The re-jigged website is live today. Not wholly new: that’s still my father in the rear-view mirror, still driving along in the 1940s, still with a packet of Gauloises in the glove compartment and still before he met my mother (and he could so easily have turned right instead of left or gone straight on but he didn’t). But a lot of tinkering: for each of the books there’s more information and review quotes, and excerpts you can download. They’re grouped in two and threes; economy, but there’s also the suggestion that if you’re buying this, you may want to buy that as well. Like browsing along a shelf.
The standard price for all the books is now £7.99 – which is up from £7.50 for many of them but still cheaper than equivalent books from just about any other publisher you can name, big or little. And see this: FREE DELIVERY for all books ordered from the site. So for most orders, despite the book price going up, you get them for less than before.
(The system to date, which has loaded a P&P charge onto all orders, has been swings-and-roundabouts: those in the UK ordering a single slim book have usually been paying more than the actual postage, those ordering from abroad have been paying less. The somewhat basic paying package doesn’t allow much fine tuning; setting different P&P rates for different regions in the world would have meant adding a hideous number of buttons; so let’s just scrap P&P altogether. Simpler. Easier.)
Whether it makes it makes any kind of financial sense I’ll find out. I’m hoping, of course, that more kind people will buy books from the site, now that they don’t have to pay an extra 20 per cent for me to send them off. I’m hoping too that those buying from Texas and Timbuktu will think of how far the books are travelling and maybe feel moved to press the DONATE button. There it is, on the About & News page. A little thing, adding a voluntary element to the whole process.
First dozen people to use that Donate button and enter a a fiver or more get sent a copy of the US edition of Jennie Walker’s 24 for 3 (‘I loved it,’ said Mick Jagger of the CBe edition, which is now out of print).