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Not getting paid

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 0-fer, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. 0-fer

    0-fer Member

    About eight months ago, I was contacted by a publisher about writing some stories for a book. He offered, I accepted the offer and wrote the stories. I submitted them in April, which is when he said the book was to go to print, he asked me a couple of follow-ups to clarify a few things, then the communications paused. In July, he asked me to send an invoice, which I did. I have yet to receive any payment, and the last couple times I've tried to contact him, I've gotten no response.

    My question to the board is this: Should I be worried? This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, so I don't know how long it usually takes to get the money, or how long it takes for a book to go from the writing deadline to the print debut or anything like that. And if I should be worried, if this is a problem, do I have any recourse to get the money?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Do you have a contract?
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I've lost track how many times I've been screwed on freelance work.

    Tell him if he doesn't call you back that you'll call their boss or someone in HR.

    I did that to a very prominent SE. I had done about seven stories for them over a couple months and I was out almost a grand. I sent in the invoice and called him and he said a check was coming. When it wasn't there a month later, I called him again and he wouldn't call me back.

    I called him again and told him I was calling his ME, EE and HR director to find out who I should be contacting about getting payment. The next day, one of his deputies called me and said I would be paid within the week, which I was.
  4. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Sounds like that very prominent SE is a candidate to buy himself a newspaper or 10. Not paying what you owe someone is very in vogue in the corporate suites:



    How can we expect line workers to pay their debts when the honchos won't do it?
  5. 0-fer

    0-fer Member

    I didn't have a contract, but everything was done via email, and I kept them all. Don't know if that holds up, but I was certainly hoping it would when I saved them.

    Re Mizzou: Unfortunately it's not an SE, it's a book publisher who works for a book publishing company that does not have a Web site. Aside from credits for several books it has published before, I can find nothing on this company. As such, I'm not able to go over this guy's head.
  6. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    It's possible he's waiting to pay you when it prints.. it's possible he screwed you. I had a short story published in a book once. They paid me as soon as the contract was fulfilled. Next time, get a contract.
  7. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    You should be worried, but the fact of the matter is that even the big dogs are delaying payment as long as possible. I've just got paid for a contractual fulfillment stemming from f-ing JULY from a publisher I have a long history with that everyone here would recognize, and now a giant acronym I did a little work for in AUGUST is still witholding dough, probably until some pissant accountant tells them it is to their advantage to finally pay me. This will be the norm for the next few year, particularly if you are freelance

    And yeah, I have a contract. Anyone want to help me sue a couple of multinationals pro bono?
  8. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    that's probably enough to constitute a contract. i'm a journalist-turned-lawyer and i can tell you that if you have it in writing, it's a contract.

    with that said, good luck collecting from these deadbeats. if it ends up in print you might have a shot but the time and effort of filing a lawsuit might be more trouble than it's worth.
  9. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    You know, it has been... oh, wait, you said "paid"


    In all seriousness, this issue pops up wayyyyy too much at my shop. Then again, we are a CNHI shop, so I guess it's to be expected. But I do throw what little weight I carry around with the bean counters here and make every effort I can to get the great people who do work for us compensated as quickly as possible.

    Not getting a response shows a total lack of class.
  10. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    Two features for the Globe and Mail -- one from Sept 2006, the other from Dec 2007 -- multiple invoices, promises of payment, total $1,050.


  11. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    There is only one way to handle this in our trying economic times:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The Montgomery Advertiser still owes me $35 from March 2005... fuckin' cheap company
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