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Inkwell Publishing Ceases Business, Owes Thousands

Oh look, a print publisher runs out of money, stiffs its writers, and no one is certain the outcome. Inkwell Publishing Solutions was a book assembler hired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and others to put textbooks together. Inkwell would hire freelance writers to provide content.

Inkwell has owes about 50 freelance writers, editors, page designers, and others. Some are owed $3100 and some are owed $10,000 or more. Inkwell blames HMH for non payment.

When asked for a comment, the president of Inkwell had this to say:

Ms. Cooke, who also is the company’s president, did not think the unpaid people from her factory warranted any attention.

"What business is this of yours?" she asked. "I’m not going to say anything about any of our clients."

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Lorelie
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 08:44:09

    Who wants in on a betting pool regarding how long it takes for someone in their upper echelons to say “But I’m sick!”

  2. SandyW
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 09:42:57

    Was this preceded by their freelancers writing letters to the Times about what a great company it is (was) and how nice Ms. Cooke is? More importantly, does this prove that all print publishers are Unprofessional and Out to Steal Your Money?

  3. RegA
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 08:36:54

    The same thing happened to Baseline Development Group in Boston. I thought they were lying when they didn’t pay me and said it was Houghton’s fault for not paying them-‘until I read the article about Inkwell. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is not paying any of their vendors.

  4. this guy
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 10:42:46

    though i did not work for inkwell, i know three who did, as well as the owner, israel luzunaris. he is a bad business man, and a bad man in general.

    he is currently in mexico and not responding to emails, voicemails, or law suits filed in small claims court here in NYC. he is “trying to save” his “branch in mexico” but i’m convinced he is just funneling what money does come in from HMH (or other) into whatever new endeavor he is engaged in down there.

    HMH released a statement saying they paid inkwell on june 1st. freelancers have not seen a dime of that money.

  5. jim p
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 18:08:21

    Israel Luzunaris has been scamming his employees for over a decade. He is one of the most dishonest people I ever had the misery to work for, and no one I’ve ever met in the industry is a scuzzy as this guy. Personally, I felt something was wrong from the get-go when I started working for him, and got out and got my money right away. But I know people that he has strung out for 10K, 15K and more.

    It boggles my mind that he was able to run his scams as long as he had, since he had no practical business sense, or production sense at all. Well, he could be very charming and sincere-seeming, and I guess that’s what he traded on.

  6. Anna Swierczewska
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 13:59:45

    I was one of the freelancers at Inkwell who did not get paid for a recent project. I intend to pursue legal action against Inkwell. I am looking to find those who are involved the lawsuit that I heard about. Does anyone know anything about this?

  7. BLA
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:06:41

    To anyone who has been screwed, he's still in business “Active', according to NYS corporations records…………..

    NYS Department of State
    Division of Corporations
    Entity Information
    *Stock Information
    *Stock information is applicable to domestic business corporations.
    Name History
    Selected Entity Status Information
    Initial DOS Filing Date: MAY 29, 1998
    County: KINGS
    Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
    Current Entity Status: ACTIVE
    Selected Entity Address Information
    DOS Process (Address to which DOS will mail process if accepted on behalf of the entity)
    SUITE 3F
    Registered Agent
    SUITE 3F
    This office does not require or maintain information
    regarding the names and addresses of officers,
    shareholders or directors of a corporation.
    # of Shares Type of Stock $ Value per Share
    200 No Par Value
    Filing Date Name Type Entity Name
    Entity Information Page 1 of 2… 7/17/2009
    A Fictitious name must be used when the Actual name of a foreign entity is unavailable for use in New
    York State. The entity must use the fictitious name when conducting its activities or business in New
    York State.
    NOTE: New York State does not issue organizational identification numbers.
    Division of Corporations, State Records and UCC Home Page NYS Department of State Home Page
    Search Results New Search
    Entity Information Page 2 of 2… 7/17/2009

  8. Anon Y. Mous
    Aug 06, 2009 @ 16:56:27

    This same thing is happening to freelance writers who worked for LinkIt!/CCI. Writers who submitted invoices for work done in February still haven't been paid (as of early August) and the powers-that-be (Joshua and Reginald Powe) refuse even to communicate with these writers. Rumour has it that they, too, are hiding behind the “Harcourt hasn't paid us” line. And in the meantime, the hiring clients (South Carolina and HMH) are publishing the work of these writers even though the writers have not been paid. A copyright attorney should be involved, but freelance writers don't have the means to engage an attorney so they are screwed.

  9. Aspect Investments
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 13:54:20

    This is not good news, but it happens all too often im afraid. The business owners get away with it too. For some of them scamming people is just part and parcel of running a business.

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