Monday, January 21, 2013

Pill Hill Press Closes

I just had to do something pretty hard. Last night, my wife came to a tear soaked decision to close her small press, Pill Hill Press. Being the person she is, she tried to immediately post on her website and ended up deleting it (which has happened before, it has always been easy enough to recreate with weebly, she just didn’t see the point this time) and then she tried to find out how to delete her forum and ended up deleting her account.

So as the last administrator of the forum it fell to me to send out the mass email telling everyone the PHP was closing. Jessy just did not feel she could give the PHP the time it deserved.  
Here is what I wrote:

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 All rights on unpublished books revert back to the author.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 feel a little sad about it, but I understand. She could not work and take care of the kids, she has been trying and it is driving her crazy.
Pill Hill was making money, but it wasn't MAKING MONEY. To continue with PHP Jessy would have had to hire a babysitter or day care. She would be working to pay for childcare and a little spending money (some months).  It just didn't make sense.  But still I am feeling kind of sad about the whole thing. Who knows, maybe when the kids start school Jessy will reopen. We still have quite a few ISBNs and all the knowledge and equipment to do it.
Over the next week or so I will probably post a few blogs about starting and running a small press before I start forgetting a lot of details.


  1. I'm very sorry to hear that Alva, you guys really had a special thing going. But I totally understand doing what you need to do.

    All the best in your future endeavors.

  2. I am so sorry to hear that. I will always be proud to have had you guys publish my first novel. Pill Hill Press was the best!

    At the same time, I certainly understand the demands of kiddos and jobs. Take care of yourselves, and I wish you guys the very best in the future.


  3. It is certainly a sad state of affairs. It seems like every small press associated with me is shutting down. I hate to think that I am a curse upon the writing industry.

    With publishers going out of business left and right, maybe it'll give my new company some market share. Always looking for that silver lining...

  4. Sorry to hear this news, but it's been a pleasure working with you over the past couple of years.

    All the best,


  5. A real shame to see PHP go under. Many of my flash stories and a few short stories were published over the years. But... This doesn't have to be the end. Young children do grow and go to school. Maybe PHP will return in five years? ;)

  6. I went through a couple of sad moments since you said it was closed. I did send an email because I thought to be more personal; it might not have been received since the site is no more.

    Anyway, I wanted to add something here to express my thanks and gratitude in helping me to become a published author and to instill a drive that has seemed dormant in me. Thanks for waking the muse in me.

    All the best in the adventure of life.


  7. Enjoyed being published by Pill Hill. Best wishes in the future!

  8. Sorry to hear it, Alva. I've written an obituary of sorts based on my own experience of PHP on my Goodreads page:

  9. Jessy, I just got the news. I just wanted to let you know what a Godsend you were to me and my writing career. You essentially launched me as an author and I will be eternally grateful for that and the many writing friends I developed while hanging out at the Pill Hill water cooler. You did a very good thing.

    In a few months, I'm headed to Hollywood to pitch my first screenplay. It would have never happened without the encouragement and feedback I received at Pill Hill Press. I can't help but feel we'll bump into one another again sometime. Enjoy the twins. Time passes so quickly.

    Thank you again for all you've done,


    Mark Souza

  10. Enjoyed working with you guys. I had several shorts accepted and published in your anthologies.

    Bon Chance

    1. I made my publishing debut with Pill Hill. Sorry to see it go, but thank you!

      Lila Shaw / Claire Gillian

  11. First, I finally found this blog and wish I'd discovered it sooner. But I just want to add my good wishes and tell you two what a blessing you were to me.

  12. Sorry to hear about the news. I had a story published in Daily Frights 2012. It went on to be selected in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror the next year. Thank you for publishing that little tale in the first place.

    Good luck for the future.

    David Buchan

  13. Dear Alva,

    My name is Leticia Gomez. I am the Founder/CEO of Savvy Literary Services. Jessy bought two books from me, Spirit Seeker by Jamie Haden and Awakened by Ednah Walters. I have been trying to contact her to ask for my client's books to be reverted back to them as they have already been published and were receiving royalty statements.

    I tried calling the number listed on the royalty checks but it is no longer working. I also sent a certified letter in the mail asking for my client's rights to be reverted back to them.

    Can you please have her contact me at as soon as she can?

    Warm Regards,

    Leticia Gomez/Senior Agent
    Savvy Literary Services

  14. Hi, just a moment back I was searching for the information on the same topic and now I am here. So much information, really well executed blog. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same On Childcare Hills Area.

  15. Sorry to hear this has come to pass. I was a contributor to the first Dark Things anthology, and I was very impressed with the professionalism of Jessy and the entire Pill Hill crew. Thanks for all the hard work and creative output, and best wishes for future endeavors.

    Vince Darcangelo

  16. I am sorry to hear this - having had one of my stories chosen for the Fem-Fangs anthology I was impressed with the operation of Pill Hill and the quality of their works. Best of luck in your futures.

    Aaron Legler

  17. I'm coming a little late to this but very sorry to hear the news. Unfortunately I missed receiving the explanatory email so I'm behind the times on what's happening with rights for authors with stories in current anthologies, and also whether or not the books are continuing to be sold. If someone could send me a brief email to fiona DOT glass AT I'd be forever grateful! Thanks so much and good luck with whatever you do in the future.

    Fiona Glass

  18. I loved your press and you were wonderful to us, your writers! Thanks and good luck, joy and happiness

  19. Guess I'm late learning this news. Thanks for giving folks a quality place to submit work.

  20. Although I am very late in posting, as I have just learned of this news, I still find it quite unbelievable. I personally know three writers who enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Pill Hill Press, and it was PHP that inspired me to create B-Shock Press for emerging writers.

    Here's hoping that all is well.

    B-Shock Press