October 1, 2022
New publishing ventures are sometimes launched with the best of intentions but not enough financial backing or good luck, then unfortunately find themselves unable to make payments. There are also unscrupulous players in the industry that try to take advantage of authors’ desire to get published.
The Authors Guild is launching this page to keep you apprised of publishers with whom multiple members have had problems getting paid or getting rights properly reverted.
We are not opining on the reason for non-payment or other non-compliance by the following publishers, but are merely reporting instances where we have had multiple complaints about a publisher and the publisher has failed to respond or rectify the situation after we reached out to them. Please let us know if you are affected by any of these publishers or others by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following publishers are ones who have failed to pay authors on time or in full or have become non-responsive:
There have been several issues reported with Adelaide Books, where at least eight Authors Guild members have been affected. Adelaide has withheld royalty payments and statements for over a year, has not published works that were due to be published, and has failed to revert rights granted to them. Additionally, they refused to respond to multiple member inquiries, as well as our own inquiries. On June 16, 2022, we sent a certified letter to Adelaide to remedy this situation. The Authors Guild legal team has still not received a response from them, but several members have very recently finally heard back—after multiple attempts to communicate—with an agreement to revert rights.
The owner/publisher of White Bird Publications recently passed away in Texas without a will. This has caused at least three Authors Guild members to be affected by non-payment of royalties, and the only known heir does not believe they are in a position to revert rights. We are retaining a local estates attorney and are in the process of trying to get our members their owed royalties as well as their rights reverted to them.
We have heard from several authors, including a couple of Authors Guild members, that royalties due in February 2022 remain unpaid, and Writers House, a literary agency representing members, has been unable to obtain payment. Authors Guild Director of Legal Services contacted Propertius Press on June 23, 2022. We have not received a response from them.
Authors’ Place has reportedly not been paying authors their full, earned royalties, as evidenced by numbers procured by BookScan, which tracks US print book sales, and has refused to admit error when confronted with the data. The owner of Authors’ Place – Tony Ferraro – has previously treated members unfairly.
Update, January 9, 2023: Eleven authors and the Authors Guild filed suit in U.S. District Court against Authors’ Place Press over its failure to pay thousands of dollars in royalties they were owed. Click here to read more.
We strongly recommend that Authors Guild members have your contracts reviewed by our legal team, especially when dealing with a new or small publisher or a hybrid publisher (one that asks the author to contribute to the upfront costs in exchange for a higher percentage of royalties). Unscrupulous publishers are more likely to use this model as it requires less upfront investment on their part.
Our legal team can ensure that the terms of your contract are fair and that you have the ability to get your rights back should your publisher become unable to pay royalties or other debts when due, or should the publisher go out of business for any reason. Once a publisher goes into bankruptcy or liquidates for any reason, it can be very difficult and take many years to get the rights to your books back. Do not let that happen to you. Click here to submit a legal request.
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Reported Publishing Scams
Avoiding Publishing Scams