The Riptide Situation

Uh… I thought I posted this on Monday, and now I find it in my drafts. Well, better late than never:


So, you’ve probably all heard about this already, because I waited for a week while I got my thoughts in order and had my rights returned to say anything publically about what’s been going on recently at Riptide.

To make a long story short, one of Riptide’s authors came forward to accuse them of racism and sexual harassment. Here’s the Guardian’s take on it:

Following that author’s post, lots of other authors came forward to add their own complaints of having been treated badly because they were people of colour.

Riptide immediately made a public apology and a promise to restructure themselves in order to do better in future. As part of that effort, they offered to release rights to authors who wanted to withdraw their novels from the publishing house.

I accepted that offer, and I asked to have all my rights returned to me. The next day I received my rights back for Trowchester Blues, Blue Eyed Stranger, Blue Steel Chain, Blessed Isle, The Crimson Outlaw, Labyrinth, Sons of Devils and Angels of Istanbul.

I have already started the process of reformatting these for self publishing, and they should start being available again within the next couple of weeks.

However the Porthkennack universe is contractually the property of Riptide, and they did not offer me my rights back on the Porthkennack books, Foxglove Copse and Contraband Hearts. These will therefore remain available (or in the case of Contraband Hearts, will be published at the expected time and then remain available) at Riptide.

I am particularly embarrassed by Contraband Hearts. When I was writing it, before all of this came to light, I decided that–in support of diversity–one of my heroes would be a Black British man. I’m not embarrassed about that. I believe that it’s everyone’s responsibility to do the best they can to produce diverse stories. But I do feel very guilty about the fact that while actual people of colour were being treated badly by my publisher, I–a white person–am profiting by releasing a book about a black hero.

Since I could not regain my rights to this book, I’ve decided that the only way I can avoid profiting from it would be to donate my royalties from both Foxglove Copse and Contraband Hearts to charity. So I will be passing on any earnings I get from these two books to charity in future.

Because transgender rights are particularly close to my heart, and because there has been a spate of anti-trans newspaper articles recently, I’ve decided to donate my future Riptide royalties to

If you know of anything suggesting that I shouldn’t choose them, let me know! Galup, Mermaids and GenderedIntelligence are also on my list and I could change to one of them if required 🙂

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Jay Mountney
6 years ago

Soooo…….I don’t think I could bear to abandon the Porthkennack world. But I suppose if you’re giving to charity it makes it sort of OK to continue buying. What do your fellow contributors think? Did you all give your rights to Riptide? Is there any way to alter it and either find another publisher or self-publish as a group? I like your choice of charity and I admire your entire stance on this situation.

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