COVID-19 Impact

While we all prepare for an uncertain future, as Gaia fights back against humanity’s mismanagement of the planet, we need to make some plans and cancel others. We are lucky, here at Elsewhen Press, that we mostly work from home anyway; and spending much of our time with writers and artists we are used to dealing with social isolation 😉

As we have mentioned in previous newsletters, over the next few weeks we were planning on being at: Eastercon in Birmingham, in April; Satellite 7 in Glasgow, in May; and Cymera in Edinburgh, in June. All of those plans are now up in the air to say the least. Cymera has already been cancelled. Satellite have just announced that they’re postponing to next February. Eastercon hasn’t (yet?) been cancelled.

Already a number of our authors and readers have decided not to attend Eastercon, even if it is not officially cancelled. We were supposed to be having a launch party for four titles (Overstrike, Working Weekend, Shadow and Storm, Million Eyes) and at least two of the authors have already told us they won’t be able to attend. With the latest increase in virus activity and government advice, we are now self-isolating. We are just short of the ‘at risk’ age range, but are concerned about underlying health issues. Eastercon is now less than 3 weeks away, so we have made the decision not to attend, even if it goes ahead. This is a huge disappointment for us, our authors and (hopefully) our readers and potential readers. We have already informed the Eastercon committee.

We are investigating options for virtual book launches online and will keep you informed.

To our authors we have said: keep safe, keep writing (self-isolation is just another working day for a writer!), keep sane 🙂

To our readers we say: sorry, we are currently unable to directly fulfil orders for printed copies so we will have them fulfilled by our printer and despatched by them – which may take a little longer than usual. But, of course, our books are all available as (virus-free) ebooks from your favourite ebook platforms (and cheaper too). So if you haven’t tried an eBook before, now would be a good opportunity. You don’t need an eReader, there are free eReading apps for desktop computers, laptops, tablets and phones from each of the different book retailers. And keep safe.

Independent publishers fear “no-deal Brexit disaster” – from Nothing in the Rulebook

On the Nothing in the Rulebook blog, an article was published today about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on indie publishers. It includes quotes from Galley Beggar Press, Henningham Family Press, and Elsewhen Press (yours truly).

You can read it here.

We won’t be at Novacon after all – lurgy alert!

Due to unexpected illness, neither of us is able to go to Novacon this weekend (and even if we tried, I’m sure that our readers there would not be impressed at getting a free gift of the lurgy with their books!)

We’d like to say Sorry to anyone who was hoping to buy some of our fantastic titles there.

Problem with Shopping Cart

There is currently a problem with our shopping cart – it will only accept one item at a time!

If you just want one item you can add it to the cart and checkout as normal.

For more than one item, please checkout one at a time (it’s a pain, sorry) and we will refund any excess shipping cost that the cart charges when we process your orders. We are investigating the cause as a matter of urgency with the shopping cart developers.

UPDATE (September): We appear to have fixed it now. It was caused by an interaction between the shopping cart and the cookie control plugins that both developers denied could happen!

Nine Worlds 2018 – a fantastic weekend!

We’re now home from a tiring but very enjoyable long weekend at Nine Worlds in Hammersmith. Once again we were gold sponsor because we support the ideals behind Nine Worlds (inclusivity, tolerance and diversity). We met plenty of very interesting people, some of whom were in amazing costumes, and we had fascinating discussions on a whole range of subjects with many of them. We even sold a few books!

The Vendor’s Room was equally diverse and vibrant, and even in the quiet times (generally when the popular panels were on) it was a fun place to be. The only disappointment was how few options for vegans there were in the hotel restaurants 🙁

So we would like to say thank you to the organisers and volunteers who make Nine Worlds such a great experience; thank you to the attendees who came and talked to us in the Vendor’s Room (and in the bar!); and a special thank you to those who bought our books! To our authors who were there, it was great to catch up with you again.

Back to normal now (whatever that means!)

US and Canadian Amazon Marketplace listings on hold

We have just been informed that our printer’s US partner is closing down without fulfilling their existing commitments. Our printer is now looking for a suitable new US partner to print orders for North America. In the meantime we have suspended our listings on Amazon Marketplace in the US and Canada, and apologise to our North American customers. Current outstanding Amazon Marketplace orders will be shipped from the UK.

“The trailblazing female authors of science fiction”, Den of Geek features Elsewhen Press authors.

The Den of Geek website is featuring Elsewhen Press and some of our authors in an article about The trailblazing female authors of science fiction. The article not only looks at some of the great names from the past but at what is happening today. As Alison says “Stereotype-busting is one of science fiction’s great contributions to culture and society”.

Read the article on the Den of Geek website here

Welcome to our new domain

It’s officially spring now, despite the weather! A time of rebirth, growth, and new beginnings. Appropriate, then, for us to launch our new website on our shiny new domain, elsewhen.press. This is a new design, more device-responsive, and hopefully easier to navigate. Please explore 😉

Please bear with us – we have no internet connection thanks to Openreach

Last thursday (2 November) at 18:44 our broadband vanished. After various tests and checks by our ISP it became clear that the problem was with the connection which is provided and maintained by Openreach. We were told it would be fixed within 48 hours. Today (monday 6 November) Openreach have said that it is a broken cable which is due to be fixed by the 22nd December (they didn’t say which year, I’m assuming 2017 but that may be hopeful). Apparently, despite having a Service Level Agreement with our ISP, Openreach feel no need to pay any attention to it. So we are without any internet connection (apart from by mobile phone) and incapable of conducting significant parts of our day to day work.

We have already lost business from one client today as a result.

If you are trying to contact us electronically, don’t be surprised if we are delayed in responding. Please bear with us.

UPDATE: After 6 days without any internet connection (I know, first world problems eh?) an Openreach chap arrived unannounced, put a device on our line and pinpointed the break to 585.7 metres away – “I know where that is” he said. I knew too, it was where other Openreach operatives were digging up the road and doing something to the buried cables. He left an oscillator on the line so he could track it and went away. At the end of the day he came back and confirmed that his colleagues had cut the cable by accident on the previous thursday. Rather than fix it immediately, they decided to leave it until the end of their work programme (i.e. 22nd December)! When he arrived to trace the problem they fixed it. He did warn me that they would be working on the cables in the village until late December so there was a very good chance they would cut the wrong cables again (apparently they use ‘concentric cable’ which makes it difficult to work out which strands go together, so instead of trying they just cut nearby strands and hope for the best). So we have our connection back, but who knows for how long!

 

Nine Worlds 2017 – we had a blast!

We had a great time at this year’s Nine Worlds Geekfest. We had only just returned from a wedding in the South of France (where we first had to acclimatise to the heat), when we were rushing around preparing for our biggest convention of the year, in the damp and dull London weather. But as soon as we arrived at the Novotel everything brightened up (apart from the weather!)

The first sight to welcome attendees was the sign inviting us into the convention centre and leading to the registration desks.

On arrival at Nine Worlds

We had the honour and privilege to be gold sponsor for this year’s Nine Worlds and had a very visible presence which was very humbling (every room had a display outside with our planet-clock logo next to the Nine Worlds logo as above). We were very proud to be supporting such a fantastically inclusive event.

One of the benefits of being sponsor was to be able to provide a booklet for the attendees’ goody bags. As we were having a launch party for two books on Saturday afternoon, it seemed like the best use of that opportunity would be to provide a sampler of both books, as well as the chance to show off our lovely authors, artists (and now, first voice artist) as well as all our book covers. (I have already blogged about this booklet when we delivered it on the Wednesday beforehand, but in case you missed that, here’s a look at it anyway:)

Elsewhen Press goody bag booklet for Nine Worlds 2017

Friday morning started off rather busy as we had exciting news to pass on: a Press Release about Rebecca Hall’s Symphony of the Cursed trilogy being released as unabridged audiobooks by Tantor Audio; and Peter R. Ellis’ new September Weekes novel Cold Fire (following on from his Evil Above the Stars series) being available in eBook format.

We had a double table in the Vendors’ room and spent the rest of Friday morning setting it up. If you’ve seen us at any other events you’ll recognise our layout:

Our table at the start of Nine Worlds

When the doors to the Vendors’ room opened at 1 o’clock, there was a queue of people waiting outside. But, overall, Friday was fairly quiet (as at most conventions). Throughout the rest of the weekend it was always clear when the panels had ended (there was a 45 minute gap between sessions to allow for winding down, setting up and getting from one panel to the next – a model that should be followed by other conventions!) as the Vendors’ room quickly filled up for about half an hour and then thinned out for the next hour. After the first of these influxes of people it became clear that we had insufficient light above half of our table (and some other vendors’ tables too) as most of the ceiling lights were in the centre of the room putting our table in the shadow of anyone who was standing trying to look at our books. Meriel from Nine Worlds was looking after the vendors and she and Jess (who was the Nine Worlds interface with the hotel) set off on a mission to resolve the problem. The hotel had no standalone lamps to offer, but a while later Jess re-appeared with a whole load of very cool strings of lights, that she had bought at a nearby Primark, and distributed them to those vendors who needed more light.

Our table at Nine Worlds with added fancy lights

The lights proved to be an attraction in themselves and I’m sure Jess could have made a decent commission supplying them to all the people who came up to ask where we had got them!

As at last year’s Nine Worlds, we spent the weekend chatting to some lovely people: imaginative, amusing, entertaining, thoughtful, even profound at times. It didn’t matter whether they were in the guise of a squirrel, dalek, alien, evil witch, jedi, lemming, or even human. The Nine Worlds attendee badges included communication preference overlays and pronoun stickers to help ensure not just inclusivity but also prevent inadvertent offence (another model that could usefully be followed by other conventions).

We also endeavoured to sell some books, of course, and had spirited discussion on the relative merits of eBooks and print editions (and, indeed audiobooks) with more than one visitor to our table.

On Saturday evening, at 5pm, we held the aforementioned book launch party. Setting up was greatly eased by the unexpected help provided by Nine Worlds staff who were on hand to reconfigure the room for us. We had John Gribbin and Zoë Sumra reading from their new books (Don’t Look Back and The Wages of Sin, respectively), and talking a little about themselves and their writing in response to questions from the audience and from our interviewer Peter R. Ellis. The audience was not as large as we had hoped – but it’s quality not quantity that’s important and they were a splendid bunch of people! The other advantage of fewer attendees is that we had plenty of wine left over to bring home (which we will be quietly drinking over the next few months).

Launch with Zoë Sumra, Peter R. Ellis, John Gribbin

All too soon, Sunday afternoon arrived and the Vendors’ room closed its doors and everyone started disassembling their tables. Within an hour, we had our books, posters and other paraphernalia all packed into boxes ready to be taken home (courtesy of our youngest daughter) – and once again the ever-helpful Nine Worlds staff quickly moved our boxes down to the loading area for us while we waited for the car.

All packed and ready to go home

Sunday evening was spent in a nearby Italian restaurant with friends, enjoying delicious food and lively conversation. Monday morning we checked out and headed for the train home.

Although we have been attending conventions almost since the inception of Elsewhen Press, it is still both exciting and exhausting. So we are always very grateful for the help that we get from our authors, friends and the convention organisers and volunteers. This year’s Nine Worlds was no exception. We made it through, more or less retaining our sanity, thanks to the support and help of our authors Siobhan McVeigh, Peter R. Ellis, Christopher Nuttall (along with Aisha and, of course, Eric who gains more fans at every convention!), Zoë Sumra (with Misha and Sylvianne), John Gribbin, Rebecca Hall, Edwin Hayward, and Susan Oke, and the support of Nine Worlds staff and volunteers especially Meriel and Jess.