March 29 update.

A lot’s been happening, so much so that I don’t have time to update this consistently.

1. The BookCyclone site’s in the process of launching with full functionality, in the sense that the first few books are now visible there, and you can log in and drill down.  However, this has taken almost two months longer than the current developers told us it would.  This has been a challenging job for them.  (And yet, Weightless Books has managed to do it using WordPress, so my patience with excuses will be slim if it comes to that.)  I must say — overall, the site looks great, and it’s got exactly the look and feel that I want.  With luck, the final bugs will be sorted out by the end of this week.  Fingers Everywhere Are Crossed.

2. Nury Vittachi has done a special book exclusively for us.  He was going to have us reprint his popular Only in Hong Kong, but when he reviewed the manuscript, he decided times have changed enough since its first publication that some of the humor would no longer be acceptable.  With that in mind, he significantly revised and updated the book.  We’re releasing it as Only in Asia.  For all intents and purposes, it’s a new book.  It’s hilarious — a compilation of his columns and other odds and ends written/collected over the past several years.  We’ll be offering it free for people who make purchases via our site.

3. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but we’re launching with PayPal as our payment gateway.  The process of setting that up (it’s the facility that allows you to take Visa and MasterCard) has been anything but straightforward, somewhat compounded by the complexity of banking in the US these days.  We’ll end up doing it here in Asia — which had been our original plan.  When will the US move beyond this hide-behind-the-walls mentality and stop treating the rest of the world like terrorists who haven’t dropped bombs yet?  By the time we formally launch this summer, we expect to have the payment gateway set up once and for all.

4. We’re moving into production with Donna Miscolta’s lovely debut novel, When the de la Cruz Family Danced.  Following that will be the (now-retitled) travel memoir Dispatches from the Peninsula: Six Years in South Korea by Chris Tharp. 

That’s all I have time for at the moment.  More to come…

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