Does an editor or publisher owe you money? Are they giving you numerous excuses and even claiming to have already mailed the check? Here’s what you should do:
Tell them that you’re tired of their lies and that you have composed a letter to send to WritersWeekly.com (the largest freelance writing ezine in the world), to the major freelance writing watchdog groups and websites, to the National Writer’s Union, to the Better Business Bureau in (insert name of their state here) and to the (insert name of their state here) Attorney General’s office.
Tell them you’re going to mail those letters in 10 business days if you haven’t received payment by then.
If they don’t respond, follow through on your threat. Report them to WritersWeekly’s Whispers and Warnings Forum here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/.
In many cases, the WritersWeekly Whispers and Warnings show up near the top of the major search engines when someone is searching for the name of a company that appears on our Whispers and Warnings. We’ve even seen the W&W posts show up ABOVE a company’s own website in google.com.
Thinking of suing? Small claims court may be very stressful and a waste of time. Many deadbeats won’t bother to respond to the court. Even if they do and the judge orders them to pay you, they may ignore the court order. You’ll then have to pursue their assets.
You can find the name of the company’s webiste owner by searching for their URL here: http://whois.org/
Send the email to your contact at the publication, to the owner of their website, and to their ISP (whose email should also appear at the URL above).
One reader sent the email I posted above and I received the following email from her two weeks later:
Bless you. It worked. After hemming and hawing on my part (I was reluctant to send that letter right before the holidays, when I know many people are on vacation…I know, I shouldn’t be reluctant to stand up for myself!), I finally sent the email you suggested on Tuesday. I received an apologetic email yesterday, and my roommate just called to tell me that the company has overnighted me a check!
Of course, I’ll have to make sure I can actually cash the thing, but it worked. Thank you so much for your advice.