Earlier this summer I was contacted by a well-known entity to write a romance novella for a new venture they were launching. I had a few calls with their PR team to discuss the particulars, pitched my story idea, and then signed a contract to deliver my work in mid-August. Now, because I'm an over-achiever and work best with deadlines and timelines, I delivered the novella *before* it was due to much fanfare and praise (they told me I was one of the only authors they were working with who delivered exactly what was discussed and they *loved* my story).
At that point, I submitted my invoice to their legal team and was told the venture would launch in September. Then October. Then I received a note from my contact telling me they were handing it off to another group who I'd hear from in "a couple of weeks." They also asked to know how I planned to help promote the launch (remember, this is the PR group) and they were excited to hear what I was doing. I received another email that indicated (1) I'd be paid 60 days after invoicing and (2) the expected launch was now scheduled for November.
YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING, don't you?
Here we are nearing the end of December and (1) I haven't received *any* communications from the new group, (2) the venture *still* hasn't launched, and (3) I haven't been paid.
Because of what I used to do for a living, I understand that major launches can hit roadblocks and things can be delayed. Trust me, I've had to talk to more reporters than I can recall, trying to explain why a product wasn't going to be launched until the following quarter. I GET IT. What I don't get is why there's been *zero* communication from the new group detailing where we are in the process in order to re-set expectations. And I can't be the only author who is wondering what the heck is going on. I've written to my first contact and asked for more clarification and to obtain an email address for the person who was supposed to have followed up with me because this is absolutely unacceptable.
The thing that makes me most upset though - aside from all of this - is that the story is contracted to them so I can't do anything with it. I was so excited to share it with all of you in the autumn (and then in the winter) but now I don't know if it'll ever see the light of day. It was something I was proud of.
Now, you might have noticed I've taken down all reference to it from my website because I've had people asking me when it was going to be available but the truth is, I just don't know. It might not *ever* be available at this rate and that's a shame. I'm going to have a lawyer I know look at the contract and see if there's any wiggle room there. In the meantime, I hope to have an update soon on where the venture stands. What started back in May as an amazing experience I was so excited for has actually turned into something that makes me sad. I'm almost wishing I'd never gotten involved. :-(