On October 17th, Jolly Fish Press announced that it has ceased book production and will stop doing business entirely at the end of the month. JFP was a trade fiction and nonfiction publisher founded in 2012. Some of their horror/dark fantasy authors included L.K. Hill, Adrienne Monson, Amie & Bethanie Borst, and A. L. & B. W. Washburn.
It’s sad for readers and writers whenever a publisher shuts down, but particularly when it’s a strong up-and-comer as JFP certainly seemed to be.
Even more unfortunately, JFP didn’t give their authors the courtesy of a private notification a day or two before their public announcement. As a result, many of their authors naturally felt blindsided, adding to the distress of finding out that their books had been orphaned.
I know that pain. I sold what would have been my first novel to a new, seemingly well-run and well-funded publisher back in 2002. This was on the strength of a first chapter and completed synopsis. I got professional rates, the contract was good, and it looked like the publisher would want more novels from me once I’d finished the first. I was all ready to quit my day job and dive into writing the rest of the book when I got the bad news: because of financial losses from the .com bust, the publisher’s parent company had decided to pull the plug on all their subsidiaries that weren’t immediately bringing in profits. (Spoiler: new publishing companies are never immediately turning a profit.)
This was terrible news for everybody involved, but it was particularly awful for the publishing company’s new staff who had just moved for the sake of their new jobs. Nobody knew that the publisher was in danger until the parent company pulled the plug.
I took it hard, and the professional setback knocked the wind out of me, creatively speaking. Nobody had warned me that this kind of thing could happen. I had a signed contract … but no publisher. Who would want my book now? Would the next publisher fold, too? I lost confidence and never completed that book. I floundered for about a year, but eventually got my focus back and wrote a completely different first novel (Spellbent) that was published by Del Rey.
I hope all the writers affected by the Jolly Fish Press shutdown can stay positive and find new publishing opportunities quickly.
- The Braided Novel - November 20, 2016
- Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling - November 18, 2016
- You, Human - November 18, 2016
- A Horror Writer Pursues an MFA – Part 5 - November 2, 2016
- A Horror Writer Pursues an MFA – Part 4 - November 2, 2016
- A Horror Writer Pursues an MFA – Part 3 - November 2, 2016
- A Horror Writer Pursues an MFA – Part 2 - November 2, 2016
- A Horror Writer Pursues an MFA – Part 1 - November 2, 2016
- Jolly Fish Press is shutting down - October 23, 2016
- The Pox Party - October 16, 2016