The Elephant in the Room – When Publishers Don’t Admit Having Money Problems

Dear Angela:

Here’s the situation I’m in. I tried to be as succinct as possible but have added some background.

For years, I’ve been dealing with the editor of a pub. who has always paid me. Sometimes, she needs to be politely “reminded”, but things have worked out in pretty timely fashion. In Nov., she published my work and I got paid. In December, the trouble started. She published my article for her Dec. issue, and even emailed me telling me around Dec. 13 that the issues/payment were being sent, which is actually early for her, as she usually pays late in the month.

I got nothing from her, and didn’t get any email replies over Christmastime. Right after New Years, she emailed me saying it would be taken care of. Nothing, and she didn’t respond to my emails after about a week of waiting. I called her on January 12. She was nice and again said she would take care of the payment. Nothing again. I called her again on January 20, and she took my call and acted “surprised” that I’ve gotten nothing yet, claiming to have sent it Priority Mail, and again said she’d take care of it last week.

I’m not sure what to say or what to write her next. Emails don’t seem to work anymore and she acts “surprised” when I call her, telling her that I’ve gotten nothing.

I don’t feel like talking or emailing anymore. Please advise. You have heard it all before and you know how deadbeats or newly acting deadbeats think. Could this person who’s had a good track record probably in trouble money-wise and is trying to dodge payment?

I suspect she is having financial problems. If she was a scammer, she’d have been stiffing you each month.

You might want to send her a personal note (send it certified mail as well), telling her it’s obvious to you that she’s having financial problems but that you must request payment be made immediately. Otherwise, you may be forced to warn other writers and writing publications, including WritersWeekly Whispers and Warnings, about the situation. When a publisher is having money problems, the squeaky wheel usually gets paid first.

Please see:

If she does pay you and you decide to keep working for her, you should request a deposit on all future assignments.


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