From: Angela Hoy
Subject: COMPLAINT about Natural Food Network Magazine
Date sent: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 14:16:54 -0400
September 25, 2006
Mostyn Media / Natural Food Network Magazine
Dan Bolton - news@naturalfoodnet, email@example.com
Sung Bae, domain registrar - firstname.lastname@example.org
270 Redwoodshores Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94065
WritersWeekly.com has received a complaint about:
Natural Food Network Magazine / naturalfoodnet.com / Mystic Media / 365 Media
WritersWeekly.com is a publication that publishes information for and
about freelance writers. The publication is the largest-circulation
freelance writing ezine in the world.
As part of that information, WritersWeekly.com publishes a Warnings
section on its website and in its newsletter. This warning section
contains reports about publications that are unprofessional in dealing
with writers, have refused to pay writers money owed to them, who have
not abided by their contracts, or who have unfair contract terms. These
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Your firm has been submitted to us for inclusion in the
WritersWeekly.com Whispers and Warnings section.
Step one of our investigation of this report is to gather all relevant
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complaint so that we can piece together that person's side of the story.
Step one of our investigation has been completed.
[AL] (name removed for publication here but was, of course, provided
to the publisher) alleges you owe her $568.50 and that you owe
other freelancers money as well. See complete allegation under
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
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We appreciate your prompt response in this matter.
Subject: Whispers and Warnings
Date sent: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 11:40:09 -0700 (PDT)
I'm writing with regard to Natural Food Network Magazine, a publication
that hires writers but doesn't always (or often) have the ability to pay
An acquaintance recommended this publication to me with the initial
proviso that editor Dan Bolton can be slow-paying. I should have heeded
her advice. I provided copy for the magazine in mid-June 2006 and as of
today (Sept. 22, 2006) still face a long road on collecting.
In addition, Dan asked me to serve as a guest editor this summer. I met
with Dan for two hours of training and in the copious "virtual
training" emails that followed, I learned that he maintains a priority list for
paying employees and vendors -- a lengthy list that places freelance
writers squarely at the bottom.
This ethical violation, plus my own doubts that I would ever get paid,
convinced me to cease all work for Natural Food Network and begin
pressing for payment. Below please find a few pertinent emails I have
had with Dan throughout our brief working relationship, as well as our
current email thread.
The amount I am owed is $568.50.
Below: An email thread regarding payment of my invoices, and the email
in which Dan specified the priority list for payment.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Bolton
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 11:20 AM
Subject: RE: Invoice
I have the invoice and you are in the queue. Expect a lengthy delay
as cash flow is very tight right now and I have at least five writers
ahead of you. Dan
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 11:02 AM
Subject: RE: Invoice
Any word on the revised invoice, and when I should expect payment?
Dan Bolton <email@example.com> wrote: No problem on
paying invoice for training etc. but I noticed word counts were high on the
$322 invoice. All of that appeared in print, right? I checked
July/August (NFN8) and have a word count of 230 for the
NFN8_whatscool_personalcare. Your invoice shows 343. Just want to make
sure you understand that you get paid for what's published, not what's
submitted. I'll send a revised invoice where there are differences.
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 2:45 PM
Subject: Re: Invoice
Attached is the invoice for the training ($60.00 total), as well as
another invoice for news briefs (total $186.50). This brings the total
due, including the invoice for $322, to $568.50.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Bolton
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 4:10 PM
Subject: RE: Invoice
I have an invoice for $322 that has been processed for the What's
Cool stuff. Did you submit one for hours worked on the night I did that
training with you? If so it may have been misplaced. Best to send me a
statement of all that you are owed. Payment is for published work
only. Here are the last couple of issues.
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 3:39 PM
I'm wondering when I can expect payment for the work I did this
----- Original Message ----- From: "Dan Bolton"
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 10:57 AM
Subject: RE: Email account now active....
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [AL]
> Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 10:39 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Email account now active....
> Thanks, Dan. So for the editing services I'll be performing for
the current issue, I should expect to be paid in early September? (The issue
goes to press in late August, correct?)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dan Bolton" <email@example.com>
> To: [AL]
> Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 10:19 AM
> Subject: RE: Email account now active....
>> Hi [AL]
>> Invoice monthly to be paid on the first. For editing services you
should expect payment shortly after we go to press. Payment for
freelance work depends on publication. It's a good idea to submit an invoice
with the aritcle but some pieces get held for weeks prior to publication.
Payment is generally 35-45 days after publication. Issues fat with ads are a
good clue that you will receive prompt payment... Thin issues generally
indicate we will be cash short. I don't publish unless the revenue covers
expenses but it is not uncommon for advertisers to take 45-60 days to pay.
Right now I still have four writers unpaid from the May issue. Here is the
>> Full time staff (all three of us)
>> Advertising reps (they work on commission, paid when monies
>> Editors/Art Director (separate invoice monthly for your editing
>> Senior contributors (reliable writers who typically have had
>> published in two or three issues)
>> Contributors (this is where the what's cool you did falls)
>> Guest writers
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [AL]
>> Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 9:45 AM
>> To: Dan Bolton
>> Subject: Re: Email account now active....
>> Hi Dan:
>> Was trying to figure this one out -- when you say "register.com
>> what does that mean? From what I can tell, register.com is a
place where you
>> can reserve domain names. Where do I log in?
>> Also, I have a few questions about payment. How often should I
>> during this training period? (Weekly, biweekly, or monthly?)
>> the turnaround time for your payment? I like to keep my books
>> organized and I like to know when money will be coming in.
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Dan Bolton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> To: [AL]
>> Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 12:39 AM
>> Subject: Email account now active....
>> Hi [AL].... I see some pitches arriving and lots of activity
on the extranet.
>> Your natural food network email account is now active. You may
>> email to be re-directed to your... [details about their website and login
>> Sarah Muir handles all product release and Holly Case handles all
>> for the kind of items that will help reporters do their
>> will see releases from packaged facts, for example, describing
the latest market research. These guys agreed to send us executive summaries
at no charge so whenever you see something very interesting request the
report and then put a copy on the ftp site in the folder called Research &
>> It's a lending library available to all of us and very helpful at
>> Keep practicing... the latest PDF of the magazine is in Pages_in
>> name in the staff box as a contributing editor anticipating the
>> of your contribution to our success.
>> Dan Bolton, Editor
>> Natural Food Network
>> 650 286-7398
>> 650 286-4107 (fax)