…so you can skip it and make a donation directly to the authors if you want to help.
Norilana Books, a sole proprietorship, went belly up a few years ago. The owner, Vera Nazarian, suffered some horrendous personal tragedies. I feel for her about those; what she went through I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Unfortunately, she had the bad judgment (at best) to use business funds, specifically money owed authors, for her personal expenses. These debts to the authors were, from what I understand, not declared on her bankruptcy in 2012. By her own admission, this has not changed, although the authors may have given their okay. This isn’t clear, at least not to me.
She has now started an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the money to pay at least some of these authors. She owes them over $19k. (The fundraiser is for more because IndieGoGo will collect fees on any monies raised.)
The Passive Voice is a site that focuses on publishing and is very author friendly. A notice about the fundraiser went up there today. This has started a firestorm at The Passive Voice. Ms. Nazarian has been quite vocal in trying to justify and excuse her actions in the comments there. Comments that have grown in the time it has taken me to type this post. (The information I gave above is summarized from the comments at TPV.)
Passive Guy (who runs The Passive Voice) has suggested the best thing to do is to send money directly to the authors involved. A list of (at least some of) them can be found at the bottom of this post.
This is a horrible situation, and I hope it gets resolved for the authors soon. Ms. Nazarian’s track record with money does not make me comfortable with supporting this fundraiser.
Update: Ms. Nazarian appears to have attempted to cancel the fundraiser; IndieGoGo won’t let her: http://www.thepassivevoice.com/03/2014/update-on-norilana-books/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePassiveVoice+%28The+Passive+Voice%29