ANNOUNCEMENT: The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark

Spectral Press logoDue to a printers error (a software issue in converting PC files to Mac) several pages of the Unsigned Edition of The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark have been printed in the wrong order. The whole run of the book will be reprinted and free replacement copies will be sent to those customers who have already purchased this edition. All of those customers have already been notified via email of the situation. We have been told that the new copies will be with us on the 11th April. Many thanks for your understanding and patience in this matter.

This is very disappointing for us, however we are also aware that these things do happen from time to time, but we are very grateful for the manner and efficiency with which the printers, Berforts Information Press, have dealt with it.

On a happier note, the files for the Deluxe Edition of the same book have now been sent off to and received by the printers – we will of course let everyone know via our various social media pages (here, Facebook, and Twitter) when they’re expected to arrive into stock. We are very much looking forward to getting this one in our hands.

Onwards and upwards!!

The Spectral Chapbooks – the future!

Spectral Press logoNow, this is something that we have wanted to put out there for a while. As most of you will know by now, the mainstay of Spectral ever since its inception just over two and a half years ago has been the chapbook and that the focus of these little books has been the ghostly and supernatural tale. And, we’re happy to say, this has met with quite a bit of success, enabling the imprint to expand to where it is now. However, as we like to think of ourselves as a dynamic publishing company we always keep things under review because we’re very much aware of wanting to avoid becoming stagnant. In other words, we just don’t want to keep churning out the same old formula, just because it happens to work. We need to remain fresh and vital.

Taking risks is, in some respects, a necessary (and extremely exciting) part of the whole business of publishing. In the spirit of exploring new territory, we would like to expand the remit of the chapbooks slightly. We will still be publishing the ghost stories as we have always done, but we will also be issuing stories with a broader definition of the term and entering into the realms of the psychological, challenging, experimental and non-traditional. Our intention is to stretch both writers and readers. We will reiterate, though, that this does NOT mean that we will be stopping the publishing of traditional renditions of the ghostly/supernatural tale*, just that there will be a mix of styles. Above all, we want to provide variety for our readers.

Over and above all that, we feel that this is the right time to be doing this. We’ve always known that there are some marvellous writers out there producing some top-notch material, and that the genre is probably the healthiest it’s been since the horror boom of the eighties. Even so, we want to push the genre and its boundaries forward even further into new areas (as pretentious as that may sound). We would like to expand just what is meant by genre in general and ‘horror’ in particular. Just as Whitstable has shown, it is often the everyday and the banal that is far more horrific than anything ‘supernatural’ or the figments of a writer’s mind. This is the kind of material we’re after – we’re still looking for quiet horror rather than gore, the species of material that unsettles and disorientates, that leaves people unsure of what horror and the supernatural really is. We also want settings that eschew the familiar tropes of the ghost and horror story, that perhaps bring in other elements from other genres too; or new twists on tired and over-familiar staples. In other words, the universe is the limit.

We would like Spectral to be truly representative of the kind of excellent material that is being put out there at present. That is primarily why we are expanding our repertoire, so to speak. Naturally, the emphasis is still going to be geared toward top quality storytelling, allied to the high production values we have gained a solid reputation for. That will never change. We feel that this is the next step in the evolution of Spectral Press’ career. We hope that you out there, readers past, present and future, will be here with us as Spectral continues to grow.

*There are plenty of them to look forward to over the next couple of years…

Musings on a Monday morning….

As you all know, the Spectral chapbooks are strictly limited to 100 signed and numbered copies. The reason for this was and still is simply financial, as the imprint was created from practically nothing and, in all honesty, I never imagined that things would take off for Spectral in the way they have. My initial ambition for my publishing venture was to build up a reputation, slowly and carefully, and to expand operations equally slowly. I offered subscriptions so that readers could be sure that they would get each and every chapbook that I published if they so wished, without having to pay every quarter. I also reckoned that sales would be something like 70 subscriptions/30 individual and that 100% subs would be unachievable. I envisaged keeping the edition number to 100 for the foreseeable future, because I KNEW I could sell close to 100 but was unsure as to whether I could sell more.

It’s now got to that point where I may have to rethink things. Subscriptions stand at close to 80, with a promise of a few more to come, leaving my stock of individual copies at, for the sake of argument, around fifteen or so. One hundred percent subscriptions doesn’t seem so fanciful any longer. Each of the authors I publish can definitely sell more than 15 copies over and above the subscription numbers, so my dilemma is: do I up the print run, or do I keep it as it is? Whilst having an extra 20 – 30 unsold copies hanging about isn’t going to be much of a problem, as I can always take them to somewhere like FantasyCon or similar (and I think that might have been a drawback for me at THIS year’s FCon, not having any copies to sell), I also have to judge just how many more copies I can print before it becomes unviable.

I am loath to over-stretch myself, certainly at this stage of the imprint’s career. It’s doing very well right now, has made a small impact on the ‘scene’ and continues to garner positive press. I have plans for the future, which include novellas and single-author story collections, which makes me want to tread very carefully in these initial stages. Neither, however, do I want to miss an opportunity of expanding and gaining a little more capital to invest in new publishing projects. The next few months are going to be taken up with a great deal of ruminating and discussing various options with people whose opinion I value highly and who have a little more experience in these matters. Customer feedback is also very important, so I encourage everyone to comment on this, either here or by emailing spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. Even if I DO decide to increase the edition run, it will only be to something like 120 -125 and no more.

Like I intimated above, the success of Spectral is unexpected. It is also very welcome. I need to proceed slowly, but not so slowly that I am practically standing still. In that light, all comments will be gratefully received and very welcome!!

Thank you!