Week 49 summary

It’s been quite a while since it last happened, but we’ve had a week completely without sales this week. I can therefore say with certainty that our response time was absolutely spectacular at 0.0 seconds and all our titles are tied for the week’s top seller!

Having disposed of the stats, on to more interesting developments!

Rainbow Ebooks

Having looked around a little after the demise of the GLBT Bookstore, we’ve decided to try our luck with Rainbow Ebooks.  We haven’t signed the paperwork yet but we’ve been looking through the contract and it doesn’t look as if it’s likely to cause us any problems, so in a day or two I should imagine we will be taking the plunge and completing the formalities.  Thanks to  for pointing us in their direction.

And while we’re on the subject of –

GLBT Bookstore

– we’ve had the final sales figures from them and will be including the same with the statements to our authors which are due out on 1 May.

Call for stories

We’re not sure how this is going to work – or even if it’s going to work – but we’re inviting contributions of short stories for an anthology of gay fiction with a theme of the Olympic or Paralympic Games (publication next summer, of course).  Work should be between 2,000 and 10,000 words and the stories set against the background of the games either past or present or, if you’re feeling really creative, future!  Protagonists may be competitors, coaches, spectators, administrators, media or security personnel, the stewards who sweep the track or the guys who make the coffee … anyone, as long as they have some connection to the Olympic Games.  This is just a preliminary shout-out so that people can start pushing ideas around; we’ll be posting a notice to the Press website in due course.  Closing date for submissions will be 31 December 2011.

GLBT Bookstore

We’re sorry to say that the GLBT Bookstore, with which we have been partnering for the last few months, has ceased trading. We’ve had a full explanation from them, but don’t know how much of it they would want to have discussed; suffice to say that problems with PayPal seem to be behind the decision, although other factors were also involved. As you can imagine this is a big disappointment to us; we had a lot of faith in their project and as with all gay-fiction-focussed businesses we wanted them to succeed – after all, the stronger the individual company, the stronger the whole sector, which can only be a good thing for us all in the long run.

So, we’ll take this opportunity to commiserate with them and thank them for their efforts on our behalf; they put in a lot of work for what turned out to be not very much reward and we wish for their sake that things had been rather different.

We’re still four months away from being able to link up with AllRomanceEbooks as mentioned in previous LJ entries, but will go back to investigating Rainbowebooks and Kokobooks as suggested recently by a reader; this had lapsed, unfortunately, to allow us to deal with some urgent editing, but we will now return to the hunt and let you know what transpires.

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Naturally, yesterday was the day that not only was LJ down again but also our service provider 1&1 decided to implement installation of their previously-unsuccessful new interface – which was unsuccessful yet again. It was so bad, in fact, that they told us to use FileZilla instead. With this in mind, the question must now be whether we continue using them for Webhosting in the long-run, although our online shop will have to remain in their charge. Moving the domains again might be preferable to putting up with some frankly sub-standard service – about which we have ranted before. Sigh. But that’s a matter for another time; we have plenty to be getting on with ahead of the May publication date and will now stop complaining and go off and do some work.

First sales through GLBT Bookstore

Hooray!

In January we sold three books via the GLBT Bookstore. That may not seem a lot, but it’s three more than we sold through them in either November or December! The Bookstore is taking a bit of time to get off the ground but we have every confidence both in it and in the people running it and we hope they’ll persevere.

Our four November titles will be available through the Bookstore in the next 24 hours or so and I’ll post the links here as soon as they’re available, just in case anyone has need of them.

More titles sent to GLBT Bookstore

We’ve just sent off our four November titles:

THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE by Julie Bozza
FOOL’S ERRAND by Chris Quinton
HOMOSAPIEN by Julie Bozza
THRACE by Penelope Friday

to the GLBT Bookstore for uploading, so anyone who has had trouble making our system work should soon be able to get them from there.

Someone mentioned today that the GLBT site is a bit confusing and we would have to agree with that; you need to make absolutely certain which half of the site you’re in … the BookSHELF and BookSTORE sections of the site each contain links to buy our books, but the links take you in different directions. If you’ve had trouble with our system and want to order through the BookSTORE, you need to be sure you’re in the right part of the site to do so.

We’ve suggested that they might want to try having different-coloured backgrounds for the two sections of the site to avoid confusion, but we don’t know how feasible that is so we’re not going to be pushing it.

Week 35 summary

To my surprise, orders have been coming in steadily this week – probably from people who are rushed off their feet at any other time of year. Most of them arrived during the night, UK time, which did not allow for a particularly rapid response in any case, but on the whole I feel an average of five hours 36 minutes is respectable enough!

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One or two more queries have come in from people who can’t make the online shop/PayPal combination work for them. I would like to stress again that there is nothing more we can do to remedy this; once your country has been added to our ‘distribution’ list, as far as we’re concerned you should be able to order. There is certainly no prejudice against either you or your country behind it and we’d prefer it if you didn’t imply that there was.

However you also have the option of buying our books through the GLBT Bookstore; our first four titles – ALOES, DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT, END OF THE TRAIL and SEA CHANGE – are already available that way, and our second block of four – THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE, FOOL’S ERRAND, HOMOSAPIEN and THRACE – will be available through the bookstore from February 1st.

We say again, our system is not perfect. Unfortunately no system is, but we would need to invest a great deal more money than we have available if we wanted to operate in any other way. Think of us as a stall at a craft market, rather than a superstore; what you get from us will be different, but it may also be slightly flawed. This, however, is part of the process when you support an independent trader rather than a multinational conglomerate – and even they don’t always get it right!

New online GLBT Bookstore

We are delighted to announce that we are now part of GLBT Bookshelf’s new online GLBT Bookstore where anyone who particularly dislikes dealing with PayPal can order our books – specifically at the moment our first four titles, ALOES, DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT, END OF THE TRAIL and SEA CHANGE – using alternative payment methods. The Bookstore will only be handling .PDF files, however, so if you need a different format it will still be necessary to order it from us. We have decided to do this because the GLBT Bookstore is capable of achieving economies of scale which are not available to us – and also because we are not ashamed to piggyback on their established customer base and their future publicity.

Our four November titles, FOOL’S ERRAND, HOMOSAPIEN, SEA CHANGE and THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE, will not be available from the GLBT Bookstore until 1 February 2011.