Recently, I'd been waiting and waiting for news of when my latest monster hunter story would see print, as it had been accepted months ago. I was eager to know because this would mark my third story in Pill Hill's monster hunter series, meaning I'd so far appeared in all of them. But repeated questions on the publisher's message board resulted in nothing concrete until yesterday when I and several other authors received the following email:
Announcement from Pill Hill Press Forum
I’m afraid I have some unpleasant news. Jessy was going to write this, but she has accidentally deleted her account. We have decided to close PHP.
Jessy has been trying to go back to work for the past few weeks and, with the babies she cannot give Pill Hill or the authors’ creations the time, attention, and love they deserve.
All short stories currently in submissions are returned to the authors. All rights on unpublished books revert back to the author. Authors who are currently getting royalty statements will be getting a snail mail letter about rights, etc.
The website is down, and we are contacting lefora about closing the forum.
This decision did not come without a few tears. We have truly enjoyed working with all of you, and have met some wonderful people, some of whom I consider to be friends. Thank you for sharing your creations with us, the glimpses into your imaginations have been entertaining, thought provoking, wondrous, and at times a little scary. It has been a privilege to work with all of you.
All our best,
Alva J Roberts
Pill Hill Press
I was understandably upset and crestfallen. Then my favorite (former) Pill Hill editor sent us the email below:
Hello Monster Hunters,
As many of you know by now, Pill Hill Press has closed its doors. The news came yesterday (a little over 12 hours ago for those in the UK) in the form of an email that took everybody by surprise. I responded as quickly as I was able to let folks know that I have started a new press, Emby Press, and that I will be publishing Use Enough Gun exactly as described and planned by Pill Hill.
I know that there has been confusion regarding the silence on the Pill Hill Press forums and over the past few months I've been biting my nails like everyone else. During the summer and early fall, I updated the thread on the forum and posted the "Campfire Tales" interviews thinking that we would have a book out by Christmas, but I stopped updating when I lost contact with Jessy. Then, about a week and a half ago, I heard back from her and she told me that she and Alva had been swamped with their new family and that they were considering closing the press (having a 3 year old son myself, I told her that I understood completely and figured everybody else would as well). I mention this now as an acknowledgement that it has been a frustrating wait for all of us and that in a time when so many other small presses have closed or just gone silent, I understand and very much appreciate everyone's patience and your not giving up on this book!
Several of you have asked me if I know anything about Wicked East Press or Static Movement Press and simply put, I do not.
But I can tell you all about Emby Press! First, the website is currently under construction and will be posted at www.embypress.com as soon as it's ready. My focus will be to publish Use Enough Gun and to re-release Leather, Denim & Silver and The Trigger Reflex. And, as soon as the website goes live, there will be a new call for submissions for the next monster hunting volume. I'm going to keep the theme of this one general, similar to Leather, Denim & Silver - just wanted to mention that in case anyone wanted to start making notes.
For Use Enough Gun, I have all of the stories so there is no need to worry or re-send anything. I will need to draft a new contract for each author to return to me - everybody knows the drill (the terms and payment will be the same as the old contract). As soon as the contract is ready, I'll send it to all of you. I'm still sorting through what will be needed for the re-releases of Leather, Denim & Silver and The Trigger Reflex and will post that info as I have it.
The physical books will be of the same quality as the Pill Hill volumes. The ebooks will be go up for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as before. I do want to try and expand to ibooks (Apple) as well, but I'm still looking into it.
I plan to communicate with everyone through the website and facebook - I don't plan on opening a forum up right away because managing those suckers is a full time job in and of itself.
I think that's about it...
For now, what I will ask from all of you is that you reply to this email to let me know that you still wish your story to appear in Use Enough Gun. Just a quick note that says "Of course I want to be included in this epic new venture!" or, alternatively "Please do not ever contact me again or I will be forced to report you to the authorities". This will let me know if I need to replace any stories or if the book will remain intact.
I'm sure that there will be more questions and you can hit me here (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on facebook at Miles Boothe (I'm the ghost) of the Legends of the Monster Hunter page.
Thanks again for your patience with all of this. We are all monster hunters - we know the risks and we accept that not everyone is coming back. But the hunt will go on.
And just like that, we were back in bidness. I look forward to working with Emby Press and am sure the relationship will be just as mutually beneficial. There, corporate lingo exhausted. Isn't this freakin' awesome!?