Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to go to a number of events with Osprey, where we get the chance to meet with the people who buy our books. It is always great fun to meet up with everyone, hear what they think of our books, pick up some ideas of what people would like us to publish books on in the future, and find out what is bugging our readers.
There is one thing that crops up from time to time. In a few of our series there are certain book numbers that are missing - Elite 99 and 100 are prime examples of this. Elite 99 Warrior Women of Northern Europe was commissioned about 8 years ago, but was never published (which I have to say is a bit of a relief!). Campaign 144 is also missing as is CAM 171 and a couple of aviation titles like the long awaited COM 63 Aichi Val Units.
These gaps are because the books that were meant to slip into these positions simply never happened. Sometimes the author was unable to complete the book, sometimes (as with the Warrior Women book) there simply is not enough information to create a credible account. And sometimes we are hoping that the book will arrive...eventually.
Over the last few years some of the Osprey team have been on a crusade to replace these books. We understand that some people collect our series books, and that having an unbroken list of numbers on their shelf is essential to their collection. So we have been campaigning for these numbers to be re-allocated to new books, to fill that gap in the list. Elite 100 World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics is the first of these gap filling books - published this year, but numbered like a 2003 book!
Now we just need to work on filling all of those other gaps - it may take a while but we will get there in the end!