Can a first entry be an update? Here’s the latest with the press, in no particular order:
1. The BookCyclone site is finally really about to launch. A few months ago, we had to fire the original developers. Not to put too fine a point on it, they were doing a crap job. The site looked half-assed; they were taking far too long; they weren’t incorporating our feedback after asking for it. We reached a point where it was evident that we were never going to get what we wanted, so we terminated their contract and hired a local firm to build a new site for us. And it looks great. It’s not flashy. It’s clean and simple, with a minimum of visual clutter. Quite a lot of e-book sites are difficult to look at: the colors are garish, the layouts are messy, the navigation is awkward. Ours will be a big step up, in a less-is-more kind of way. I’m very happy with it. The upcoming holiday season makes me a little uncertain of when it’ll actually go live, but I’m thinking it’ll be our Christmas present.
2. The developers will confirm the date for us, and once they do, the current BookCyclone site will undergo an interesting change.
3. No one can say that starting a new business is without its obstacles. Our e-book conversions have hit a temporary delay, for a reason I wouldn’t have expected: the Books Registration Office here in Hong Kong has not yet issued us another batch of ISBN numbers. I’ve been under the impression that we’ve satisfied their requirements for issuing more ISBNs, so I’m not sure why this is happening. Nor am I happy to have this aspect of our business brought to a halt. Jerome is meeting with them later this week, to attempt to resolve the matter. I’m optimistic that a face-to-face meeting will resolve any lingering questions and concerns that the BRO personnel may have. If not, one of the perks of being also incorporated in the US (woohoo!) is that we can buy American ISBN numbers en bloc without needing to justify ourselves. One way or another, we will resume converting e-books before the end of the month. Unless some other freakish event sidelines us, of course.
4. Uploading our first e-books for sale has been educational. (That can be said about every aspect of this business venture so far.) Each e-retailer has their own specifications, in terms of what format(s) they’ll accept, how large the cover art images must be, and so on. Even though it was a pain in the ass to lose our initial web developers, it’s ironically better that it happened this way, because now I’ve been able to take a few best practices from other sites and apply them to the forthcoming bookcyclone.com.
5. I’ve begun soliciting reviews of A Pornography of Grief, the first book we’re publishing as Signal 8 Press. If you’re associated with a book review site or blog or other media outlet and would like a copy, please e-mail us (typhoonpublishing at gmail dot com) to request one. We’ve already had the e-book conversion done, so it’s available in mobi (Kindle format), epub, and PDF. Word too, of course. If you’d like a print copy, we’ll need a few more weeks.
6. Speaking of Signal 8 Press, I think I need to get back to the slush pile. I was distracted by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Now that I’m done with those (and I thought Mockingjay was excellent, even though it probably wasn’t the book that the fans wanted), I need to focus on these manuscripts!