The following letter was issued via e-mail to DarkFuse authors about final royalty payments 3 weeks ago, but still trying to connect with a few who have yet to respond. If you’re a former DarkFuse author, please read the following letter and contact me so that I can finalize payment.
Dear DarkFuse Author,
Hope you’re doing well and staying safe through these trying times in this pandemic. I wanted to reach out to you today to catch up on past matters with the imprint of DarkFuse and its bankruptcy.
In 2017, I lost connection with a lot of you after the lawyers came in to liquidate the business and declare bankruptcy. At this time, the bankruptcy has cleared and all claims have been made against the assets that were seized. My personal finances were tied up (tax returns) and some property sold off to take care of deficits left from the imprint’s debts.
At the time of bankruptcy, I’m happy to state that authors walked away with more money than what was liquidated, meaning that I had paid for stories in future anthologies and advanced many authors for books that rights were reverted to the exact day the bankruptcy was set in motion. But the last quarter’s royalties owed to authors was liquidated through the court and, to my knowledge, there were no claims on these royalties through the courts.
Throughout the past few years, this has not set well with me, as I have been in this business for more than 20 years and every author that has worked with me knew that I always honored contracts and, most importantly, always paid on time. That was why I was able to achieve a successful business for that long of a time. But with DarkFuse’s liquidation, this marked the first time in my professional career that I didn’t submit rightful payment to creators.
I want to say thank you for your past support of my publishing endeavors and to state I am sorry DarkFuse couldn’t maintain its solvency. I’ve taken full blame for it as it was my responsibility. I will state that, in the months that led up to the filing, the company had a drastic and untimely drop in revenue from eBook sales. Whether this was a fluke in reporting from vendors or changes in algorithms within the online retailers, sadly we’ll never know. Within a matter of months, revenue went from 5-figures per month to barely 4-figures, without any drastic shifts from publishing (all titles remained for sale and new ones being released). This paralyzed the company’s cash flow which paid 50% of its royalties to authors and had advanced to authors and artists a substantial amount of money for more than a years-worth of future projects. Sadly those projects were never launched, but I’m happy they were paid advances to. I’m also proud that I was quick to act and revert rights back to all authors the same day the bankruptcy was filed with the courts, so no one’s work remained in limbo, so every author could continue to earn money by getting their titles back on the market.
As I have now finally recovered financially from the aftermath of the bankruptcy, my first step to make things right is to pay back those authors whose royalties were liquidated in the final quarter’s statements to authors.
I have included your total amount due with this letter. Please forward me your Paypal account e-mail address so I can arrange transfer of this amount in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your patience and understanding through these trying times. I wish you the best in all your creative and personal endeavors going forward.