“Good times and bum times, I’ve seen them all
And, my dear, I’m still here”
As you will no doubt remember, we announced a year ago that we were intending to scale back operations and discontinue publishing altogether from 1 May 2018. We cited changing family circumstances as the main reason.
A lot of different factors combined in the making of our original decision. Julie – our youngest and most energetic team member – had plans to retire from her day job and return, with her other half, to live near their families in Australia. We didn’t think we were likely to manage very well for long without her, especially as Fiona’s age begins with a 6 and Morgan’s with a 7 and we’re both slowing down a little bit. Plus, as we mentioned, we have family members to look after and our own health has started to be somewhat unpredictable into the bargain.
So, it seemed that a decorous retirement was in order. We made plans for it. We told people what we were doing. We put our metaphorical house in order, wrapped up loose ends, organised a last AGM and got ready to say a tearful ‘goodbye’.
And that, of course, was precisely when someone came along with a thoroughly serious and sensible plan to take over the business and carry it forward in our absence. We know that their aims and ours are very much in aligment when it comes to quality and customer service, and we’re sure they’ve got all the necessary skills, experience and confidence to continue building the Press’s profile in just the way we would have loved to do ourselves – if only we’d started slightly earlier in life, or had just a little bit more energy!
We’re not going into any more detail than that just yet. When we’re ready, we’ll make a formal announcement and let our new team introduce themselves properly. In the meantime we’re going to continue producing newsletters, updating this blog, and maintaining our social media presence, but we won’t be publishing anything new until early 2019. We will be open for submissions again as from 1 June 2018 – please see our website for more information. Fiona will also be attending UK Meet 2018 to hear pitches in person; details will appear here as soon as they are available.
Many of our existing authors are remaining with Manifold Press and their work will continue to be available to buy through the usual channels. Some have decided either to retire, to self-publish, or to move elsewhere; to every one of these we say a heartfelt Thank You – we’ll miss you, but we wish you the best of everything in your future endeavours.
Most of all, we want to thank the inimitable Julie Bozza; without her this Press would not have been half as successful as it has been, and it would very likely have run out of steam several years ago. We’ve learned a lot from Julie, and we’re hoping we can put some of those lessons into practice in the future.
Morgan and Fiona will retain their connection with Manifold Press for the time being. Our contribution may gradually diminish, but we’re certainly keen to be involved as much as we can to help our ‘baby’ take its next big steps into a wider world. If this changes at any time we’ll let you know, but for the time being both we and the Press are – in the words of the great Mr Stephen Sondheim – ‘still here’.
And it’s not impossible you may be almost as surprised about that as we are!