AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MANIFOLD PRESS

Dear Friends,

After eight successful years of independent publishing, MANIFOLD PRESS will be scaling back its operations in May 2018. Our regular publishing schedule will continue until then, with the last set of books being published on 1 May 2018, but most of our titles will still be available to buy at least until May 2019 – and some very possibly longer than that. Our two charity anthologies, A PRIDE OF POPPIES and CALL TO ARMS, will be for sale as long as there is demand for them and money to be channeled to the causes they support.

We intend to maintain the same conscientious service we have always provided to our authors and readers; our newsletter will still be circulated, and in particular all royalties will continue to paid in full and on time. Rights reversions will be managed on an individual basis; we’re very happy to work with our authors towards a timetable that suits them.

This decision has not been an easy one to reach, and is largely the result of changing family circumstances. The Press requires a massive commitment of time and energy which would be impossible to sustain indefinitely, and rather than allow the quality of our product to suffer we feel the sensible option is to retire in good order while we can.

Our plan is to keep everybody fully informed throughout the winding-down process, but we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have about it; please feel free to get in touch with us either on Facebook or via e-mail.

We’re more grateful than we can adequately express for all the support and encouragement we’ve received throughout our adventure in independent publishing. Our experience in this community has been wholly positive and – although incredibly hard work – thoroughly enjoyable, and we wouldn’t have missed any of it for the world!

We’re actively planning QUEER COMPANY 3, and an announcement about that will be made later this summer. Please keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page for further details.

Thank you for everything, and we’ll miss you terribly!

Julie, Morgan and Fiona

It’s “Read an Ebook Week” on Smashwords!

Smashwords are celebrating Read an Ebook Week from 5 to 11 March 2017 – and what that means for readers is deep discounts on awesome titles!

Manifold Press is participating, with all of our titles, backlist and new, discounted by 25%. (The only exception is our charity anthology, A Pride of Poppies.) Now is the time to stock up that TBR pile, and maybe try some new stories you’ve been pondering.

Browse the Manifold Press catalogue on Smashwords – or browse the full catalogue of all the discounted ebooks across the site. We’re 100% sure you’ll find something to love!

Announcing three new titles today!

These are exciting times at Manifold Press! On 1 November 2016 we’re not only launching our New Adult imprint – introducing fascinating debut novels by two very talented writers – but also bringing to fruition a long-cherished anthology project featuring modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by the novels of Jane Austen.

A CERTAIN PERSUASIONA CERTAIN PERSUASION showcases thirteen stories by eleven authors, each of which takes something of Jane Austen’s as its source – and from that point on nothing at all is certain. We meet compelling reinterpretations of canonical characters such as Elinor Dashwood, William Elliot, Emma Woodhouse and – of course! – Fitzwilliam Darcy, and are also introduced to new ones who will linger in the memory – Adam Ashford Otelian, Robert Oakes and the enigmatic Lint, to name but a few. For anyone who has ever ‘thought beyond the page’ about Jane Austen’s work, this book is a real goldmine of intrigue and adventure. (And you will also make the close acquaintance of Mr Beveridge’s Maggot – really, need we say more?)

The authors include some familiar names and some new to the Press: Julie Bozza; Andrea Demetrius; Sam Evans; Lou Faulkner; Adam Fitzroy; Narrelle M Harris; Sandra Lindsey; Fae Mcloughlin; Atlin Merrick; JL Merrow; and Eleanor Musgrove.

SUBMERGEIn SUBMERGE by Eleanor Musgrove we meet Jamie, wandering innocently into the web of friendships and intrigues that surround a popular local club. Soon accepted as one of the ‘family’ he finds himself beginning to fall for manager Miles, but events occur which make him very reluctant to trust either the new man in his life – or, indeed, anybody else around him.

 

TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STARTO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR by Michelle Peart takes us to the unfamiliar world of Abaytor, where Edward and his new friend Burn are thrown headlong into a series of adventures and perils in the course of an extraordinary river journey – one which will leave them both profoundly changed, and also looking for answers to a greater mystery.

Introducing our New Adult imprint

Manifold Press is delighted to announce that we’ll soon be launching a New Adult LGBTQ+ imprint. We’ll have more news on specific titles soon, but in the meantime we want to talk about our approach to New Adult stories.

What makes a story ‘New Adult’?

New Adult womanThe main characters are between 18 and 30 years old, and the story is told from their point of view.

The focus is on the characters emerging from childhood into adulthood. This is, of course, never an easy, smooth or neat transition. Ideally, authors will approach such material both realistically and responsibly (though there’s nothing wrong with an entertaining read, with a ‘lesson learned’ about the importance of fun).

Within that broad scope, New Adult works might include:

  • Characters mapping their own lives. Becoming more independent. Dealing with increasing responsibilities. Becoming of ‘legal age’.
  • Changes in perspectives. Achievement of insight. Greater awareness of self and others.
  • Leaving the family home. Relating to their parents (and siblings) as adults rather than as children.
  • Negotiating the unfamiliar worlds of college or work.
  • Relationships of all kinds; friendship and love. Issues of identity, including gender and sexuality. Perhaps starting to think about marriage and children of their own.
  • ‘Coming of age’ experiences. Growing from innocence to experience.
  • What do they keep? What do they jettison? What do they change?

New Adult man‘New Adult’ is a category that can combine with any genre or subgenre: contemporary fiction, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal, and so on.

Readers will often be of the same 18-30 age group, although both younger and older people happily read NA.

Given that the target audience and the characters are of legal age, then explicit scenes can be included.

The Manifold Press way!

The Press’s approach is always that sex scenes (if any) should suit the style of the story, and serve the character or plot development. The same approach applies to ‘strong’ language, violence and other possibly controversial matters.

We know that there are a few negative connotations associated with the New Adult category, but we will be delivering what we trust you’ll always find with Manifold Press: a darned good read with quality stories and interesting characters.

Readers, we hope you’re looking forward to what we’ll soon be offering!

Authors, please feel free to submit your New Adult (and other!) LGBTQ+ manuscripts to Fiona Pickles at eaditter@manifoldpress.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you!

And we’d like to finish this post with the thought that it’s particularly important to try to represent the whole glorious LGBTQ+ spectrum in this imprint’s stories. Fair winds and good fortune to all who sail in her!


Illustrations from GraphicStock.

More price reductions on old favourites

Continuing our year of changes throughout MANIFOLD PRESS, we’re introducing another set of permanent price reductions on classic titles.

BETWEEN NOW AND THENBETWEEN NOW AND THEN by Adam Fitzroy – now $4.95!

It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.

MONTANA REDMONTANA RED by Jane Elliot – now $4.95!

It’s out of the frying-pan and into the fire on the day Henry first meets Red. He’s happy enough at first to be having sex with a man – Heaven knows, it’s better than what he’s running away from! – but it isn’t too long before Red’s sexual extravagances are driving the two of them apart. It’s only when Henry’s trying to manage on his own again that he at last begins to achieve a little perspective – on inversion in general, on himself in particular, and even on his relationship with Red. That’s when he starts to wonder if maybe there isn’t a way back for them after all, but this time it will definitely have to be on his terms…

THE EAGLE'S WINGTHE EAGLE’S WING by Cimorene Ross – now $5.95!

Roman Gaul: Lucius Valerius Carus isn’t naturally impulsive; when he suddenly and unexpectedly buys a slave at a market it’s because he feels sorry for a man who has obviously been maltreated in the past. However he’s taken on far more than he bargained for with Keret – intelligent, educated, and a great deal stronger than he looks. Roman society wouldn’t think twice about Lucius using Keret for his sexual pleasure – indeed, it would be astonished if he didn’t – but it’s likely to be horrified if it ever learns that Lucius has started to respect his slave, and absolutely disgusted if it discovers that he’s gradually beginning to fall in love…

HUNTEDHUNTED by Liz Powell – now $6.95!

As a professional footballer it looks like Adam Hunter has it all, but when the secret of his affair with midfielder Louie Jackson begins to leak out he’s plunged into the depths of misery – prompting a desperate series of manoeuvres to conceal the truth. Injured, distrusted by his team-mates and plagued by personal tragedy, Adam goes from hero to zero – and by the time Louie’s transferred to a German side he’s running out of reasons to stay alive. If there’s any way back from the brink of suicide, it isn’t clear to him at the moment…

THE WALLED GARDENTHE WALLED GARDEN by F.M. Parkinson – now $6.95!

William Ashton, retained as a gardener by Edward Hillier, discovers his new master to be a detached and driven man. Over the years, as travail and tragedy bring them closer together, he understands that they have more in common than he first realised, but the affection they feel for one another will be sorely tested by boundaries both of class and of rigid Victorian morality. Like the private garden behind the high walls their love must flourish only in the strictest secrecy – or else it will not do so at all.

If you missed any of these diverse and fascinating titles earlier in their illustrious careers, this would be a wonderful opportunity of making their acquaintance!

New release Q+A!

The Press held a Q+A event on Facebook yesterday evening, in honour of new titles ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory and UNDER LEADEN SKIES by Sandra Lindsey. Unfortunately just as we got going, I realised I had mistakenly set up the event as private rather than public. As punishment, I have had all Cheesecake Privileges revoked until the end of the month. {woeful wail}

Meanwhile, I thought I’d copy across some of the more pertinent questions and answers. These are all from people who generally interact with us in public forums, and they are about (relatively) uncontroversial topics – but if there is anything that people would like removed from (or indeed added to) this post, please let me know!


Manifold Press: Hey everyone, how are we all? Welcome to our new release Q&A! Congratulations to Sandra and Elin on the publication of their new titles, both of which are making quite a splash with the readers!

Elin Gregory: Many thanks, Manifold. 🙂 How’s the test match going?

Manifold Press: Decently, thanks; looking at a possible declaration and setting Pakistan a target for the final day. Consensus seems to be that a draw is inevitable, depending on the weather …


Eleventh Hour by Elin GregoryManifold Press: We’re getting a lot of positive comment about the covers, both of which are absolutely spectacular. Creating covers is always a bit challenging, but this time I think our art team totally ‘knocked it out of the park’!

Tigg Cooper: Oh definitely, they’re gorgeous!

Manifold Press: I think we were extraordinarily lucky in being able to source such brilliant images – but that’s all down to hard work and diligence (and a certain amount of persuasive power) on behalf of our artists!

Elin Gregory: Super covers. And I really wish I could paint water like that.

Anna Butler: The covers are lovely.

Jay Lewis Taylor: Congrats to Shell.


Tigg Cooper: Oh, for anyone who doesn’t know, I’m Sandra Lindsey 🙂 Haven’t yet set up a FB account in my author name…


Under Leaden Skies by Sandra LindseyElin Gregory: I’ve got a question for Tigg / Sandra about Under Leaden Skies. Why Sunderlands? Why not one of the better known aircraft?

Tigg Cooper: Oh, that’s a long tale, with many different versions….

….I saw a Catalina (American flying boat) in RAF Museum Cosford, decided I wanted my airman to be a flying boat pilot, because I’ve always been rather intrigued by them myself, not having been around at the time they were operating…

…but then I found that Catalinas entered service quite late in the war, but there was another kind of flying boat, called a Sunderland, which operated for the whole war, giving me more flexibility with when the story could be set – and once I found there’d been some based at Pembroke Dock, it seemed reasonable that an airman based there could easily visit a ‘friend’ who was a miner in the South Wales valleys.

Of course, that’s not the part of their relationship I ended up writing about though!

Manifold Press: Did the RAF actually use Catalinas? I wrote some fan fiction once featuring a PBY Catalina …

Tigg Cooper: Yes, RAF Coastal Command used Catalinas – with their foldaway wheels, they’re more of an amphibious craft, whereas Sunderlands are “true” flying boats

Elin Gregory: Pembroke Dock, wow. I didn’t know that.

Manifold Press: They had mini-subs at Pembroke Dock, too IIRC.

Tigg Cooper: There’s a Sunderland on the bottom there still, which a group is raising money to try & recover & restore…

Continue reading “New release Q+A!”

Launching our new ESPRESSO SHOTS imprint

Cup of espresso and coffee beans on a Shabby background, top vieOur plans – or at least our fond hopes! – are that 2016 proves to be a year of real change and growth for Manifold Press. We felt it was time to shake things up a bit and take them to the next level.

As part of those changes, we are proud to announce our new imprint ESPRESSO SHOTS. (Yes, we went with a coffee-related theme once more!)

This will be a relatively informal imprint, which will showcase shorter works of LGBTQIA fiction, ideally between 18,000 and 41,000 words. (If that seems an odd range, it’s inspired by how the Rainbow Awards defines a novella.)

We won’t have a fixed publishing schedule, as we do with our longer works – or at least not to start with. Instead, we will be driven more by the submissions received and, frankly, the workload we can cope with. (We always place quality above other considerations, and that can take up a lot of time and energy.)

Readers will be happy to hear that we’re releasing three new titles on 1 August – two ‘regular’ novels, and one Espresso Shot! The details will be announced on 1 July, as usual, on this blog and on Manifold Press’s website. However, if you sign up for our newsletter as well, you’ll receive other goodies, too!

Authors are cordially invited to consider us for the submission of either longer or shorter works. You can find all the necessary details on the Submissions page on our website.

Thank you for reading! We hope you’ll enjoy this increase in our output as much as we do.

All Romance eBooks Ultimate Summer Sale

ARe Summer Blast

Manifold Press is delighted to be taking part in the All Romance eBooks Ultimate Summer Sale. All our titles are 25% off for one day only: Monday 20 June, from midnight to midnight based on US Central time. (For UK-based customers, that takes us through to 6 a.m. on Tuesday.)

Click here to view all our titles on the ARe website!

Our giveaway winners!

We’ve had two giveaways running, and I’m delighted to now announce the results. We held the draws this morning using random.org.

Author R.A. Padmos offered a signed paperback copy of her book RAVAGES, to be posted anywhere in the world. And the lucky winner is…

  • Carolyn

The Press offered our newsletter subscribers the chance to win a place at our Queer Company 2 event in Oxford in November. We’ll cover the delegate registration fee as well as contribute towards travel costs. And the lucky winner is…

  • H.B.

Congratulations to both! And thank you very kindly indeed to everyone who entered the giveaways. Julie will be in touch with H.B. very soon, and R.A. Padmos will be in touch directly with Carolyn. Please do sign up to our newsletter if you want to take part next time round.

And meanwhile, we’re wishing you all a happy Friday!

One more change … and it’s a big one!

March has been a very busy month for Manifold Press, in the run up to announcing our new May titles on 1 April. And, just in case you might wonder if it’s an April Fools’ joke, we want to take this opportunity to give you a preview of a change that will be implemented on that day.

This is the last of our significant changes for now, but it’s a doozy.

We are going to change our book cover design.

I know that many of you love our current designs, and have made a point of telling us so. Similarly, some people haven’t been so impressed, and have likewise told us! Our covers have certainly been a distinctive part of the Press’s identity. In professional wrestling terms, they have brought us a lot of ‘heat’! (Which is a good thing.)

However, after almost six years in business, it felt like time to make a change and try something a bit different.

We are hoping that those of you who love the current designs will stay with us through this change, as we wanted to broadly keep to our current approach. We’re still focussing on an image that reflects the setting or theme, as we believe this helps us emphasise that before anything else, story (and character) is what the Press is most interested in. For better or worse, we are still avoiding the more obvious romance tropes on our covers – and we still want to leave the appearance of our characters to our readers’ imagination.

We were delighted to work with a friend of the Press, Michelle Peart, in creating these new designs. She is also a writer, so she certainly empathised with what we’re trying to achieve. If you want to connect with Michelle, you can browse to her writerly blog The Copper River or follow her on Twitter @shellpeart.

Michelle created a number of draft designs, and we ended up choosing one of them, and then establishing variations that would help identify an individual title’s genre. The covers will vary depending on whether the setting is contemporary or historical, and on whether the story is paranormal.

I feel that the important distinction we’ll make via the covers, however, is whether the story is romance or fiction. We’ll be following this up with new tags on our website, but we’re colour-coding it into the covers as well, with romance indicated by a red strip and fiction by a blue. We know it’s important that the reader knows what they’re getting!

We had some real fun with the draft covers … The ideas we used were all for imaginary books – as written by Ewan Byge, one of the characters in my novel THE ‘TRUE LOVE’ SOLUTION. It seemed easiest to start with a fresh slate, and not worry about existing content or the comparisons inherent in using actual Press titles.

So … if you’re anything like me, you’re curious to have a glimpse at the draft designs. I’ve included four samples below the cut. I hope you like them! I have to say that I love them. And if it’s any reassurance, I think the covers for our real titles (that you’ll see on 1 April) are even stronger still.

Continue reading “One more change … and it’s a big one!”