Newsletter – 18th Aug 1997

Greetings to everyone from a Festival packed Edinburgh.

The long awaited US tour details (or at least most of them) are now available at last. Typically they became available while I was away on a business trip to London last week or I would have sent this on Thursday or Friday. The details so far are as follows (dates in US format)

New York, NY
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 E. 17th St.
10/13/97, 7:30 pm

Washington, DC
1512 K. St., NW
10/14/97, 7:00 pm

Boston, MA
181 Newbury St.
10/15/97, 7:30 pm

Philadelphia, PA
Borders Book & Music
1727 Walnut St.
10/16/97, 7:30 pm

Coral Gables,
Books & Books,
296 Aragon Ave.
10/27/97, 8:00 pm
Fairway, KS
Rainy Day Books,
2812 W. 53rd St.
10/28/97, 7:00 pm

Denver, CO
The Tattered Cover,
1628 Sixteenth St.
10/29/97, 7:30 pm

Orinda, CA
Orinda Books,
276 Village Square
10/30/97, 5:00 pm

Corte Madera,
Book Passage,
51 Tamal Vista
10/30/97, 12:30 pm

St. Louis, MO
Location and date to

So, a little shorter than expected and no dates in Canada at all, or in Chicago where I’d expected there to be one. I’ll try and find out if there are any more still to be announced but I suspect not. Disappointingly Random House haven’t yet been in touch with me as
they had promised. The dates are taken from their new web pages at

They are nicely put together with some good content, although most of you will recognise the “Message from Dorothy” 😉 The historical notes are useful although perhaps too much to take in for a newcomer to the period, and the “Reading Group Guides” sound a bit dry and academic to my ears – too many memories from school I guess!!. However they certainly deserve credit for trying to stimulate discussion.
Anyone spot their own contribution to the readers letters section?

There is another Dunnett page which has appeared recently at Romance Communications Magazine and yes, that same message comes up yet again 🙂 Some nice colour scans of the covers and some basic promotional info is pretty much all it contains but it’s well enough done. Maybe I’m a bit sensitive but I do find the link to our pages which simply says “more information” without any clue that you are going to another site, just a little bit cheeky.

I’ve had a few messages enquiring about something called the “Autographed Copy Day One’ list” that we were supposed to have. Well, I can perhaps understand where this might have been deduced from but let me say straight away that it doesn’t exist!!

To put the record straight the situation is simply this. Everyone who has ordered Caprice and Rondo from us will, all being well, get a signed copy. Dorothy always comes in to sign all our copies of the new titles (and often the reissued ones as well) before we send them
out to you all. There are usually signed copies left over since obviously we order more than just the reserved copies, and anyone ordering after release gets them until we run out. Since Dorothy usually also does an in-store appearance and signing session not long after publication, we usually get some more extras then as well.

Maybe I should make more of this aspect and “shout it from the rooftops” as our unique selling point, but I haven’t done so for two reasons.

Firstly, most of our “old” customers who ordered from us before the email contacts sprung up, already knew this, and most of you who I swapped messages with over the last 2 or 3 years either got told in person or seemed to pick it up, so I didn’t think it was necessary.

Secondly, I’m always uncomfortable making promises for someone else, and as I’ve said to a few of you individually, I have a nightmare vision of one day Dorothy falling ill or something at the critical time and not being able to come in to do the signings. (As it is she will only just be back from the US tour when the books appear and with the ever growing number of orders I would think it’ll take her a couple of days to get through them all. I just hope there is no repeat of the TLWL debacle with that Brussels shop getting their copies early and selling thembefore the publication date). That being said, She’s never failed to come in yet and I know that she’d never willingly miss it – she does appreciate all of you a very great deal.


Some slightly odd news on the Dorothy Dunnet Companion. One of our UK correspondents noticed copies for sale in a remainder bookshop in the midlands. I’ve been in touch with their head office and the deputy buyer is trying to get hold of copies for us. They apparently don’t deal with Michael Joseph so they didn’t come from them. Perhaps they were sold on to them by a wholesaler (although we thought we’d been round all of them) who perhaps has also supplied copies to the Canadian distributor that Duthies has received stock from. I hope to have more news about this by later this week.

UK Signing Sessions

I’ll be trying to get details of Dorothy’s C&R promotional visits in the UK but I am off on holiday for two weeks from the 23rd August so it will probably be after that before I can distribute them.

Ohh and one more thing about my holidays.
As my wife is visiting an old friend from Orkney who now lives in Sweden, I’m going to be on my own this year on my latest visit to Slovenia. Lots of time for climbing mountains, photography and reading. I once confessed to one of you a long while back that I hadn’t read any of Dorothy’s books myself and that I seldom read (or have the time to read) any sort of fiction. I did read the Companion to get an idea of the background and fill in my general history a bit. Well, I kept dipping into some of the books on my desk on the rare occasions I had time for a tea-break, and finally decided I had to read Game of Kings. You guessed it – Queens’ Play is in my suitcase!! 😉

very best wishes to you all


Newsletter – 23rd July 1997

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

Summer Greetings to All our Dunnett Enthusiasts
Hope you are all well and not effected by the extremes of drought and flood that seem to be so widespread in many parts of the world at the moment.

I’d been hoping to get this newsletter out before now as I know that many of you in the US are anxious for news of the itinerary for Dorothy’s forthcoming author tour. My contact at Random House had originally expected to have the details a few weeks ago, but as I’ve just had confirmed this morning the negotiations are still going on. My information is that the original plan was for a three week tour, but it may now be two separate 5 day tours at the beginning and end of October. I’ll let you all know when I hear anything else.

For those of you who are in Edinburgh for the Festival, Dorothy will be making her usual appearance at the 1997 Edinburgh Book Festival on Tuesday 19th August at 11.10am in the Post Office Theatre tent in Charlotte Square. She’ll be talking to BBC presenter David Stenhouse. Tickets there are £5/£3

There is also a possibility that she may be at the Lockerbie Book Festival in early Sept but this is not yet certain.

I heard from Dorothy this morning – the good news is that Caprice and Rondo is now finally finished and went off to the printer last week. Having emerged blinking into the light she’ll now be trying to attack the backlog of months of correspondence 🙂 Then of course comes the promotional work.

One little snippet of information; C&R is dedicated to Dorothy’s latest grandchild – Annabella Charlotte – who is I believe about 18 months old.

If you’ve logged on to the web site in the last couple of days you’ll have seen two new items. Firstly we now have a scan of the cover for Caprice & Rondo. I have to thank Alan Cartledge for letting me know that he had got hold of a copy of the cover and for doing an excellent scan. (I’m rather less pleased with Michael Joseph for not having sent a copy to me yet!)

Secondly the address for Marzipan and Kisses now has a link as it now has it’s own web site. Please note the slight change in the address to write to for subscribing.

I wanted to ask if anyone is still waiting for a copy of the cassette of “Music for Lymond Niccolo and the Medici”, just in case anyone was missed out. We now have plenty of copies available but I seem to have more than I expected. Sometimes it happens that a written letter will go to Douglas in Mail Order without coming to me after the initial enquiry has been by email, so hopefully everything is ok, but I just want to make sure.

Still no word on the “Dorothy Dunnett Companion” which is still unavailable. I believe some of you managed to get copies from the Canadian company that I mentioned on the web pages, but at least one other hasn’t been able to get through to them. I got a very nice email from them thanking me for mentioning them, so they’ve obviously been able to supply some of you but I don’t know how long their supplies will last.

Now I have a question for any of you that have both the new editions of Game of Kings & Queens Play and one of the older editions. In the new Vintage editions Dorothy mentions in the forward that she did “a little manicuring” to tidy up some of the defects in the original edition. A couple of people who have noticed this reference have asked me if I know how much difference there is. Well as far as reading the books I’m just a beginner compared to most of you! From the fax that Dorothy just sent me it looks as if both the new UK and US editions have these changes (although the forward is only in the US editions) and in most cases these are “corrections of misprints, small omissions … or misleading punctuation”. Some other changes were intended but not done because it would have meant major typesetting changes. If any of you who have read the older editions and noticed differences would like to comment for the benefit of the others, then email me and I can pass this on in the next newsletter.

One thing I had better mention again are the email and web addresses, particularly the latter, as anyone who still has a bookmark or link with the old address (the one with almac and business_park in it) will find that it won’t work anymore because of a change of ISP. Use the one with our own domain name – and you’ll get through fine. Please have a look at the rest of the site as well if you have time – I’ve added quite a bit recently and we now have many additional subjects such as Science Fiction – and let me know what you think.

While the old email address ( still works and is aliased to it may not do so forever and it would be better to use the newer one. That one gets through to Craig as does and either one can be used for ordering or enquiring about orders. If you have other Dunnett questions then you can still contact me direct at the address below.

best wishes to you all


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 (/dunnett.htm if you are going straight to that page) rather than the full server address (

It also might be as well to stop using the old email address and use the newer one to which it is aliased 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

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


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.

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:
for orders
(we may add a new address something like: 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 :

The Web Site

Most, if not all of you, have seen the Dunnett pages on the web site

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).