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!!