Category Archives: author beware

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 /