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Silver Publishing

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Mercy Celeste

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With the physical location of the company being in South Africa, and subject to South African law, it's an expensive option. There is an American address but the contracts are all from South Africa. It'll take more than the five or so that I know of who left it'll take someone willing to play that kind of hardball. I can't even think about the kind of money that's going to cost. So waiting...always waiting.
 

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I'm trying to figure out why one of the authors don't take the initiative, find all the other authors on the list, and contact them via email, after contacting a lawyer about the issue, and simply file a class action suit against this company?
If there are that many who have had this done to them, and this blatantly, it would be pretty much open and shut.

I'm not sure about the class action aspect - there are special rules for those.

But in terms of just suing... there's not much point, if there's no money to claim. They could sue to get their rights back, etc., but in terms of unpaid royalties? If there's no money, there's no money.

I think it's quite possible that authors are keeping quiet not out of true loyalty but rather out of a hope that the company will turn it around and GET some assets which could then be paid out. I agree that it's not kind to innocent authors who may sign with the company unaware of the problems, but in terms of self-interest, I think it may be the best of a poor bunch of choices.
 

veinglory

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The best option based on self interest alone, perhaps. But as the chance of being paid approaches zero, the value warning others should come into play.
 

benluby

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I'm not sure about the class action aspect - there are special rules for those.

But in terms of just suing... there's not much point, if there's no money to claim. They could sue to get their rights back, etc., but in terms of unpaid royalties? If there's no money, there's no money.

I think it's quite possible that authors are keeping quiet not out of true loyalty but rather out of a hope that the company will turn it around and GET some assets which could then be paid out. I agree that it's not kind to innocent authors who may sign with the company unaware of the problems, but in terms of self-interest, I think it may be the best of a poor bunch of choices.

If, as there is an earlier post, he purchases everything in the company name, there are assets that could be liquidated to pay the bills.
But truthfully, just for the opportunity to get their work back under their control rather than paying this guys bills it would be worth it.
 

michael_b

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They've announced the opening of another branch of Silver Publishing:

"Announcing the grand opening of Silver Stream Press, the YA and Mainstream imprint of Silver Publishing."

Makes a lot of sense to open another publishing arm when the main house is already circling the drain.
 
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Eden Connor

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I'm published with Silver Publishing. I have a series--my first--under contract there.

I was put on a partial payment plan for royalties. Although others were given a chance to get their rights back, he was not in breach of my contracts at that time, so in effect, I was left with no choice but to stick it out. I offered to let him keep my royalties accrued through date of reversion, in return for the rights back to my series. His response was to ask for editing fees, then he'd release them. Bear in mind, he was in breach at the time, by virtue of the 'partial repayment plan forced on us. At no time did I sign a new contract, agreeing to give him an extension on paying my royalties.

The proper certified letters have been sent and the publisher has signed for the notification. I have received no acknowledgment of my letter from the publisher.
I now must wait out the ninety days to see if he elects to return my rights or catch up my royalties.

In the ebb and flow of discussion, I see many of you have posted the things we 'ought' to do, as Silver authors. I'd like to address these posts in one blanket statement. All the contract chatter has little to do with what is happening at Silver Publishing, for me.

Author royalties appear to have been used at some point to pay for business expenses. I don't think this is in dispute. The dispute arose after the admission. He elected to keep the doors open. He chose not to stop planned expansion. He told us he hired a consulting firm. He told us this incident could be weathered. He's good at telling us stuff. He tells us lots of stuff.

True, or false? How will we ever know? The figures we have are his figures. He's called his own veracity into question, yet offers no independent verification his figures are accurate.

To be clear, I feel I'm being coerced into becoming a co-conspirator in his attempt to recoup and distribute the amount of the original...loan(?) he floated himself from funds he had (has) a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard. I can see no other way to state the facts. this is my opinion, and I do not offer it lightly.

Had he taken the money out of his hands, had he had an independent audit done so that we could have confidence we knew the extent of the 'problem', then perhaps I could see leaving the doors open to new authors.

He did none of those things. The money is still in the hands of the very person who mismanaged it.

Instead, we have authors coercing silence from other authors, with one question leading the verbal barrage: "And how much money does he owe you, again?"

The implication is plain. I read it as only the top five he owes have the right to speak out and protect the public. I expect to be tarred and feathered and held responsible if he cannot meet his next partial payment of an ever-changing 'plan'. I accept I will be the new reason these authors cannot keep their cars, their homes, their kid's vacation plans, what have you. God forbid, we drop the blame where it belongs. God forbid we stop whitewashing what has gone on at SP. Because then..and I quote, "No one gets any money."

I'm stuck. My series is dead in the water. I will not give him the next two books, and there are those who would like to make me feel I am therefore part of the problem.

To them, I say this: "Refresh your memory on the definition of the term co-conspirator."

To the rest, I say "Writer beware."
 

Filigree

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Thank you, Eden. Watching this meltdown has been heartbreaking for me. Silver had so many authors I loved, but I cannot in good conscience buy any Silver book now. I couldn't be sure the money would get to the author. Like you, I expect to be somewhat blacklisted for saying 'starve the beast', but that may be the only way to break Silver's hold on all its authors.
 

firedrake

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Well, I haven't got much of a dog in this fight, having only one story in an anthology with Silver, but I have to say, Eden, you lost my sympathy when you said:

The implication is plain. I read it as only the top five he owes have the right to speak out and protect the public. I expect to be tarred and feathered and held responsible if he cannot meet his next partial payment of an ever-changing 'plan'. I accept I will be the new reason these authors cannot keep their cars, their homes, their kid's vacation plans, what have you. God forbid, we drop the blame where it belongs. God forbid we stop whitewashing what has gone on at SP. Because then..and I quote, "No one gets any money."

When you get snarky about your fellow authors and accuse them of protecting their interests at the expense of everyone else, then you cross a line. I'm sorry you are one of the many writers who's been shafted by Silver, but making unfounded, snide remarks like that is just a step too far.
 

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Well, I haven't got much of a dog in this fight, having only one story in an anthology with Silver, but I have to say, Eden, you lost my sympathy when you said:

The implication is plain. I read it as only the top five he owes have the right to speak out and protect the public. I expect to be tarred and feathered and held responsible if he cannot meet his next partial payment of an ever-changing 'plan'. I accept I will be the new reason these authors cannot keep their cars, their homes, their kid's vacation plans, what have you. God forbid, we drop the blame where it belongs. God forbid we stop whitewashing what has gone on at SP. Because then..and I quote, "No one gets any money."

When you get snarky about your fellow authors and accuse them of protecting their interests at the expense of everyone else, then you cross a line. I'm sorry you are one of the many writers who's been shafted by Silver, but making unfounded, snide remarks like that is just a step too far.

How does speaking the truth cross a line when these authors are the ones who are doing their best to keep the information contained, to keep it from the people who really need to know - the innocent, uninformed new authors who think they have a future with Silver and trust this untrustworthy publisher with their precious words?

Even now, they insist that going public will help no one. If it saves even one author from going down that road, then it will have been worth it. And I know for a fact it has saved more than one would-be Silver author.
 

firedrake

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How does speaking the truth cross a line when these authors are the ones who are doing their best to keep the information contained, to keep it from the people who really need to know - the innocent, uninformed new authors who think they have a future with Silver and trust this untrustworthy publisher with their precious words?

Even now, they insist that going public will help no one. If it saves even one author from going down that road, then it will have been worth it. And I know for a fact it has saved more than one would-be Silver author.

I take great objection to Eden's snide reference to 'cars, houses and kid's vacation plans'. That was not needed. I agree that it's gone past trying to keep a lid on the mess and there have been rumours for ages, but when what amounts to someone's annual income is on the line, can you blame people for hoping that things work out before speaking out?
 

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To hope for what? A miracle? To hope for new sources of revenue, aka innocent authors, in order to pay off the authors who were shafted? There was never anything to base real hope on. The fact that he's gone ahead with his new imprint shows how out of touch with reality he is. At some point you have to cut your losses and move on. I'm not even sure what good a class action lawsuit would do since, to my knowledge, he owns nothing, not even his own home.

Keeping silent is a disservice to fellow authors. When kids' vacations are equated with making one's mortgage payments, I too have to take umbrage. Some of us have never been able to afford such a luxury, and those who have should be grateful, but it isn't an entitlement.

Only a new infusion of money, in the form of bank loans, will help. I can't help but suspect he cannot get them, whether because he has no assets or because he is not a citizen, I do not know. As for the latter, that is speculation on my part. I have no knowledge of his citizenship status one way or the other.
 

firedrake

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To hope for what? A miracle? To hope for new sources of revenue, aka innocent authors, in order to pay off the authors who were shafted? There was never anything to base real hope on. The fact that he's gone ahead with his new imprint shows how out of touch with reality he is. At some point you have to cut your losses and move on. I'm not even sure what good a class action lawsuit would do since, to my knowledge, he owns nothing, not even his own home.

Keeping silent is a disservice to fellow authors. When kids' vacations are equated with making one's mortgage payments, I too have to take umbrage. Some of us have never been able to afford such a luxury, and those who have should be grateful, but it isn't an entitlement.

Only a new infusion of money, in the form of bank loans, will help. I can't help but suspect he cannot get them, whether because he has no assets or because he is not a citizen, I do not know. As for the latter, that is speculation on my part. I have no knowledge of his citizenship status one way or the other.

I think we're talking about authors who are relying on their royalties to pay their bills. If you were faced with losing income that you needed for the important things in life like mortgages, rent, food, bills, you'd probably do all you could to find a solution, wouldn't you?
 

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Absolutely, I'd do everything I could. And that's just what I am doing. By seeking outside employment until such time as I can live from my royalties. Whatever it takes. But hiding the truth isn't part of that agenda. To put other people through the same torture? Not a consideration.

If he doesn't have it, he doesn't have it, and wishing doesn't make it so. He's not the first publisher to screw me and others out of money. He won't be the last.
 

madmumbler

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Firedrake, it's responses like yours that are unproductive. Responses like yours that have encouraged a culture of attack the messenger.

Bottom line is Silver's publisher is a thief screwing authors and editors out of royalties. YOUR attitude is the kind of attitude my friends were talking about when they said they were afraid to speak out in fear of being attacked from within Silver.

Thanks for confirming the crazy mindset they were talking about.
 

firedrake

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My bad.


My beef isn't with the fact that trying to keep it quiet is a good or bad thing, but that authors who aren't here to defend themselves or explain their reasons for wanting Silver to get through this mess, are being accused of wanting to shoot the messengers.

Silver is clearly heading for the rocks and I think everyone accepts that. But attacking people by accusing them of wanting to 'tar and feather' is kind of insulting. That's really all that torked me off.
 

madmumbler

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But that's exactly what's happening to authors who are speaking out. I doubt the people who are trying to quiet the whistle-blowers will show up to defend what is, in essence, a morally indefensible series of actions. This is why we have whistle-blower laws in this country.
 

madmumbler

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And, seriously? Is there any rational adult who, based on the publisher's constantly changing word, REALLY believes they'll get what's due them? He came onto this forum and LIED about what was going on. He's now trying to open a new YA arm when he is in blatant breach of contract in multiple incidents. He's putting out cattle calls for new victims...eh, submissions.

WHEN has he told the truth???

Any author who still believes he won't screw them just because he hasn't screwed them yet is living in a fantasy world.

It doesn't mean the victims shouldn't speak up loudly and often to warn others.
 

firedrake

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But that's exactly what's happening to authors who are speaking out. I doubt the people who are trying to quiet the whistle-blowers will show up to defend what is, in essence, a morally indefensible series of actions. This is why we have whistle-blower laws in this country.

No it isn't. No one is going to 'blacklist' anyone, no one is going to tar and feather anyone. I can't speak for those authors, I'm just calling it as I see it. My guess is that they'd rather not have to defend themselves against unprofessional, baseless attacks on why they want their money. Facetious remarks about 'kids vacation plans' don't help anyone, unless Eden happens to have hard and fast evidence on what this cabal of five authors plan on spending their royalties on.
 

madmumbler

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No it isn't. No one is going to 'blacklist' anyone, no one is going to tar and feather anyone. I can't speak for those authors, I'm just calling it as I see it. My guess is that they'd rather not have to defend themselves against unprofessional, baseless attacks on why they want their money. Facetious remarks about 'kids vacation plans' don't help anyone, unless Eden happens to have hard and fast evidence on what this cabal of five authors plan on spending their royalties on.

It already HAS happened. And I've had my friends report to me that they tried to speak up and were shouted down by fellow Silver authors. And look at your own initial response to Eden.

Sorry but you weren't all fluffy bunny to her. You're nitpicking one aspect of her post. I personally took it as a generalization but you're jumping her as if it's truth.
 

Wisteria Vine

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No it isn't. No one is going to 'blacklist' anyone, no one is going to tar and feather anyone. I can't speak for those authors, I'm just calling it as I see it. My guess is that they'd rather not have to defend themselves against unprofessional, baseless attacks on why they want their money. Facetious remarks about 'kids vacation plans' don't help anyone, unless Eden happens to have hard and fast evidence on what this cabal of five authors plan on spending their royalties on.


I think it's time to let the "kids' vacation" thing go. I don't think Eden meant as a mortal insult to anyone.