[Alopex] Finally, after many late nights and working weekends, Sofawolf Press has survived not only Anthrocon and the release of six new products, but also the launch of our new website! Both have had their hiccups, but we have survived and look forward to the future.
Anthrocon started with our usual 2-day drive from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh, accompanied by our Booth Beagle, Tempe O'Kun. As has become the norm, the con for us was little more than attending the booth in the dealers' den all day, then dinner with friends and crashing early enough to start again in the morning. It was tiring but rewarding, and sales were pretty good, buoyed by a half-dozen new products and the braying of our Beagle. We had a bit of extra excitement the last day when our minivan failed to start — a tale to long to tell here! The short version is that we eventually succeeded in getting our stuff out of the dealers' den, and in starting the car the next day, thanks to help and advice from Blotch, Kevin, Nightfox, an anonymous Dorsai, and the helpful hotel valet attendants.
All at the same time, I had been madly working to get the new website into a state where we could launch it prior to today's big release of all our new products. I'd hoped for a few more days to get things settled in, but we only managed one day. Fortunately, it turned out to be just enough time to get everything working sufficiently — nothing has failed bad enough that we're considering reverting to the old system, so forward we go into the future! The new site still has its share of bugs and room for improvement, but nothing big enough to hold us back. I'm very relieved to have finally reached this milestone, after having been working on this project for over a year.
New Website: We're still at www.sofawolf.com, but with a fresh new look by Kamui, and a totally new content management system (CMS) under the hood...all but the commerce portion that you use to actually purchase products. Our goal is to eventually roll everything into the new content management system, but that will take a bit more effort on my part. We're using an open source product that is not quite up to our needs when it comes to handling the fulfillment process (processing orders and printing shipping labels), nor managing inventory, so my next big goal is to contribute to the open source project to make it into the type of business site that we need. This is the same CMS I use for my day job, so I'm familiar with it, and I look forward to doing some significant work to contribute back to the project.
New Products — General Audience:
We released three graphic novels at Anthrocon, the new Nordguard volume, Across Thin Ice by Blotch; the final Digger, Volume #6, by Ursula Vernon; and the final I.S.O., Volume #2 by Vince Suzukawa. We also released a great new T-shirt design, created by Blotch in conjunction with their Nordguard release. Sizes are available from small to 3XL.
New Products — Mature Audience:
Tempe O'Kun, who was first published by Sofawolf in Heat #7, released his novel Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny, a straight western crossdressing romance. Not to be missed! And finally, Heat #8 appeared on its usual summer schedule with a new round of creative explorations of love and romance of all orientations.
So please give our new website a look and let us know what you think! We're keeping a list of bugs and suggestions for improvements, which you can report to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!