Twelve months ago today, Bundoran Press V2.0 was officially launched as all the assets, goodwill and name of the Prince George original merged with the fledgling Ottawa company. It has been an eventful 365 days so maybe it’s worth a dozen paragraphs to hit the highlights.
The Press got off to a good start in January by signing Neil Godbout to book three of his Broken Guardians series while adding Edward Willett as a new house author. Neil’s Resolve was edited by previous owner, Virginia O’Dine while new managing editor, Hayden Trenholm, took on Ed’s Right to Know, thus ensuring continuity and renewal with a single press release. Both books were launched in August at When Words Collide in Calgary.
In February and March, the focus was on reading submissions for future books while raising funds through an Indiegogo campaign for an anthology of political science fiction called Strange Bedfellows. Both exercise proved successful. We exceeded our fund raising goal and opened for submissions to the anthology in April, paying 5.5 cents/word. 271 submissions later, eighteen stories from authors in seven countries were selected to make up the now 90,000 word anthology.
Meanwhile, in May we signed Tom Barlow of Columbus, Ohio to a book deal for his debut novel, I’ll Meet You Yesterday. Tom’s book was released in October at Can-Con in Ottawa. In June, book deals were signed with Alison Sinclair of Montreal for her ninth book, Breakpoint: Nereis and Al Onia of Calgary for his debut novel, Javenny. Alison’s book will be launched — along with Strange Bedfellows — in April, 2014, while Al’s novel will be released in August. Alison Sinclair has also contracted for the second book in the Plague Confederacy series for 2015.
June was an important for Bundoran Press in other respects, too. We signed a distribution deal with Diamond Book Distributors of New Jersey and brought a new partner — Mike Rimar of Whitby — into the company. By August, Bundoran books became available across North America and internationally as well.
In August, a handshake deal led to the purchase of another book from Edward Willett — a sequel, as yet untitled, to Right to Know. A final book for 2014 was purchased in November — The Wheel (working title) by Darusha Wehm, a Canadian writer living in New Zealand. Both of these books will be published in late 2014.
Conventions were a big part of our activities during 2013 and Bundoran Press was represented at Ad Astra in Toronto (April), KeyCon in Winnipeg (May), When Word’s Collide in Calgary (August), Toronto’s Fan Expo 2013 (August), Word on the Street, Toronto (September), Can-Con in Ottawa (October) and SFContario in Toronto in November. CanCon was particularly special as — in addition to having Bundoran’s managing editor as Editor Guest of Honour — we received an Aurora Award for Best Related Work for the Blood and Water anthology.
Next year will be equally exciting for our company. Five books are on the schedule (compared to 3 in 2013) but we can hardly rest on our laurels. In the next few weeks I hope to purchase at least one and possibly two books for the spring of 2015 to go with Alison Sinclair’s second Bundoran book. Plans are already in the works for another anthology — with another Indiegogo campaign to help pay professional rates of 6 cents a word. The collection will be targeted for release in October 2015. If all goes according to plan — and at this point why not be optimistic — we will publish a record six books in 2015.
Everything is of course contingent on money which means we’ll be trying new means to boost book sales. A publicist has been hired to promote our next few books and we’ll take a more aggressive approach to distribution in the coming year. Expect to see Bundoran titles in a lot more book stores in the coming months. We will be making changes to our web-site as well to improve the shopping experience.
Conventions will remain important though not as frequent as last year. We plan to be at Ad Astra and When Words Collide and of course at our own local Con here in Ottawa. Though not officially participating in WorldCon in London England next August, Bundoran will be represented by two of its owners who will be attending Con activities. We may also be taking part in the Toronto Book Fair in November.
That’s it for me for this year. Happy New Year!
News of the Week
The present and future of e-books: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/08/e-book-sales-are-leveling-off-heres-why/
E-books are killing Barnes and Noble but not the way you think: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/barnes-noble-final-chapter-151038001.html