I don’t want this to be a long drawn out announcement, as I believe so much of what I want to say has already been said (and likely better!) than I would say it. Beginning in January, we will not be hosting Dreamspinner Press books, tours, or guest posts. We will honor the commitments we have already made, but have stopped taking any additional post or review requests.
I’ve seen first hand the direct effect of their choice (and make no mistake, it is a choice!) to not pay their authors. I have a very close author friend who already lives paycheck to paycheck, take a hit from DSP, not to the tune of thousands of dollars, but enough that it hurt their family at a time when people should be thankful for all that they have. A picture of another author going to spend her Saturday morning at the local food bank, because she and her spouse need food. These are the stories that DSP should be hearing.
My day job is an accountant. I have been in the corporate world now for over 20 years. I’ve also worked for two companies that went bankrupt. What DSP is doing…these are the things a bankrupt company does. How DSP got themselves in this position is actually relatively simple. Mismanagement of funds (which is illegal, btw) that were not theirs to begin with, they should have been on a liability sheet, and not to be touched. This happens when people who don’t know how to run a business suddenly have a business that is flourishing, and they decide to expand. What they expanded into is anyone’s guess. It could have been anything from trying to hire the best talent to embezzlement to putting gold toilet bowls in their offices.
The fact is the money that should have been going to authors for work that was sold on their behalf has not been sent. They have been vague, not answered emails and continued to sell books that they should not have.
Frankly, the fact that they may have received an SBA loan, to me, means either they lied (either on their financial statements) or they have mortgaged their homes to the hilt. Either way using a loan and your previous days earnings to pay back amounts that are owed from the previous six months is a recipe for disaster. My heart hurts for the pain the previous DSP authors have been dealing with, both financially, professionally, and even (and this is awful!) from their faithful readers who feel that DSP is getting a “raw deal”. I also feel bad for the new authors who feel that DSP is the only place they can go right now to be published. They will never be paid for their work, and what was recently a happy time for them, finding out they were finally going to be published, will turn into a nightmare for them as they come to realize the truth.
This has been going on for years, their mismanagement of funds, and authors have been told they are difficult simply because they chose to get out before it got any worse. Even cover artists, translators, etc, have had similar issues. People deserve to get paid for their work. Period.
DSP will be going bankrupt, the only questions are how long until they throw in the towel, and how many authors will lose their hard earned money? Nobody wins in this. Everybody loses.