Sunday, 30 October 2011

New review of 'Solemn Contract'

Morgan Cheshire's SOLEMN CONTRACT has just been reviewed at Jessewave. We're delighted that this gentle romance caught the imagination of the guest reviewer, Sirius.

Thanks very much to LJ user Caledonia for drawing the review to our attention!

Year Two Week Twenty-Six

Hooray! Another landmark! This Press is now a year and a half old. In the great scheme of things that probably doesn't seem like a lot - but, when you consider that we weren't at all sure we could set it up in the first place and even then we didn't know whether anybody would want to buy what we were selling, it seems like a modest sort of triumph to us.

Sales have actually picked up a little bit this week, after something of a drought, and our top seller has again been RAVAGES, with a tidy average response time of three hours and 47 minutes.

Rather less pleasingly, we've had to issue yet another DMCA Notice in the past 24 hours, when we discovered a copy of Adam Fitzroy's DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT available free of charge on another website - and not even intended for download, either; this time it was an open file to be read online. Our new enforcer, when she starts work, is certainly going to have her hands full we're afraid.

But ... our quarter-end book-keeping is done, our authors have all been paid, and we are now in the throes of the last preparations for launching the two new titles on Tuesday. Fingers crossed, please, dear readers!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

New Review of 'End of the Trail'

We're still getting used to the way reviewers operate; some of them are very quick off the mark and others like to take their time - but when they do deliver a verdict, it's very often well worth waiting for!

Maggie B at Dark Divas Reviews gave Jane Elliot's END OF THE TRAIL a rating of 'four and a half Delightful Divas', called it 'a great Western with a twist' and added

I am hoping for many sequels that tell more of Will and John’s story, as well as expanding on the previous and future lives of the secondary characters.

A sentiment which we feel will be echoed by many!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Year Two Week Twenty-Five

Wow. Only another week to go before our new titles are out. Happily we're all ready, and in fact we've been spending time this week making decisions about February and afterwards - and bringing the accounts up to date, of course. We've also recruited a new member of staff - who won't be able to start until the New Year because she's moving house - to take on the onerous responsibility of checking up on copyright violations and issuing DMCA Notices. Again, we'd like to ask readers who become aware of our publications being made available without our permission - the only authorised resellers are Rainbow Ebooks and AllRomance Ebooks - to let us know.

Anyway, you'll hardly be surprised to learn that we've had another slow week sales-wise; however our top-seller has again been RAVAGES and our average response time was fairly tidy at three hours and 41 minutes.

We were slightly confused by a review on GoodReads which suggested that 'Ravages' had a lot of 'spelling mistakes' in the text. We've double-checked our copy and found precisely one which seemed to have escaped the eagle eyes of the author, proof-reader and editor, so we can only imagine that this reader expected American spellings and considers everything else to be an error. Since one of the reasons for setting up this Press in the first place was that we chose not to be obliged to use American spellings - something insisted on by American-based e-book publishers - we found this highly ironic. However it's by no means the most egregious example of Not Getting It that's come our way recently, and I'm afraid we're just going to to have to agree to disagree with that reader about the correct way to spell words like 'honor' and 'catalog'!

The count-down to the new titles starts here. We hope you're looking forward to them as much as we are!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Year Two Week Twenty-Four

Very little to report this week; business always goes very quiet just before the new titles are due out, and this is not a great time of year anyway - probably a lot to do with the new academic year and new TV schedules. However we had a respectable week, no overall best-seller but an average response time of 5 hours and 19 minutes.

We've taken the peace and quiet as an opportunity to crunch a few numbers, here at Mega-Headquarters, and are delighted to report that - all three outlets taken into consideration, ourselves and our two resellers - we have sold exactly as many books in the first six months of this year as we sold in the whole of last year. The numbers still aren't stellar by any means, but it's an encouraging trend - although we're not foolish enough to think that this means we'll double our business for the entire year. Nevertheless it means that we're in a reasonably strong position financially and will go into our second winter with a great deal of optimism; obviously we must be doing something right.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New Review of 'Fool's Oath'

Chris's second Andreas/Xavi novel FOOL'S OATH has been reviewed at Three Dollar Bills. The reviewer calls it 'explicit and scorchingly sensual' and is obviously looking forward to the third book in the sequence. No pressure, then, Chris!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Year Two Week Twenty-Three

Is it really getting close to a year and a half since we launched this project? That doesn't actually seem possible!

Our two new books for November are all prepped and ready, ebook files made and checked, and even the online shop module has been made ready for the new titles. We're going to make a few more tweaks to the website as soon as we can, but otherwise we're very happy with the way things are going. Naturally we could always use more sales, but since every business since the dawn of time has probably been able to say that we're not going to be greedy.

Not surprisingly, RAVAGES was our top seller again this week, although due to one or two minor domestic entanglements our response time was hardly stellar with ten hours 52 minutes being the average. We hope to do slightly better in future, although now that we have most of our books available through distribution websites we're finding that people aren't so concerned with the time it takes us to respond - and, as happened this week, they're usually quite receptive when we explain the situation to them, for which we're grateful.

So, anyway, now we're turning our attention to February and we hope to have some snippets of news soon about what we're going to be publishing then. Fingers crossed, please!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

One of those Good News/Bad News posts

First of all, the Good News. Chris's ALOES has been favourably reviewed at the ARe cafe, which is the review area of the AllRomance website. The reviewer, Val, concluded by describing it as 'an absorbing, unusual read'.

Alas, the Bad News is really rather annoying. This morning we've had to file three separate Takedown/DMCA requests - with BergFiles (DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT/FOOL'S ERRAND), Demonoid (END OF THE TRAIL/THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE) and Bitsnoop (END OF THE TRAIL, DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT). We were unable to tell how many copies had been downloaded in every case, but there had been a total of 25 downloads from the Bergfiles site which if they had been sales would have represented much-needed revenue of approximately £85.00/$132.00. One person on Bitsnoop had made almost 2,000 m/m ebooks available for download; another on Demonoid was bundling ebooks by the dozen.

Whichever way you dress this up it's stealing, and in our case could make all the difference between survival and catastrophe. Nobody here is making a fortune; in fact nobody is doing much more than covering their costs. In robbing us, the thieves are not striking a liberating blow at The Man; they are undermining the existence of a small, independent publisher attempting to make a modest income in a challenging world. We really don't believe that these people can't afford the occasional £3.75/$6.50 for a few hours of quality reading material. In short, this is a mean theft and our opinion of the people involved in perpetrating it is probably best left unexpressed for the sake of our sanity.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Year Two Week Twenty-Two

A slight change in schedule this week, as we're due to have a shiny new website installed tomorrow. (Fingers crossed, please.) However there is already a temporary update available which gives the first information about our two new titles, due for publication on 1 November.

We're always glad to see new work from JULIE BOZZA and ADAM FITZROY, two of the stalwarts of this Press, and we're very enthusiastic about these two titles - Julie's THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH and Adam's GHOST STATION. The latter is (completely accidentally!) rather well-timed to catch the Cold War spy vogue which seems to have started up again with the release of the new Tinker, Tailor film.

All the pre-publication tasks on these titles have now been completed except for making the .mobi and .epub files - a quick process - and updating the online shop module, which is always the last thing we need to do. We will shortly be turning our attention to the two titles we are preparing for 1 February - no rest for the wicked, we find!

Meanwhile, although sales from our own website have been slow, we are still doing rather well over at AllRomance. As far as our own statistics go, FOOL'S OATH was our top seller this week with an average response time of two hours and 38 minutes.

Wish us luck with the website!