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.