Thursday, July 08, 2010

Night Shade Speaks

Via Genreville, Night Shade Books has issued a statement regarding the allegations of non-payment from Liz Williams, Brendan Halpin, and Elizabeth Moon.

The second paragraph of the official statement:
This has led to some major miscommunication, and sometimes flat-out lack of communication, with our authors, sometimes, even amongst ourselves. We screwed up: Details were missed, one of us assumed another was handling a situation, or a reluctance to deliver bad news turned into an unprofessional excuse to procrastinate. The issues that have come up today, at their core, are really ones of communication. All this could have been avoided through simple phone calls and emails, through us letting people know what was happening.

That's a start. Night Shade has admitted that they have made mistakes, and that's good. It doesn't entirely address all of the issues raised by Williams and Halpin, such as inaccurate royalty statements with factually incorrect information regarding the advance, but that probably shouldn't be part of Night Shade's public discourse anyway.

All that Night Shade should really say is "we were wrong, we messed up, and we will make it right."

Which, essentially, is what they said.

We have already addressed the issues currently at hand involving Elizabeth Moon, Brendan Halpin, and Liz Williams. We have also contacted SFWA, and will be working hand-in-hand with them to find out if any other authors have issues with us, but haven’t come forward yet, and get those problems resolved.

What remains to be seen is whether Night Shade truly will make this right for the authors in question or whether this is something endemic at Night Shade Books. Since both Williams and Halpin have mentioned that they know of other Night Shade authors who are in very similar circumstances, this appears to be a far larger issue for Night Shade than what the thus far public conversation has been about. It's a big problem for Night Shade to resolve. They have publicly acknowledged fault, and that's an important first step.

We'll see if they are also willing to take the next one.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Since no one ever wants to admit he's wrong, that was a big step.

Simeon said...

It is just what I was hoping for, and I'm glad NSB did it.

Carl V. Anderson said...

Hopefully all will work out well with this situation. Night Shade has been a company I've really enjoyed over the past several years and I've been very impressed with their new and reprint fiction choices.