There’s trouble at High Hill Press, a once well-regarded small press “created to offer writers a small niche between the huge New York publishing houses, and the often high-priced print on demands.”
Both to Writer Beware and in a private Facebook group, High Hill authors report publication delays, non-payment of royalties, non-provision of royalty statements, hundreds of books ordered and paid for but never received, books released full of errors that the publisher refused to correct, and serious, ongoing difficulty with communications–from angry responses to questions by the owner, Lou Turner, to threats of legal action, to no response at all.
These issues, which reportedly began in 2016, have only gotten worse. High Hill’s Facebook page has been dormant since last October. No books have been published since December 2016. Lou Turner has been MIA for months, with emails and phone calls going unanswered, including attempts at contact by the Authors Guild.
In a May post to the High Hill authors group, someone identifying herself as Turner’s sister claimed that Turner was having “health problems” and that family members were stepping in to manage her affairs. A BBB investigator who visited Turner’s home in July in response to a complaint was reportedly told the same thing by Turner herself. But there’s no sign of any management at High Hill Press, where authors are desperate to terminate their contracts and move on. By all indications, High Hill Press is dead–but until there’s an announcement or authors’ rights are officially returned, all authors can do is wait.
Meanwhile, High Hill Press is still open for submissions, with a fully functional website (the bookstore is password-protected–which doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you figure that it caters mainly to High Hill authors).
UPDATE 9/9/17: High Hill Press now has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau, due to failure to respond to complaints. There are 3 complaints…so far.
UPDATE 9/27/17: As noted in a comment below, the High Hill Press website is gone. As far as I know, there’s still been no communication with authors.
Based on the HHP contracts I've seen, once your contract expires, you're free and clear–all your rights revert to you.
If your books don't come down, you'll have to contact retailers yourself, either through their copyright infringement report forms (Amazon's is here) or through a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice (here's a good article on what that is and how to send it). You'll have to check each retailer's website to find what its procedure is (Barnes & Noble's policy is here; don't bother with snail mail, always send a DMCA notice via email if possible).
My contract expires in May of 2018. Will my rights automatically revert back to me? What are my options if she does not take down my book? HHP has been completely unresponsive to any communication efforts for months.
Do you have any updates on this company? How about advice to authors under contract to them? High Hill Press is 100% incommunicado.
PUBLISHER PONZI SCHEMES! Are You Owed Past-due Royalties? Here’s Where They Spent Your Money!
I just wanted to add that if payments have been made to this entity, especially if by credit card, and no services were received (or the service was received but not as described ), most of the time you can dispute these payments with your credit card company.
As of the past week, the High Hill Press website is down – never a good sign.
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are they pay to publish? Whatever, being a writer is being a small tasty animal in a forest full of nasty carnivores.
Thank you for all your work giving us writers a fair chance! God bless! 🙂