Silver Smoke

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Author Mercy Celeste reports that Silver Publishing is seriously behind in payment of royalties. She includes a copy of a letter from the owner admitting to being in debt to authors.

Other authors have also reported problems.

As per my usual guidelines, missing or seriously delayed royalty payments make a press "not recommended".

See also:

I think this is going to get heated. My opinion, from hard experience, is that once a press fails to pay you because they simply don't have the money, the time for loyalty may be over.

I very much doubt that the answer is to get more authors to join so the press can earn money off their work to pay your arrears.

I do not think it is 'hate' to point out that a publisher has failed to pay royalties as promised. As long as that remains true, I will keep saying it. I also do not think it is disloyal for anyone to openly say something that is clearly true.  Any other claims about this press are, from my point of view, fairly unimportant and I have no opinion about them.

22 comments:

Anonymous,  2:33 PM  

It's always interesting to me when an author claims a publisher is her "family." And for other authors to stop being so meeeeeean to the people who owe them money and seemingly have no intention of paying it. Because we all know having good intentions is every bit as good as having a royalty check in one's hand, and justifiable anger at demonstrable incompetence is a sign of a really bad character. Or something.

Fenraven 5:14 PM  

While I admire the loyalty some authors have shown to Silver, I think they should be aware that other writers published with them have seen thousands of dollars go missing. That is simply not cool. Some authors depend on their royalties to pay the bills. If your employer suddenly decided not to give you your paycheck, would you be okay with that?

I do hope Silver gets its act together, and that means establishing a line of credit and paying the royalties owed. THAT would speak loudly to me of intent to satisfy their contracts. Until that happens, I am not recommending anyone submit their work to this publisher.

Anonymous,  2:40 AM  

This is already heated.

Authors sticking with Silver are telling anyone who will pay attention that these are merely 'rumors' rather than substantiated facts. They accuse anyone who reposts or links to the original blog post of 'gossip', again trying to convince themselves and everybody else that the verifiable facts of multiple incidents of thievery have no merit. Ms. Celeste has been accused of being 'vitriolic' and of unfairly carrying out a personal vendetta, as if her righteous anger at having royalties stolen is unjustified.

The authors who remain loyal to Silver - despite the owner's admissions that he took their money, despite multiple instances where he lied to cover up his actions - have convinced themselves that the man who stole from them is the victim. They are planning a fund raiser for him. They are going to release an anthology, 'allow' Silver to keep all the proceeds, and hope this makes the company solvent enough that they'll eventually get paid the royalties they are owed. That's right, they're taking up a collection to help the person who stole their money, in the hopes he'll suddenly turn into a stand-up guy and pay them what he owes them.

And, like most victims who discover they've been taken in by a Ponzi scheme, the loyal Silver authors are attempting to suppress the truth, so they can lure unsuspecting new authors into the scam. They have collectively decided to victimize other authors so that THEY can eventually collect money owed to them, regardless of the harm is does to other writers.

The owner of Silver Publishing is the bad guy here, no matter what the remaining Silver authors would like to trick the world into believing. Reporting the theft and breach of contract on Silver's part is not gossip, nor are the authors who go public being vindictive. They've had money stolen from them and they've been lied to about it, and their anger is justified.

Anonymous,  11:51 AM  


I think it is shameful that people are jumping on the bandwagon to stick the knife in. If these so called 'speakers of truth' like Ms Celeste were as righteous as they claimed then they wouldn’t now be privately shunned for betraying friends and other authors (as I've heard and seen by post on blogs and fb that have been deleted). Speaking as a reader I will not go anywhere near authors like this in the future who show themselves to be lacking in moral fibre. I really hope Silver pulls through as they have some great talent there. BUT shit happens and rats come out of the woodwork to feed. Sigh. I also don’t think having a go at the authors who decide to stay (for whatever reason) is a valid opinion and is in fact in very bad taste. regards
A concerned and disillusioned reader

Anonymous,  11:54 AM  

Why is loyalty wrong? I guess I understand the anger from some people but surely there are better and more private ways to solve problems?

Anonymous,  11:55 AM  

So confused!

Anonymous,  12:16 PM  

It's interesting how those who have the least to lose are shouting the loudest.

The authors involved are adults, grown-ups, don't need words put in their mouth, nor told what to think. They looked at their own situations and decided the way they wanted to go.

As far as I'm concerned it's no one's business but theirs and the rest of you should keep your twopenneth to yourselves.

Anonymous,  12:54 PM  

ditto 12:16

SJ 12:54 PM  

Considering I AM a Silver Publishing author, and have been for 2 years, let me say this:

The owner of SP is a decent man. He is doing all he can to rectify this situation. And while its true that payments are behind, we are still getting paid. I received royalties last week, just for the record. In addition, how can someone be a thief if they have admittedly stated there is a problem and they are working diligently to solve it? To me, that demonstrates accountability, not thievery.

Secondly, while NONE of you who are spewing hate have posted your real names here, I will do so to prove a point. I have nothing to hide, and nothing to be angry about with regard to Silver or this situation. And yet my post will likely garner disdain from some of you. Well...that's your right. But then again, this is MY right. Am I concerned? Yes, of course, as we all are. But things are being righted, and Silver Publishing W I L L weather this storm and come back stronger than before. They have been WONDERFUL to work with and work for. That is why so many of us authors are disturbed by posts such as these being made. The owner of SP is not running away and leaving us hanging. When we ask questions, he gives us solid answers, something most of you do not know. Again, that demonstrates accountability and being responsible for one's actions, and not the underhanded behavior these underinformed posts allude to. Mr. Deysel is staying the course and implementing solutions daily to rectify what has happened. This is not the end of SP.

Why would any of you who do not know how good we have been treated, have the audacity to speak ill of the company we love? What have you to gain by destroying the stellar reputation of an excellent publisher? Nothing. I'm proud to be part of the Silver Publishing group of talented authors, and continue to support efforts to restructure and rebuild. SP IS OUR FAMILY! They are good people. And some of us firmly believe in the motto: "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." Sometimes, there are more important things in life than money, such as strong, trust-based relationships with good people who deserve our loyalty. Quality of character is of infinitely greater value than money. Those of you who understand this concept will appreciate my post. For those that have no clue what this means, more's the pity.

Karma... What comes around goes around, and She will assuredly collect her dues. So until you know all the facts, don't add to the rumor mill with unjustified, unsubstantiated opinions. And while its true there are problems, Silver will pull through and come back from these challenges. I'm confident of this, and in SP's owner and his commitments to us as authors. Until we have evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to be speaking ill of Silver Publishing. Sharing unfounded opinions and nastiness does not serve to tarnish Silver's reputation, as much as it does to reflect badly on you who do so.

Best regards,
SammyJo Hunt
SP Author

Anonymous,  1:07 PM  

What Fenraven and others do not understand is that authors who ban together to help out a struggling publisher is an honorable thing to do. There are many Silver authors with tens of titles at stake, not a measly 3 as some who have not only chosen to get their rights back from and pull their titles, but then to come out publicly and scream that the company is headed down the rabbit hole.

That Fenraven is what these authors, the really big names are up in arms about. Yes, I've chosen to stay with Silver and see it through for my fellow authors sake. If sales tank and we little fish are not paid, think of how much my friends have to lose.

By the way Fenraven, your editing style of 'rewriting' authors stories is what got you fired from Silver. All of your bloviations on yesterdays blog about how YOU are the reason the book is getting great reviews was a steaming pile!!! No wonder you are self-pubbing now. What publisher worth their salt would hire you? I sure as hell wouldn't hire an author or an editor who trashes a publisher publicly!

You stink! The lot of you!

Anonymous,  1:33 PM  

Wow someone thinks an editor has the right to rewrite stuff? Arrogance much?
As an editor myself I would never dream about doing that, I'm there to help and offer suggestions not rewrite anything. What the hell is she thinking? I hope she's not ruining more books with this attitude.

M Barnette 1:44 PM  

For the record, I'm one of the no talent authors that Fenraven is referring to in their blog post. Think on that everyone. I was among the very first authors to be published in the m/m genre and was THE first to be published under the 'yaoi' header. (I'm sure you remember that well Em since we were both at the same publishing house back then as I recall.) If it weren't for people like me, Em, G.A. Hauser, Jet Mykles, Augusta Li, Jade Falconer, Angelia Sparrow and others who spearheaded the m/m and yaoi genes Fenraven, you would never have been published. I recommend that, before you give advice to someone like 'remember you're writing for female readers', you might want to try some Google Fu to see who that author is rather than assuming they're a 'talentless newbie' the way you did with me.

Regarding the Silver mess all I can say is yes, people are owed money. At this point I'm not one of them since my book isn't out yet. Am I pulling out, no because at this late stage--the book comes out next week--too many people have worked on it. I feel it would be unfair to my editor--a very good one unlike someone I could name--or the cover artist to withdraw the title. Am I concerned over the situation? Hell yes. Am I worried I won't ever be paid? Hell yes. Would I call myself 'loyal' to Silver. Hell no. They've done nothing to earn that level of trust from me, but for good or ill, they -have- earned that level of trust from some of their authors and those are the people I'm most concerned about here.

However this works out--good, bad or ugly--it's the authors I've made friends with who I'm sticking by. I wish Silver the best, I really do, but in view of the track record of prior publishing collapses I can't say I'm terribly optimistic. If they do pull through then I'll be the first in line to cheer, if not, I'll provide a shoulder for the other authors to cry on.

Sophie,  1:53 PM  

If the people spouting all this hate about silver are the ones who are no longer there then it sounds to me like Silver dodged a bullet and shed some much needed deadwood. Yes i mean by this Mercy Celest and Fenraven and their like are deadwood.

Wicked Leanore 1:54 PM  

SJ said it ALL! I do not need to add a thing, except my FULL support to SILVER authors.

Anonymous,  2:39 PM  

The foolishness is amazing. Especially from those who HAVE been around for years and witnessed many a meltdown exactly like this from other epubs circling the drain and leaving authors holding bags full of nothing but shit.

Talk to you all in 6 months or so when this guy has disappeared and you're all standing around bleating about how this could happen. The answer will be because you let it happen. No pity, none at all. SMH at all of you.

Anonymous,  5:29 PM  

I don't have a crystal ball. I can't say Silver will go under or that it will make some amazing Hail Mary pass at the last second to stay in the game. I do NOT think it is right to bitch at people who stay or who go. Each author must weigh in for themselves. I do hope Silver is being honest with new authors about the money issue, this is a good lesson for all authors to research. While most of the authors there surely signed up during the good times they should not be crucified for giving the publisher a chance to make it right. How many publishers run off in the night without a word? Too many from what I have seen. This company is being open. It doesn't mean anyone will get paid, but if Silver does pull through that'll be impressive. I just wonder how many of you will blog and comment if that happens? Just remember loyal or not the AUTHORS are the victims and calling their talent and commitment into question seems low and rude. They are victims even if they don't see it.

Anonymous,  5:36 PM  

The anthology confuses me. Are they fundraising for the royalties they are owed or for this publisher to pay his expenses? I do think that is a bit tacky; however, people raise funds for strange things all the time. I don't see an ethical issue as long as they KNOW what this questionable publisher plans to do with the money. I wonder how many readers will buy it if they know why it was produced. I just hope people support the authors and buy work form other publishers who publish them.

Fenraven 7:32 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fenraven 7:56 AM  

(I wouldn't have had to delete and repost if editing were allowed.) This gentleman stopped by my blog this morning and left a message for Silver authors. I'm posting it here to make sure it's seen. I have no opinion on whether or not you should contact him; that decision is up to you. However, if he was sincere about helping Silver, why doesn't he contact the publisher directly instead of approaching Silver's authors? Proceed carefully.

"Notice: I am the publisher of Lot’s Cave. I’ve been involved in a number of successful businesses over the years. After looking over the situation with Silver Publishing, a solution might exist that will solve certain problems that all of us are experiencing at this time. As such, I would like to encourage any authors interested in seeing Silver Publishing succeed to feel free to contact me via email, admin at lotscave dot com.

Phaedrus T. Wolfe, Publisher:
Lot’s Cave"

Anonymous,  2:51 PM  

Interesting place. Publishes incest. Their front page says their shopping cart is down. Geez, wonder why. Didn't ARE, Smashwords, Bookstrand etc have to remove all such content from their site?

Fenraven 8:00 AM  

Huh. I should have checked before posting his comment. I didn't. My apologies.

Now I find it even more interesting that he suggested Silver authors contact him, though.

Anonymous,  3:26 AM  

It's interesting and public knowledge that some of these 'loyal' authors have shown disloyalty at other publishers that have a good reputation and business practices. That having been said, loyalty might be honorable, but in this case misplaced. If my employer owed me thousands of dollars, even if I liked my boss, I'd be leaving his employ and I'd start a huge fight to win what's owed to me. Writing is in my blood. Paid or not, I have to write, but since I write for a publisher, it's a job, besides it being my passion and I expect to be paid for the work I've done. If I had to donate my writing services, I'd rather be donating to a worthy charity.

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