Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Eibonvale During Corona Days

Posted: May 29, 2020 by Eibonvale in News
Even though most of what I do is just, well, me working quietly at home, Eibonvale Press is experiencing some issues due to the Coronavirus. The printer/distributor for the vast majority of my books is currently in a state of extreme chaos after the pandemic hit just as they were upgrading their systems. The result has been glitches and errors left right and centre, as well as a considerable slow-down processing orders, new titles and all the many problems that have cropped up. Still – hard to criticise anyone who is struggling to keep going through all this.
The best one yet was when one book physically wouldn’t allow me to upload a cover file yet somehow went through the system anyway and is now sitting there plaintively pleading for approval for global distribution. What would happen if I let that out into the world, minus cover, I have no idea! Haven’t heard a peep from the support folks about it yet either.
In addition, the postage has become very shaky, especially international – again, no surprise at all under the circumstances and all credit to those who are keeping it going. But while the occasional loss is normal enough, I think I have replaced more missing or severely delayed books in the past couple of months than I normally would in years! It’s starting to get expensive!
There are other subtler things as well, such as the increased difficulty of me simply getting to the post office while it’s open … and even the fact that I currently have no easy access to newspapers for packing larger boxes!
All this to say, please bear with any creaking and groaning from deliveries and other stuff for a while. The vast majority of orders and tasks are still working just fine – and any issues, just contact me and I’ll sort them.
Also, new titles are on the way through the system and will be available very soon now.  Stand by for more news!
Just a reminder! There are only a few days left to EVER get your hands on a copy of Alexander Zelenyj‘s A Test Tube Family, which we are offering as a free extra with the hardcover edition of his collection Blacker Against the Deep Dark. I shall be closing the offer at the end of the 13th January.
Also, I have both titles in my hands now – first copies. Blacker Against the Deep Dark has turned out nicely dramatic, in spite of my sailing close to the wind with some very dark colours. And Test Tube Family has turned out a very nice and faintly modernist little volume. There will only ever be as many copies of this as there are people who order by the end of this weekend.

Eibonvale Press will be open for submissions for a new anthology edited by Allen Ashley and Sarah Doyle. “Humanagerie” will showcase both poetry and short fiction on the theme of animals. The book will not be about animals as such, but will instead be inspired by the characteristics that animals possess, and the points at which these intersect with – and manifest in – humanity. It will also be based on the strange and beautiful adjectives used to describe such traits, such as:

Aquiline – eagle
Chelonian – tortoise or turtle
Leporine – hare
Ostracine – oyster
Pieridine / Pierine – butterfly
Vespine – wasp / hornet

and many many more. You will find a much larger list in the guidelines.

We are interested in shifting states, in scenarios that explore duality, hybridity, and liminality. We are asking writers to consider how animalistic attributes might manifest in the human psyche – or vice versa. We want hints of scales, tails, fur and fins… gills, claws, paws and spines… glimpses of horns, tusks, teeth and tongues… stalking, slinking, slithering and stomping… roars, whimpers, howls and song. We want breath, heat, musk. We want landscapes ranging from urban wastelands to frozen tundra, from bedsits to coastlines, from suburbia to savannah – and the imagined worlds between. We want water and we want fish out of water. We want the visceral and the vulnerable, the slippery and the synaesthetic, emergence and extinction.

The submissions window will run from March 1st until May 31st 2018. The word limits are up to 60 lines for poetry and 4,000 words for fiction.

Download the guidelines here.


The new Eibonvale Press Chapbook Line is now a reality, with no less than three small books available to order – in both hardcover and paperback.  You don’t see that many hardcover chapbooks around unfortunately but I am really pleased with the results.  The first set of books includes titles by Kristine Ong Muslim, D. F. Lewis and Tom Johnstone.  They can be purchased either individually or as a set on the Eibonvale website:


And a reminder – I am still open for submissions for more chapbooks.  Indeed, I hope to keep this permanent. I am especially keen to hear from the under-represented and those not published by Eibonvale before.  You can find full details here:

It has been a while, unfortunately, since Eibonvale Press was open to public submissions.  This is not a condition that I particularly like, since I always valued being open to new authors. However, sheer busyness means that I have to keep careful control of the press to avoid getting swamped – and in the end exhaustion from trying to do too much led to me taking a break entirely.  Now however, I am releasing a call for works specifically for a new line of chapbooks that I am starting.  I am looking for individual works or micro-collections of up to 10,000 words or so.  You can see the full details and download the guidelines here:

I am specifically keen to find some new faces here, especially the under-represented, which the press rather needs!  Indeed, I am hoping that about two thirds of these will be people who have not been published by Eibonvale before.

I am seeing this line of chapbooks as visually rather different to the existing Eibonvale books, with covers based more on simple line-art rather than complex collages.  The recent special offer chapbook by Brendan Connell is a simple example of what I have in mind, as is the kind of art that I have used before in the interior of certain books.  For example, here and here.

Chapbook Cover

I hope to do these chapbooks in both hardcover and paperback, both of which will be quite economically priced volumes.  Tiny hardcovers are very much a possibility with my printers and they are not something I have experimented with until now.  Hardcovers are still my favourite binding, and they do sell – sometimes even outselling the paperback edition – so there is really no reason why I should not make them here.  Hopefully the hardcovers would be a nice collectable matching set!

I am really quite excited about this.  Hopefully these chapbooks will be a lively thread running through Eibonvale Press for a while yet.

Eibonvale Press has been quiet lately while I treated myself to some much needed R&R – but now it is starting to wake up from it’s slumbers and there is new news in the air!

Pleasant Tales by Brendan Connell


I am happy to present a new collection by a familiar face here at Eibonvale press – Brendan Connell. Pleasant Tales – a follow-up to his earlier Unpleasant Tales (one of Eibonvale’s most successful titles) – is now available to preorder, complete with one of our special offers to get things going. The author has provided an exclusive chapbook entitled Curious Births to Light the Universe, limited to just 50 copies. Buy a hardcover of Pleasant Tales and you will get the chapbook for free while it lasts; we have also prepared a bundle deal with the paperback. You can find full information on the Eibonvale website (link below). I expect this to be a fairly brisk seller (some have already gone before I could even announce it!), so I would suggest that you head on over and grab a copy!

Human Maps by Andrew Hook


Just a reminder that our latest release, Andrew Hook’s collection Human Maps is also available to order here:

Forthcoming Titles

And lastly a quick announcement of some future projects. I am in the process of updating the website (oh boy did it need it!) – including the ‘forthcoming’ section. So it is now a matter of public knowledge that more books are on the way. No going to sleep again now!

We have a new collection by Rosanne Rabinowitz, which will be released near the end of this year. And that will be followed by another familiar face – Douglas Thompson and his remarkable novel Barking Circus. Watch this space for info on these!

In addition, news that might be of interest to writers will be following shortly!


cover_testament_fullTwo new Eibonvale titles are now available for order – and two very exciting ones.  The first is a substantial new novel by Hal Duncan (author of Vellum and Ink) – Testament.

In the 21st century, a scalpel slices bible pages, passages spliced to restore lost truth. In the days of King Herod, the messias rises, calling to black sheep: walk with me. Now, here, between two aeons and across Æternity, a beloved student rebuilds his Gospel for the era of Anonymous: anarchist, socialist, atheist, revolutionary. Forget the tale you were spun and open your ears to the teacher who said, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. From the Hebridean fishing village of Capernaum, to a Jerusalem under Il Duce Pontius Pilate…

The Empire ends today.

cover_scarcity_fullThe second new title is Scar City, a new collection by Joel Lane.  This book was submitted to Eibonvale shortly before the author’s death and I am very excited indeed to release it now.  It contains 22 stories and an essay by Nina Allan on the author’s Blue trilogy of novels.

Both of these are available to order now in hardcover, with paperbacks to follow.  If anyone is interested in review copies, don’t hesitate to get in touch with details.

A Few Updates

Posted: April 20, 2015 by Eibonvale in News, Songs for the Lost, Zelenyj
Not final!

Not final!

Just time for some Eibonvale Press updates here.  I am currently working on a re-release of Experiments at 3 Billion A.M. by Alexander Zelenyj​ – one of the earliest Eibonvale Books.  I guess I have learned a lot since those days so here is a chance to put together a volume that is worthy to sit alongside Songs for the Lost, easily one of the best projects I have been involved in with the press and, if I may voice a personal opinion, one of the two most beautiful Eibonvale books!  The book will have a newly designed cover and a more streamlined design has reduced the pagecount considerably, leading to a comfortable price reduction.  In addition, the author has revisited the entire text, editing and changing it.  However, the one thing that will remain the same is the 40 artworks included in there … yes, even THAT weird artwork of Grandmother Mars!

In addition, look out soon for the new edition of Allen Ashley’s first novel The Planet Suite, complete with lots of extras and new materials.  That will be the second project to arrive.

One Week into the VAT Apocalypse

Posted: January 9, 2015 by Eibonvale in Articles, News

In a previous post, I outlined the massive and crippling problems caused by the new EU VAT rules – so badly thought out that they threaten a vast amount of small enterprise, including this press.  Now, in January, the changes have rolled out for digital products, with all products following some time down the line if we don’t find a way to stop it.

Just over one week into the digital side of the VAT apocalypse, we are starting to get a picture of the damage it is doing and the results are pretty much exactly as predicted – the exact same miserable litany that the activists have been trying to get into the heads of the officials ever since this came to light: business closures, the EU excluded from sales all over the world, even quite major 3rd party platforms unable to comply, even some accountants washing their hands of small businesses because they simply can’t cope with the problems. A new article on the EUVATACTION website details some of what is happening – it’s gloomy reading but kind of vital.  However, please remember that this is just the small percentage of companies who have actually talked to EUVATAction, and that this still excludes vast numbers around the world who don’t even know about it. I have personally been in touch with several relevant providers of digital materials abroad (mostly ebooks) and not one had even heard of this yet.

How we got into this disastrous situation is still beyond me, but i will not start ranting about that again – you can read my frothings on my previous post if it gives you pleasure.  But it is absolutely vital to get the message out that wherever you are in the world, and whatever you are doing, this affects you – not just sellers and publishers.  As buyers in the EU, you are now cut off from material.  As writers anywhere in the world, your markets have been messed around and limited.  And of course the same thing applies to every other subject aside from the literary as well.  Unless you are really happy to do all your research and shopping on Amazon, this affects you or will do if they roll it out for all products as they plan.

The mobilization of activism and pressure against this centred round EUVATACTION and certain facebook groups has been one of the biggest and best organised i have ever seen – that is the one comfort in this bizarre business.

The VAT Apocalypse

Posted: December 13, 2014 by Eibonvale in News
Tags: , , ,

People will hopefully be aware of the storm that has recently erupted concerning the new changes to VAT legislation in the EU – and if you are not aware of it then I suggest you make yourself aware of it ASAP since it will affect pretty much everyone and not in good ways.  Like many, indeed like most it seemed, I only found out about this when it all broke on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and since then the news has only got worse.  Bad enough to drive me to write an activist post here on the Eibonvale blog because this may well force the closure of Eibonvale Press and because the potential effect on other small publishers, writers and readers could be severe.  Yet I get the feeling many don’t even know about this yet.

In a nutshell, what has happened is that they have switched from charging VAT in the country of the seller to the country of the buyer – but most cripplingly of all, they have removed any VAT threshold.  They have done this ostensibly to prevent tax dodging by companies such as Amazon, but in the process have caused utter havoc.  This new system means that anybody who makes a direct sale to an EU country, even just one single sale, now has to register for vat in that country (or go through the UK’s VATMOSS system, which doesnt really negate any of the problems).  Initially (from 1st January) this just applies to digital products (ebooks for example) but it is clear they also plan to introduce this for ALL products at some unspecified but not too distant time in the future.  This would include paper books.  Not many countries are VAT-exempt for books, so any sale to a country that would charge vat on them will land you liable for a very very complex procedure indeed.  And this applies globally.  The number of ways this is impossible and ridiculous is quite large – and to expect a small enterprise that might consist of just one person making a tiny bit of money out of something they love to cope with all that is laughable.  But this is not a question of laziness or willpower – it is physically impossible for someone with a tiny shop powered by paypal or something to gather the required data (PayPal have actually stated that to supply sellers with the required data would be against the data protection act).  The only options for sellers then are to restrict EU sales to a major channel like Amazon and refuse to deal direct, or if that’s impossible, to quit entirely.  It is already being estimated that tens of thousands of microenterprises in the UK will do just that – while the number impacted easily reaches the hundreds of thousands, many of whom still seem unaware of the problem.  Tens of thousands of dreams snuffed out by one badly thought out bit of legislation . . .

I also need to emphasize just how chaotic the release of information about this has been.  Tempted as I am to call HMRC almost criminal for their handling of this, I don’t suppose they really like struggling to cope with impossible demands from the powers that be any more than we do.  Indeed, it seems the big boys are in almost as much of a state as we little’uns.  News has just broken that Google will be basically halting the provision of certain commercial services into the EU – and if they can’t cope with this, how the heck are we supposed to?

To say I am angry right now is the underestimation of the year!

A number of things beggar belief here.  If you will permit me to stray into rant territory for a moment, I will list some of them:

  • It beggars belief that they care so little about small enterprises that they would basically crush them without a thought.
  • It beggars belief that people would knowingly introduce a system that impedes cross-border trade just when the world is globalising and when a global awareness is only getting more important.
  • It beggars belief that legislators would attempt to ‘punish’ big companies like amazon by basically handing them a monopoly on cross-border sales on a plate.
  • It beggars belief that they would introduce something that will drive many many people back to government support/welfare precisely at the time they are trying to reduce welfare bills in the cruelest ways possible.  And indeed when they have been trying to get people into these very enterprises so the government can massage their unemployment figures.
  • It beggars belief that the EU would introduce something like this at a time when many are already suspicious of it as a viable entity and are pushing for independence.  Indeed, the more I think about it, the more it seems that the EU might just be committing suicide here.

And this is where I come to the effect on Eibonvale Press.  In terms of ebooks, we are safe because the few we have released so far are handled through Amazon.  However, when/if this expands to include paper books, then things could be very different.  It is not possible for me to survive on sales through Amazon and ‘the system’ since I earn almost nothing after their cut.  I would have to jack the prices up massively.  And if I refuse to sell to EU countries and instead direct those buyers to Amazon then I would still be taking a quite major cut in income.  It may be that this would be the last straw that forces me to close the press down as simply no longer viable – at least to new releases.  I hope not – but right now the future is not at all clear.

What is clear though is that if you run a small press, you should be watching this very carefully and preparing to kick up as much of a stink as possible.  Likewise if you are a writer since the last thing we need is artificial restrictions on where or how books can be sold.  And likewise as a reader since these regulations will effectively erect a sales wall around the EU that is impenetrable (legally) by many small companies who are unable or unwilling to work through Amazon etc.  If you are in the EU and not sure how this applies to you, just ask yourself – are you really happy to live off an Amazon drip-feed exclusively and live in a world cut of from small enterprises?

For more information, and things that can be done to fight this, I would suggest you check out  I know that these days we are saturated with causes and horror stories and social injustice – you can’t read the news or glance at your Facebook feed without seeing something that makes you want to punch the wall – but I would suggest that this is one of the biggest and nastiest.  Indeed, I almost feel as though I am fighting for my life.  After all, what am I without Eibonvale Press and the other things that are important to me?  Am I just some little insect that the EU can just squash without even noticing?  No fucking way!

The fix for this, if it can’t be just dumped in the cesspool of shamed history, would actually be very simple.  Preserve the vat threshold.  That is vital for any small enterprise to function unimpeded.  Every way one examines this, the costs are going to be high – in terms of lost culture and potential, closed enterprises, increased benefit claimants, increased hardship, loss of diversity, loss of access to material etc. If we can at least force this seemingly obvious update to the system then we might still have a world in which small enterprises can flourish and in which people can still have access to material in a global sense – a world in which dreams can continue to exist and mean something.