UPDATE 2: More on the Night Shade Books sale

UPDATE 2: Publisher’s Weekly has written something up about the deal. Not too much more information other than the SFWA has endorsed the sell off to Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing. A statement referred to in the article by the SFWA stated, “If [Night Shade files for Chapter 7], you may be unable to have your rights reverted. Your contracts could be purchased during the bankruptcy process by another publisher as an asset. That can mean purchase for pennies on the dollar. Bankruptcy could also mean that the contracts would remain in limbo during the bankruptcy proceedings.”

UPDATE: More of the letter has been leaked, this was posted by Weirdmage on the AbsoluteWrite.com forums:

As you probably know, Night Shade Books has had a difficult time after the demise of Borders. We have reached a point where our current liabilities exceed our assets, and it is clear that, with our current contracts, sales, and financial position, we cannot continue to operate as an independent publisher. If we filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation, the rights to your books could be entangled in the courts for years as could past or current unpaid royalties or advances. However, we have found an alternative, which will result in authors getting paid everything they are due as well as finding a future home for their books, subject to the terms and conditions stated in this letter.

Provided that a sufficient number of Night Shade authors agree to certain changes to their contracts with Night Shade, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. and Start Publishing, LLC have agreed to acquire all Night Shade Books assets. To be clear, this is an acquisition of assets, not a purchase of the company as a whole. The revenue received from the sale would go towards paying off the debts of the company. If you sign below, and a sufficient number of other Night Shade authors and other creditors also agree to these terms, you will receive full payment to bring all royalties and overdue advances current.

ORIGINAL POST BELOW:

It’s been frustratingly difficult to find out much of anything that’s been happening with the alleged sale of Night Shade Books. Jeff VanderMeer posted a screenshot on his Facebook account today of a poorly written letter that he and his wife Ann received that begins to shed light on the matter. Further down in the comments he mentions that he and his wife are being advised not to sign the contract and he’s heard from other authors that are being advised similarly. I’ll let you know more as I find it.

[EDIT: Jeff preferred the screenshot itself not be used]

The transcript (all spelling errors are on them):

NIGHT SHADE BOOKS
1661 TENNESSEE STREET #3H
SAN FRANSICO, CA 94107

April 1, 2013

Dear Jeff & Ann Vandermeer,

Provided that a sufficient number of Night Shade authors agree to certain changes to their contracts with Night Shade, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. and Start Publishing, LLC have agreed to acquire all Night Shade Books assets. To be clear, this is an acquisition of assets, not a purchase of the company as a whole. The revenue received from the sale would go towards paying off the debts of the company. If you sign below, and a sufficient number of other Night Shade authors and other creditors also agree to these terms, you will receive full payment to bring all royalties and overdue advances current.

Your payment would be in the amount of $0.00.

By signing this letter, you agree that: