s see that piss test. By all means. Who here thinks she’ll run straight to her PO and DEMAND to be tested, this very INSTANT!

Yeah. I don’t see that happening, either.

There was so much more, a full hour’s worth of chatter, about everything from how legal she insists the company and the contracts are now, to the fact that I’m liable for this, that, and the other.
“Great,” I said. “Get me in front of a judge. There’s a whole lot of stuff I’d LOVE to show a judge, on behalf of a whole lot of people that have been wronged by Tab and her company, whatever name she called it at the time. Every author that’s made an allegation about that company can back it up with proof. Tab might wish they’d go away, but the fact of the matter is that they’re still there. They’re real people that have been really hurt, and they can back up their claims with real proof. You’ve seen a lot of it right here on this blog. No, they don’t go away just because Tab wishes they would. And, statute of limitations or not, the truth never stops being the truth.

At one point, this new manager claimed to know a current MP/PF/DS author very well, loves her like family and would do anything for her. This is an author that has decided to leave Tab’s company, in every sense of the word, and who has been getting nothing but grief for it. Threats, fake emails, texts, PMs, you name it.
I said that if this author is somebody the new manager “loves like family” it’s a shame that she’s sitting there defending the person that’s treating said author so shabbily. I think she deserves better. I think all the authors do.

As the conversation wound down, she said that she hopes not to see her name on my blog. I assured her that, as of this moment, I have no reason to name her on my blog. And it’s true. If I CHOSE to, I could. We had a lengthy conversation about Dark Storm (Mystic Press, Phoenix Fire), which is completely relevant to the subject. And, she called me. I could run screaming about how that’s harassment, but I’m not going to do that. In fact, I invited her to call me any time.

One thing that amuses me, though, is that TAb has insisted up, down and sideways that she doesn’t have my address or phone number. That’s why she had to put dear mom on Skype with me.

So… if Tab doesn’t have my number, where did her manager (who called me from Tab’s “office” get it?
Thoughts to ponder.

But, for now, I’m not putting her name on my blog. She has not done anything to directly harm an author or model in any way that I’m aware of. Yet. She works for Tab’s bullshit company, so I could lambaste her for that alone. But she assures me that her intentions are to better the company and make sure the authors are paid and treated fairly. I can appreciate that, and I told her that I wish her the best of luck. If, by some miracle, that company becomes legitimate (in word and deed) and learns how to operate like a proper publisher, the people that would benefit are the authors, and I’m all for that.

However, if I do become aware that she has direct participation in the mistreatment of any author in any manner, I have no problem whatsoever putting her name all OVER this blog. And, since she’s the manager and assures me that from now on, anybody that wants to contact Tabetha has to go through her, I’m sure it won’t take long before she earns herself a spot on the wall of shame.

Over all, I got the feeling that I was supposed to be intimidated by this new manager’s forceful, direct approach. I wasn’t. It takes more than a misinformed mouthpiece to send me running. If anything, I was amused that they thought sending in someone new with the same old arguments would make any difference.

But it occurs to me that authors might be intimidated. By bringing in this “new” hired gun, Dark Storm’s owner might be able to intimidate authors in a way that she is becoming less and less able to do herself as the truth comes out about her. Maybe a new bulldog with a big mouth and a degree in business management can give her company the appearance of legitimacy, and intimidate authors, artists and models into thinking that they’re bound to her and trapped by her contracts.

Don’t be intimidated.

Authors, artists, models and anybody else she might try to intimidate, don’t let any new employee, partner, executive of sock puppet push you around. If a company isn’t legal, the contracts aren’t legal. Period. And if that’s the case, YOU ARE NOT BOUND BY IT. No matter how loudly anyone screams it, no matter now many sock puppets she hires to try and force it down your throat. If a contract isn’t legal, you can wipe your ass with it, claim your work and walk away unscathed. Tab and her new mouthpiece might scream about legalities, backed up by this degree in business management, they’ll tell you. But don’t be intimidated. Everybody in the house could have a PhD in quantum physics, and it still wouldn’t make an illegal contract into a legal one.

If you’re an author, artist or model (or anything else) that wants to get away from Tabetha Jones, do it. Take whatever work belongs to you (not just what she SAYS you can take, but any work you did) and walk. If she or her mouthpiece threaten you with legal action, call their bluff. Invite them to sue you. DARE them to. And if they do, let us know. There are a lot of us that would LOVE to see Tabetha Jones in front of a judge. That might just be the show of the century, with all the evidence so many victims have saved.

She won’t sue you. She’ll huff, and she’ll puff, and she’ll kick up a fuss, but she won’t sue you. No judge in the world would uphold an unconscionable, illegal contract from an illegal company, and she knows it. Her only hope is to bully you into either staying or paying to get away from her. It can only work if you let it. She only gets you to agree if you do so willingly, and she only gets your money if you hand it over. Do neither of those things. Tell her to stuff it and walk.

Don’t let her keep your work, either. She doesn’t have the right to keep or use it. She never did. Not if that contract is illegal. YOU own your work. Especially if you signed with a previous company that no longer exists. Contracts don’t “carry over” just because she says so. I’m sure her new hired gun with the business degree can tell her that. It simply doesn’t work that way. The only contract she can wave at you is any you signed with the current company. And even that’s only useful as toilet paper if it’s unconscionable or if the company that got you to sign it is illegal. And, no, it doesn’t matter that you signed it. If the company or contract isn’t legal, you can sign it a hundred times in fifty different languages and it’s still not binding. Do not be manipulated or bullied into thinking that you’re bound by a contract if it simply isn’t legal. No matter who she throws at you to intimidate you.

And before either of them kick up a fuss about all of these slanderous lies, I’d like to point out that both Texas and Louisiana are one-party states. I recorded that conversation and have no problem whatsoever posting it to prove that I’ve told the truth.

In closing, let’s not forget that none of this changes the fact that neither Tabetha nor her new manager have addressed the points brought up on the previous two posts: THE PUBLISHER GETS PAID FOR THIRD PARTY SALES. But the authors have not been.

If this new manager wants to make this company legit, that might be a good place to start.