Saturday 23 January 2016

Shipping disappointments

Has something gone awry in the courier world?

We have accounts with Lighting Source for our imprints Bridge House, Chapeltown and The Red Telephone. We offer our authors a discount of 25% on our recommended retail price (RRP) and free shipping on orders of five or more books. If the author can’t get free shipping, shipping costs on fewer than five books will push the price over the RRP. At this point the author is better off ordering from Amazon. We can offer this free shipping if we can use the economy offer though sometimes, especially for orders abroad, the tracked shipping is just as cheap and we still make a small profit so can still offer a small royalty. Generally, the orders using the economy untracked shipping have arrived within a few days, taking only a little longer than tracked system. We have been trading since 2008 without any problems.   

Not so this time, however:

·         One order to the Republic of Ireland never arrived at all
·         Another order to the Republic of Ireland was badly damaged
·         The re-order for the above has still not been delivered.
·         We are out of pocket as we have replaced these two orders
·         All other customers have reported exceptionally slow delivery

In addition, I am waiting for a delivery from an Amazon seller. Okay, so the delivery should be between 12 January and 2 February, but more often than not in the past the parcels have arrived sooner rather than later and often earlier that the date stated. I really could do with that book!

Yes, and a few months back a computer we ordered for our son never arrived.

What is going on?

Is it to do with the recent floods? Was there a mini-boom at Christmas and there was the backlog like the ones we used to have in the “good” old days? Are there redundancies and disillusionment in the courier world?  

It’s a serious issue for us and we may have to reconsider how we operate unless someone can reassure us that this is only a blip.                

Friday 1 January 2016

2015-2016 Janus Report

The Red Telephone

We’re very pleased this year to have published Alex Dunn’s The Demon Magician. This is an exciting paranormal romance where the said magician has dodgy dealings with the underworld. At the same time it’s the story of an ordinary girl who finds the strength of character to take on the magician and his demons. I really enjoyed editing this. Cathy Dunn (Alex is her pseudonym) is really easy to work with.

We’re not open to submissions again until October 2016. We’re concentrating on current titles until then. Do have a look at what we publish if you’re interested in writing for us:

We’re basically YA though may be venturing into New Adult soon.

Also in September 2016 we’re starting our new mentoring scheme / online course for people who wish to write for young adults. Though we can’t guarantee publication, we’ll take a good look at any full script produced by anyone who has taken the full course. We have two more free places to give away. Find out more here.

Bridge House

We were very pleased with our latest anthology, Snowflakes. It’s selling steadily and has some nice reviews. We’re rather proud of our video, too. Watch it here.

We met up with some of the authors, some CaféLit authors and some of those selected for the Shelagh Delaney collection. It’s always good to meet in person.

Next up is putting together the Shelagh Delaney Collection. We’re hoping this may become an annual event. We’ve identified a couple of people who might look after further adult collections and I personally would work with schools. I did after all have a former existence as a school teacher. We hope to have the current collection out by the end of January.

Also today we’re launching our appeal for submission to the 2016 collection, Baubles. Short, snappy, sparkly stories that brighten up the darker nights like baubles enhance the Christmas tree. We’re not talking about things that give you a good belly laugh nor anything that is overly sentimental. Feel good is fine, yes, but just a light touch. You’ll know it when you think of it. Full submission details are here. Note, the celebration event on 3 December. It may or may not be London this time.


The Best of CaféLit 4 is a slim volume but very enjoyable. The Creative Café Project continues to grow. CaféLit as ever is open to submissions. I’m currently working on The Best of CaféLit 5.

It looks like being a productive year.