Something for the weekend: our new ebook store opens

by Diane Duane
Screengrab of new ebookshop front page at

ETA, May 31, 1315 UTC: Due to our Shopify facility inadvertently being set for the wrong time zone, the 20% discount offer described below terminated too early. So we’ve reset it and extended the offer to last until 0001 Pacific time on June 1. Sorry for the mix-up!


Okay, so it’s a “soft opening.”

Those of you who’ve been following the do-it-yourself-ebook-publishing saga here will know that for the past six months or so, Lee the Tech Lady and I have been in a more or less constant battle of wits with the Zen Cart software we installed at the turn of the year. After a while it became obvious to both of us (and also, tangentially, to Peter, who had to watch me wandering around tearing my hair and muttering) that Zen Cart was winning. This is not good. Software should not get in the way of what you’re trying to do. And software should definitely not make you feel stupid.

But things have taken a better turn. We found out about Shopify, and it took me very little time to realize that this was what we needed. It’s taken a week or so to set up the new store, but it’s been a relatively pain-free week — in the same way that putting a BandAid on a scratch compares favorably to brain surgery (which dealing with Zen Cart often resembled).

So here’s the new store’s address:

It’s not yet in its final state — we have some design issues we’re still dealing with — but it looks OK, and all the products are in place. And we have a few opening-day specials for those of you who enjoy such things.

First of all, for those of you who’d like to help us test out our shopping cart to make sure that it works with real money (not that I have any serious doubts in this case, but you never know…), we’ve made available as a standalone purchase the very very short story “The Rizzoli Bag”, which has been used to test our cart before. This will cost you USD $0.05, aka Five Cents or even a Nickel (call it 3p Sterling). And also available as a standalone again (as it was during St. Patrick’s Day week) is the much longer short story “Herself,” which we’re offering for USD $0.99 or ninety-nine cents.

Finally, should anything else in the store take your fancy — such as the Young Wizards International editions (for readers outside the US and Canada only) or the ebook versions of the Door Into… series, for this weekend only we’re offering you a 20% discount for purchases of USD$10.00 or more. This offer runs out on May 31st, but you can use it two times between now and then. Just quote the coupon code somethingweekend at checkout.

Young Wizards fans may also want to visit the page with details about the new revised Millennium Editions of books 1-4 — the first cover rough/template is up. (No art yet: that’ll be along in June.)

ETA: Due to a couple of incorrect settings at the store, the first few orders had to be hand-approved after payment was made. Since then we’ve changed the settings so that authorization, payment and order fulfillment (meaning the link to your file being emailed to you) should all happen automatically. Sorry about the hiccup.

As regards the old store: we won’t be closing it just yet, but we’ll be freezing it so that no new orders can be placed there; and we’ve removed its link from the site and the site. As soon as all present order issues with the Zen Cart store are complete, we’ll send out one final email to the old store’s users with the new shop’s address so that they can get re-download links from the new Shopify facility if they need them.)

Anyway, thanks, everybody! And those of you who’ve seen this posting via Twitter, please feel free to retweet it if you have a mind.

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