Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Travels in Xanadu-du: News

I know you're all agog to know what's happening with my book, Travels in Xanadu-du, which I suggested might be hitting the market at the end of January (2 days from now). Guess what. Slight delay. We now have an ISBN for it (978-0-9558318-0-5), which means it exists as far as the cataloguing people are concerned. But you'll have a hard time buying it yet.

The files for the cover and interior are just about to go off to the printer for proofing. Once I've received and approved the proof, we'll be ready to rock. Or roll. Or whatever. We are told to expect a ten-day wait for the proof.

We'll be flogging the book from our website, with a pound off the cover price. In a few days you'll be able to pre-order it from the site - I'll let you know when. In a month or two it will be available from Amazon and orderable through any bookstore. We don't expect it to be stocked in bookshops because the economics would only work if you were prepared to pay about eighteen pounds for a paperback novel - retail booksellers like to have a 55% discount - if we gave them that we would be selling the book at below production cost! We're not gonna do that on account of needing to eat and stuff.

One interesting thing we've had to deal with is shipping costs. Couriers (FedEx, DHL etc) are outrageously expensive - they want 50 or 60 Euros to deliver a package. That's the fast service. They don't seem to offer a slowish service. I think it would be ok if they would take it end-to-end and get it to wherever in about a week for ten Euros or less. But no, they don't do that, what they do is rush around like blue-arsed flies and get it there in two days. Or three if you live in Alaska or Antarctica. So we are using the British Royal Mail for delivery. This is very fine for our primary market: next day or the day after in the UK. About three days in Europe (including all of Russia!). From five days for the rest of the world. The 'from' is interesting. What it means is they will dump the stuff with the postal authority of the concerned country. What happens to it and how long it takes after that is entirely down to your local postal service (sorry UAE!). But none of it costs you, the adored customer, more than 7 Euros.

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