Earlier today, I shared author Deb Larson's experience with a contest that did not pay. I e-mailed the owner of Brighids Fire Books, and received a response after post time. I did not mention Deb Larson by name in my query. Below is what Dawn Rivers has to say:
…Yes, I can confirm that Deb Larson has not yet received her prize money
from last year's contest. The reason for that is simply that I have had
some serious cash flow issues this year that were exacerbated by having
to cancel the 2008 contest (due to insufficient entries) and return all
the entry fees. I am a (very) small, independent and unfunded
publisher, and normally rely on entry fees to pay for pretty much
Having said all that, I do hope to get that money to her before the
year is out.
I'd also just like to point out that I have run this contest seven
times and have had to cancel it three times due to insufficient
entries. I have had four sets of winners and this is the first (and, I
hope, last) time I have had this much trouble paying any them.
But I would like to state publicly that, by hook or by crook, she will
Thanks for giving me a chance to have my say.
Brighids Fire Books
Thanks for responding. Being independent is tough business – especially with a bad economy and tough competition from super publishers. But not paying contest winners puts a bad light on the business. It might be time to refocus on guaranteed revenue sources, or consider merging with another smaller publisher to improve cash flow.
Good luck to you!