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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:36 pm 
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Below is a copy of an email that I've just sent to everyone on the Elastic Press mailing list. Thought it appropriate to also post it here:

Welcome to another instalment of Elastic News!

This newsletter is a bit of a watershed for us, because it contains the announcement that we’ll be closing to future publications with immediate effect. Our final publication was the “Subtle Edens” anthology, published on 1st November 2008, and during the course of 2009 I’ll slowly be running down the company with the focus on attending conventions to sell our remaining stock. This hasn’t been a snap decision, and isn’t the result of any ‘credit crunch’ or financial difficulties. In fact, I’ve known for two years that ‘Subtle Edens’ would be our final book. The main reason for closing is that I’ve increasingly found Elastic is becoming a burden rather than a pleasure. I’ve run it mostly in my spare time over the past six years (and occasionally part-time and full-time), and I’ve decided that I now want to focus on my own writing and spend more time with my family. Not only that, but I feel I’ve taken Elastic as far as it can go. We’ve had some great successes – in terms of reviews, awards, and sales – with, perhaps ironically, 2008 being the best year to date; however I feel I’ve hit a wall in my ability to expand the press further and my enthusiasm is starting to wane. Rather than wait until such time that I start to do a disservice to the authors, it seems better to quit whilst I’m ahead.

As I said, the company is solvent and our authors have already been informed and are aware that any royalties due to them will be paid. I envisage selling stock throughout 2009, continuing to promote the books already published with dealer’s tables at Redemption, EasterCon and probably Alt.Fiction. Throughout the year there may be special offers on some of our titles, and during the month of January I’m extending our December offer of a copy of “Extended Play” free with all UK orders.

Whilst I’m here, let’s reflect on the achievements of the press over the past six years:

1. We published 31 books in total, and stuck to a three monthly schedule without default;

2. We won five awards. The British Fantasy Society (BFS) award for Best Small Press in 2005, plus BFS awards for Best Anthology 2005 (“The Alsiso Project”), 2006 (“The Elastic Book of Numbers”) and 2007 (“Extended Play”). In addition, “Other Voices” by Andrew Humphrey won an East Anglian Book Award in 2008;


3. Our books have on the whole received positive reviews from The Guardian to The Fix to Time Out to various SF/F/H websites;

4. We have prided ourselves in sticking to our mixed genre, short story, mostly unknown writer mandate, flying in the face of commerciality;


5. We are one of the few UK independent SF/F/H publishers with bookstore distribution;

6. We conducted some downright bizarre book launches. Here are a selection: myself wearing a cow mask on the streets of Norwich (“The Virtual Menagerie”), bingo (“The Elastic Book of Numbers”), a nature table (“The English Soil Society”), cast members of Coronation Street doing adapted readings (“The Last Days of Johnny North”), a gig featuring legendary New Wave singer Lene Lovich (“Extended Play”), and a live art show (“Subtle Edens”).

I’ve personally had great fun over those six years, and have enjoyed working with all our authors and artists. Special thanks must go to Marie O’Regan (website design and typesetting), Dean Harkness (cover layout design since 2004), Sandie Hook (for her love and support), and Allen Ashley (as well as editing two of our anthologies he has been a stalwart campaigner of Elasticity!).

As for myself, I’ll still be attending conventions as a writer after 2009. Forthcoming work from me includes a collection of short stories co-written with Allen Ashley due from Screaming Dreams sometime in 2009, and a novel that’s also seeking a home. I’m also continuing my editing role with the BFS for their New Horizons magazine. More information on all my projects can be found at www.andrew-hook.com.

Finally, please continue to support us throughout 2009. Our 2008 titles are still eligible for forthcoming awards so don’t forget us on your ballot sheets, and please feel free to snap up our remaining titles before they go out of stock. In addition, our e-books will remain available on Fictionwise, and audio books are also in the pipeline. Of course, there’s always a possibility that I’ll want to resurrect Elastic Press at some point, and I’ll continue with news updates containing other offers throughout 2009. Until then, Happy New Year to all our readers and many thanks for supporting us over the past six years. It really has been very much appreciated.

All the best

Andrew Hook
www.elasticpress.com


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:52 pm 
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I'm sorry to hear this, Andrew; Elastic has been an inspiration to all in the British small press. And very enjoyable too. (I'm reading an old volume I hadn't got to yet at the moment, in fact.) On the other hand I'm delighted to hear that you're in good shape, that the back catalogue will continue to be maintained, and most importantly that your own writing is getting priority again.

Good luck with all that! And thanks for all the great titles you've brought out in the past several years.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:16 pm 
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All the best for the future, Hooky.
EP was a great idea.
What will you come up with next? 8)
Marion


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:38 pm 
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It's tough keeping a small press going, and I totally understand the publisher's reasoning here. Once a small press ceases to be a labor of love, it's hard to keep the labor end of things going.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Sad news, but Andrew and his Elasticians have had a remarkable innings, and I think we can all relate to the 'time to do something else' feeling.

Kudos to Andrew for his excellent work over the years, and wishing him all the best with whatever he turns his hand to next.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:08 pm 
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Elastic’s final message to the universe could quite justifiably be “Mission accomplished.” It must count as one of the most successful British small presses ever, in terms of the quality of its books, their sales and their reception by readers and reviewers.

Andrew: well done, and thanks. I shall watch whatever you do next with interest (unless it’s the washing-up, obviously).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:47 pm 
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I just like to endorse all the comments here and add my personal thanks to Andrew - he has always been immensely supportive and helpful and i'm proud to have been associated with Elastic Press from the start. I owe EP, and Andrew, a lot.

Thanks, mate, and good luck with the writing. I hope i'll get a sneak preview soon!

I did think it would be quite nice to have some sort of get together to EP a proper send off - but i don't know how practical it would be or whether an "anti-launch party" is quite the thing.

If anyone fancies it, though, post here and we get enough i'll see what Andrew thinks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:00 pm 
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I'd be in favour of that (depending on date and venue, of course). A send-off. Nothing funereal about it. :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:35 pm 
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At Bradford maybe? Many of us will be there.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:27 pm 
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My next on-going review is an Elastic Press book;
http://shocklinesforum.yuku.com/topic/10009

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