You have to kiss a lot of frogs …

We have reached the final stage of cover design for our four initial titles.  Three of them already have completed covers and one of them has a cover in draft form.  However, not being one to let a good opportunity pass, I have just been exploring a different source of royalty-free images to see if I could find anything there that I liked better.

The keyword I searched on was ‘cowboys’.  Maybe this was a bit too vague, because I have just finished wading through 5,500 images of babies on horseback, girls in cow-print, cowboys on skis, naked pregnant cowgirls, Dallas Cowboys, Uruguayan farmers and assorted men in hats.  These, at least, I could understand; however my search also threw up Prussian soldiers, a member of the British Household Cavalry, a picture of some pinto beans and, bizarrely, pictures entitled ‘businessman in gas-mask’ and ‘gay umbrella’.  How these last two fit the keyword I am struggling to imagine.

I also learned one useful lesson.  If the picture description starts with the words ‘handsome’ or ‘pretty’, it usually means the subject is neither!

The jury’s still out on the picture choice; I think I’m probably going to to stick with my original selection!

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Two more Authors’ Prospectuses have been requested and sent out, and the contracts are in the post to our first set of authors.  Our ailing proof-reader has recovered and returned to the fold, and we will be passing two more titles to her very shortly.  It looks as if we’re finally getting somewhere – fingers crossed, please!


Welcome to the new friends who have joined us since our first post.  This seems like a good opportunity to bring people up to date with what we’ve been doing in the past week or so, and what progress we’ve made.

Probably the most important and the biggest (and frankly the scariest) step taken this week is the preparation of the first contracts for our writers.  These should be in the post in the next day or two, and the writers concerned will be e-mailed to let them know that they’re on their way.  We won’t be announcing any titles until we have the signed contracts in our hot little paws, because we’re just superstitious like that.

We’re starting to spread the word to a few interested parties who have kindly agreed to help us publicise our endeavours.  This is going to mean being interviewed for an online publication which is also a fraction scary but we’re brave as lions, to paraphrase Ron Weasley, and we’ll tough it out somehow.  Details here when we have them.

Same applies to the new website.  This is under development at the moment and will be the focus of our efforts after the weekend.  It should appear some time in March, but we want to take our time and do a decent job with it.

There is no word yet from our illustrious proof-reader who has been rather ill for the past few weeks.  However with the end of the month imminent it would probably be a good moment to make contact with her again and hopefully there should be better news to report next time.

We have had one request so far for the Authors’ Prospectus and since its arrival wasn’t greeted with derision we’re hoping it made some kind of sense to the recipient.  There is one title already confirmed for November and another well on its way – although ironically the work in question doesn’t actually have a title yet!  Meanwhile, an in-house reader is about to join our nominal ‘staff’ – thus increasing our labour force by a massive 50%.

There are still a few details to be ironed out; we do not have a bank account yet, and the last-minute conversion from Windows-based to Linux-based software has caused a few delays, but we are far enough forward in other respects for these not to be worrying us too much at the moment.  We should soon have some promotional video to set before you, too, which is very exciting for those of us who wouldn’t have a clue how to set about producing such a thing.

Well, this is rather disjointed but it attempts to give you a snapshot of where we are with our plans.  It’s about nine months now since we started talking about and preparing for this venture but I’m not sure that we’ve ever really got our heads round the idea that it will actually happen one day; in some respects, the mental journey from ‘we could’ to ‘we will’ has been the biggest step of all, and one that we may not fully make until we see the Press up and running for the first time.

We’re very glad to have you along for the ride; at the moment, we feel we need all the (im)moral support we can get!


Who we are

MANIFOLD PRESS is a new e-publishing venture based in the UK, run by two authors of longer-standing and more experience than we care to admit.  We will mainly be publishing male-male fiction set in the present, the historical past, or an alternative version of either. We will also consider female-female fiction with these settings, but this is not our principal area of interest or expertise.

What we’re looking for

We are looking for plot and/or romance, either love stories between same-sex partners or stories in different genres – mystery, adventure, etc. – in which the main protagonists just happen to be gay. Your story need not (indeed should not) be wall-to-wall sex and there is no minimum sex scene requirement.

What we’re offering

We’re calling ourselves a ‘semi-pro’ press; we’re going to run things on a professional basis as far as we can although we’re starting very modestly.  What this means for authors is that you will receive a proper contract (initially for two years with an option to renew) and royalties,  which will be paid quarterly.  We’ll discuss all this with you before the contract is signed, so that you understand exactly what you’re getting into.

Our first list

Our first four titles will be published on 1 May 2010; watch this LJ and our website for details.  (We’ll post the address of the website as soon as we have it up and running.)  Meanwhile, friend us here for up to date information on our project as we get it ready for launching.

How you can be involved

If you are an aspiring author of male-male or female-female fiction, please PM us with your current e-mail address and we will send you our PROSPECTUS FOR AUTHORS.  We are presently searching for stories of 40,000 – 100,000+ words suitable for inclusion in our November list.