Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Rainbow Awards

To our great astonishment - we thought they were due next weekend! - the Rainbow Awards have been announced today. The competition was clearly pretty tough this time, but nevertheless Manifold Press has taken three Honourable Mentions in the One Perfect Score category - for the following books:



Julie Bozza: BUTTERFLY HUNTER
Adam Fitzroy: GHOST STATION
Chris Quinton: FOX HUNT

rainbow 300

Congratulations to all three authors; clearly all your hard work paid off in the end!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Statistics for November

Our best-selling author for November was Jane Elliot, with THE DEVIL IN DEAD HORSE galloping ahead merrily on the Press website and ABOVE ALL - uh, 'above all' our other books on the distribution sites.

We're a little disappointed not to have seen any reviews of our new titles so far, but clearly this is a very busy time of year for people, and it's not all that easy to find the time to sit down and read a book, so we'll try our hardest to be patient.

Meanwhile, the annual Rainbow Awards will be announced next weekend; we did rather well in them last year and we're hoping that something similar may occur this time - fingers crossed.

Our average response time during November was respectable enough at four hours and 46 minutes. In fact only one order took longer than 12 hours to fill, which was due to a temporary computer glitch at our end, so on the whole we think we're doing fairly well!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Elisa Rolle's Treasure Hunt

Forwarded at Elisa's request:


So another year is gone, and my Journal is now 6 years old :-) Since end of November is also really near the time when the Rainbow Awards will wrap up nicely (on December 8th) this year I want to have a joint party! So I asked to many of the authors in this year contest to be generous and donate a book or two... and the answer was overwhelming: 243 among print and ebooks!

But this time you have to "earn" your prize and so there is a "little" treasure hunt: nothing complicated but you need to complete a chain made of Title-Word-Definition-Cover-Number. How? I will try to explain LOL

We have 243 book titles, you can find them here:

The Books: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1805679.html (mirrored here if you don't have a LJ account to comment and you are not friend on LJ: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3359348.html)

from each title I extracted a word, but be careful, same word can match more title, BUT there is an unique matching (example, if I have two titles, Love Story and Story of Me, "story" match both title, but probably, from the first title I took "Love" and from the second I took "Story". Your job to discover the right matching ;-)). You can find the words here:

The Words: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1805826.html (mirrored here if you don't have a LJ account to comment and you are not friend on LJ: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3359509.html)

to each word corresponds a definition. The definition refers to single word (even if the word is plural) or not conjugated verb (even if the word is a conjugated verb). You can find the definitions here:

The Definitions: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1806109.html (mirrored here if you don't have a LJ account to comment and you are not friend on LJ: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3359969.html)

Once you have the matching Book-Word-Definition, you need to go and search for the Cover here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.446587205375367.103212.100000722741394&type=1&l=1a717d4880

view the right cover, on the comment section there is a comment by me (Elisa Reviews) with a link to a post on LJ (Rainbow Awards: Current Submissions). Open the link and see what number was assigned to that book in that post.

Comment on THIS post (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1806591.html mirrored here if you don't have a LJ account to comment and you are not friend on LJ: http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3360138.html), sending me: Book Title-Word-Definition-Number. You can pick one book per day, if tomorrow there will be still available book, I will assign them. So you can send me more matching but first in-first out, you will win the first right matching still available book.

Exception, for the Book marked as New there is no Cover/Number, so once you have the matching Book Title-Word-Definition, you can leave the comment.

And now, lets the party start! Enjoy and good luck with your hunt!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

FAQs added to the website

Since we have found ourselves answering the same questions over and over again, we've just added an FAQ section to the Press website. If there's anything we've missed, or anything that isn't as clear as it should be, we hope readers will kindly draw our attention to it!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

MAKE DO AND MEND by Adam Fitzroy

We've been made aware of a minor fault on some .epub and .mobi copies of MAKE DO AND MEND - the Welsh letter ลต (a 'w' with a circumflex) doesn't seem to be translating properly. It looks fine to us, but obviously some e-readers can't understand it and are substituting a question mark. We've already made new .epub and .mobi files for future purchasers, in which we've replaced (we hope) the character with a simple 'w', but if anyone who has bought the book so far would like a free replacement copy they have only to e-mail eaditter (at) manifoldpress (dot) co (dot) uk and we'll organise it for them.

Thank you to the reader in Australia who alerted us to the problem!

Friday, 2 November 2012

New books now on sale

Apologies for the delay in updating our LiveJournal this time - various logistical and technological hassles have made this one of our 'slightly less smooth' book launches, but we're just about back on the right track now!

So, we're delighted to report that Jane Elliot's THE DEVIL IN DEAD HORSE, the sequel to END OF THE TRAIL, and Adam Fitzroy's new wartime saga MAKE DO AND MEND are both now available to buy from our website/online shop.

In addition, we're very pleased to be presenting our first-ever 'box' set - an opportunity to buy Julie Bozza's two 'Albert' books in one value package! See THE COMPLETE ALBERT J. STERNE for details!

- - - - -

To conclude, here are the statistics for October. Julie's BUTTERLY HUNTER was again, to nobody's astonishment, our highest-seller, although that should not overshadow the achievement of Jane's ABOVE ALL which has also been selling magnificently. In fact we've just completed one of the busiest and most successful quarters since we started trading, and we're on a firmer financial footing than we've ever been - so the chances of our continuing to publish must be very much improved.

Average response time for October was very respectable indeed at 4 hours and 46 minutes.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Another country heard from

Readers who have been around since we started this project may recall that in the very early days we noted every new country from which orders had been received. It's difficult to remember now exactly why we stopped - maybe it seemed a bit juvenile or maybe we just got too busy, or maybe it was simply when the order-filling responsibilities changed hands. Anyway, it's something we've been meaning to check back on for a while now - and, as the last few days before the new books are released often mean that we have a bit of a quiet spell here at Mega-Headquarters, we thought this was as good a time to do it as any.

We were delighted to note that we have now received orders from twenty-five different countries - which total was reached only recently when an order came in from a reader in Hungary. The full list at the moment is as follows:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eire, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA

Interestingly we get a lot of hits/reads on the website from the Far East - China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines - which don't translate into direct sales, although it's quite possible that those people choose to buy via Rainbow or AllRomance and use their credit cards rather than PayPal. Alternatively, of course, they could all be robots - we simply have no way of telling!

Titles uploaded to distribution websites

For logistical reasons we're splitting the website updating/book uploading into several different tasks this time, which is a bonus for all those who like to buy our books through the Rainbow or AllRomance websites; the August titles - Jane Elliot's ABOVE ALL and Julie Bozza's BUTTERFLY HUNTER - have actually been uploaded to the distribution websites a day early as a result.

Friday, 12 October 2012

... and another two reviews

This is obviously 'review season', as another two reviews of our books have been posted today - both of these at Coffee Time Romance. Both books received 'four cups', and were met with very positive responses.

Of R.A. Padmos's UNSPOKEN, the reviewer, Lototy, said:

I am not sure how it is possible for one story to be so heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time, yet every page of this book reinforces those exact feelings for me,

whilst her assessment of F.M. Parkinson's THE WALLED GARDEN concluded with the following words:

These men are so deserving of the love they share, it saddens me to see them fight their feelings. I think their friendship is truly the cornerstone of this story, and I am extremely pleased to have experienced this author’s work.

We could not possibly disagree with either of these sentiments, and are absolutely delighted to see these two hitherto rather under-valued books getting the recognition they both richly deserve.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Two new reviews ...

... have hit our inbox this morning. Taking them in chronological order, the first is Tash's review of Julie Bozza's BUTTERFLY HUNTER at Confessions from Romaholics. It's difficult to quote from this one as it's more of a precis than a review and unfortunately gives away a pretty major plot twist, but nonetheless the reviewer gives the book a rating of 'four couples' which indicates that they thought it 'very good'.

A more considered assessment of Jane Elliot's ABOVE ALL has meanwhile been posted on Reviews by Jessewave. The guest reviewer, jeayci, seems to have rather enjoyed it, and their overall assessment was again '4 stars out of 5':

I stupidly started this right before bed, thinking I’d read a few chapters and then sleep. Hah! I ended up staying up much too late to finish it. I also laughed a lot and was glad no one was trying to sleep next to me!

Monday, 1 October 2012

New titles for 1 November announced

Well, here we are again - and once more we have two absolutely fascinating projects to set before you!

Jane Elliot is back again, this time with THE DEVIL IN DEAD HORSE which is the sequel to END OF THE TRAIL; we can assure those of you who have been eagerly awaiting more about the relationship between John and Will that this new instalment is just as thrilling as the first!

Somewhat quieter in nature but on just as large a canvas is Adam Fitzroy's new book, MAKE DO AND MEND; it introduces us to the Lyon family, aristocrats fallen on hard times, and particularly to Harry, a Naval officer injured on active duty during the Second World War, whose friendship with mysterious conscientious objector Jim is soon giving cause for concern.

Both these books will be available to purchase on 1 November, although for entirely practical reasons we will be unable to start filling orders before 12 noon (UK time) on that date.

- - - - -

If anyone is interested in the statistical information for September, we are somehow not surprised to report that BUTTERFLY HUNTER was our best-selling title for the second month running, and our average response time was fairly sharp at four hours and 57 minutes.

- - - - -

Finally, we are considering adding an FAQ section to the website, so if any of our readers have specific questions about the way we operate our business or the choices that we make in connection with our books we will be very happy to know about them and to try to assemble appropriate answers!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Survey at ALLROMANCE

Our friends at AllRomance eBooks have asked us to help publicise an anonymous survey currently running on their website - specifically, as they say, to help them explore 'some issues about DRM and sharing'. The survey pops up immediately when you open their site here. If you have time, please go on over and answer a few questions for them (it will only take five minutes at the most), and spread the word to other readers too. Thank you!

Friday, 7 September 2012

New review of 'FOOL'S OATH'

While we're busy bringing out new books on a regular basis, it's very reassuring to know that people are still discovering - and reviewing - some of our slightly older titles.

Chris Quinton's FOOL'S OATH has just come to the attention of the reviewers at the Paranormal Romance Guild who, as you may remember, have an unusual 'dual review' format wherein two people review and discuss the same publication. In this case both reviewers seem to have been very impressed (and, indeed, why not?!) but unfortunately we can only quote from one!

This vampire is one cool customer, he shows the world a calm, quiet, dangerous side and he shows Xavi his softer side. If his looks and overall personality weren’t enough to pull me to him, the fact that he knows Xavi for exactly what he is and still cares for him would have me in his pocket.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Comcast saga rumbles on

1&1 are apparently 'still working on' the Comcast problem, whatever that means. They've just e-mailed to advise us to send e-mail attachments to Comcast users by another means 'momentarily' (we presume they mean 'temporarily') - only about four days after that solution had actually occurred to us. 90% of the time they're a perfectly fine company to deal with, but when something goes wrong like this you really have to find your own solution to the problem; frankly, their technical support is neither technical nor supportive.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Statistics for August

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone who keeps track of our exploits, but our best seller for August has been Julie's BUTTERFLY HUNTER. As a result of that one highly enthusiastic review - and presumably word of mouth as well - sales have been very impressive; in fact, August 2012 has even edged out November 2011 as the most successful month since we started trading, and we've been kept very busy filling orders!

Not too busy, though, to keep track of our response times which, when crunched, averaged out at four hours and 46 minutes.

We have also learned two interesting things, which we record here for whatever value they may have:

1. Comcast seems to have our email provider, 1&1, flagged as a source of spam. We have tried repeatedly, but we can't seem to send emails with attachments to Comcast addresses - or to one particular Comcast address, anyway - although plain emails get through without difficulty. After raising support requests with our provider - and getting nowhere - we took the easy way out and got ourselves a backup account on Googlemail. Comcast, it seems, has no objection to Googlemail ...

2. A customer who had trouble making our online shop/Paypal combination work, and who had tried different browsers as we usually suggest, solved the problem by deleting her credit card from Paypal and then promptly reinstalling it - which would seem to indicate that the problem was with Paypal rather than with us. While we're sure the same thing won't necessarily work for everybody, we also thought it was a tip worth passing on. We should probably start thinking about having an FAQ/Troubleshooting page on the website, really!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Coincidence? Or is it?

We have just offered a free book to the person who placed our 500th order - who, by a bizarre coincidence, also bought the 1000th book we sold, earlier in the year. We were slightly brain-boggled by this, and then it occurred to us that when you have loyal customers this sort of thing is far more likely to happen than not, so we decided that this was probably a good moment to send another shout-out to those customers - you know who you are - who come back to us over and over again. It's always lovely to see new names on the order list, but when the same names come back time after time it makes us even more certain that we must be getting something right; therefore, we'd like to be certain that you know now - and will remember - how much we value our repeat customers and how glad we are to have you around. Whatever it is we're doing that you like, we hope to keep on doing it for the foreseeable future ... and to be marking quite a few more of these modest milestones along the way.

Thank you again, for all your loyal support; without you, this wouldn't be half as much fun as it is!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Saturday, 25 August 2012

New review of 'BUTTERFLY HUNTER'

... aaaaand ... just when we thought our two new books were stuck in review queues, BitterSweet Reviews have delivered their verdict on Julie's BUTTERFLY HUNTER, and we have the distinct impression that they rather liked it!

Butterfly Hunter is a enchanting tale set in the Australian Outback where two lonely souls find each other and after reading it, I was left with a renewed sense of wonder at how beautiful love can be when two people destined to be together finally find each other.

We can't argue with any of that, and we wouldn't even try!

Friday, 24 August 2012

New review of 'GHOST STATION'

Intriguingly, while our new books are still languishing in various review queues, Midia at The Romance Studio has turned her attention to Adam Fitzroy's GHOST STATION. It's a short review, but it does include these words ...

What motivated me to request this book for review was the blurb. It seemed interesting and I don't read many spy thrillers so I decided to give a chance. It was the best decision I ever made.

... and what author could possibly hope for more?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Statistics for July; new titles available on distribution sites

The highest seller from our website during July was F.M. Parkinson's THE WALLED GARDEN, and the average response time steady enough at four hours and three minutes.

The overall best-selling title in July, though, was a dead heat between Chris's FOX HUNT and Julie's ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT.

What's more, we've just uploaded THE WALLED GARDEN and R.A. Padmos's UNSPOKEN to the sites of our distribution partners, Rainbow and AllRomance, for the benefit of anyone who has difficulty making our online shop module work. We hope to be announcing some new distribution partnerships later in the year.

New books available

We have just completed the process to make our two new books available for sale!

This time Julie Bozza brings us the delightful BUTTERFLY HUNTER, a fresh and colourful culture clash adventure with an intriguing Australian background and fascinating supernatural undertones.

In complete contrast is Jane Elliot‘s new book, ABOVE ALL, with the irascible Jasper and the inscrutable Brian struggling to find a middle ground between their apparently very different worlds.

We'll get back to work on the two books we're hoping to present to you on 1 November, and in the meantime hope you will enjoy these two very different books as much as we have!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New review of 'FOOL'S ERRAND'

Yes, another - although this one crept under the radar somehow; it actually appeared on 16 May and we have only just become aware of it!

Reviewer Tina at Two Lips Reviews certainly seems to have enjoyed what she read:

Overall this book has a great combination of humor and romance which made me want to keep reading. I am really looking forward to the next book in this trilogy; I want to know what happens next!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Friday, 13 July 2012

New review of 'FOX HUNT'

In a dual review published today at the Paranormal Romance Guild, reviewers Gloria Lakritz and Tom Webb each give Chris's FOX HUNT five stars. Their enthusiastic comments included the following:

Fox Hunt by Chris Quinton was everything a story should be, well written, action as a thriller, a blossoming love story, sensual scenes between the lovers yet a hint of humour.

We note that they're both calling for a sequel, too ...

Thursday, 5 July 2012

New review of SOLEMN CONTRACT

It's always the same; you wait ages for a review, and then two come along at once! Reviewer Michael Joseph at Speak Its Name has just delivered his verdict on Morgan Cheshire's SOLEMN CONTRACT with a long and reasoned assessment which finishes in these words:

Even with the flaws, I found Solemn Contract a rather enjoyable read. While the characters and the plot are not entirely unfamiliar, they’re put together in a way that at least seems fresh. A solid four star read.

We think Morgan will be very happy indeed with that!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

New review of ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT

Reviewer Jen at Top2Bottom Reviews has delivered her verdict on the second of Julie's 'Albert' books, and it's very much in favour; we have never before received a review that concluded with the words "All in all, this book was magnificent and you’ll want to read more" - and once again it's congratulations to Julie for garnering such warm words of praise!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

New book announcement/statistics for June

MANIFOLD PRESS is on its travels again today, so we're bringing you both the new book announcements and the month-end statistics a fraction early. Our two books for 1 August publication are Julie Bozza's BUTTERFLY HUNTER and Jane Elliot's ABOVE ALL. Julie is absolutely indefatigable and is turning out new work at a truly phenomenal speed; BUTTERFLY HUNTER is the tale of two young men brought together by chance - or is it? - by a gentle but nonetheless life-changing adventure in the Australian outback. Jane is returning to us after a taking break to deal with other matters, and ABOVE ALL, her book this time, focuses on a clash of temperaments between eccentric genius Jasper and Brian, the homeless man he takes responsibility for after an accident brings them together. We are very happy once more to have two such diverse and intriguing books to present to you, and we're certain that they will both prove to be very popular! To conclude, here are the sales statistics for June; there was no overall best-seller from the website this month, with UNSPOKEN and THE WALLED GARDEN selling in precisely equal numbers - which is just as it should be! Average response time was respectable enough at three hours and 48 minutes.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Friday, 1 June 2012

Statistics for May

There was no overall best-selling title in May; to our delight, UNSPOKEN and THE WALLED GARDEN sold in precisely equal numbers - and we can also report that FOX HUNT has been selling like hot cakes through our distribution partners. Average response time was a steady five hour and 39 minutes. Both the books for publication on 1 August are now back from their proof-readers and we are ready to move on to the next stage with them. Meanwhile, progress is also good on our titles for 1 November publication and we are already starting to make some tentative plans for next February - where does the time go? (Actually, we can testify that we spend at least 90% of it sitting at various keyboards ... )

Thursday, 24 May 2012

First review of 'The Walled Garden'

Erastes at Speak Its Name has just posted the first review of F.M. Parkinson's THE WALLED GARDEN, which we're sorry to see is a little less than wildly enthusiastic. However impressing a specialist reader of historical m/m fiction was always going to be a challenge, and we hope that in due course F.M.'s book will find its audience amongst those more general readers who enjoy their fiction with a leisurely pace.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia draw winner

We put all the names in a hat - well, it was actually a box - and we asked Cruncher, our accountant, to close his eyes and pick one out. The winner was Gaycrow, who entered the draw via the Press's LJ; we'll be contacting her immediately to find out which Manifold Press book she'd like to receive. Thank you to everyone who took part, and who helped to make this Hop so successful.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia

Since we're taking part in the 'Hop Against Homophobia', we thought this would be a good moment to say a little about discrimination and prejudice as we've experienced them personally.

As you've probably gathered, most of the people involved in Manifold Press are significantly over the age of 21 and have been reading and writing M/M fiction for a considerable number of years. During that time we've encountered quite a lot of anti-gay sentiment, one way and another, and we've had our literary preferences described as 'dirty', 'perverted' and just about every other epithet you can imagine. Even though most of our output is not especially steamy, we are often shunted into the genres of 'erotica' or 'adult' work simply by virtue of the participants being men and the presumption that sex between men is somehow less acceptable to the general taste than heterosexual sex.

Whilst we're quite prepared to believe that the majority of the world is heterosexual - or at least thinks it is - we don't feel that in any way invalidates the lifestyles of those who are not. We've been told some utter falsehoods about gay people in the past, by people who thought they knew what they were talking about - that gay men don't kiss, for example, or that gay sex is always rough and painful and always involves violence. We hope these ill-informed views are on the decline, and we're trying to do our little bit towards promoting understanding through our books.

To us, gay men are neither disgusting creatures to be reviled nor wondrous beings to be fetishised; they're just men who happen to be gay. They live, love, laugh, work, eat and sleep just like anybody else; they have the same everyday concerns as the rest of the world - money, health, their own safety and that of others, the list is endless. That we choose to read and write about them should be of no greater importance than if we chose to read and write about cooking or art or dogs or railway engines; this is simply what we know about and what we like to do.

The prejudice encountered by M/M authors is a pale shadow of that encountered by people who are gay, although it's part of the same phenomenon. We have never understood why genuine love and affection - or indeed the honest exchange of sexual pleasure without emotional commitment - should be anybody's business but that of the people involved. We do not consider ourselves politically-minded in any way, and we are certainly not a campaigning organisation, but when we're given an opportunity like this to be part of a protest against homophobia we are only too glad to stand up and be counted.

Please comment on this post to enter a draw to receive the free Manifold Press book of your choice, the winner to be announced on 20 May.

ETA: If you have difficulty leaving a comment here, please leave one on the equivalent LJ post and we'll include them all in the same draw!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New titles go online

We're delighted to report that, as of a few minutes ago, THE WALLED GARDEN by F.M. Parkinson and UNSPOKEN by R.A. Padmos are both available to purchase via our online shop module. We're looking forward eagerly to seeing what readers make of these two novels, which shed light on some of the problems facing gay relationships in times less enlightened than our own.

While we're here, this would also be a good moment to bring you up to date on direct sales statistics for April. We didn't have an overall top seller; Chris Quinton's FOX HUNT and Julie Bozza's THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE (yes, the original 'Albert' book, not the sequel!) tied for the honour, and our average response time for the month was respectable enough at five hours and 34 minutes.

Progress on our two 1 August titles is pretty spectacular; most of the work on them is done already - covers designed, much of the proof-reading dealt with - and we're now turning our attention to November instead. (Indeed, the weather here at Megaheadquarters makes this seem perfectly seasonable!) Naturally we'll keep you up to date with everything new that happens!

Friday, 20 April 2012

New review of 'Fox Hunt'

Tom at 'A Bear on Books' has just posted a wildly enthusiastic review of Chris's FOX HUNT which includes the following:

Chris Quinton outdid herself with this sexy, funny mystery involving artwork, family secrets and maybe a supernatural creature or two. This is a nicely imagined, fantastically executed work with huge heart and soul.

We'd say it was well-deserved (it is!) - but then we're hardly objective where Chris's writing is concerned - so we'll simply confine ourselves to repeating something else Tom included in his review:

This book is just ripe for a sequel. Please?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Year Two Week Forty-Eight

Well, dear readers, here we are at the end of our second year of trading. Yes, we know it's only been a 48 week year but we're moving the start date so that 'our year' coincides more closely with the tax year; we hope that will make things slightly more convenient for those of our authors who pay tax on their royalties.

We have updated the website with details of our new titles, R.A. Padmos's new novel UNSPOKEN and, from an author new to Manifold Press, F.M. Parkinson, THE WALLED GARDEN. These are both historical novels which offer thoroughly absorbing portrayals of intimate relationships between men in times much less accepting than our own. They'll be available to buy from 1 May.

The past week has been mercifully quiet, with most of the sales being through our distribution partners. As far as our own website goes, the top seller was Chris's popular FOX HUNT and our average response time - since we were hovering over the keyboard - was 32 minutes.

In Year Three, we won't be burdening you with this information on a weekly basis but will save it for the end of each month instead. Such details, which were important when we were just starting to establish ourselves, are no longer of the same importance now; although we'll continue to monitor them, we won't be in quite so much of a hurry to share them in future. This means that we'll confine ourselves to posting whenever there is a review or a piece of substantive news to share with you, rather than once a week come hell or high water. The plan at the moment is to post statistical information on the first day of each month; fingers crossed that we can keep to that!

And to everyone who has been with us for the past two years/one hundred weeks - thank you for your support, and we're very glad to have your company as - to our slight astonishment - we embark on our third year of trading.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

Ahead of announcing our two new titles tomorrow, we've made a few small tweaks to the website; these relate to the page counts of our books.

To explain; in the past few months we've been re-making all our e-book files, incorporating some of the lessons we've learned since we started on this strange adventure two years ago. This means that on the whole we've eliminated superfluous spaces and generally tidied up our presentation. As a result, most of the file sizes have changed (the online shop module will update itself overnight with the new figures) and so have most of the page counts, which are based on the .pdf versions of our titles.

As a rule, the page counts have come out slightly shorter - although THRACE has stayed the same, THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH has come out slightly longer, and for reasons we are completely unable to fathom GHOST STATION appears to have lost 52 pages! In fact it hasn't lost any text at all - none of them has; we can only imagine there was something slightly strange about the layout that we didn't notice in the original version, but which has now been corrected. In any case, page counts are of little use when it comes to electronic books; they're only there as a guide, so that at least you know whether to expect a light read or a substantial blockbuster!

We're sure none of this will matter to most of our readers, but as some of you are particularly eagle-eyed and would probably spot the alternations we thought we had better give you an explanation just to set your minds at rest.

Now, on with preparing to announce the two new books ...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Year Two Week Forty-Seven

Another quiet week, and once again we're gearing up for the end of our trading year by crunching numbers and doing stats. We also have a new DMCA cop who has started chasing illegal download sites and issuing DMCA notices on our behalf - which is of course becoming a much larger job as the number of our titles grows.

Our top seller this week has again been Chris's FOX HUNT, and our average response time of four hours and 18 minutes was certainly not to be sneezed at!

In addition, we were thrilled to learn that a new book we're hoping to publish later in the year is now finished, and a couple of others have taken major leaps forward recently. After a (northern-hemisphere) winter of hard slog for what felt like very little return, we are emerging into spring in a much more positive frame of mind and full of re-awakened energy ... which has got to be a good thing, right?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Year Two Week Forty-Six

Not a hugely busy week, it must be admitted, although we had a modest surge of sales through one of our online distributors. On a purely domestic level, however, Chris's FOX HUNT was again the highest seller through our website, with an average response time of exactly three and a half hours.

We're still gearing up for our new releases, but the jobs that remain to be done on them are now being ticked off one after another. We took a little time out today to prepare a leaflet, which we hope will be distributed by our authors at various conventions and events later in the year, and to start thinking about improvements and amendments we can make as we plunge headlong into our third year of trading; some of these we'll discuss with you here when we have a better idea of what we're doing! Suffice it to say that with the exception of the year end accounts and the actual publication of our two 1 May titles we're about as far ahead of ourselves as we could reasonably expect to be at this stage - which, we're quite convinced, probably means that some kind of apocalyptic disaster is only just around the next corner!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Year Two Week Forty-Five

Thanks to the recent excellent review on Jessewave Chris Quinton's FOX HUNT was this week's runaway best-seller, although our average response time dipped somewhat and was exactly seven hours.

We're pushing forward on a couple of long-term projects, one of which is nearly completed, and gradually pulling things together for not only the publication of our next two books on 1 May but also the formal end of our second year in business; this means bringing our accounts and statistics up to date so that when we have our annual get-together/meeting of minds (essentially a lunch where our authors all meet up - or at least those who can actually get there) we have some solid information to impart. However the essential decision was made a long time ago; initially we intended to try this for two years just to see how it went, but obviously it's going well enough for us to carry on into the foreseeable future!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

New Review of 'Fool's Oath'

Elisa Rolle seems to be on some sort of crusade to clear a backlog of reviews, bless her heart, because she has now turned her attention to Chris Quinton's FOOL'S OATH. As mentioned previously, it's often difficult to pick out a quote from one of Elisa's reviews, but this is part of her first paragraph:

The second in the Fool’s Odyssey trilogy if for me the better for now; I liked the previous book, but if I remember well the romance was not as much developed as it’s in this one.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Year Two Week Forty-Four

No overall top seller this week - we're constantly astonished by the almost psychic ability of our customers to order equal numbers of a wide variety of titles! - and average response time was tidy but unspectacular at four hours and 27 minutes.

In other news, we've had great fun juggling books which have come back from their proof-readers; we had expected two, and in the end were surprised to receive three all within the same few days. This means things have become very busy here at Megaheadquarters while we sort everything out, but already two books have been returned to their authors for final polishing and the remaining one should go out in the early part of next week.

Behind the scenes, we've also been overhauling our accounts - not the most glamorous occupation but one of the most essential - and reckoning up our total sales, which are accumulating very nicely thank you. We'll be in a position to give you more information about that shortly, but let's just say that we're coming up on an important milestone and we're feeling very comfortable indeed about the future of this project!

New review of 'Fox Hunt'

Guest reviewer Sirius at Jessewave seems to have thoroughly enjoyed Chris Quinton's FOX HUNT and has courteously managed to review it without giving away the secret of Fox's true nature which is, after all, one of the major strands of the plot!

This story has it all – intelligent writing, exciting adventure and suspense and two interesting protagonists.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

DMCA Takedowns

We've had quite a busy spell with these since just before Christmas, and can now report that to our great satisfaction we've had considerable success in getting illegal downloads of our books removed from several locations. In no particular order: Chris Quinton's FOOL'S ERRAND, Julie Bozza's THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE and R. A. Padmos's RAVAGES were removed from two sites each, and Adam Fitzroy's DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT from one more. There is still one location that's proving intractable, and another where we can't tell exactly what's going on, but we'll keep working at it. We can think of no valid reason why our authors' very considerable efforts should be made available free of charge to people who aren't willing to pay even our perfectly reasonable prices, after all; this is supposed to be a business, not a charity, and the people who tell us we should take it as a compliment and that it's all good advertising should just try being on this end of the equation for a little while and see whether or not that alters their opinion; we can assure them and everybody else that we're not planning to give up on this at any time soon!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

New Review of 'End of the Trail'

Whilst Googling around to follow up on illegal download sites (yes, three new ones have sprung up since last time!) we also accidentally ran across a new review of Jane's END OF THE TRAIL on ARe Cafe, the review section of the AllRomance website, which begins thus:

This unusual Old West-era love story between an outlaw and a homesteader takes risks in the name of realism with the accepted romance formula.

Not the first reader, and assuredly not the last, to be blown away by Jane's characterisation and attention to detail - and on that note we're happy to be able to tell you that a new Jane Elliot book is even now heading towards the launch-pad for publication later in the year!

Year Two Week Forty-Three

A nice boost to sales following the week's excellent review of ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT, so there should be no mystery about this week's best-selling title. Our average response time didn't exactly suck, at four hours 47 minutes.

This is probably a good moment to mention that Year Two will only be forty-eight weeks long as we're changing our accounting procedures. That actually sounds more important than it is; the idea is to try to fall more closely into line with the UK tax year. It's not essential, but anything which might be useful to our authors is fine with us.

We're expecting two books back from proof-reading this week, one of which is for May publication and the other one - nicely ahead of schedule - is for August. We also have covers ready for both our August books, even though one of them isn't actually finished yet! So, we're now in the odd position, at the end of February, of looking ahead to decide what we're likely to be publishing in November.

When we started this venture we said we would give it two years to see how it turned out. The two years will be up at the end of April and it certainly looks as if we'll be continuing for the foreseeable future; we feel we're getting the effort/reward balance just about right at the moment and that's good enough for us. We're very glad to have all our loyal readers along with us for the ride.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Year Two Week Forty-Two

Happiness is... when a writer who is already in the middle of producing a book for you e-mails to say "I've had a great idea, are you interested?" and you get to tell her "Yes!" right away... The fruits of this exchange may be quite a long way down the track but we're absolutely certain they'll turn out to have been well worth waiting for! (No pressure, then, author!)

Other than this, and some slave-labour on admin, we have little to show for the week except that we have finalised covers for three forthcoming books and turned the final draft of one over to the proof-reader. There was no overall best-seller this week, and our average response time was six hours and 53 minutes.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Business as usual

We've issued another six DMCA Takedown Requests this morning - one for FOOL'S ERRAND, one for THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE, and four for RAVAGES. The imbalance is because we caught a lot of previous illegal download sites in October and mercifully they've stayed clear - but none of them had actually started pimping RAVAGES at that time. We must get into a regular routine of hunting these people down; their definition of 'free speech' seems to involve giving our books away for nothing without our permission, and that doesn't exactly coincide with ours!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Year Two Week Forty-One

A quietish week, although sales from our website have kept going at a modest pace - and in addition we're doing reasonably well on the two distribution sites. Our top seller this week has been Julie's ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT which seems to be finding its market among all those who loved her first ALBERT book. Average response time was three hours 28 minutes.

In addition we've pushed ahead with future projects; one of the May books is being proof-read and one is being edited at the moment, and in addition one of the two books for August is already with its proof-reader. As if all this wasn't enough, we've also received an enquiry from another author with a proven track-record in the genre who we hope will have something for us to look at later in the year. All the 'paperwork' (much of it online) from the two 1 February releases is up to date with the exception of sending off the deposit copies to the British Library, and the only admin task still hanging over our heads is the awful one of issuing multiple DMCA notices. That's pretty much the worst chore we ever have to do around here, though, so on the whole we certainly aren't complaining!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Year Two Week Forty

A rather difficult week, what with one thing and another, but at the end of it we have published two new books, transferred another two to AllRomance and Rainbow, and reached a decision about our two titles for 1 August - so not at all bad!

To get the stats out of the way first, our top seller for the week was FOX HUNT and the average response time was six hours and 17 minutes.

And, in case anyone's still interested, here's a picture of most of MANIFOLD PRESS at the top of the Great Orme three weeks ago. We would like to point out that much of the odd shape is made up of the five sweaters we were each wearing ... much, but not quite all. This is in case anyone ever wonders what we look like - we hope this will serve to put them off! The picture was taken by another member of our team, Wolfbane.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Two new books now available to buy

Our two new titles are now available to buy - Julie Bozza's ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT and Chris Quinton's FOX HUNT and we look forward to your reactions to them both! In the past hour we have also uploaded Julie Bozza's THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH and Adam Fitzroy's GHOST STATION to both AllRomance and Rainbow for the benefit of those who have struggles with our online shop facility.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Year Two Week Thirty-Nine

A quiet week, with a slightly better picture where sales are concerned - albeit there was no overall top seller. Average response time was four hours and 46 minutes.

Otherwise, it's been all admin this week, bringing the accounts up to date and issuing a contract for a new book. We are also actively reading a new submission and hope to reach a decision about it fairly shortly.

There are at least ten books currently in development that are headed in our direction eventually - that we know of, anyway! - but unusually we are not at all sure in which order we're likely to receive them, so the next few months could be a fascinating period while we juggle authors and deadlines.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that if this was easy, everybody would be doing it! However we love a challenge, and sometimes we think that's probably just as well!!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Year Two Week Thirty-Eight

No sales to report on the website this week, although we're still ticking over nicely as far as our two distribution partners are concerned. This isn't at all surprising; the pattern last year was very similar and there is usually a distinct dropping-off in sales immediately before new books are due to be published.

There has been some progress made on editing one of the 1 May books this week, and there should be more in the next day or two, but for long and complicated reasons we are not yet back at Galactic Megapublishing HQ and working instead from a rebel base on a frozen planet. Unfortunately that means we don't have access to all our files and software, so the fact that a last-minute typo has turned up in 'Fox Hunt' has had to be ignored for the time being; we'll have it sorted out before publication day, however ... mutter mutter three proof-readers, mutter mutter...

Absence from HQ is also the reason we haven't yet been able to pursue any of the multiple illegal downloads we discovered recently; it's right at the top of our to-do list when we're safely back at home, which will be Wednesday 25th.

If anyone's interested in last week's Great Orme expedition, it was a huge success - despite the extreme cold - and we should be able to post a picture at some stage. It was one of the brighter parts of a difficult week, and served to refresh three MP stalwarts who otherwise feel as if they very rarely get a day off! (We love our Press and our readers dearly, but we also know the value of the occasional rest.)

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Nobody tells me anything

In doing a Google search round-up today (essential to catch up with any stray reviews or unauthorised download sites), we found an article on the Advocate website which name-checks some of the authors honoured in the Rainbow Awards, including our very own Julie Bozza and Morgan Cheshire.

And yes, we found more unauthorised download sites ...

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Year Two Week Thirty-Seven

Posting our weekly summary a day early this time, because tomorrow three of the stalwarts of Manifold Press - Fiona, Wolfbane and Morgan Cheshire - will be dashing off on a huge adventure, up the Great Orme in a Mini). This is our annual treat, but did not take place last year for family reasons; just as well, too, because as it turned out the weather was extremely unpleasant that weekend.

The statistics of Week 37 are quickly told; there was no overall top seller, and average response time was four hours and 37 minutes. Other than that, we can report only that we have taken several steps forward on future projects - one of the May titles, for example - and have come to some long-term strategic decisions which are much too boring to relate here. We'll all be back in our regular places by this time next week, and normal service will be resumed in plenty of time for the countdown to publication of our two 1 February titles.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Year Two Week Thirty-Six

Well, our Christmas Sale is now officially over and to be perfectly honest it was a bit of a damp squib from our point of view; we probably didn't sell any more books than we would have sold anyway, and given the limitations of our online shop software - you can't input an across-the-board price reduction but have to change each item separately - the amount of work involved in setting it up (and then in changing everything back again afterwards) was unfortunately not reflected in the results. In future, therefore, any price reductions we make will be permanent ones - although we're not planning any at the moment.

There was no overall leading title this week; we sold a wonderfully diverse range of books instead. The average response time was seven hours 42 minutes, once again because the majority of orders came in from the USA at a time when we were not awake.

The two books for 1 February publication are all wrapped up and ready to go, and we've been spending time working on one of the books for 1 May. Looking further ahead, we haven't made any definite decisions yet about 1 August, but there are several fascinating projects in contention; it all depends on how much progress the various authors are able to make over the next few months - watch this space for further details as we get them!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New review of 'The Valley of the Shadow of Death'

In a wonderful example of 'swings and roundabouts', a review of Julie's THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH has just appeared at Top2Bottom Reviews which expresses a point of view very different from the previous one!

I really liked the premise for The Valley of the Shadow of Death. I love a good redemption story, as well as the gay-for-you storyline; that there is someone out there in the world who can redefine and alter the labels one places upon oneself, for the sake of love.

It's always satisfying to know that a book has made contact with a reader who really 'gets it', and reviewer Lisa is obviously one of those who do!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Year Two Week Thirty-Five

Not perhaps the most successful Christmas Sale in the illustrious history of Christmas Sales, but then we suspect people have been rather preoccupied this week! However we've done quite reasonably, all things considered, with RAVAGES again our highest seller and the average response time being three hours and 17 minutes.

We were also delighted to receive a submission from another new author, which is with our in-house reader at the moment, so we think it's fair to say that this year is already off to a very promising start for us - and we hope you'll all be staying around to find out how the next 'chapter' in our everyday story of ebook-publishing folks will develop!

A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS

We're delighted to announce our first two titles for 2012!

ALBERT J. STERNE: FUTURE BRIGHT, PAST IMPERFECT by Julie Bozza

Three young boys on a collision course: Albert Sterne – isolated, driven and fiercely intellectual; Fletcher Ash – bright, dedicated and with a strong sense of justice; John Garrett – hurt, marginalised and determined to do to the world exactly what the world has done to him. The eleven short stories in this companion volume continue and expand on the lives of the characters from the same author’s outstandingly popular THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE, which should preferably be read first.

FOX HUNT by Chris Quinton

Robert Rees, full-time librarian, part-time art restorer, is called in to finish a commission when his father goes into hospital – a pair of Elizabethan portraits on oak panelling, Adam Courtney and Ann Darcy. Trouble is, there’s more interest in the paintings than Rob ever bargained for; a lot of people want to get their hands on such priceless treasures, and they’re not always particular about their methods. Just as well he’s got his brother’s mysterious friend Fox on hand to look out for him, then, isn’t it? Or, for that matter … is it?