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!”

Launching our new “Coffee Club” newsletter

 

MP Coffee Club Newsletter icon 200pxAs you will have gathered by now, we are implementing a number of changes at Manifold Press – one of which is to launch a quarterly email newsletter for our readers. The timing of it will tie in with our announcement of new titles, but of course we hope to also offer you news, short articles, exclusive giveaways, and other items of interest. The first issue will be sent out on 1 April 2016.

Staying with our coffee metaphors, the newsletter will be called Coffee Club. It will be run via MailChimp, so you know you can rely on all the appropriate Data Protection rules being met.

(Julie has just sent out an invitation email to a number of you who have bought a book, entered a giveaway or been in touch with Manifold Press at some stage over the years. However, we promise you that this was a one-off mailing, and if you choose not to respond, then we won’t contact you directly again!)

If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter, please click this link http://eepurl.com/bTVKM9

We hope you will join us! If there’s any news or information you’d like to share via the newsletter, we are always interested in considering contributions. And of course, if you have any requests, please let us know likewise.

Thank you again for your interest in the Press, its authors and its books!

Launching our new strapline!

When Manifold Press first opened for business back in 2010, we called for submissions of same-sex stories, thinking that we’d receive plenty of lesbian romances in the mix. Overwhelmingly, however, our submissions were male-male romances or gay fiction – and we eventually decided to make it clear that’s where our focus was, rather than risk readers riffling hopefully through our backlist to no avail.

There has been an organic shift over the past couple of years, however. As editor of our WWI charity anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES, I opened it up to stories featuring characters across the full spectrum – and that’s what I received, too, though there is a weighting towards stories about gay men. We have since published Jane Elliot’s terrifically fun novel SMOOTHIE, which features a romance between two women. Other novels began naturally including minor characters from other hues of the spectrum – and, in any case, a fair number of our main characters could more properly be called bisexual rather than gay.

This is certainly a direction in which we want the Press to keep moving. While it’s true enough that male-male romance and gay fiction are still the most popular stories, and will probably remain a significant part of our offerings, we want to open up the Press to representing the full LGBTQIA spectrum of characters. It seems only good, right and proper to do so.

Hence our new strapline:

Life in all the colours of the rainbow

We chose the word ‘life’ rather than ‘love’ because we have always focussed on characters and story, and we don’t see that ever changing.

We’ll also continue to ‘strive for excellence’ in all that we do – and so that aspect of our old strapline isn’t being retired. It lives on as our internal mission statement.

Thank you to the authors, friends and readers who’ve been an essential part of our journey thus far! We certainly hope you’ll continue on with us into a brightly hued future.

Welcome to our new “Coffee House” blog!

MP Coffee House Blog site iconGood morning, all, and welcome!

Manifold Press will be going through some exciting changes between now and May. One of the earliest changes aims to consolidate our blogging efforts and integrate them with our website.

As you may know, we have been running our blog on Live Journal and Blogger concurrently. Those two journals will remain as they are, but we will no longer be posting to them. We now have this shiny new WordPress blog instead!

We named it the “Coffee House” blog for many reasons – the first being that we never did see a coffee metaphor we didn’t like. But we also wanted to draw on the historical notion of coffee houses being gathering places for readers, creatives and intellectuals – not to mention the more modern notion of coffee shops being a ‘third place’ for hanging out and socialising.

We have imported all our old posts here, and I’m currently in the process of tagging them so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. We’ve also imported all the (unscreened) comments – though some of the latter aren’t displaying correctly, and I’m still scratching my head over that.

Meanwhile, to help celebrate, we will be holding book giveaways over the coming week. Stay tuned for details!

And welcome once more.

Two new books released today!

It’s the first of August already!  How does that keep on happening with such amazing regularity?!

Casting hysteria aside, once more we’re proud to bring you two new books by two of our favourite authors:

In SMOOTHIE by Jane Elliot, the first in what we hope will be a new line of female-female adventures, we meet Heather, not the sort of girl you’d really look at twice, who reveals some unexpected qualities when she’s kidnapped and bundled into a series of high-octane adventures in the Florida Keys at the side of the mysterious – and devastatingly attractive – Natalie;

Over in Liam Livings‘ new title WRONG ROOM, RIGHT GUY we’re introduced to Simon, who’s struggling to be something he isn’t – conventional, boring, and an English teacher – when inside he knows he’s really a writer.  Blundering into the wrong room at his local Village Hall, he ends up with a group of recovering cocaine addicts rather than the creative writing group he was looking for – and that leads on to a whole series of misunderstandings which threaten to undermine the start of what could be a very promising new relationship…

These books both have a delightfully light-hearted quality, without skirting some of the more serious issues they both raise, and they each have leading characters who are flawed and struggling to overcome challenges life has thrown at them.  Watching them deal with their separate troubles will keep you thoroughly entertained and amused!

– – – – –

MANIFOLD PRESS is once again in the throes of moving to a new – and this time, we hope, permanent – home; our delicious year of exile at the sea-side is coming to an end, and we’ll shortly be relocating to our new premises in sunny Ellesmere Port.  If we’re a little quiet for a while, therefore, we hope you’ll understand why; normal service will be resumed as soon as humanly possible!

Manifold Press website off-line

The Press is in the throes of transferring from one webhost to another, and so our website will be off-line over the weekend, and our email addresses will be out of commission. Regular service will be resumed as soon as possible!

In the meantime, if you need to contact the Press urgently, you can email Fiona on manifoldpress@gmail.com (a back-up address only, which won’t be monitored other than in these rare situations!) or Julie on info@juliebozza.com

Thank you in anticipation of your patience!

ETA: And … we’re back up and running now, and slightly revamped! Come visit at manifoldpress.co.uk

New for 2015!

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.

New titles

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’.