Sunday, 25 September 2011

Year Two Week Twenty-One

Our bestseller for the week was ALBERT, bless him. (We are all very fond of Albert, even though he's a grumpy old sod!) Average response time, we have to confess, was a bit limp at ten hours, but it's just not physically possible to be at the keyboard all the time - sometimes we have to eat and sleep as well!


Our website is likely to be offline for maintenance next weekend, and hopefully when it returns it will look a little smarter than it does now. Well, actually, a lot smarter. As soon as we're back we'll tell you all about our two new titles for 1 November publication, which are by MANIFOLD PRESS stalwarts Julia Bozza and Adam Fitzroy. However we're going to keep you in suspense for just a little while longer! Fingers crossed for our big update, please!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Year Two Week Twenty

An interesting week, with a lot achieved - only small things, perhaps, but useful nonetheless.

Our top-seller for the week, to no-one's astonishment, was RAVAGES, and our average response time settled down to 5 hours and 44 minutes.

The big achievement of the week, however, is finally breaking the back of the page numbering and getting the first of our 1 November books all topped and tailed and ready to publish. It's quite appalling how long it can take for the penny to drop sometimes, and with software it's very often a case of either asking the wrong questions or looking in the wrong places for the answers; this is not the first time we've had cause to wish that software manufacturers didn't all insist on calling similar functions by different names! Nevertheless, our relentless code-cracking skills (plus a good slice of luck!) located the answer in the end, and we will now try very hard not to complain about the page-numbering ever again!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Another review of SOLEMN CONTRACT

Delightfully, the first review of Morgan Cheshire's SOLEMN CONTRACT was swiftly followed by a second, this time at Top2Bottom Reviews, where the reviewer describes it as an understated novel perfect for those who appreciate a more reserved romance.

We think Morgan will probably be very happy with that description!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Introducing Daniel Borghardt

Readers may be interested to know that R. A. Padmos has introduced one of the leading protagonists from her novel RAVAGES on Amy Valenti's blog here. Definitely worth reading!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Another country heard from

Finally found a moment to compare website hits with orders and to add to our 'distribution' list the following countries:

Serbia, Slovenia, UAE, India, Bulgaria, South Korea, Vietnam, Cameroon, Indonesia, Latvia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Ivory Coast.

Between them they only account for the same number of hits as the State of Illinois, but it's worth trying - just in case there is one solitary Ivorian or Saudi resident desperately trying to buy our books! We like to think we're providing a service, after all!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

First review of SOLEMN CONTRACT

Thanks to good friend on LiveJournal we are delighted to be able to report that Morgan Cheshire's SOLEMN CONTRACT has been most favourably reviewed at BitterSweet Reviews. Morgan was with us when the information came through, and we have rarely seen an author so thoroughly overwhelmed by a reader's response. For that reviewer, and for anyone else who is interested, we can confidently report that Morgan has recently started work on a new project which we are hoping will be available for publication towards the end of 2012.

Congratulations again, Morgan; we feel sure that this is only the first of many!

Year Two Week Nineteen

RAVAGES was our top seller again this week, with an average response time of two hours and 36 minutes which is not at all to be sneezed at.

The first e-book for 1 November is now finished but for the page numbers, which frankly drive us insane every time and which we must find a better system for dealing with.

On the whole, then, a week of consolidation with nothing much happening, which accurately reflects the situation at the same time last year. However, with sales ticking over steadily and all our plans for the future maturing nicely, we have decided that we're allowed to feel just a tiny bit smug about it all - at least until the next thing goes massively wrong!

P.S.: Apologies to R.A. Padmos for omitting to mention that RAVAGES finished second in the Miz Love poll with well over 250 votes - a staggering total for a debut novel - and we heartily congratulate the author!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Two items of administrivia

(1) Now that the order filling is done from a different location, the first time we here at headquarters get to see orders is when we put the finishing touches to them - which consists of going through the database and setting the 'shipping status' to 'shipped'. Having just done a batch of these, we are delighted to see so many new names - and a large number of them appear to be Dutch! One day we really must analyse the geographical spread of our readers properly; I think we'd probably be in for a few surprises.

(2) On a related subject, anyone who has been with us from the beginning will know that we had some problems in the early days with orders from Canada; people told us that apparently it was impossible to order from there, although we did everything in our power to resolve the problem. However this was something which hung over us for a very long time, and we never seemed to receive any orders from Canada at all. In the end we assumed that any Canadian readers anxious to obtain our books had done so through one or other of our distributors, as nothing more was heard of the problem. We can report now, though, that an order has at last been received from Canada and completed successfully, so let's hope that's the last we'll hear about people not being "allowed" to purchase our books from certain countries.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Year Two Week Eighteen

A much more satisfying week sales-wise, after a quiet period. (We have a theory that people holidaying in the northern-hemisphere summer probably prefer to take dead tree books on flights and beaches as they're less delicate than electronic equipment.)

Our leading seller this week was again RAVAGES, although the theory that 'no review is a bad review' has once more been proved correct by a revival of interest in STAGE WHISPERS.

Our average response time was steady, but not stellar, at 5 hours 52 minutes.

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In addition we are delighted to say that one of the two books for 1 November publication has come back from the proof-reader and been corrected by the author and we are now in the middle of making up the e-book file. The other has also come back from proof-reading and is back with its author for last-minute revisions. We are well on course to being able to reveal details of both these books on 1 October.

And as if all this wasn't enough ... having our February 2012 books also nicely in hand, we now have two solid prospects for May 2012 (one by a returning author, the other by a new voice), and one more tentatively pencilled in for August 2012.

When we started this project we were looking at an initial trial period of two years, to see whether or not we could make a success of it. At this rate, it would probably be fair to say that we expect to be around for a little while after our second anniversary, too - fingers remaining firmly crossed!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Better late than never!

The first substantive review of STAGE WHISPERS appeared today at Jessewave. We're not sure how Adam will react to the suggestion (in the comments) that the Shakespearean quotations were only included for the sake of 'artificially increasing page space' - we don't actually understand what the point of that would be, and anyway it's not something we would either expect or wish a writer to do - but the overall tone of the review is favourable and they end up giving it four stars out of five.

Vote for RAVAGES!

There's a poll on Miz Love and Crew Loves Books to choose their top title for the month of August. If you loved RAVAGES, please consider going on over there and voting for it!