Manifold Press paperbacks

The Press doesn’t issue paperback editions of all our titles, as the decision to do so is driven by the individual authors. That being said, we’re delighted with the twenty titles that have made it into print thus far! There are new ones on the way, so it seemed to be a good time to take stock of what we have so far.

A veritable rainbow of books from Manifold Press!
A veritable rainbow of books from Manifold Press!

Our current paperback titles are listed here, along with Amazon US buy links:

The Apothecary's Garden paperback coverAlways With Us by Morgan Cheshire

The Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza

Between Now and Then by Adam Fitzroy

Butterfly Hunter (#1) by Julie Bozza

Of Dreams and Ceremonies (Butterfly Hunter #2) by Julie Bozza

The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza

The Butterfly Hunter Trilogy (incorporating all three novels plus the free short story Like Leaves to a Tree) by Julie Bozza

Dear Mister President by Adam Fitzroy

Make Do and Mend paperback coverThe Definitive Albert J. Sterne (incorporating the novel and the stories published separately in the eBook Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect) by Julie Bozza

Ghost Station by Adam Fitzroy

Homosapien … a fantasy about pro wrestling by Julie Bozza

Make Do and Mend by Adam Fitzroy

Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life by Julie Bozza

A Pride of Poppies Modern LGBTQIA Fiction of the Great War – anthology including stories by Julie Bozza, Barry Brennessel, Charlie Cochrane, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Wendy C. Fries, Z. McAspurren, Eleanor Musgrove and Jay Lewis Taylor

A Pride of Poppies - paperback coverRavages by R.A. Padmos

Solemn Contract by Morgan Cheshire

Stage Whispers by Adam Fitzroy

A Threefold Cord by Julie Bozza

The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza

The Valley of the Shadow of Death by Julie Bozza

We hope you’ll enjoy these paperback editions and – like us! – are looking forward to more titles coming soon.

AUTHOR GUEST BLOG NUMBER EIGHTEEN – Adam Fitzroy

From today, in this semi-regular slot, we’re going to be bringing you a series of blog posts by authors looking back at their previously-published titles with MANIFOLD PRESS; we’ve asked people to write about any subject directly associated with the book in question, so we reckon we can expect a wide variety of responses. Here, to start us off, is Adam Fitzroy with some of the background behind DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT.

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DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT by Adam Fitzroy

DEAR MISTER PRESIDENTTo start this new series of retrospective blog posts I’ve been asked to cast my mind back to the first book I ever had accepted by Manifold Press, which was DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT.

I was very lucky in that I knew everyone involved in the founding of Manifold Press, so right back as far as that famous conversation in the café they were already counting on me to submit a book or several whenever I could – and in fact DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT was ready at an early enough stage for it to be the ‘guinea pig’ book for all the processes and decision-making that followed, which is why it also received the Press’s first ISBN. In fact, it was a book which – one way or another – had already been many years in the making.

I’m of an age to have been enchanted by the golden dream of ‘Camelot’ which heralded the election of John F. Kennedy as President of the United States back in 1960. He was glamorous and charismatic, and – although nowadays his legend is a little tarnished – it was impossible, at the time, not to be swept up in the excitement of it all. I’m not sure how much notice I took of the election itself, but I could definitely tell that the world was changing – a new ‘pop group’ from Liverpool had started making exciting noises, men were growing their hair long, women were wearing shorter and shorter skirts … everything that was stuffy and old-fashioned and reminiscent of post-war austerity was being swept away in favour of the bright, the loud, and the extremely colourful.

That was the start, for me, of a life-long love-affair with the glamour of the Presidency. In the years since, I’m afraid few of the real-life individuals who have occupied the post have been remotely attractive to me in terms of their looks, their personality or their politics. However there have during the same period been a wonderful array of fictional TV and film ‘Presidents’ who have often served as vessels for hopes and dreams of what an ideal President might turn out to be. To name but a few, there’s Harrison Ford’s President Marshall in ‘Air Force One’ who hot-wires a 747 with a table-knife; Jamie Foxx’s President Sawyer in ‘White House Down’ who gets hands-on and joins in the mêlée when his home is invaded; Kevin Kline’s Dave Kovic standing in for President Mitchell in ‘Dave’; Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore inspiring the troops with his very own Agincourt speech in ‘Independence Day’; Morgan Freeman’s President Beck in ‘Deep Impact’ and Presidents Bartlet, Walken and Santos from ‘The West Wing’ (Martin Sheen, John Goodman and Jimmy Smits respectively) who are all shown as decent men doing difficult jobs in difficult circumstances. (My all-time favourites, I think, are probably former Presidents Kramer and Douglas – Jack Lemmon and James Garner – who go on the road-trip from hell together in ‘My Fellow Americans’.)

It’s always seemed to me that fiction gives us Presidents we would like to have, men we feel we can rely on to take care of the nuclear launch codes, and at its most basic that was the game I wanted to play; create a fictional President and his world, and find a way of showing that although he may be flawed and dealing with his own personal demons he is still worthy of being entrusted with the safety of the planet. The fact that he would end up falling in love with a man was a given from the start, but it brought with it a couple of fascinating questions; first of all, what sort of individual would be capable of attracting such a man – and secondly, how would the other party react to finding himself the love interest of the most powerful man in the world? The answer, as far as I was concerned anyway, was that he should be capable of seeing the man rather than the title – which presented a further set of challenges of its own.

Watching ‘The West Wing’ enabled me to absorb a lot of background and ambience; which situations would require the presence of Secret Service/bodyguards, for example, and who would serve the President his coffee? This sort of thing has a long and illustrious pedigree; Martin Sheen, in interviews, reported having to learn how the President goes through a door, and ‘The West Wing’ is full of such small and unobtrusive details which are at least as interesting as the storylines. I also have a number of books about life at the White House dating back as far as the Truman reconstruction in 1948 which shed a certain amount of light on the way the establishment is organised; so much information is available – albeit in some cases not especially up to date – that it really wasn’t necessary to make much up.

The difference between the hereditary concept of royalty and the more immediate but shorter-lived power of the Presidency is also intriguing to me. People of royal blood understand almost from the cradle that they have a certain position in the world and they are brought up to it, with expectations and preparations very carefully aligned. An aspiring politician may have eyes on the White House from a similarly early age but there’s never any guarantee he (or she) will get there – and, if they do, their term is limited by law. Unlike being royal, therefore, the Presidency is something that can happen to (virtually!) anyone, and there’s a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ as well as a ‘during’, which allows a series of contrasts to be explored. How does anyone prepare for a role involving such massive power and responsibility? How does it change them during their term of office? What are their hopes and ambitions for the remainder of their lives? William Howard Taft, for instance, was President for four years and later Chief Justice for nine; he regarded the latter as the more important post, and used to say that he sometimes forgot he’d ever been President at all. He sounds to me very much like the hero of Kipling’s ‘If’ – capable of meeting with triumph and disaster and treating the two impostors both the same. This is the sort of resilience I would personally be hoping for not only in a President but also in a sane and well-balanced human being, which is what I’d really like to think a President might be!

All good things must come to an end

Our present massive free book bonanza on AllRomance, Smashwords and related distributors will end on Friday 6 February. To those who haven’t so far taken advantage of it – now is the time!

The titles are

DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT by Adam Fitzroy
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dearmisterpresident-578559-149.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328785

END OF THE TRAIL by Jane Elliot
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-endofthetrail-578569-153.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328791

FOOL’S ERRAND by Chris Quinton
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fool039serrand-578563-145.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328800

HOMOSAPIEN by Julie Bozza
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-homosapien-578562-149.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341181

We’ll almost certainly be doing this again at some point, although when and with which titles we are not yet in a position to say; watch this space for further information!

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’.

EXTREMELY RANDOM HARVEST – DAY FIVE

XRH

Congratulations to our Day Four winner, Roger, who asked for a copy of Adam Fitzroy’s DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT; this will be on its way to you shortly – and thank you for taking part.

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This is the fifth day of our new Extremely Random Harvest giveaway! We are giving away seven books over seven days, with the next one being drawn at random 24 hours from now. To win, all you need to do is give us (in a screened reply, below) your first name, your e-mail address, and the title of the book you’d like to win – which includes our two new titles being published on 1 August, RANDY by Jane Elliot and HUNTED by Liz Powell.

One entry per day only, please – and nobody is allowed to win more than twice. Also, please don’t forget to tell us which format you’d like to receive! We’ll do our level best to draw the winner at the same time every day, to give everyone an equal chance of winning – so come and join in the fun, and don’t forget to tell your friends; this is a great chance to discover a new author or a new book, or to complete the back catalogue of an old favourite. After all, what have you got to lose?

Eighth Day winner

Congratulations to today’s winner who is Jane, and who asked for Adam Fitzroy’s DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT. We’ll be sending you a copy as soon as possible, Jane, and thank you for entering!

Thank you very much also to everyone else who joined in; we hope you’ll be with us again when the Ninth Day draw post opens in a few minutes’ time – and, once again, good luck to you all.

Second Day winner

We’ve just drawn today’s giveaway – and the lucky winner is Gaye, who asked for Adam Fitzroy’s DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT; we’ll be forwarding it to you immediately, Gaye, and for everyone else the Third Day draw will start shortly – watch this space, or one very near it! Again, thank you very much to everyone who entered – this really wouldn’t be worth doing without you!

Year Two Week Twenty-Six

Hooray! Another landmark! This Press is now a year and a half old. In the great scheme of things that probably doesn’t seem like a lot – but, when you consider that we weren’t at all sure we could set it up in the first place and even then we didn’t know whether anybody would want to buy what we were selling, it seems like a modest sort of triumph to us.

Sales have actually picked up a little bit this week, after something of a drought, and our top seller has again been RAVAGES, with a tidy average response time of three hours and 47 minutes.

Rather less pleasingly, we’ve had to issue yet another DMCA Notice in the past 24 hours, when we discovered a copy of Adam Fitzroy’s DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT available free of charge on another website – and not even intended for download, either; this time it was an open file to be read online. Our new enforcer, when she starts work, is certainly going to have her hands full we’re afraid.

But … our quarter-end book-keeping is done, our authors have all been paid, and we are now in the throes of the last preparations for launching the two new titles on Tuesday. Fingers crossed, please, dear readers!

Year Two Week Thirteen

First of all, we’d like to thank everyone who has wished us well with our new blog and those who have ‘followed’ us already. (It’s very brave of you, since we don’t actually know where we’re going!)

We’d also like to wish our good friends at Rainbow Ebooks a Happy First Birthday: we hadn’t realised they were celebrating or we’d have said something sooner! We’re very happy about our link with them, we like the way they do business, and it feels to us like a match made in Heaven!

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Since sales from the website have been a bit sluggish lately we’ve had plenty of time to crunch numbers, and this is what we’ve come up with so far:

For the first quarter of Year Two our best-selling titles direct from the website were –

1= The Definitive Albert J. Sterne by Julie Bozza
1= Stage Whispers by Adam Fitzroy
3. Fool’s Oath by Chris Quinton

However if we include sales through Rainbow as well the picture is very slightly different –

1. The Definitive Albert J. Sterne by Julie Bozza
2. Stage Whispers by Adam Fitzroy
3. Dear Mister President by Adam Fitzroy

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Average response time for the first quarter of the present year was 2 hours 26 minutes.

ETA: Fixed the borked HTML now – apologies!

Keeping calm and carrying on

In view of the problems with LJ recently we’ve decided that we need a back-up plan, and have accordingly started a blog which we’ll be updating every Saturday morning (UK time). For the time being we’ll run the two of them in tandem, but it has to be admitted that the we think the blog looks a lot smarter and we may eventually migrate over there completely; it will all depend on the way our readers respond to this development.

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Last time we checked, DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT was up to number two on the Rainbow bestseller list! Tomorrow, the world!