Inkwell Freelancers Speak

Our post yesterday on the Inkwell-hasn’t-paid-its-freelancers-for-months story got quite a few comments from comiseraters as well as freelancers directly impacted by the debacle. (Maybe we got the comments because comments appear to be disabled on the NYT story?)

michellllp, who was freelancing for Inkwell, wrote:

I have 20+ years in the publishing industry, having worked for everyone from Prentice Hall to McGraw Hill. Most of us didn’t even have contracts. The invoices we submitted were theirs and we received a pay schedule saying we would be paid 45 days from the day the invoice was submitted. At the time they stopped paying, the HMH projects we were working on weren’t even completed. We were under the assumption that we needed to finish our work in order for HMH to pay Inkwell. In hind sight we should have just walked away once the checks stopped coming.

JustJan26, another Inkwell worker (italics ours):

I think it is so great that this reporter and the New York Times chose to publicize a situation that is not uncommon in our business and that I think we can expect to see more of in the current economy.

Commenter Doogle:

Sad to say, but Inkwell’s money problems are nothing new. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005 and some freelancers are still waiting to be paid from that settlement. It’s an awful situation–I’m so sorry this happened.

Again, what can you do? Ask for money up front? Sure, that’s great, but not all companies are willing to do that…take ’em to court? If they have no money to pay, eventually your legal expenses outweigh the money you’re owed…it’s a wretched situation and our hearts go out to everyone involved.

And Inkwell freelancers or HMH employees, if you got the rumored memo from HMH, let us know. We’re not willing to call this a story on the basis of one anonymous comment, but it sure is an interesting twist.