Regulars here will notice that we have at last imple­men­ted a deliv­ery cost cal­cu­lat­or which is more equit­able for the cus­tom­er — and for ourselves. Delivery is now charged accord­ing to total order weight rather than our old flat rate per book, which dis­ad­vant­aged those pla­cing orders for more than one.

But this is not to say all orders cost less as a res­ult; the per­fect storm (to overdo the mari­time meta­phors) of Brexit and Covid has impacted us in two sig­ni­fic­ant ways: Book papers are gen­er­ally impor­ted, and today cost more — by the week. Our print­ers now guar­an­tee quo­ta­tions for three weeks instead of six months. And the cheap but slow con­sol­id­ated air­freight ser­vice we used for over­seas orders is no more — it first became impossibly slow (four months was our record) and now is no longer avail­able, due to the reduc­tion in air­freight capa­city, which is there­fore restric­ted to cost­li­er ser­vices. We have switched to Royal Mail’s untracked ser­vice, which aims to deliv­er any­where in the world in 5–7 work­ing days, (say 7–10 includ­ing order pro­cessing by our dis­trib­ut­or) though that may be a little ambi­tious just yet.

We’ve had to stop sub­sid­ising deliv­ery to the char­it­able extent we were until now: UK orders remain post-free over £25 in value, but below that threshold we ask you to chip in about half our hand­ling and post­age costs, typ­ic­ally two or three pounds. Overseas orders are charged based on what they cost us to pack and send, but in a spir­it of fair­ness we do apply the mon­et­ary sav­ing they would enjoy if going to a UK address.

But we do have good news for our cus­tom­ers in Australia, New Zealand and North America — where most of our over­seas orders are from. We now have a New Zealand dis­trib­ut­or (Nationwide Book Distributors) so all our titles are avail­able in the book trade there as well as online from Nationwide; you can buy near­er to home and help the envir­on­ment by avoid­ing some air-miles. And we’re in dis­cus­sion with dis­trib­ut­ors in both Australia and the United States, and hope to be signed up with both very shortly. Because the books go in bulk by sea it’ll be a few weeks after pub­lic­a­tion before any new title will be avail­able in your local mar­ket­place, but you can still get them online here soon­er if you need to.

Thank you for read­ing this far, and for stick­ing with us. We’ll all get through these tri­als thanks to the pleas­ure I know you have in read­ing our books, and we have in pro­du­cing them.