Gosh, I'm way behind in updating the blog. Sorry, chaps and chappettes. But ... the weak excuse is also good reason, I think. Hope you'll understand. Those who've been involved recently certainly will. (And I'll even tell you an anti-Scottish joke at the end to help make up for it.)
You'd hardly believe how busy we've been behind the scenes here. It's been 17X7 all summer, and there's no let-up in sight. So here are the reasons you might excuse the excuse ...
*We have five new titles ready to roll, eight more almost ready to go, a dozen in edit, another two dozen in assessment. New submissions are arriving by the barrow-load.
*We've been frantically (but carefully) converting the entire current catalogue of more than 120 titles to ePub and Mobi on a title-by title basis (no shoddy auto-conversion here at BB).
*Now that we're now fully and additionally registered in the USA as BeWrite Books LLC as of this month, we're busy signing contracts and uploading titles in specific formats to all the massive new ebook retail sites that exclude pubhlishers without that vital US 'official' presence. And, golly, do some of these folks make us jump through technical, legal and admin hoops! Gone are the days of dropping a box of paperbacks on the local bookshop's doorstep.
*We've signed a new rep/agent for the US and Latin America. A brilliant man. We struck lucky with Petru.
*We've been moving heavily on promotion for individual authors and titles.
*We've overcome a major accountancy hiccup that has delayed royalty payments by almost a month. From here in, we annually retain professional accountancy and book-keeping services. So far, no author has complained of the wee delay. Please don't. We're on top of it.
*We've overcome a major Lightning Source print-dispatch-order hitch that has caused sticky problems with paperbacks and are now, additionally, assured of a Lightning Source/Ingram's print and distribution service in Australasia in June 2011.
*We're working out a sale-or-return deal with our printers to make BB titles in paperback more attractive to high street brick-and-mortar bookshops. Good news for authors and readers.
*We've sealed deals for half a dozen BeWrite Books titles for translation and mass-run publication on Mainland China and exclusively pitched another seventy titles at the huge Beijing International Book Fair last month. Watch this space for news. (If your an included author, watch this month's royalties cheque.)
*We've overcome merchant problems at our own site and all is now running smoothly.
*We've signed six new authors this month alone.
*We've been helping a major new retailer (a serious Amazon challenger?) set up.
*We've been busy assessing and buying in new hardware and software to keep ahead of new industry demands. Bang goes Christmas for Tony and me -- we're always at the tail end of the wages queue.
*We've joined several professional bodies and entered BB titles and authors for many awards.
*We've juggled all our usual Indian clubs without dropping a single one. We even picked up a few and they're spinning in the air right now.
*And we're jiggered.
A million thanks to Tony Szmuk, Hugh McCracken, Sam Smith, Alex Marr and Meredith Whitford for their tireless and selfless input recently and to all authors and readers for their support and word-of-mouth recommendation.
Latest figures show that BB sales in 2010 have increased severalfold. That's good news for everyone.
We must be doing something right, eh?
A more interesting blog post will follow as soon as I come up for air.
And my favourite Scots joke of the week:
Library patron in Glasgow: "Any books aboot suicide?"
Librarian: "Aye. But ye cannae hae yin."
Libnrarian: "Folks nivver bring 'em back."