Well i'm quite surprised I can't find these names in the "index" or in the rogues' gallery search, so let me be the first to share a strange letter I got from them. (oh, and the mandatory "Does anyone have anything on these guys...?"
Eager to test drive my new 2008 N&SSWM, I sent a query to Gaslight Publications, a Mr. Simon Waters, in Studio City, CA. He wrote back saying my work was not for him, but that "we distribute for other publishers material like yours. See enclosed." he enclosed, in fact, a b&w photocopy of weird little skit books from "Players Press, Inc." (of, hmm, Studio City, CA...) and this photocopied form letter (all written in the same odd English):
Empire Publishing Service (Studio City... etc.)
Dear Author, we have reviewed your submission and it appears to fit one of our imprints we represent. Empire Publishing Service represents several publishers and their various imprints. We are returning your proposal because it is incomplete, pending your response to this letter and proper information included.
Before forwarding your letter to the appropriate publisher/editor, we would like you to understand that this is not an imprint we publish: we represent and distribute the imprint applicable to your material. This publisher is a partner publishing company. If they accept your work, they will expect you to invest in the production of your book. This is not a vanity publisher just trying to make money from you. This is a real publisher with many books in print..."
(I feel a little queazy even copying this stuff down... need a little breather here...but I figured no one else has posted this, and it IS from the 2008 N&SSWM, so someone might just fall into this mess unless I do my civic duty... Anyway, it just gets worse and worse...)
"If you agree and want us to forward your proposal, please complete the information below and return to us with the material you want us to send to the publisher. Enclose $25 US for processing, postage and handling Payable to Empire Publishing Service..."
...mercifully, it finally ends...
"George Grey, Publisher Service Coordinator"
two things: 1) I kinda thought the agents and houses in N&SSWM would be safe, but this goes to show you have to keep your eyes open all the time, I guess.. 2)I sent this right away to Lauren Mosko and she said she forwarded it to the Editor of GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS.
Surreally, the only empire publishing i could find on Google was, (wait for it...) run by the KKK (anti-jewish publications about "Kosher-taxing", etc...)
While it's a pretty depressing to get this kind of thing, i figured i better put this out there... but scuse me now, gotta go take a real long shower,,, uck.