Not one of my publishers, fortunately, but it is one that at one point talked to me about writing for them. And one that several of my writer friends have been published by.
Silver Publishing started off pretty well, with good intentions and an apparent interest in doing the best for their authors.
Then royalty payments started showing up late, if they showed up at all.
Someone took over the company and used authors’ royalty money to cover his own expenses.
That same someone apparently set up more than one identity, which would have been fine if one was a pen name and one was a real name and that was all. But it appears that person used those names to cover his tracks in some cases.
I’m not going to go into all the issues that have arisen with Silver. As I said, they aren’t one of my publishers, for which I’m thankful. I spoke with one of their editors at a conference not long before all the negatives started being publicized, so the only reason they didn’t become one of my publishers was timing; I didn’t have time to write something for them when I had that conversation, and when my schedule cleared, I was starting to see the whispers that things at Silver weren’t good.
People who did their research about this publisher back in its early days, and up until a couple years ago, would have seen a company that seemed to have it together. But now things have deteriorated. You can never be too careful when it comes to checking out potential publishers, but even when you do all the research possible to make sure a company is legit, things can sometimes go sour fast, as I discovered in my own experience with Noble Romance.
A lot of authors have blogged recently about the issues with Silver and what is being done about them, so I won’t regurgitate what they’ve said. If you google “Silver Publishing problems”, you’ll find links to the posts that detail the situation.
Be careful when you’re looking for a publisher. Be careful when you sign contracts to make sure they have clauses about how you can get your rights back if things go bad. When new publishers crop up, as they frequently do, check them thoroughly before you submit, and better yet wait a couple of years to see how things go with them. (Though sometimes that doesn’t work, as evidenced by what happened with Noble and Silver.)
It’s sad that authors have to worry about things like this happening, but that’s the reality. So just be careful, and remember, it’s better to not be published at all than to be published badly. Or by a bad publisher.