Just after we sent out the February Newsletter we heard that Handheld Press had been shortlisted for the regional finals for the Bookseller’s new Small Press of the Year award. Wild Things of Bath won the national award, so we are glad to offer many congratulations to them. We were just delighted to have been shortlisted for the south-west, after only eighteen months in business. Onward and upward!
Last month we promised you a new cover, and here it is: for Melissa Edmundson’s collection of female Weird fiction, Women’s Weird. The cover image is a photograph by the celebrated fashion photographer Adolph de Meyer, and this is, believe it or not, a wedding dress, featured in the April 1919 issue of Vogue. Women’s Weird will be published on 18 November.
March is busy
Last week was very busy, with three 10-hour working days at the London Book Fair, and some very sore feet at the end of it. This week has us in London for our sales reps’ sales conference, at which we’ll be presenting the new books for the autumn. Then we go to Bristol for the Spike Island evening of talking about Rose, Zelda and Sylvia. And then on Friday we’re back in London for the UK launch of Rose Macaulay’s What Not at The Second Shelf: a few tickets are still available. And a week later, Kate flies to Madrid for the European launch of What Not at the Desperate Literature bookshop. Phew.
For our sf & fantasy fans
In April we’re attending Ytterbium, also known as EasterCon 2019, the UK’s national science fiction and fantasy convention, at the Park Inn at Heathrow, for three days. And in October we’ll be at FantasyCon 2019 in Glasgow for the weekend. They’re going to be massive, and massively fun too. We’re now doing so many events and book fairs that we have a new page on the website giving the list, updated weekly.
The Kindle versions of Handheld’s books are doing well, but we’ve been struggling for some time to find a decent distributor for our epub format. Now we have signed up with Kobo, so we’ll be selling all our epub titles on their platform in the very near future. If you’re a Kobo user, start looking for our books there now.
New leaflet, new bags
We finally ran out of copies of our old shiny white catalogue leaflet, so we made a brand new one: black and gatefold, to accommodate all our new books.
We also printed our first book bags, which will be offered free for all orders through the website of two or more books (any combination of titles). If you just want the bag, send us £5 via Paypal and we’ll put one in the post to you. We’ll be flaunting these at all the book fairs and talks as well.
The Exile Waiting
Our latest new title announcement is a sad one. Kate has long loved Vonda N McIntyre’s first novel, The Exile Waiting (1975), a science fiction classic that created the world that McIntyre developed for her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novel Dreamsnake (1979). We had just signed the contract for Exile and were in the middle of editorial discussions with Vonda, when she received the news that she has inoperable stage 4 cancer. We immediately rescheduled the book from spring 2020 to 21 October 2019, and our cover artist, Jane Cornwell, is racing to complete the cover art as we type. We hope very much to be able to show Vonda the book cover in the next few weeks, and to give her the pleasure of seeing her first novel on its way to being back in print.
When in doubt, go for a walk.
Kate & David