We're entering 2015 with some very exciting plans, and also one or two changes to the way we do things. For a start, you'll notice that our dear old online shop module has ceased to exist and is, in fact, an ex-module! All orders should now be placed through one or other of our distributon partners who are, at present and in strictly alphabetical order, AllRomance, Amazon and Smashwords, with some titles also being available in paperback via CreateSpace. There are two reasons for this change - one is the reduced availability of person-power for filling orders, and the other is the new VAT regulations which are a particular burden for small organisations like ourselves; stepping away from handling our own sales means we can allow someone else to take day-to-day responsibility for that aspect of our business, and that in turn leaves us free to concentrate on producing even more new fiction for you to enjoy.
We must admit, though, that we'll be sorry to lose direct contact with our readers. It's been absolutely the best aspect of the online shop, and we've thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all and chatting in e-mail. Our days will be considerably less interesting in future, without that!
We know some of you have already spotted, too, that we're making some books available free of charge for a limited period. These are already proving popular on AllRomance and Smashwords, and will be introduced to Amazon, too, as soon as we can get that organised. (It's not always straightforward to persuade Amazon that yes, you really do want to give things away for nothing, so unfortunately we'll have to work to their timetable; watch this and other relevant spaces for details!)
The free books are Adam Fitzroy's DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT, Jane Elliot's END OF THE TRAIL, Chris Quinton's FOOL'S ERRAND and Julie Bozza's HOMOSAPIEN, all of which have been consistently popular and have made us a lot of friends. We're sending them out free of charge now in the hopes of introducing new readers to our work, and we hope existing readers will also take this opportunity to try out the work of a different author or catch up on a book they may previously have missed.
Our two new books for 1 February publication are fascinating stories about men faced with unexpected challenges, and we're very excited about them both!
We're sure you'll agree with us that a new Julie Bozza title is always an event. This time she brings us MITCH REBECKI GETS A LIFE, in which fish-out-of-water Mitch struggles to cope thousands of miles from his native New York in what - for him - is the alien environment of Sydney, Australia ...
... and similarly Darryl, the hero of Liam Livings's new book ESCAPING FROM HIM, meets a delightful gallery of characters and is pitched headlong into a series of adventures when he finally decides to break free from his controlling older boyfriend and make a new life for himself north of the border in Scotland.
The name of Liam Livings may already be familiar, especially to those of you who attend UKMeet. We're delighted to have him joining us as an author - not only of the present book, but also of another which we hope to publish later in the year - and, given the speed and enthusiasm with which he writes, we can't help hoping there may be several more titles coming our way in due course; we'll just have to wait and see! For now, though, this is a very good moment to welcome Liam as a new member of the Manifold Press 'family'.