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Greetings from Plagueland


Update 29 December 2020

Hi Folks: I hope you all had/are having a great holiday season.

Many of you have emailed to let me know that your copy of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat has not yet arrived. This is to be expected and I would not yet worry or let anxiety get the better of you.

Please remember there are a few factors involved, and I beg your pardon is some of these seem obvious, but it bears repeating: 1) Covid-19 has had an impact on the speed of delivery this past year, and continues to do so; 2) The holiday season (December) is a time at which we have all now come to recognise as a busy period for post, with expected delays; 3) Brexit (and by association anyone who voted for it) has in the past weeks caused major delays in the United Kingdom, which may very well affect any parcel that passes through that country on its way elsewhere.

To frame things differently: Items posted on 12 December were only dispatched 10 working days ago, inclusive of today. (You can scroll down to see what I’ve posted and when. Hopefully this will help inform your expectations.) Given the above, I would be shocked if yours has already arrived; equally, I am delighted if yours has. Truly a miracle! Those who are seeing others’ arrive, you have no reason to fear. If by chance your worst fears prove true, then I am prepared to refund your money in full. If you’re at that point where you feel that’s a reasonable request, please drop me a line. Otherwise I highly appreciate your patience. Your book will arrive.

In the meantime, here’s Our Haunted Year 2020, our year in review. Have a read! Enjoy!

Update 17 December 2020

I took two more loads to the post office on my lunchbreak this afternoon. And that’s it. Those were the final two loads. (Actually, there’s more, but they’re orders for dealers and other things–not stuff you’d care about now that your copy of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat is in the post.)

As to answer that question: When will your copy arrive? I don’t know. A couple of weeks from when it was sent, give or take, depending on where you’re at? It’ll get to you eventually, there will be no need to panic!

Now I’ve a substantial backlog of invoices, emails, and other things I’m going to work through next. If you’re waiting to hear back from me on something, I’ll get to it!

But this evening, I’m going to get ready for the book launch and see if I can scrounge up a glass of wine. See you later!

Update: 16 December 2020

I took another full load of books to the post office on my lunch break today. Joy of joys, there was no queue, so unlike my other trips, there hasn’t been a 45-60 minute wait. No fault of the post office, just a lot of people there. Anyway, I lugged down mostly boxes for dealers and some stuff for my family.

Some good news: more cardboard mailers arrived this afternoon, just before I left for the post office. Which means tonight I can pack up the remaining copies of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat to get into the post tomorrow. Again, among those that have not yet shipped include numbered copies destined for the UK and Ireland, plus various contributor, review, deposit, and complimentary copies. My hope is that by tomorrow evening, everything remaining should be in the post. (I just did a quick tally: It’s 70 copies of Chit-Chat, plus a handful of other titles, so probably close to around 90 books total. That means something like two trips to the post office.)

Just another reminder that Ghosts of the Chit-Chat is probably out fastest selling book ever. If you’re interested in a copy, you might want to consider doing so sooner rather than later. At last count, I’ve got about twenty copies left, give or take.

So I’ve had to drop a number of other things, all of which are pressing, in order to get these books into the post. This means I have some unanswered emails that needs responding to, some projects I need to get back to, not to mention all the end of month stuff that needs to be done. I’m doing my absolute best to respond to you and will do so in due course.

If anyone needs anything, drop me a line! I’ll respond as I can! Thanks again, all!

Update: 15 December 2020:

I’ve another IKEA bag and suitcase full of books to take down to the post office on my lunchbreak. this afternoon, it’s about 60 books in total. It’s filled mainly with parcels for dealers and contributors.

I’m going to try to make another late afternoon trip with more stuff, but that’ll be some personal items I’m sending to friends and family for the holidays. I’d take more copies of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat, but I’m about at the point where I need those cardboard mailiers to arrive before I can continue. Hopefully, I’m told by the supplier, that will be tomorrow; “mid-week” as they put it, which is generally understood to be Wednesday, I guess, but definitions these days, as you know, are hazy at best. In any case, as soon as those arrive, I’ll get the remaining pre-orders in the post.

So just to reiterate what I have left in the office: I have numbered copies destined for Ireland and the UK, I have review copies, deposit copies, various complimentary copies–and that’s really about it. Has your copy shipped yet? Unless it’s among what I still have my office, then yes, it has. It’ll be with you in due course, speed subject to both the holiday season and the pandemic.

If you’re copy has not shipped, and you’ve decided you’d like a full a refund, please drop me a line and I’ll sort that out.

Again, I apologise for any frustration I’ve caused, I know some of these books were intended as gifts. Getting this Ghosts of the Chit-Chat in the post so close to the end of the year was always going to be tight. It’s late delivery set me back four full days. I’ve been working constantly since. Still, I hope you enjoy the book when it does arrive.

Update 14 December 2020:

I’ve just taken another load down on my lunchbreak. This included all of the US, Canadian, and continental European numbered copies of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat (along with a few other miscellaneous parcels).

(In a second load, later in the afternoon, I took multiple parcels destined for dealers to the post office).

I have also currently run out of cardboard envelopes. They are on back order with the company I get them from. I ordered more a few weeks back and am expecting them, according to the company “by mid-week”. I apologise to those in the UK and Ireland whose books I have not yet shipped. I thought it would be smarter to first get those in the post that have a farther distance to travel. I hope you can see my logic, though I know you are no less eager to receive your copy.

In the meantime, I have started packing up dealer and contributor copies. I will take a load of those to the post office as soon as I’m finish with my day job today. Again, I am starting with dealers and contributors who are geographically farther away, so as to get those on their way.

What’s left after that? The last to be hauled down to the post office will be review copies, legal deposit copies, and the complimentary copies I always send to my close friends and family members. I’m really hoping to have absolutely everything in the post by Saturday. Then I can get back to editing Uncertainties 5 and writing our end-of-year report! But right now, I’m going to have to grab a bite to eat before getting back to the grind.

If you’ve any questions that have something to do with something other than satisfying curiosity as to whether or not your book has shipped and if you’ll get it in time for the end of the month (you won’t), do drop me a line and I’ll try to answer your question as best as I can! Otherwise, stay safe!

Update 12 December 2020:

I took a small batch of miscellaneous bits into the post office this morning, including recent orders, plus some items destined for bookshops.

I admit, I took part of the day off, went into the city centre for the first time since September.

Later in the evening I inspected, embossed, numbered, and slipped postcards into the numbered copies, plus I had bits of admin and emails to take care of as well.

I’ll spend all of Sunday packing more books, getting yet more into the post. Naturally the post office isn’t open on Sunday, so I’ll not be able to take any trips. On Monday, I’ll be back at my day job (I’d taken the previous week off to work process Ghosts of the Chit-Chat orders). So naturally I’ll have to focus on my day work from Monday onward, but I’ll haul more copies of the book to the post office on my lunchbreak, and as soon as the work day is over, I’ll get back to packing and getting your copy out to you!

Will your copy arrive by the end of the month? I don’t know. Once I get things to the post office, it’s really out of my hands. I don’t have a tracking number for you either, I’m afraid. I’ll continue to be as expedient as I can.

If you’ve not yet ordered a copy of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat, be warned that I would not be surprised if it were out of print by the end of the year. So be sure to order one now if you want one, or take your chances with the second-hand market later!

On another note, I’ve been getting emails from people in the US letting me know that copies of The Death Spancel and Others is starting to arrive. So you’re nervous that the postal carrier has stolen your copy, I’m sure they haven’t. I’m more convinced they’re working overtime to meet expectations.

You’ll hear from me again on Monday as I’ll spend the bulk of my Sunday packing more books.

Update 11 December 2020:

Three more trips today. I dropped 100 copies into the post office this morning/afternoon, and another 25 went into the post later this evening. It was the remaining UK-bound standard unnumbered copies, plus the Irish unnumbered copies.

Tomorrow I’ll start embossing and numbering, then will start packing and posting first the numbered copies that have the farthest to travel.

Update 10 December 2020:

Hi Folks, So I’m going to be making updates here because I’m getting more emails than I’d like asking about postal status of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat. While I normally don’t mind this, I feel I’d rather spend time packing rather than satisfying anxious curiosity. However, if this book is intended as a gift, and knowing that it will not arrive in time for the end of the month will ruin your festivities, and you wish for a refund because of this, please let me know as soon as possible. If your copy still hasn’t shipped, I’ll refund in full, no problem.

As you might already know, the books were supposed to arrive last Friday. They instead arrived late on Tuesday night. Yesterday, Wednesday, I’d hoped to take the first load to the post office. I was unable to do this due to constant rain (read below and you’ll see that I carry everything to the post office on foot). Instead, I stayed home and continued to pack.

This morning I took two loads (50 packages in each) to the post office. The first batch contained all orders of unnumbered copies destined for Japan, Australia, continental Europe, Canada, and America. The second batch contained copies destined for the United Kingdom, though I still have quite a pile of these to work through today. Was yours among these? No idea, I don’t keep track of whose has gone out and whose hasn’t. However, if you need to know, I could drop everything and search the remaining packing slips for yours–and if you absolutely need this to be done, do get in touch. But again, please don’t make me do that unless it has a realistic impact for your. Otherwise I’d rather keep packing.

My goal today is to pack more of the unnumbered United Kingdom orders, and hopefully shift another 50 copies to the post office. I’ll make a note here if I do and how many have gone out. (Update: No dice. While I have another 50 ready to go, the rain has started up again. So I’ll just spend the rest of the evening packing and see if there’s a break in the weather tomorrow to shift them to the post office.)

What’s a numbered copy and did you get one? Read this. Why am I shipping unnumbered copies first? Easy. The numbered edition requires more time to process. I have to emboss and hand number each copy, match up similarly numbered postcards, some readers have requested particular numbers. Trust me, it’s a whole thing. Whereas the unnumbered copies are far faster to process, which means I can get more copies in the post faster. I’ve simply made the decision that it would be better to get more into the post rather than to focus on the numbered edition.

If you’ve got a numbered copy and would instead like to relinquish that copy for a standard copy so that it ships faster, drop me a line.

Regarding orders of other titles that are not Ghosts of the Chit-Chat–these are being packed immediately and going out with the next available postal run instead of getting stuck behind the back log.

So just to recap: if you’ve got a question that requires a response rather than to satisfy worry or curiosity, please do drop me a line, I’m here and happy to answer as best I can and as quickly as possible. Otherwise, I’m working as swiftly as I can to get your book in the post. Will it arrive for your preferred end-of-month holiday? At this point assume no, that it won’t. That way, if it does, you’ll be wonderfully surprised.

Update 8 December 2020:

They’ve arrived. I’m going to have my dinner now, but will spend the rest of the night packing as many as I can so I can get some down to the post office tomorrow. I’ll try to give updates throughout so you’ll know where I’m at. I won’t be able to answer individual queriest as to whether or not your own book has shipped yet. I could keep track of all that, but I’d rather just work on getting them all packed and and on their way.

Hi Folks. A bit of bad news. I waited all day last Friday (4 December) for the delivery of Ghosts of the Chit-Chat to arrive. I laid out all my packing materials and was intending to work straight through the weekend to fill as many orders as I could by Monday morning which, as you can see from the table in the previous post, was the final day to dispatch to USA and Rest of World for delivery before your preferred end-of-month holiday, whatever it may be.

The printer, who had been in contact with the haulier, had confirmed Friday delivery. This did not happen. I also waited all day on Saturday, though I think here in Ireland we don’t “do” Saturday deliveries. Who wants to work on the weekend anyway?

On Monday I was in touch with the printer again. They told me that the shipment would be delivered that day sometime between 12pm and 2pm (normally they can’t narrow it down to a time, instead telling me it’ll be sometime between sun rise and sun set, but some how they managed to promise within a two hour window). At 2:01pm I wrote to the printer again asking for a revised delivery estimate. After a bit of silence, I received this email from them:

“We have now been able to get to the bottom of this one, unfortunately this pallet along with a few others had been sent to the incorrect Irish hub, it is now being driven over to the correct hub and will be delivered first drop tomorrow morning. We will carry out an investigation into what has gone wrong and ensure that we improve our communication to you moving forward.”

On Tuesday morning, I was up bright and early to receive the delivery, perhaps even haul a load down to the post office by late afternoon. By early afternoon, I wrote to the printer again asking if they could clarify the definitions of “first thing” and “morning”. They said they would continue to get ot the bottom of it and again conveyed their apologies. And so here we wait . . .

I have received over the past days a few emails from people who want to know whether or not they will receieve Ghosts of the Chit-Chat in time for the holidays. The truth is this: I do not know and have no way of answering that question. I’m sorry.

There are three factors that will influence the speed with which you will receive your book. 1) When I actually receive the shipment, 2) How quickly and methodically I work through filling orders, and 3) How quickly various postal systems work–and believe me, despite neoliberal onslaughts the world over, your national postal service has been working overtime all year.

The only element of this that I can influence is second above listed. I’m using my annual leave (I have a day job) so I can devote all my time to processing the books as soon as they arrive. Over the years I have developed a system. I process first the orders that have a farther geogaphical distance to travel. These go out in my first trip to the post office. You also must understand that I don’t drive, so carry books to the post office as many as I can at a time. It takes a few trips, usually seven or eight for a normal new book. Ghosts of the Chit-Chat, though, has proven extremely popular, so this will entail more time to pack and more trips to the post office. But packing and sending books will be, as always, my priority when they arrive.

What I’m trying to say is: I will work through and process your order as quickly and methodically as possible. It would be hugely helpful if, until I process the orders, you don’t email asking whether or not the book will be with you in time for Christmas. I simply don’t have an answer, and for that I not only feel badly, but apologise for causing you frustration. When I do have more information, I will post it here. Check here first before emailing me, because I’ll likely only be able to give you the same information.

If anyone requires a refund on the heels of such tardy service, please contact me and I will arrange for a full and immediate refund, as I understand some copies may wish to be given as gifts.

I’m sorry again about this, I wish I could say more. I will do my best. – Brian

Update 20 November 2020:

Greetings, everyone. I hope you’re all in good health and in reasonable comfort. As it turns out, I’ve a few little updates here for you, so let’s get started.

First and foremost, the holiday gift-giving season will be quickly upon us. With postage taking slightly longer than usual, combined with the annual holiday rush, I thought I’d post here An Post‘s “Christmas Last Postal Dates” (please excuse their Christian-centric choice of phrasing). In any case here are the dates:

In any case, I’d say the sooner you order, the better. Even should you place orders after these dates, I’ll bee as dilligent as I can about getting your orders in the post as quickly as I can. (Note: I’ve also just received word that packages to Japan are taking about a month to arrive.)

Next up, I’m happy to say that The Death Spancel and Others by Katharine Tynan arrived back from the printer yesterday. It’s gorgeous! It bears a cover by Brian Coldrick (who also did the cover for Rosa Mulholland’s Not to Be Taken at Bed-time), and an introduction by Peter Bell. The book has been a long time in the making, going back some three years (ppossibly more). It’s the first volume of its kind to showcase Tynan’s supernatural and macabre stories.

Along with each copy, we’ll include three postcards, plus a facsimile signature card (something we’ve been doing lately for some of our books).

Note: All pre-orders of The Death Spancel and Others went into the post on 24 November.

Next, the provisional delivery date for Ghosts of the Chit-Chat, edited by Robert Lloyd Parry, is due back from the printer on Friday, 4 December (Update: this has no changed to 7 December). The delivery date is subject to change. Needless to say, that’s cutting it close to the 7 December postal deadline (see above). In any case, I’ll do my best to get the book packed and in the post as quickly as I can after they arrive in hopes of getting them to you before the New Year.

If you’re looking for some seasonal (and socially distanced) fright, be sure to check out Robert Lloyd Parry, who many of you already know from his one-man M. R. James plays, has scheduled a number of live performances over Zoom. They’re really great fun and I urge you to catch one if you can. He’s also available to hire for private performances (I’ve already booked him for the Swan River Press Christmas party).

On that note, perhaps this year more than ever, and if at all possible, try to support independent writers, performers, publisher, the local shops in your community. They need your suppport far more than Amazon ever will.

As always, look after yourselves, each other, and your communities. If you’ve any questions, please feel free to drop me a line!

Update 20 October 2020:

Another short update here, folks.

As it turns out, Ireland is going into another lockdown. As a result, I’m going to reduce my trips to the post office again. Maybe once or twice per week. I’m able to post everywhere in the world again, no problem, but there still might be some slight delays in delivery still, depending on where you’re at. If anything changes, I’ll post about it here. Or you can keep an eye on the An Post website.

But here’s some more fun news: Last week we published the next two Swan River paperbacks: The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson and Insect Literature by Lafcadio Hearn. This joins our first paperback title, Earth-Bound and Other Supernatural Tales by Dorothy Macardle. These titles are available from various platforms, and we’re happy for you to buy them in a way that’s easiest for you, but if you want to support Swan River more directly, you can order straight from us.

We’ve got two more titles to release before the end of the year. I’m excited about both of them–and both have been in the works for a few years now. If you want advance notice, be sure to join our mailing list.

As usual, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Until then, please stay safe, wear a mask, and look after each other. – Brian

Update 2 October 2020:

Happy October!

Updates are seeming less and less necessary now. I’ve only got good news at the moment.

First, international post from Ireland has returned to normal for us. We can once again send books to Australia, New Zealand, and up to 10kg to the US, which is more than sufficint for us! Keep in mind that delivery times to most places are still slow, so please bear that in mind. And as always, if you have any questions, please drop me a line.

Moving on to our new arrivals. Perhaps the most exciting news is we’ve announced our new paperback line. The first Swan River Press paperbacks is Dorothy Macardle’s Earth-Bound and Other Supernatural Tales. This will be followed in October by The House on the Borderland and Insect Literature. More will follow after that. I’d love to hear feedback from those who have bought the paperbacks. I think they look quite good!

Also note: While our new paperbacks will be available on loads of platforms, and I’m happy for you to buy them from anywhere, if you want to maximise your support for independent publishing, please order directly from our website!


Next up, as some of you may know already, The Green Book 16 arrived. Some copies have shipped already, though if you had ordered Leaves for the Burning as well, I’ve been waiting for that to arrive before sending both books to you simultaneously.

So, of course, earlier this week, Mervyn Wall’s Leaves for the Burning arrived back from the printer! It looks great and I’m working at getting everything packed and shipped and on its way to you.

And that’s about it for now. This may well be the last communication from Plagueland for the moment. Though the virus still stalks the land, operations at Swan River have returned to normal, along with new precautions that still include limiting trips to the post office as much as possible. The key message remains: Be smart, be safe (and vote!!)

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, Instgram, and of course our all important mailing list, which is where you’ll hear about our next book!

Until next time, look after yourselves and your communities.


Update 7 September 2020:

Hi there, folks. It’s been a long time since the last update, I know. I was waiting for a few bits of information to come together first.

Let’s talk about the post first. Since the end of July, I’ve managed to ship all the packages for US dealers, plus the stray packages to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Hopefully, if you haven’t already, you’ll see those soon. I’ve had to send all of these through friends who have been kind enough to lend a hand. I’ll have to do this for the foreseeable. But for mostly everyone else, it’s postage as usual, with the standard delays due to Covid-19, which seems to be a whole unpredictable range of times. Normal delivery time to most parts of the world, under normal circumstances, is 10 working days. So you can set that are your minimum expectation while waiting for delivery.

As usual, An Post have issued advice on where delays can be anticipated. Keep an eye on their website. I’m also still bracing myself for postage increases in 2021, so if you want to be on the safe side, so be sure to order any back catalogue bits you’ve had your eye on before the the end of the year.

Leaves for the Burning

Since the last post, you’ve announced two new titles. The first is a reprint of Mervyn Wall’s Leaves for the Burning, which I’m excited to release. If you enjoyed Wall’s The Unfortunate Fursey, you’ll probably enjoy this one too. Not to mention Wall’s collection of short stories we published in 2017: A Flutter of Wings.

For Leaves for the Burning, we’ve a new introduction from Susan Tomaselli and a cover by Niall McCormack. And as of this writing, we’ve still got some numbered copies left too, so don’t delay if you want one!


The other title we’ve announced is The Green Book 16. Unlike the last two issues, for Issue 16 we’ve got another ten entries on Irish authors of the fantastic. Some big names in this one too, including J. S. Le Fanu, Lafcadio Hearn, and Elizabeth Bowen; along with some names that might be less familiar, but I hope all the more thrilling for it. You can order a copy here.

Both of these titles should be shipping at the same time around the end of September. If you’ve ordered both, they should arrive together. But of course, if anyone has any questions, please drop me a line.

So that’s about it for now. Things seem just about as close to normal as they’re likely to be for a while. We’ve come up with a few solutions to some trickier issues. I hope everyone has been doing well. Until next time…

Update 27 July 2020:

Hi Folks, another quick one here. I just wanted to let you know that, as of today, all the preorders of  B. Catling’s Munky are now in the post. Please allow for lengthier delivery times.

I’ll be working on contributor and dealer copies next, which will go out during the week.

Unfortunately I’m still not able to send books to Australia, Japan, or New Zealand, nor can I send packages over 2kg to the USA. As usual, you can keep an eye on postal service updates here. I’ll keep everything safe here and try to get everything into the post for you as soon as I’m permitted. I’ll make an update here when that happens.

A few of you have also noticed that the Swan River Press Twitter account is temporarily locked. Here’s what happened: I changed the “birth date” year to that of the press’s inception: 2003. Twitter automatically determined that I was under thirteen years of age when I started the account and was therefore in violation of their regulations. And so the account was locked. I submitted a scan of my ID, but that was over a week ago. In the meantime, I’ve made a new personal account, which you can follow if you’d like.

I’m getting ready to announce our next book. Just to tease you, it’s actually listed on a website (not Swan River’s), so maybe you’ll be able to find it? If not, be sure to join our mailing list to get the first announcement!

If you’ve any questions, feel free to contact me. As always, stay safe, look after yourselves, and your communities. – Brian

Update 17 July 2020:

It’s been over a month since the last update. I suppose there hasn’t been a huge amount to report. But I’ve got good news and bad news this time around. Let’s start with the bad news first.

Where posting is concerned, I’m still unable to send packages to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and any parcel over 2kg to the USA. There are also still some internal delivery delays in France. On the plus side, a few more countries have been added to the all-clear list (though admittedly nothing that affects any current orders). If you want to keep abreast of any updates, have a look at the An Post website. Keep in mind too that there may very well be some internal delays where you’re at. As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.

Next bit of bad news is the forthcoming postage increases in Ireland. A bit of background:

  • Last year, the Universal Postal Union agreed to allow the US to set terminal dues themselves. This met the Trump administration’s stated objective—to increase how much they charge other countries for delivery thus averting their threat to leave the global network established in 1874.
  • Additionally, as a result of Covid-19, there have been fewer air passenger flights and air freight is being used instead. This has led to a five-fold increase in conveyance costs.

As many of you are no doubt already painfully aware, these increases came into effect on 1 July 2020 in the United Kingdom, and has already affected a number of our colleagues. Postage prices to the USA have been increased by up to 100%. I’ve spoken with the Irish post office and am told that our rates in Ireland will remain steady until 2021, at which point we will very likely see similar such increases.

I’m not sure how I’ll be addressing these increases yet, but I’m keeping in touch with our small press friends in the UK and elsewhere in hopes of finding the best solution to a miserable situation. To say that it is of major concern in our community is an understatement. I suspect I speak for us all when I say that your continued support of small press is extremely appreciated now more than ever. Needless to say, if you’ve been eyeballing any of our books and don’t want to get caught paying more, place your orders before the end of the year!

If you’d like to read more about Donald Trump’s temper tantrums levelled against the United States Postal Services, there’s a good article in the Washington Post. As a native Wisconsinite and a firm believer in public and democratic institutions, I know how I’ll be voting in the forthcoming US elections. Need a hint?

Signing Sheet-Munky

Onward to the good news! So I’m expecting B. Catling’s Munky back from the printer on 21 July. I’ll be getting copies in the post in the days following. I’m happy to share another piece of good news that I’d been planning, but needed to be certain of before announcing: if you’ve pre-ordered Munky, you’ll be delighted to know that it will be signed by both Brian Catling and Dave McKean (who did the cover art). I didn’t announce this earlier because I wanted to make sure the signing sheets made it back to the printer without any issues. And would you believe FedEx had actually lost the package for a period of two weeks? But we got there in the end!

You might also be interested in reading an excellent recent interview with Brian Catling conducted by Timothy J. Jarvis. And of course if you want to pre-order Munky, there’s still time!

We’re already hard at work on the next Swan River volume. It’s a novel. It’s by an Irish author. It’s one of my favourites. I gave a first edition copy of the novel in question to Joyce Carol Oates when she was here in 2018. She said this about it: “I was much moved by the gently satirical, touching novel . . . a vivid portrait of an entire society. The ending is particularly unexpected—[with] quietly devastating prose.” Intrigued? Stay tuned!

Okay, folks. That’s it for now. As usual, please keep in touch if there’s anything you need. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and there’s the mailing list too. Until next time, please look after yourselves and each other.

Update 12 June 2020:

Another short update here, folks. First, I hope you’re all keeping well. Things in Dublin are easing up a bit, but there’s still the air of caution. At least around most.

So I’ve had reports of deliveries of Lucifer and the Child and The Green Books 14 & 15 in North America and further afield. There are still a few outlier and seemingly delayed packages, so hang in there and if you’re feeling anxious about delivery, drop me a line.

I’m still unable to send packages to Australia, New Zealand, and to America over 2kg. I’ve a small pile of orders (though not many) still waiting to be sent. As always, I’m keeping an eye on the postal services for the next available opportunity to get these out to you. Thank you for your patience.


In bigger news, I announced through the newsletter today our next book: Munky by B. Catling, for which I’m now taking pre-orders. It’s particularly exciting because Dave McKean agreed to do a cover for us–and knocked it out of the park! This is such a fun book and I’m eager to share it, as always. I’m currently looking at the very tail end of July for the print date for this one. Any updates I’ll post here and on social media.

Again, if you have any questions about anything Swan River related, please drop me a line. Until then, take care and look after each other. – Brian

Update 4 June 2020:

Hi Folks. I hope you’re all continuing to keep well. Here’s a brief update.

Issues 14 and 15 of The Green Book arrived last Tuesday (2 June 2020). I’ve been working during every available moment to get them packed up and ready for the post. I’m hoping to have everything posted by Friday.

I’ve received a few emails recently concerning delivery of Lucifer and the Child. Just to say, a large majority of the copies went out on 25 May. People in the UK are only just receiving theirs these past couple of days. If you haven’t received yours just yet, hang in there. It is on the way. In addition to my own delays in getting copies shipped (see below), there are still postal delays, so please take that into account as well.

Speaking of postal delays, the only items I still have here waiting to be shipped are packages to New Zealand, Australia, and those to the USA that are over 2kg (most of which are for dealers). I’ll continue to keep an eye on things and get these stragglers in the post as soon as I can. Until then, I’ll keep them safe here. More details regarding posting can be found here.

We’re getting ready to announce our next title as well. It’s one I’m very excited about as it’s got a fine team. The story (it’s a novella) is fun, the artwork is out of this world. If you want to be the first to know, make sure you’re on our mailing list.

Apart from that, if you have any questions, please drop me a line. In the meantime, stay safe and take care of each other.


Update 26 May 2020:

Hello, Everyone. A quick post here to say that the remaining pre-orders of Lucifer and the Child went into the post yesterday. This included packages bound for Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe.

I apologise again for the delay, which was down to a slow restock of cardboard mailers, plus limited trips to the post office. Still, we got there in the end!

I’ve a few unsent items here at the moment: parcels bound for New Zealand, Australia, Greece, and packages over 2kg for our dealers in the US. I’ll keep an eye on regulations and endeavour to get these out to you as soon as is permitted.

In the meantime, I’m expecting delivery of The Green Book 14 and The Green Book 15 this Friday. Shipping of these should go much faster now that I’m well-stocked with mailers.

I hope everyone is still doing well. If you’ve any questions about books or orders, please by all means drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer. Until then, please continue to look after yourself and those vulnerable in your communities.

Update 21 May 2020:

Greetings Folks. I hope everyone is doing well. I just wanted to give you a couple brief updates.

First, I received today more cardboard mailers, which means I’ll be able to resume shipping more copies of Lucifer and the Child. Apologies again for the delay. Keep in mind that there will still likely be some delays in deliver as post seems to be running just a bit slower than usual these days.

Most of you will also have seen by now our recent newsletter announcing two news issues of The Green Book (Issues 14 and 15), both of which you can pre-order. Issue 14 is actually from Autumn 2019–a little late! The new issues are scheduled to arrive here in Dublin on Friday, 29 May. I’ll get them into the post shortly thereafter. Plenty of cardboard mailers now!

P.S. Anyone who orders the new issues of The Green Book will get a little surprise in with the books!

Very little has changed at the post office. Although I am now able to send again packages to Canada and Norway. (Greece, Australia, New Zealand, and packages to the US over 2kg are still relaxing downstairs).

If you’ve any questions, again, please do not hesitate to contact me. Stay safe and look after each other! – Brian

Update 11 May 2020:

Hi Folks, another quick update here. I got a batch of copies of Lucifer and the Child to the post office today. Most of them destined for the USA.

I’m waiting on more cardboard mailers (lighter than a stash I have on hand) before I can send more. The estimate I got today is that more mailers will be delivered in a week and a half from today.

Until then, I will continue to tip toe around the teetering piles of books on the office floor.

Orders for books other than Lucifer and the Child will continue to go out. I’ll be making another trip to the post office this coming Friday. Thank you again for all the orders. I’ll continue to get things dispatched as quickly as possible.

Drop me a line if you have an questions! -Brian

Update 8 May 2020:

Hi Folks, I hope you’re all keeping well–or at least enjoying the good weather sensibly. I’m writing to update everyone on where I’m at with shipping Lucifer and the Child.

The book tips the scales at the post office (it’s quite a jump in price too), so I’d been waiting on new cardboard wraps to see if I can bring the weight down by those few necessary grams.

As it turns out, getting cardboard wraps isn’t the easiest task these days. It took me three weeks to get a pack of twenty-five delivered. I think they’ll do, but I now need to order another few hundred. No telling how long it will take to get those.

I did manage to ship all pre-orders of Lucifer and the Child within Ireland, plus a few that were going as part of packages abroad. So if you see other people receiving theirs, but you haven’t, please do not worry. Suffice to say, I’m still filling orders as best and as quickly and safely as I can as resources allow. Please feel free to order other titles as well–I’m still making sure all other orders are getting out much faster.

I’ve had a look at An Post’s list of countries with suspended postal service. Among them are some countries we frequently send books to: Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Russia. Of course you can still place orders. We’ll just keep them safely here until they can be posted.  More information here.

So that’s about it! As always, let me know if you have any questions. If you’re not on our mailing list, you might want to sign up. You can keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ve also posted the contents for the two forthcoming issues of The Green Book, although I don’t have just yet a delivery date.

Thank you again for your support and understanding. As always, stay home, look after yourselves and look after each other. – Brian

Update 30 April 2020:

Hi folks, I hope everyone is still keeping well and occupied. I’ve got a short update here.

I’m happy to say that Lucifer and the Child by Ethel Mannin arrived a couple days ago. Today is the official publication day–Walpurgisnacht, which I think is apt, don’t you? It turned out beautifully as well, I’m really proud of this one and eager to get copies to you all.

So here’s where we stand with postage: I’m still getting things out as best and as quickly as I can while keeping within the social distancing guidelines. The postal limitations from the 7 April update (see below) are still in effect, so if you’ve ordered something and I can’t send it, I’ll hold onto it here until we get the all clear. If you’ve any questions, please let me know.

In the meantime, I’m going to be working through processing the order. It might take a bit longer for a few reason: the first is I’m running low on cardboard mailers. I’ve some on order, but as you can imagine, they’re in shorter supply than usual. I’ll prioritise as best I can though.

Also, it usually takes me around six to eight trips to the post office to get our pre-orders for a new book (I don’t own a car, so have to carry everything). At the moment I’m limiting myself to one trip to the post office per week. I’ll have to think through how best to do this. Many orders can be put into the pillar boxes (I’ve a supply of stamps here), but orders to the United States must be taken to the post office for further processing–the US government imposed new customs restrictions earlier this year that have proven quite onerous on yours truly.

In any case, if you’ve any questions, drop me a line as usual. In the meantime, I’ll just work through the orders as efficiently as I can. Oh, and some of you have discovered I’ve quietly announced the two new issues of The Green Book. Though I don’t have publication dates for either of them just yet. Join the mailing list if you haven’t already.

Thank you again for your support and understanding. As always, stay home, look after yourselves and look after each other. – Brian


Update 7 April 2020:

Hi folks, I hope you’re all keeping well  and in good health. Another brief update here.

I made a trip to the post office today to get a few things out, buy more stamps, and, most importantly, to do some grocery shopping. I hadn’t left the house in over a week, so the cupboards were quite bare!

In any case, if you’ve ordered anything from me lately, it’s in the post. Delivery times are usually around a week, but do expect delays.

There are three packages I was not able to send: I’ve been in touch with ye already, you know who you are. I’ll keep the books safe here until we get the all clear.

I’ve had a look at An Post’s list of countries with suspended postal service. Among them are some countries we frequently send books to: Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Russia. Of course you can still place orders. We’ll just keep them safely here until they can be posted.  More information here.

I was also informed today at the post office that, for the foreseeable future, I won’t be able to send any packages over 2kg. In practical terms, that’s up to three books. If you want to order more, depending on amount, I can look into splitting the order. Just drop me a line. Any other guidance on post going to European/North American destinations can be found here, suffice to say the 2kg limit is currently the main one.

That’s it for now. If you’ve any questions at all concerning books or delivery, please contact me. And if you’d like, you can always subscribe to the mailing list. Or just fire away and order a book! As always, thank you to everyone for your support and patience through this. Stay safe! – Brian

Update 5 April 2020:

I hope everyone is still faring well and in good health. This is an update simply by way of checking in rather than having any news. But all going well here. Thank you for all the orders–I’ve been getting them in the post as I can. If you’d like to order something, but are unsure about one thing or another, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I’m still hoping Lucifer and the Child will remain on schedule, but we’ll see. I’ve also been keeping busy by working on The Green Book 14, which was meant to be out in Autumn 2019. You never want to rush a good thing though, right? I’m also simultaneously working on The Green Book 15, which is the Spring 2020 issue. The plan at the moment is to have those ready to ship along with Lucifer and the Child.

If you’re not already on our mailing list, do consider joining. Fastest and easiest way to keep abreast anything new. Until next time, keep in touch!

Update 29 March 2020

A bit of good news! So it turns out I will be able to continue with some shipping during lock down. An Post have confirmed that they will still be making daily collections from pillar boxes–and as I have a pile of stamps here, I will still be able to post single book orders (because that’s all that will fit through the pillar box slot). If you want to order two books, they will ship as separate packages. There are numerous pillar boxes close by, and an isolated fella needs to stretch his legs at some point.

Although I am happy to take orders from anywhere in the world, I will still not be able to post to any country on the suspended postal services list issued by An Post. I will also not be able to post anything to the United States as all packets to that country need special customs forms that must be completed at the post office before posting. Keep in mind that delivery will ultimately always be contingent on your local service.

However, as I said, I am happy to continue taking orders from anywhere in the world–very gratefully so–and anything that cannot be shipped immediately will be kept safely here in the office.

If any one has any questions or concerns, please drop me a line. Until then, thank you again for your understanding and support. Keep well! -Brian

Update 27 March 2020

The Taoiseach has just announced a lock down for all of Ireland to last until 12 April 2020. This means I will be unable to go to the post office until then. I’m happy to take orders still, and will pack them and keep them safe, but will have to see when I can next get out to post them.

We will have to see where we are at with our forthcoming book, Lucifer and the Child, in two weeks.

Thank you for your understanding. Your continued support is appreciated. Look after yourselves! – Brian

Update 26 March 2020

Hi everyone.

I hope you are all keeping well, being sensible, and looking after both yourselves and your community.

All is well here at Swan River Press, or at well as can be expected. I am currently working from home (during the day now as well as weekends and evenings).

Everything here is continuing apace: we’re working on new publications and shipments are still being dispatched to those in need of reading material. Your support is appreciated now more than ever!

So just a few comments: the first is to say that I’ve taken the precaution of reducing my visits to the post office to twice per week, Tuesday and Fridays. I’ll reassess this if anything changes, but until then I’m happy to serve.

The Irish post office has advised that there are some countries with suspended postal services. For the time being, the United States and United Kingdom would seem unaffected. Do, of course, expect some delays, and be sure to thank your mail carrier should you see them!

Swan River Press 2020

Our next book, Lucifer and the Child by Ethel Mannin, has just gone to print. There are no expected delays, and my printer ensures me that both they and their partners  have taken necessary precautions in order to continue work.

At the moment we’re expecting delivery of Lucifer and the Child to be towards the end of April; I’ll get them into the post for you as soon as I can after that. Of course, should anything change, or if you have any questions, please drop me a line.

Until then, do look after yourselves and let me know if there’s anything else you need.

Kind regards,