As I was putting together my blog post about what books we were most looking forward to in 2015, something pretty significant occurred to me. 2015 is, by quite a significant stretch, the best year for customer-suggested titles making it through to publication. Partly this is because our initial tests over the last few years (Chaco War, Brazilian Expeditionary Force etc) worked - allowing us to pull more and more test products into our publishing plans. But just where are we overall in terms of the books commissioned vs the books suggested and voted for through the book vote, book suggestion dropbox and our filling the gaps blogs? Well lets have a look!
Vote winner: A-10 Units in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commissioned: COM 98 A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom 2002-07 and COM 111 A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation Enduring Freedom Part 2 2008-14 (Out in August 2015)
Also featured and commissioned: COM 96 Pe-2 Guards Units of World War 2 and COM 91 and COM 100 on the He 111.
Vote Runner Up: MAA 466 Armies of the Balkan Wars 1912-13
Vote Winner: CAM 269 Alesia 52 BC
Vote Winner: A new New Vanguard title on the Jagdpanther won this vote, and although we are yet to cover this subject in NVG again, it did appear as a Duel title in 2014,Jagdpanther vs SU-100
3rd placed book: Warrior 161 Tunnel Rat in Vietnam
Joint Second place: A title on Russia's Army between 1992 and 2007 performed very strongly in this month. Though we haven't covered that title yet, it has helped ELI 197 Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991 and the upcoming Elite title on Spetsnaz forces (June 2015) come to fruition.
3rd place in the book vote at the start of 2009 was: CAM 256 Fallen Timbers
Book vote winner: The big'un. The one that really started this all in earnest. With over 10,000 votes it is none other than MAA 465 Brazilian Expeditionary Force in World War II. Incidentally - it wasn't just the convincing us of the validity of the title which was sourced from within your ranks. We struggled to find an author for the book, until a couple of Brazilian journalists heard about our efforts from a customer and got in touch. The rest... as they say... is history.
Book vote winner: Elite 206 Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces (Out June 2015)
Also Commissioned: MAA 459 The Varangian Guard and WAR 168 French Musketeer 1622-1775. We were also encouraged to go ahead and commission the second book in the Imperial Armies of the Thirty Years War series before the sales of the first book had come in! These other titles placed second, third and fifth in the Book Vote, but all with pretty healthy numbers of votes (and it was one of the tightest run races we have ever run!)
Perhaps to balance out the excitement for the previous month, none of the titles that featured in the Essential Histories book vote have come to fruition - although one of the subjects is lined up as a Men-at-Arms in 2016, we just can't tell you what that is just yet...
Book Vote Winner: CAM 269 Alesia 52 BC - we were just double-checking the results of the previous book vote!
Also commissioned: MAA 477 Macedonian Armies after Alexander 323-168 BC owes much to the book suggestion that placed second in the book vote in May.
It may have only placed fourth in the overall vote results, but the November 2015 WAR 177 Rhodesian Light Infantryman was first mooted as a potential topic back in June 2009.
None of the Campaign titles that appeared in the July 09 book vote are yet to be get the Osprey series treatment, but the interest shown, particularly about the Eastern Front during WW1 did result in the commissioning of a series of General titles from Prit Buttar, which began with the publication of the brilliant Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914, which came out last year.
A Fortress series inspired book vote - but with the series going into hibernation for a couple of years we haven't yet had the opportunity to investigate these. But with Fortress making a triumphant return this year... who knows?
Commissioned: Another appearance for MAA 466 Armies of the Balkan Wars 1912-13 - but this month also contains the very much suggested MAA 474 The Chaco War 1932-35 - which actually only ended up coming third in the overall month's voting, but which, based on the number of book suggestions we were receiving was still put forward for publication.
Warrior was the subject of the October book vote back in 2009 - but none of the titles performed well enough to catch the eye - although a couple of the subjects are being lined up for an appearance in the Combat series late this year or in early 2016.
We saw a four-way dead heat in November 2009, with the four titles up for the book vote (not actually sure why we only ran 4 titles that month!) all coming in with a matter of a dozen or so votes between them. All of the titles in the month remain on our minds, but as of yet we haven't found a way to get them into a series - though a couple of similar subject matter titles are on the horizon, amd depending on how they perform the November titles may come through the system sooner, rather than later.
Combat aircraft to finish off December 2009 and another win for the A-10 Warthog. This month also featured the first ever appearance of the V-22 Osprey in our book vote. An Osprey on the Osprey is still a very tempting proposition, but probably not for another couple of years at least as their combat deployment has been relatively short to date.
Obviously we have had more time to get these books ready than most, but stay tuned for a 2010 and 2011 breakdown of which books have gone from book vote participants to books on the shelf!