Newsletter – 11th Nov 1997

Greetings from a suspiciously mild Edinburgh
(douce old Scottish saying in reply to a someone mentioning what a nice day it is – “aye, we’ll pay for this later” 🙂 )

Well, you might say that this has been an interesting few weeks!!
Naturally everything stopped for Caprice and Rondo, but unfortunately the gremlins in the computer systems didn’t seem to get the message. Our main South Bridge unix machine which runs all the stock control and accounts has been crashing regularly and taking up lots of time for Craig and I. The web site had to be moved from our old ISP to the newer one after they finally worked out how to host the secure server, but things didn’t go smoothly and I found I was locked out from making any changes for the best part of two weeks and then when I could get in it wouldn’t accept new files. We also couldn’t pick up StockSearch orders for a couple of days, so apologies to anyone who didn’t receive acknowledgements on time. Just for good measure we discovered that the comments box on Stocksearch hasn’t been working properly for ages and suddenly I’m getting loads of comments! I’m now in a new office upstairs as my long awaited move couldn’t be any further delayed and I had to move all my software and data over to Windows NT.

Caprice and Rondo

For those of you who don’t already know, the processing of the nearly 400 copies of Caprice and Rondo that were being sent airmail was completed in five and a half days (which was faster than we’d managed with about half the number of To Lie with Lions). Dorothy made three trips in to sign all the reserved copies and a few more in addition, but couldn’t manage all the spare ones before having to head back to the US for the second leg of her author tour. We’ve exhausted the signed ones with additional email orders but she’s coming in for a public signing session tomorrow so we’ll have some more signed copies then. All copies (apart from a small number that had problems with things like invalid card numbers that we couldn’t easily sort out) had gone out by the end of Friday 31st Oct and the UK ones went out on Monday 3rd Nov. I would expect that all the airmail ones would have arrived by now, and certainly I’ve had lots of messages telling of arrivals. I know that a short list of people have still to receive their’s and we’ll be checking into that now.

UK edition of Ringed Castle

This has now been published and any orders that we had have been sent out. The cover is now on the web page along with the others.

The US Tour

While I haven’t spoken to Dorothy since she got back I did get a chance to talk a bit more about the first leg of the tour. Apparently everyone who spoke to her or to the publishers wanted to know about King Hereafter and the Companion. Now I don’t currently know what the position is about US rights to either of them, but certainly Vintage have got the message that there is a large demand for them. I just hope Michael Joseph over here get the same message. (I’ve just been told that Caprice and Rondo is already having to be reprinted; which to me suggests that they didn’t print enough in the first place – more details as I can get them.)
One of the visits was so busy it was apparently described as being “more like a signing by Madonna” 😉

Dorothy told me that she was extremely well treated by Vintage and was astonished to find when she went to her hotel room window in Washington that she had the classic view up to the White House!

I had the pleasure of meeting Alastair for the first time during one of Dorothy’s signing visits. I had suggested that it might be possible for our small publishing division – the Mercat Press – to republish his autobiography, Among Friends. He brought a copy in and the Mercat editors are considering it at the moment. I’d like to get some feedback on how many of you would be interested in a copy if we do decide to go ahead with it, although it’s a bit early to know what the price would be at the moment.

Thanks to everyone for their restraint in sending messages during this period – it was much appreciated. I’ve still been getting about 30 messages a day but pretty much all have been on genuine aspects that needed looked at. Needless to say I did fall a bit behind in answering them all but I hope I’ve caught up most of them now. Anybody expecting a reply that hasn’t had one do get back to me.

Thanks also to everyone who mailed me on my personal address about my comments on GK and QP. As luck would have it I’d no sooner suggested it than my ISP started having email problems and I had a few problems getting replies sent out. I hope none got lost on the way to me, but I’ve now answered all I received so if you haven’t had a reply please resend if you still have the message on file. The problem seems to be in the anti-spamming software that they had installed recently and this has been happening with a number of UK ISPs – in fact we had the same problem with this account for a while and I was struggling to send out the last newsletter without most of the messages being rejected.

The reactions to my comments were most interesting and I hope we’ll be able to swap ideas further in the future. I’ve actually now finished Disorderly Knights – really shouldn’t have tried as I was having to grab the odd chapter when I came in late at night, usually about 11.45 till about 1.00am, and my wife wasn’t too pleased at me coming to bed even later than normal, but of course once I’d started it I couldn’t leave it alone. Finally finished it in a 4 hour session that finished at 3.00am this weekend. Won’t try to give my reactions to it now as I’m still getting over the breathless ending, so let’s keep that for next time.

I’ll be seeing Dorothy tomorrow at her signing tomorrow so maybe I’ll have some more news soon. In the meantime I’ll let you all get back to reading C&R 😉

best wishes


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