As of Tuesday this week, the Aspen Mountain Press website has been down, with only the following brief statement to replace the usual content:
"The Aspen Mountain Press web site is temporarily suspending operations.
Over the past five years we've demanded high standards in all areas of the company from authors to editors to administrators. Due to the current health of the owner these standards have not been met.
We'd like to thank you for your support and patronage over this past half decade and apologize for any inconveniences this decision causes."
On the one hand this is terrific news - someone at the press has finally seen sense and suspended operations while they sort out both themselves and the whole horrible muddle. Books are no longer being sold illegally, outside of contract and/or copyright, and although royalties are still not forthcoming many authors (including me) would be willing to forego their payments just to get their rights back.
On the other hand, there's still that pesky 'temporarily' in the message. This has happened before; the website is starting to resemble a game of hokey-cokey having been up and down about three times in the last couple of weeks. Each time it went down the authors breathed a sigh of relief, only for it to pop back up again a day or so later. This time, it's been down for three days straight, and I'm really starting to hope that it has either gone off air for a major re-think, or closed its doors for good.