There are two flip answers:
1. Twelve inches, and
2. The things at the foot of your legs,
but I want to give you an outline of my plans for Calder Wood Press for the next year.
I’m just back from the very special launch of Janette’s Ayachi’s outstanding pamphlet, A Choir of Ghosts, in front of a very appreciative audience at the Word Power bookshop in Edinburgh. (They’re also Calder Wood Press’s distributor, so they get my books into bookshops for me). That’s the fourth title I’ve published this year. Still to come, and due in late September (details to follow) are Short Term Parking, by Jane Overton, and Night’s Fresh Velvet, by Amy Anderson. That brings this year’s total to six titles, and my grand total to over 40 since 2007. Not bad for a one-man band, but therein lies part of my problem. I don’t have the time to properly promote, advertise and sell all the titles I’ve published while I’m still taking on new titles.
The solution I’ve come up with is that I’m not going to take on any new titles in 2014. It’ll be a year out from publishing new work (although I’ll put some older titles out as e-books). I’ll concentrate on promotion and marketing, including organising showcase readings, mini-festivals and roadshows, trying to extend the reach of my authors to other places and new audiences.
As you would expect, I’ve had several publication enquiries from authors, and I’ve had to say no, without spelling out the reasons. So these are the reasons. It’s nothing personal (well, it’s mostly nothing personal), but ultimately it’s a business decision. I don’t publish to make money, but I can’t afford to make a loss, and I’m currently dealing with an uncomfortable deficit from disappointing 2010 and 2011 sales. I want to clear it.
Please do visit the website and order pamphlets – they’re very good value just now – and the more I sell the quicker I can get back to publishing new work.