Thursday, November 30, 2006

Paperwork and long waits

Yes, we're still waiting on Dark Wisdom.... but I do know that it has shipped from the printer, and I hope to hear good news from our warehouse very soon.

Right now, we are in the intense coordination process of getting our books set up with our distributor, which involves a great deal of paperwork, cataloguing, shipping, warehousing, and re-warehousing. It is an intense effort that will certainly be worthwhile. So if it seems like you haven't heard from ESP for awhile, either on the boards or in e-mail, that may be why.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

From Russia with Spam

A few interesting facts on the ESP message boards (well, I find them interesting, anyway).

Of the hundreds of user requests we receive in any given period, approximately 95% of them are spam accounts.

Of these accounts, around 40% use Russian e-mail addresses, 20% use German addresses, and I do believe that that close to 100% are fake e-mail accounts.

Although about 75% of these are actual spam e-mails, 25% seem to be about nothing in particular. People spamming just for the sake of it...?

And all this spam is wasted spam. These days, you can't post on the ESP boards until you're approved, and due to the rash of users created called TexasHoldEm or the like, your account can't even be seen by other users until an administrator approves it.

Since I do most of the approving, I am pretty much the only person who gets hit with ads for online poker, the once-a-month recurring user named JohnTravolta777, and users with German e-mail addresses who create accounts for the sole purpose of proclaiming joy over the U.S. election results. Odd.

With the new enhancements we have in place, it's quite easy to sift through and delete users as necessary, so it doesn't cause me any grief, if this is the spammers' purpose. Sorry spammers.

But I do know that it affects the new users, the real users, the ones who want to discuss books or horror movies. Nowadays, once you create an account, you have to wait for an administrator to approve it, and if you choose a name like, say, JohnTravolta777, well, you're probably going to be mistaken for spam, and get deleted.

So to all the real JohnTravolta777s of the world, I do apologize if your account ends up in the virtual trash can...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Where's Issue #10?

Naturally, this is a question that has been asked plenty as of late, as the premiere color issue of Dark Wisdom has not, as of yet, materialized in bookstores and in the hands of subscribers. I wanted to get the remaining items worked out so that I could answer the question definitively.

As mentioned, with issue #10, we have switched to a full color format. Unfortunately, switching to color meant we had to use a new printer. The process usually takes some tweaking, and it can be more difficult the first time.

Unfortunately, in our case, things were even more difficult than usual - due to a few issues on the printer's end, the entire magazine had to be re-printed.

But there is good news. I now hold in my hand an advance copy of Dark Wisdom, sent to us for approval, and the advance copy is up to spec. So the printer should be wrapping up soon, and then copies will be shipped to distributors (just in time, unfortunately, to hit holiday shipping traffic, but it can't be avoided).

With issue #10, we pick up a new distributor. There's a lot of that going around at ESP lately, but more on that in another post. Disticor will now be distributing Dark Wisdom to chains and independent booksellers throughout Canada. We are quite excited and look forward to this new relationship with Disticor.

Some of you may recall that we had a misprint problem that occured with issue #3 as well, and that we did manage to acquire of a few of the misprints, which are only available in the Dark Wisdom Anniversary Collection (at no extra charge for the misprint itelf). I'm afraid that we were not able to do the same with #10, so you will have to enjoy Dark Wisdom in the full-color non-misprinted glory in which it was originally intended.

-Deborah Jones
Elder Signs Press


Welcome to the brand-new espBlog, where we will be posting details about Dark Wisdom, ESP publications, and other various items.