Abandoning Ship Before You Drown: On Silver Publishing

sinkingshipExcuse me while I step into the breach….

Someone extremely astute might have noticed a change in the list of my publishers over there on the right side of this page. There used to be five. Now there are four.

In January, I got back the rights to the second story I published with Silver Publishing, bringing to an end my business relationship with them. I’d been part of their editorial staff briefly, and I attended the workshop/retreat the company gave in Gatlinburg a year and a half ago. I want to be sure to note that the editors and others with Silver I worked with were great.

It was shortly after we returned from that retreat that I found out about Silver’s financial problems. I had a story in revise-and-resubmit status at the time, so I set it aside while I waited to see if this was a short-term glitch or something more serious. A year and a half has passed, and sadly, it appears it was the latter.

I was lucky. My royalty amounts were never large and slowed to a trickle on their own even before my contracts expired, and I have received regular payments, though I don’t know how accurate they are. However, other authors have had multiple novels, long series, and huge parts of their backlist with Silver. They’ve depended heavily on those owed royalties to pay the bills, and they haven’t been getting paid on time, in full, or in some cases, at all. Some authors have gotten back rights to books, but many of those authors are still owed back royalties.

This is an awful situation for the authors, both those who still have books with Silver and those who have their book rights back but are still owed substantial sums of money. I don’t know details of the financial situation or what is being done to resolve it, just that authors not being paid as contracted.

Other authors have posted about this situation, though it’s been a while. I haven’t said anything in public because, as I said, I was hoping it would be short-term problem. But now, I think it’s important that people know, so they can make informed decisions.

At this point, I would have to recommend that authors do not submit stories to Silver Publishing. As a reader, I’d also look for books that were formerly with Silver and have been republished, either by other publishers or directly by the author. Buying those books could help those authors recoup some of what they’ve lost.

Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 responses to “Abandoning Ship Before You Drown: On Silver Publishing

  1. I hung in there for a long time, hoping they’d pull it together, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. They’re still acquiring manuscripts and putting out releases, and some of their people must be getting paid, but I haven’t received anything from them in the last eight months. After asking for my royalties last fall, and receiving promises that they were “coming next week” (but they never did), I also opted to jump ship.

    Good luck. 🙂

  2. Seriously? I just signed on with them this month. Now what? 😦

  3. Hugs Miss Shae. Hope all works out.

  4. I honestly don’t know if I’m owed anything on the one novel I have with them. But I am taking steps to get my rights back. Unfortunately, the cover will not be part of that, and I will have to publish somewhere else, or do it myself. But, as a fairly unknown author, I can’t afford not to receive every little dollar.

  5. Hugs and good luck. 😦

  6. Sorry. I haven’t posted anything about this since November since it seems to be falling on deaf ears. I’m sorry it’s still going on. Like Marie, nothing in months. No payment. No answers to my requests. Nothing since mid summer. I’m still owed for fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013. I wish you all the best. :-/

  7. I’m glad I got the rights back to my book when all of this started happening. I’d been hearing lots of complaints about Silver from both readers and authors so the financial issues were the last straw for me. Good luck to anyone still stuck with them! I don’t envy you one bit.

  8. I stopped buying from Silver when the first wave of information came out about authors not being paid – I figured I didn’t want to hand my money to a publisher when I *knew* the authors weren’t getting their cut (as an author myself, I know how Every. Bloody. Penny. counts sometimes). I assumed nothing had changed since I hadn’t HEARD the chorus of joy at the rainfall of royalty checks… And I wondered, every I got the newsletter, HOW they were luring in new authors, and WHY any author would be so militantly loyal (long past the point of rationality) as to keep submitting stuff to a publisher that was clearly just a thief. I know my hard-core stance on not buying from Silver has caused me to miss out on some wonderful authors, and some fantastic stories from authors I already love, and that pisses me off no end. I’m so sorry my friends and colleagues are being stolen from. It’s outrageous, and I wish there were some actual recourse for all of you…