Newsletter – 7th May 1997

This file is a formatted recreation of one of the first of the the old newsletters I sent out from James Thin. Purely for archive purposes.

*** Greeting to all our Dorothy Dunnett enthusiasts ***

Notice I don’t say warm – it’s freezing here in Scotland. Lovely and warm a few days ago – 6 degrees warmer than usual – now it’s snowing!!

I’ve been trying to get this newsletter written since I got back from a Windows NT course and a holiday 10 days ago, but things just keep changing, and Craig is now on holiday as well, so excuse me if I crib the odd sentence from the web page that I just amended.

There is some very good news for the US based fans….

Dorothy is to visit the US on an author tour in the autumn, to coincide with the reissuing of the US editions of the Lymond Chronicles. The dates aren’t all fixed yet according to Dorothy’s agent who I spoke to today, but it should be around September. I’ll post details as soon as I get them.

I’m told that the first of the US reissues (Game of Kings & Queens’ Play) have now been released in parts of the US and it appeares that the second two will be brought out in July with the last two in September. This raises the unusual situation of these last two being available in the US before the UK editions which have been put back to November. (The first four volumes had been well behind the UK publication schedules.) Now some of you in the US may have ordered Ringed Castle and Checkmate from us expecting that the UK editions would be out first. If you have, and would now prefer to go for the US editions just let me know and we’ll cancel those orders.

I expect that the UK editions will now come out at the same time as Caprice and Rondo, which will make for a nightmarish logistical exercise, but rest assured that we’ll do our best to get C&R to you all as quickly as we can. There are already nearly 200 copies reserved and there’s still 6 months to go!

Unfortunately there is also some bad news for everyone

The Dorothy Dunnett Companion is “Reprint Under Consideration”

We got a report last week that the “Companion” was out of print, and I immediately got in touch with the editiorial team at Michael Joseph. Thankfully it is not yet out of print – which would mean it would not be coming back – but it is reprint under consideration, which is almost as bad. Basically this means that they have no copies left and no plans to reprint it unless they receive sufficient orders to suggest that it is worthwhile. My impression was that we were the only people selling copies in reasonable numbers and it would need quite a lot of orders to persuade them that it would be economic. This is a great disappointment as I had been hopeful of persuading them to ask Elspeth Morrison to produce a second edition once the Niccolo series is finally complete. We have been in touch with all the wholesalers in the UK over the last few days to try to find any last copies but without success. We’ll just have to hope that more orders are placed with Michael Joseph over the next few months. We had a number of orders for it during the time between us running out and getting the report, so sorry for the disappointment to those concerned.

On a brighter note we have managed to get hold of a few more copies of the “Music for Lymond Niccolo and the Medici” cassette after a couple of months delay, which will at least let us fulfill the orders that we have outstanding. Since the contact for the Edinburgh Renaissance Band now seems to be back in town we’ll try to get hold of some more copies as well.

I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of you who were on the Romantic Times tour when it reached Edinburgh recently, as I had to hand deliver a copy of one of the books that had been damaged in transit, so that Dorothy would be able to sign it when the tour met up with her for dinner at Grosvenor Hotel. Dorothy of course looked stunning – I wish I knew where she gets her energy. I was surprised to find myself introduced to Diana Gabaldon who was also on the tour, as I had recently swapped emails with her about setting up a small web page on her books. I hope that those of you who were on this trip had a lovely time.

If you’ve looked at the web page recently you’ll have seen that I’ve been expanding things a little with the Author’s Gallery – though of course Dorothy still takes pride of place :-) I’d be interested to know what you think of this, and also whether you’d like to see the web site made more visually appealing. I’ve tended to keep things simple up to now in order to keep it fast, and most of the comments I get agree with this policy, but I am getting the occasional message suggesting that a more modern design is in order. What do you think – simple and fast with maximum information or pretty and maybe a bit slower? All suggestions gratefully received.

I should mention that we are going to have to move our web pages to a different provider in the fairly near future, as our current one is changing the nature of their business. Since we have our own domain name this shouldn’t cause too many problems, but make sure that any bookmarks that you have are pointing at the alias http://www.jthin.co.uk (/dunnett.htm if you are going straight to that page) rather than the full server address (http://www.almac.co.uk/business_park/thin/

It also might be as well to stop using the old email address james.thin.ltd@almac.co.uk and use the newer one to which it is aliased enquiries@jthin.co.uk as I’m not sure if that alias will continue to work after the transfer to the new provider. Craig will answer any book enquiries or orders on both that or on orders@jthin.co.uk

Most of you know about the StockSearch ordering system on the web page, and most of you seem to get it to work ok. However it seems that in certain circumstances it refuses to connect to the search section. If any of you run into this problem I’d be grateful if you could let me know what error message you get as we haven’t been able to duplicate the problem here. Thanks
very best wishes to you all

Bill

Newsletter – Jan 97

This file is a formatted recreation of one of the very first of the the old newsletters I sent out from James Thin. Purely for archive purposes.

– – – Greetings to all our Dorothy Dunnett enthusiasts – – –

Hope you are all well. I have a number of pieces of news, one of
which in particular I’m sure you will all be very interested in.

The Next Niccolo

Caprice and Rondo, the forthcoming 7th volume in the House of Niccolo series, has now been officially announced by Michael Joseph. That means we can start taking orders for it.

We’ve ordered an initial batch of 200 copies just to get things started – I’m sure that will be increased before very long. The ISBN is 0718140818. We don’t have a definite price as yet, but we would expect it to be similar to the previous volumes at around 16 or 17 UKPounds. It is still expected to be published in November, as most of the rest of the series have been.

In an effort to make things easier to manage when the book comes out and we’re trying to send them all out as quickly as possible, can I suggest that when you are sending an order by email you include a section of order details separated from any other comments that you are including.

This should include:
the book title
your full name and mailing address
whether you want the book sent by airmail or surface mail and which method of payment you prefer to use – credit card, cheque, or account.
(If you’ve sent us your card details in the past we should have them on file, so unless your expiry date has lapsed that should be fine.)

That will make it much easier for our invoice and dispatch staff to see at a glance what is to be done with each order and should mean we can get them sent as fast as the Post Office can accept them.
Thanks.

The reissues of the Lymond Chronicles

For anyone who isn’t already aware of them, the Lymond Chronicles are currently being reissued in paperback, two titles at a time. The first two – Game of Kings and Queens’ Play – appeared in November. The second pair, Pawn in Frankincense and Disorderly Knights, are due out in the first week of March, with The Ringed Castle and Checkmate due in September. There are still a small number of signed copies of the first two available, plus signed copies of the Penguin edition of To Lie with Lions, which appeared in December.

The Mailing List

This is really the first time I’ve sent out the whole mailing list in one go. Earlier mailings of it were either done manually or in smaller chunks, so fingers crossed that the software works as it should.
I’ve included everyone that we’ve had email contact with about Dorothy’s books, and I had to dig through older email databases to retrieve some of your names. I hope I’ve included everyone, and only those people who want to be on the list. If you would rather be ommitted then please drop me a message and I will take you off. Conversly if you know anyone who would like to be on it then let me know. We have been trying to compare this list with our conventional mailing list so that we don’t duplicate messages. Douglas Brown will be sending a letter to the people on that list shortly.

Some Changes to our Personnel

I have finally been given an assistant – Craig Cameron – who will be starting in February. Craig will be taking over some of the routine systems work that I do, but more importantly he will also be handling most of the email orders and enquiries from now on. This will leave me more time to devote to the web site and to networking projects in the shop as we try to join together the various systems in our other branches.

Since I will still be maintaining the Dunnett page on the web site and also sending these mailings I will still be happy to hear from you all on any Dunnett related matters except routine orders, which should go to Craig.

Use the original email address:
james.thin.ltd@almac.co.uk
for orders
(we may add a new address something like: orders@jthin.co.uk but the old one will still get through to us) and if you want to contact me (and I would miss the conversations we’ve had over the last couple of years) then you can get me on :

bill.marshall@jthin.co.uk

The Web Site

Most, if not all of you, have seen the Dunnett pages on the web site http://www.jthin.co.uk/dunnett.htm

which I keep up to date with the same information that I post out to you here. I’m always happy to consider any items that you think might be suitable for it, or suggestions about how it might be improved. One thing I intend to do which is not strictly Dunnett related but which may interest you, is to add more Historical Fiction authors in a separate page. They won’t of course be as detailed as Dorothy’s page, as we don’t have similar connection as we have with her,but should be of use to anyone interested in this subject. Any suggestions on authors to include would also be welcome.

That’s all for now. Best wishes to you all, and if I take a few days to acknowledge all your orders then please don’t worry – I’m already rather stretched and will doubtless have a very full mailbox on Monday morning (when in fact I am stuck in a software training seminar all day).

regards

Bill

Newsletter – 13th Dec 96

This file is a formatted recreation of one of the very first of the the old newsletters I sent out from James Thin. Purely for archive purposes.

Dunnett Newsletter of 13th Dec 96

This message was intended to be sent out to you all about two and a half weeks ago, but it was only when I realised that I hadn’t had any replies that I checked my email program and discovered a corrupted address book file had stopped any messages from actually being sent, so apologies for being late!

Lymond Chronicles

The first bit of news was the arrival of the first two reissues of the Lymond Chronicles – Game of Kings & Queens’ Play – which both came in on the 7th November (while I was away for a few days).

As any of you who have been watching the web site will know, they will be followed by two further volumes in the spring and the final two in the autumn of next year.

To Lie with Lions

The second item is the publication of the Penguin paperback edition of To Lie with Lions which should be any day now. We certainly hope they’ll be on time as Dorothy is visiting our George Street branch to make an appearance in one of our Xmas events and will be signing copies. I’ve asked our colleagues at George Street to send us the surplus copies of all three books so that we can offer them to all our mail order customers who would like signed copies.

King Hereafter

In case any of you haven’t heard, Michael Joseph have regained the rights to the currently unavailable King Hereafter and will definitely republish it – although as yet there is no word of a date for this.

The Next Niccolo

Now one rather inportant piece of news just in this morning. I received a copy of Whispering Gallery, and was interested to find that they had the information that I had been trying to find out – the name of the next Niccolo book!! It will be called….

—– Caprice and Rondo —–

(Please don’t try to order it yet – we don’t have an ISBN from Michael Joseph yet so we can’t hold orders easily. Publication schedule is still likely to be November 1997. We will of course contact everyone on both the conventional mailing list and this emailing one as soon as we have any further news)
I heard from a couple of you that there was a rumour going around about a new edition of the Dorthy Dunnett Companion. I rather think this was probably caused by the fact that for a while Michael Joseph got in a bit of a muddle about the availablility of the current edition, and were giving the impression that it was “reprint under consideration”. In fact it was available in the warehouse all along. I’ve spoken to the people responsible for Dorothy’s books about it and the suggestion is that they will probably ask Elspeth Morrison to do a new edition once the final Niccolo title comes out in 1999. I suggested that it would be great if it could be brought out to coincide with the probable Gathering in 2000 and they are considering that.

A word about the web site – if any of you are passing on the details to friends it will be much easier to use the “new” address rather than the old rather clumsy one A few months ago we aliased the home page to http://www.jthin.co.uk/ at the same time as we installed the online search and ordering system (StockSearch). We had been hoping to have secure server status for the site by now, so that everyone could feel happier about sending credit card details via the ordering form. It was delayed by a software release postponement but we hope to have it ready soon.

Does anyone know if Dorothy’s interview with Frank Delaney for Sky TV was ever shown? I haven’t seen any sign of it in the schedules over here, but I could easily have missed it as I don’t have much time to watch TV. There was an excellent hour long radio program earlier in the year but I don’t think it was ever broadcast outside Scotland.

That’s all for now. Hope you all have an excellent and peaceful Xmas and New Year
I’ll send out other mailings whenever there is any important news. If you have any other queries just let me know and I’ll do what I can do help.

regards

Bill