Posts tagged ‘Phoenix Fire Publishing’

THE SHIT HITS THE FAN

And boy howdy does. I’m sick of the games being played with me and rusty. Therefore, I am publishing all of the letters I have received from the perpetrators.

FROM LINDSAY

On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 6:43 PM, Lindsay Anne Kendal <88888> wrote:

Thank you for your email. It is appreciated.

This blog was pointed out to me by Tabetha, she told me my cover art was being ripped to shreds and that I had to get on there. I too apologie if it seemed I came in guns blazing. I was just so shocked and upset to see my name on there, I lost my senses and wrote without taking a step back and thinking. I have been warned that I may be tainted by association, and it seems that now I have. I haven’t revisited the blogs. I don’t want to see my name slated for creating a few covers. I also believe people have attacked my personal blog, and I don’t want to read that either. It has upset me, I won’t lie. I know people are upset with what has happened with the publishing house, but that is absolutely nothing to do with me. Tab and I were friends months before she started working with Mystic. She, Wendy and Brandy (the original owners of Mystic) were all authors at my publishers before they went to do their own thing. I know Wendy caused a lot of problems, she is a scam artist and now runs several other companies. I am friends with some of the authors she damaged and I know first hand Wendy and her husband, Robert, were scammers as they tried scamming me. Luckily, my publisher warned all her authors about their unethical business practices, as she called it. I then cut all ties. I did try to warn Tabetha and shortly after she became the sole owner. I supported her, told her if she put her mind to it then she could really do well with the company. Not long after, only a few months, things went on the decline.
She asked me to go on board creating covers for her and doing some promo timeline banners. Then people started coming to me of their own accord and I really enjoyed what I was doing. But first and foremost I am an author.
I am friends with Tabetha away from all of this, I have been for around eighteen months now. I will continue to be her friend, but I will not be getting involved with this any more. A friend is all I am, and I do graphics when needed. I am not a business partner, employee, I’m freelance. I have no dealings with anything other than the graphics and I have no intentions of changing that. I don’t want any deeper involvement. I am friends will all the authors, past and present and they all know they can speak with me in confidence. I’ve met some amazing people through Tabetha and the companies and I would like to keep them as friends. I take great pleasure in speaking with them. I know a lot more than I’m telling from both sides, but I will never betray anyone by giving out that information. I’m known for being open, honest but also trustworthy and I don’t ever want that to change.
You may quote anything you like from my blog, not that you need it, but you have my full permission to take what you like. Like I said earlier, I won’t be visiting the blogs again.
If you would like to pass this on to Cussed (if that’s correct) then please feel free. It would be nice for her to know that I’m not a loud mouth bitch, like I may have initially come across as being. Please also excuse any typos, I’m currently trying to write this on my phone in the back seat of a car.
I do appreciate your email, and thanks again.

Lindsay

FROM “WENDY”
——– Original Message ——–

Subject: info about mystic
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2012 16:00:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Wendy Hayes-Hunyor <*****>
Reply-To: Wendy Hayes-Hunyor <*****>
To: janraefrank@gmail.com <janraefrank@gmail.com>
My Dearest Cussedness,
 
This can be on the record or off, either way it needs to be out there. I am the former owner of Mystic Press and have been following its recent closure. I was contacted several weeks ago by several attorneys representing the authors that once were signed with Mystic when I owned it and Tabetha Jones merely worked for me. She was so naive that I have to say how proud I am that I actually got her to feel important and do work for free. She is a hell of a worker and puts a lot of time and effort in that really I just didn’t want to do. I don’t care if this makes me look bad or what people think of me but I guess you could say my conscious  is getting the better part of me. 
 
I was signed with World Castle Publishing with my manuscript the same time Tabetha and her former co writer were signed. Her co writer eventually became my co owner even though she was lazy as a damn cow, no wonder Tabetha dropped her from the series. I admit I should have listened to Tabetha when she warned me about her but the trouble I am now in is my fault and can’t blame anyone else. We both ended our contracts around the same time and I decided to open Mystic Press up. Tabetha worked for me doing client services. She made sure deadlines were met, clients were up to date on all information, and an occasional book trailer or two. She was going to school and I recommended she take some English Comp classes so she could start editing for me. She was eager so right on the spot she did it. 
 
Now, I admit the co owner and I went behind her back and opened up several new business’ because trouble was coming. We took money we shouldn’t have. All I can say is that Tabetha didn’t know half of what was really going on. When I told her I was closing down she asked to take over, and thinking it would get me out of the mess I had created for myself I signed it over. But unfortunately that was not the case. At the end of October all that came to bite me in the ass and with documentation filed on Tabetha’s part she proved she was free and clear of anything that had happened. I may be facing jail time but at least finally you dumb asses with have the story you always wanted.
 
Tabetha took over and as I heard through the grapevine it wasn’t months later that previous authors were already beating down her door for money that had been handed over when i owned the company. Now I am not saying I took it (I’m not going to admit all my dirty details) but Tabetha really had no idea what she was getting herself into. 
 
By no means am I coming to her rescue, or defending her but you people really know how to get things twisted. Now as for as her having alter names. Sorry wrong on that again. I have met both Skylynn and Rai. They did some blogging for us and actually came to my house several times. I didn’t really care for either really. Skylynn was self involved and Rai was a whiny bitch with this poor pitiful me attitude. But Tabetha was friends with them and they did good work. Did I pay them, well that’s my secret too. Did i pay Tabetha, my secret as well. Did i take authors money and not render services, again my secret. 
 
I wont give away all the information, I’m not stupid. So I set her up. I sent authors her way just to watch her fail. Some published their work, some didn’t want that long. That got what they wanted out of her and in return dropped their suits against me. The deals you can strike with people who are desperate to get published. I will say this for Tabetha Jones, she did way more for her authors than I ever would have. I wouldn’t have paid for their editing. I wouldn’t have paid for all that expensive swag. And I certainly wouldn’t have gone broke making sure my authors had everything they wanted. 
 
Now I did read somewhere she used her aid money to run the company. She didn’t have any aid money left. She happens to go to one of the most expensive online schools there is. I also read that people have tried contacting me to get my story. Another lie. No one has contacted me. In fact I believe they quoted me as never have to known a Tabetha Jones. This is the first and only time i have done anything and I just figured I’d help out with the hate campaign against Tabetha. 
 
Poor stupid naive girl, I am sure if she knew what she was signing on to when I gave her the company she would have ran the other way. And I am grateful she didn’t because when it crashed and burned it went all on her. 
 
As much as I hate to admit it, Tabetha hasn’t scammed anyone, she was just set up. I am a bitch like that. My book wasn’t selling and hers was doing far better than mine, and I wanted to do something to trash her name. It’s a dog eat dog world. And Tabetha is trusting enough to be used like that. Infact one author that scammed her happens to be a very good friend of mine. I hated that it came down to this but hey I wasn’t going to be out done by someone like her. Never done anything wrong. always trusting, big smile, big sweeteheart. I hate bitches  like that. 
 
I must say thought she did one thing I didn’t even think she would do. She opened up Phoenix Fire and I must say she is doing a better job than i thought. I checked out her authors, all well written, all standing behind her and working together as a team. Something I never had when I owned Mystic. Which really just pisses me off. 
 
Also I do want to clear one bit of info up. In the State of Texas and county she lives in you do not have to register for an at home business unless you make over a certain amount. I do medical transcripts and a few other things, yes i am still in the publishing world, but under a different name and company. That info you won’t get out of me. I won’t out myself all the way. So this Lepplady I keep seeing everywhere, I checked out your daughters fanfic page where some of her work is posted and I will agree with Tabetha’s editors and betas, her work plan sucks. Doesnt need a rewrite, it needs to be burned trashed and forgotten about. 
 
So what I am a bitch that took Tabetha, left her with the blame and got away with shit. I was just smarter than her. Did she steal money? No. Did she scam people? No. Does createspace give out refunds for services? No. Does Lightning Source? No. Is she responsible to give back money after editing and marketing services have been done? No. I have seen her books through Mystic. Every upcoming author she had listed in the back of the book. Do you know how much time and money that takes to remove a book and remove that author and reupload the work? 
 
This Lily Crussell, seen you around, heard the sob stories, and that mysterious virus, you really think Tabetha is smart enough to pull something like that off. Why don’t you look at other people that have it out for you. I had several friends that picked up the same virus, it was a random thing but no you jumped quickly at her. And you didn’t complain when you got scammed by that one company that was putting you in print. You didn’t pay back all those donations people made for you. I had a very dear friend that contributed to that for you and I din’t see you offering up any money. Maybe you got what you deserved. 
 
Again I am not her to defend Tabetha or applaud her. But she’s not a liar either unfortunately. IF she was I would have pinned everything I did and intend to do on her. This Phoenix Fire I think it has potential and it really leaves a nasty taste in my mouth to think she might just do it this time. Lindsay, what can I say about Lindsay. Her art has improved but her mouth still needs a leash. These other authors that was with Mystic that transferred over after I left, well I applaud them. Thank you for a job well done. I wanted to see that good toe shoes bitch burn. I always hated that she did everything RIGHT, she always went by the BOOK, and never did anything WRONG. I was trying to make money and she got in the way. Her and her too good ways, and ‘we have to look out for the authors best interest’ bullshit. 
 
I don’t care what people think of me. I will make my money. I will get where I want to go and I don’t give a damn on who I have to step on to get there. Did I mention it pisses me off that Zoey Sweete books are doing so well and mine is like shit. Fucking cunt bitch. Jealous, yes, I am jealous. She has overcome everything I threw at her and still going. But you guys, I want to thank you guys. You did a bang up job of making her look like a sorry ass and I loved it. All these blogs that are trashing her, thank you all from the bottom of my black heart. 
 
Now as I said you can post this, print it and light it on fire, so whatever you like. I just wanted to finally to let someone know that Tabetha Jones really isn’t the bad person in all this, I set her up and damn proud. She knows it too. We just went to court over this right before she shut the doors to Mystic. Well, I was in court her attorney, little dick weed of a man, had what he needed to put me against the wall. 
 
So what else do I have to lose. So why not help you folks out and give you piece of knowledge. If you ever go to fuck someone over make sure they dont keep their paperwork. make sure they aren’t Tabetha Jones. 
 
What will I do now? I will continue to publish and own companies. I’ll change my name again, and open a new company and no one will ever know of Mystic or my dealings because the new name, new person will never have done those things.
 
So what if I’m an evil bitch. So what if I let it go too far. So what….cry me a river and shred a tear for the bitch that went down with the ship. 
 
 
As for the co-owner of Mystic when I owned it and co-owner now of my other companies, I am afraid she will be a bit upset about this but i don’t think she’s been following all of it. She got over it a bit easier than I did. I just didn’t want to be outdone, especially by Tabetha Jones. Oh, and the slut comment, classic, I know that pissed her off. She might be a tattooed exparty girl but slut, not her thing. Too bad cause then you and I could have a field day with that one.
Cussedness, let me know if you ever wanna bash her trash her or just talk shit, cause I hate her. I hate she out smarted me. I hate she had the facts and everyone found out that I was indeed the bad guy. But who says i cant have fun now. The court proceedings are over so i can say what I like. You wanted the story for your ‘timeline’ here you go. 
 
You either feel like a dumbass as I did when I found out Tabetha had been smart about her ways, or don’t care at all. I just thought I would ruin someone else’s thoughts of her. I couldn’t make her look bad, so why should anyone else get the chance. The stories she posted on those other blogs telling ‘her’ story. Well I got to hand it to her, I guess there’s not a lying bone in her fucking body. What’s a white lie going to hurt? I did it to my authors. I promised them the world, even her, did they get it no. 
 
Will I always hate her? Yes. Will always do what i can to ruin her life? Yes I will. Will I go after Phoenix? No, because if I do, I might be sitting behind steel bars. I can’t touch Phoenix, but you guys are doing that for me. Even though I have yet to see her do anything wrong but yes, you are tearing her world apart for me. Kiddos to you for that. 
 
If there is anything else I might be able to help you with just let me know. I love doing what I can to humiliate Tabetha Jones. Bitch outsmarted me, outsold me, and I just don’t let go very well. Yeah, I fucked up. I took Mystic and ran it into the ground and then pushed it all off on her. It wasn’t right but I wasn’t going to go down for it. I even let her take that dumb ass submissions manager with her. Ha! She thought I was doing her a favor. And Lepplady most staff that works for you has access to all company emails and company blogs. Personal accounts no.  
 
Think of me what you will, I have thicker skin than Tabby Cat, I wont scream and cry to defend myself. I fucked people over, I was good at it. End of story. Tabetha on the other hand, the reason she defends herself so is because well, even as much as I hate to admit it, shes telling the truth. Damn that tasted bad coming out of my mouth. But if anyone is going to take her down it will be me, just havent thought of a way to do it yet. I wont touch Phoenix, nope, I will go after her as Zoey Sweete. I’ll ruin her rep through her books this time since the company thing kind of blew up in my face last time. So off I go to plan my next scheme. Any ideas…although starting with her author pic looks like a slut is a great one. I think I will go with that first.
I will wrap this up feel free to, like i said you cant say anything to me that hasnt already been said. I am a bitch, I am greedy, I am very good at what I do. Ask Tabetha I am sure she will tell you.
Sincerely
Former Owner of Mystic Press
Wendy Hunyor
 
P.S. Please do NOT disclose my email address. That is to remain private.
_____________
FROM THE POSSIBLY MYTHICAL DAUGHTER OF MARTHA WILSON

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Query
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2012 05:26:13 +0000
From: Laura Wilson <*****>
To: janraefrank@gmail.com
Dear Ms Frank

I have been given your email address and believe you are the site owner of one of the blogs my mother, Mrs Martha Wilson, has recently been commenting on. If this is not the case, please disregard this email and all its contents.
I am one of Mrs Wilson’s daughters, I am writing to ask you to please block or do whatever is necessary to prevent my mother from commenting on your blog in future. I have asked for the site owner of the blog which goes by the name of The Rusty Nail to please contact me with regards to this issue.
I need offer no explanation for my request, however I shall give you one in brief.
We fear my mother is about to become an very unwell woman. The concerns I have had for the last couple of months have only been intensified while reading the posts on both yours and the other blog site. An example of this, my mother was a nurse and wonderful one at that, she states on your blog she left her employment only 6 months ago. This is not the case. My mother actually left work almost three years ago. If I attempt to tell her this, she thinks I’m losing my mind. She has started repeating herself constantly, become obsessive over the most nonsensical and unimportant things. Such as the topic on your blog. At other times, she struggles to remember my name. Some days she is perfectly fine, other times, very confused or neurotic.
We have visited several doctors and she will be under going a series of tests and examinations in a couple of weeks time. My fear is this may be the start of a form of Alzheimer’s.
She is currently visiting family in the south of England, none of whom are aware of what has been going on. One of my brothers has travelled with her and intends on informing them. At the precise moment in time, only he and I are aware of the happenings and we hoped to keep it that way until the festive season had passed.
Do not bother trying to search for my identity on Facebook, I know people on your site seem keen to do this. I’m a police office, we are not allowed to join social networks. If you wish to speak, I can provide you with a telephone number or of course you can email any time.
I ask that the last few post’s made on The Rusty Nail blog site be deleted. I do not want Lindsay to know I have been on there should she decide at any point to read the posts. I will be visiting Lindsay in the course of the next week to portray the unhappy news. I would however like to allow her to enjoy the New Year celebrations before breaking her heart.
I appreciate any help you may be able to provide. I’m afraid I will not be able to reply for a while, as my shift starts in an hours time. I will however check for any responses you or the other site owner may have sent.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope you can assist me in this matter. May I also take the time to apologise on my mothers behalf for all the messages posted. The thoughts of her being on a blog like this makes me rather unhappy. Especially when she has been spoken too in such a crude and unfriendly manner. Your latest comment in regards to my post speaks volumes of your character.
I do not expect this to be made public, this is sent to you in confidence and should be treated as so. These details are personal.
Regards
Laura
 
 
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The strange case of Lindsay's Aunt

Let’s start here with Lindsay’s bio. What I want you to notice here is that Lindsay says she lives with the following people: her parents, her sister, and two dogs. There is no mention of an aunt. Why mention the dogs and not the aunt? Especially if they were supposed to be close? Also Martha mentioned a brother of Lindsay’s living with them in her reveal. But Lindsay does not mention a brother either. Does she even have a brother?

I have taken screenshots of everything I’m linking you to.

Lindsay does the same thing to others that she accuses others of doing to her.  Read down to the third review.

I have complained in the past about false PR. This girl reviewed Lindsay’s book with great enthusiasm. This girl is also the face on the covers of Tabetha’s novels of the Draven, starting with Blood Magic.  You will note that the review is also riddled with grammar errors, spelling errors, and fairly empty headed.

Here is a link to Lindsay’s self published novel, Guilt of the Innocent.  The plot is your typical adolescent wish fulfillment tale of special powers and romance. The writing is chewing gum sentences. Without the circle jerk handsies from Tabetha’s harem of sycophants, I doubt that Lindsay would get any good reviews at all.

Lindsay wants to present herself as damaged goods emotionally. However, she also says she holds down three jobs.  She is only 6 months younger than my daughter. My ex was an abusive asshole; my daughter has PTSD. So I feel competent to recognize genuine damage. Lindsay is not damaged.

“Martha” says that referring to Lindsay as “the young artist” is normal for someone of her years. She claims to be 57. I’m 58 and would never refer to my daughter as “that young game designer” as if she were a child prodigy.

“Martha” claims to know nothing of computers, yet the first home computers came out while I was still in high school. It was “Martha’s” and my generation that got them first. So we know a huge amount about them.

“Martha’s” voice was clearly designed as a persona by someone who cannot write characters well. No Brit of my generation would speak the way that “Martha” speaks.

Oh, and Martha just posted a comment about not seeing what was abusive about Lindsay’s review. HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yet, the mildest of criticisms of Lindsay are considered abusive. Pot meet kettle.

Lindsay started following me on twitter yesterday. I have blocked her.

I think this is enough to start with. Tally Ho! The Game is Afoot.

 

Tainted by Association: hows and whys

As I watched the arguments happen between two of my commenters over Lindsay, I felt that I had to discuss the topic of becoming tainted by association. First, this process of assumption that birds of a feather flock together is not always true. The only way that Lindsay can or will be considered “tainted” (not my word) is if she continues to champion Tabetha.  I have been assured that will not happen again.

Simply because a freelancer (whether artist or writer)  has done work for a questionable company does not stain their reputation.  Depending upon the circumstances, some of those jobs should be left off the resume as they have no worth. Freelancers do not have influence with a company. I’ve seen some freelancers fade out of sight after making bad decisions in relation to friends and employers, and then come back to find substantial success. It all depends upon the person themselves and whether they have the strength. These “taints” don’t carry over and most people will forgive and forget the little guy.

As for friendship, it’s an odd duck. We are friends with people for complex reasons and we always want to think the best of them. To drop a friend lightly is become a fickle individual. Telling Lindsay to stop being friends with Tabetha will have the same effect as telling a teenager to who she can and can’t date, with about as much success. Let it drop.

Pulling the subject of Lindsay into this conversation is diverting us from dealing with Tabetha herself.

Phoenix Fire: The Project

First, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you who have posted here to bring so many aspects of the matters to my attention. I appreciate all of you.

You might notice that I have now created a page to document all that has gone on with Mystic/Phoenix Fire since it’s inception. Anyone who can give me dates and information on matters should feel free to contact me at janraefrank (at) gmail.com. Please tell me whether the information is on the record or off the record, etc.

And a mea culpa. I used the word “slut” in reference to Tabetha. I did it to set up a semantics one to three and it turned out to be a far too severe trigger word. If I had given it more thought I would have come up with one that was far more  useful for illustrating my point and far less provocative. For that I apologize to my readers.

The nice thing about timelines is that they are devoid of emotion and just list absolute facts. Facts and logic can lead to clarity and a deeper understanding of matters.

Several years ago, I had a rather vicious stalker. I informed him that if he did not leave me alone I would make him my next hobby. Needless to say, he did not enjoy becoming my hobby.

I do have a complaint about all the glamour photos that female paranormal and horror authors seem to be addicted to. What you look like is no clue to whether you can write well or not. I much prefer the photos of science fiction and fantasy authors who would rather look endearing or intelligent or both.

Phoenix Fire: How to make enemies and create adversaries

Tabetha Jones and her cohorts arrived on my blog and created an amusing furor .

I stand by my statement that Phoenix Fire is run like a vanity press. They expect the authors to pay all of the costs up front. The established norm for a traditional publisher is that the publisher assumes all of the costs and gambles that the book will earn out its expenses. I am hoping to eventually be able to afford to pay a token advance to each author so that even if the book does not earn royalties, they at least have something to show for having published with Daverana.

“..,it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” said Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  And such it is for what happened on my blog. So this becomes an article about what not to do.

I raised my daughter by the Socratic method. I turned arguments into questions. The Athenian philosophers confounded the Romans by arguing one side one day and the totally opposite on the other.   When facts are presented to back up statements, they carry weight and can make for a lively and interesting discussion. This is NOT what happened with Tabetha and her cohorts. They came in guns blazing. Their arguments were not backed by facts. For instance, I was told repeatedly to go speak with various unnamed people to support her claim.

Tabetha’s comments, and those of her cohorts, were filled with irrelevant statements and endless insulting non sequitors.  My questions to her were never answered. I got the usual reactions that are more appropriate to the famous “butthurt report form.”

Let’s start with her “60%” royalties. I asked her to tell me how she figured them. Traditionally, the author is given a fixed percentage of cover price. That does not vary unless (in print cases only) the book is remaindered or reduced in some other way. Trouble arises when the author is promised a percentage of the net. The net is what remains after all costs are covered.  Hollywood and the music industry are famous for their creative accounting practices that can reduce the net to almost nothing. The author should not have to wait for their money until the costs are covered. That is not how it works.  The author’s royalties should come off the top.

The publisher does not own the book. The publisher is renting the book. That is basically what a publishing contract is. The author sells the publisher license to publish. There are other forms, but I’m not going into them here (such as book packagers). The publisher assumes all costs. That’s just how it is.

Another old saying, “You catch more flies with a spoon of honey than a barrel of vinegar.” Tabetha needs to have that tattooed to her forehead so that every time she looks in the mirror she is reminded of it.

There is a huge difference between fame and infamy.  Intelligent people will know what I am talking about.

Time and again, an author or publisher or artist gets criticized for what they are doing and the result is that they make a laughing stock of themselves by throwing a fit. That is infamy. No one ever takes them seriously again. At least no one of worth does.  Now, I’ve put my foot in my mouth at times and had my cheeks burn for a week or more over it. But I did not repeat the error.

Tabetha continually repeats her actions expecting to have a different result.

Dog poops on the floor and instead of punishing him directly, you pat him on the head and “ooooh, honey, it’s not nice to poop on the floor. Mommy doesn’t want you to poop on the floor.”  What does the dog do the next day? He poops on the floor.

The very first thing that a publisher, a writer, an artist needs to learn is to separate themselves from their work/company/whatever. A criticism of the work or the practice is not a criticism of the publisher/writer/artist as a person. The work and the actions stand alone and must speak for themselves. That and only that carries weight.

Another old saying (I’m in one of those anecdotal episodes, so bear with me) is “Actions speak louder than words.” So in this case we have two kinds of actions to weigh. First is the fact that she has not denied that the writer pays for everything. That makes her a vanity. There is no getting away from it. Second is that her behavior is childish.

So what is she saying about herself?

What should we take away from her example?

Well, you have to remove your ego from your work. Yes, positive reactions and reviews are wonderful and they fill us up with fruit of validation.

However, they do not teach us anything. What we learn from is the negative. We learn deeper and more extensively from what we failed at. That’s when we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and vow never to make that mistake again.

I believe in triangulation.  I don’t know if shortwave guys still do this or not. If anyone knows, please let me know. But anyways, they have hunts. They have one member hide and let out a signal. Then three or more of them try to get a fix on it from different angles and finally the signals cross right and the hiding member is found.

Flaws in writing, actions, and art  often can be revealed if enough negative feedback occurs and you start to see a pattern. I found a serious plot hole in My Sister’s Keeper (Journey of the Sacred King book one) when three readers had basically the same complaint. I was able to narrow it down and fix it. That’s the authorial blindspot, but that is also for another discussion.

What I am illustrating here is that both Lindsay Anne Kendal (Tabetha’s cover artist) and Tabetha herself could learn from the fact that they are getting this many complaints and negative observations here. They could fix the trouble. I have more hope for Lindsay than I do Tabetha.

Next point: I never allow the author to choose the cover.  That is for me and the editors because most authors would shoot themselves in the foot in terms of marketing decisions. They don’t have enough experience or knowledge of what sells to make a good decision. The cover promotes the book.  That is the first thing reader reacts to.

The publisher does not own the cover. Nor does the writer. Now, an artist can sell all rights, at which point the artwork becomes a stock image for the company or individual who bought it. However, normally the work is rented. The publisher acquires only certain rights and not complete ownership. These are spelled out in the artist’s contract. I mention this because Tabetha thought that having the author pay for the cover, which Tabetha commissions, is really quite novel and wonderful. Well, what do the authors then expect to do with the cover if they leave Tabetha’s company for another one? The new company is not going to want their edition (which might have been given a brand new edit and revision) to have the same cover the previous edition did. That’s just not done.

Well, you can’t eat a cover.

Anna Loobly posted the following comments.

“…attacking the authors title of their work is awful. What a rude man.”

“If the authors wants that as their cover that is up to them. It must have meaning to them.”

Let’s address it from a marketing stand point.

Authors want their books to sell. This is not entirely a point of vanity. If a publisher allows the author to have a cover and title that fails to catch the interest or, even worse, offend a reader or confuse one, then the book will not sell and in the end a disservice has been done to the author. It is a good publisher’s responsibility to prevent an author from shooting themselves in the foot.

Another good thing NOT to do is to add super glue to your foot once it is in your mouth.

Sometimes you have to swallow back the ugly comments you wish to make and suffer in silence. Or fix the situation after admitting you were wrong. It takes a big person to be able to sincerely admit they were wrong.  That makes people like Tabetha about the size of Thumbelina.  Please, if you hope to have a successful career or hobby, leave the super glue in the cabinet and your foot in your shoe.

PHOENIX FIRE PUBLISHING — AVOID IT

I discovered this blog (and subscribed to it) following a tweet by Victoria Strauss. Some of the names were familiar enough to make me wonder how widespread scams and general misbehavior is on the part of small press publishers. Phoenix Fire is charging their authors to publish their works in a back end vanity manner.

Money should flow to the writer, not from them. It’s an old industry proverb.

The authors could self-publish for far less than they are being charged here. If you do an ebook, it is very easy to master the forms in which you upload them to the distributor. The Smashwords format works fine for kindle also. Making it double easy to just do a single format and publish to both.  The only change you need to make between them is that Smashwords wants the copyright page to feature the words “Smashwords Edition” so you just take it out of the version you send to kindle.

Publishers gamble on their authors earning back the costs of cover and editing.  They do not make the authors pay for them. And they should never promise more than they can afford to give their authors (blog tours, promotional objects, etc.)  or can reasonably handle.

Another aspect of this that is mentioned in the Suess’s blog post is that the “blog tours” turned out to be just three blogs operated by the same individual under different names. I had a personal experience of this several years ago. I hired a publicist for my company, Daverana Enterprises, and discovered that this was the only thing she did. I was appalled at the subterfuge and felt that it was both dishonest and cheating.  Since then, I have witnessed a fair number of “PR” firms holding to this practice.

Back when I was doing PR in the bad old days before the internet, I bought a $500 book each year that had the contact information for every newspaper, local TV and radio across the country, as well as the MAJOR places and shows, including Oprah and Regis Philbin.  You sent out press releases and made phone calls. When you landed an interview for your clients, it was real and not fake.

The internet has allowed for a huge percentage of fakery and all of us should take offers and brags with a grain of salt. Always google a company or individual before trusting them. And while you are at it, confirm that any testimonials are real. It has become a commonplace for some places to use alts to promote themselves. Others like the Albee Agency are attributing testimonials to real people who have no idea they even exist.

Read Writer Beware blog and make it a bible for avoiding scams.