In the last few months we have seen reports of possible issues with several publishers including late or non-payment, contract violations and a lack of promised publicity support. We would like to remind members that while the Board is definitely concerned about these reports, we cannot act without first-hand information. As always, members are encouraged to bring issues such as these to the Grievance Committee so that we can take appropriate action. As well as major issues, we also appreciate information about smaller concerns in order to help us track trends and anticipate possible problems.
While we cannot accept grievances from non-members, we do welcome information from all parties with firsthand knowledge, with the understanding that we are working at all times to increase the health and strength of the publishing industry for all of its participants. Even a small piece of information can help us track patterns and identify problems early in their cycle to better protect authors.
However, when an issue arises, we are also unable to publicly comment until well into the timeline of the issue, due to legal and ethical restraints. The problem with a “public effort to investigate” is that sometimes this does more harm to the authors currently with the imprint than good. If a situation advances to our Grievance Committee, publicity is the last tool in our kit. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Communications via firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is always important that writers making decisions about whether or not to enter into business with any company perform due diligence and research about the company’s history and current status. SFWA certainly facilitates discrete inquiries of this nature, and will treat every issue, no matter how small, with the utmost discretion and regard for privacy.
SFWA members with a grievance against any press should consider contacting GriefCom, or, if you have information you wish to share, feel free to email any one of SFWA’s staff or Board.