I've been hinting for a long time that we wanted to create a Hypnos download store. For a variety of reasons, that hasn't happened. Maybe when I have a little more time,I'll go into some of the reasons why.
These reasons are mainly just a combination of being personally too busy to invest as much time as required, complicated by having selected a couple of software solutions which seemed like the best choice at the time, but included unanticipated hurdles to getting a story fully up and running.
It's been SO CLOSE to happening on several occasions, only to have to regroup, deal with upgrades or software discontinuations, and start over. Once I was just about ready to open the store to beta testing... just waiting to solve ONE more little glitch. I even left the test store "open," and was surprised when a few people found links via Google, even though the store wasn't officially open, and managed to purchase downloads and receive them successfully.
I now believe I have a solution that will work. It's not fully ready to go, but the aspects which seemed most potentially glitchy in other software (payment gateway stuff in particular) seems not to be an issue at all with this new application.
Another consideration is our existing Hypnos Online Store. It's served us well -- we've been using the same Miva Merchant software, though upgrading versions along the way, for almost 15 years! -- but the software is increasingly expensive and the functionality of it simply hasn't stayed with the times. It's perfectly serviceable, and it's allowed us to sell many thousands of orders to our customers, but lacks certain features (or they're available only as extremely expensive add-ons) and it's difficult to modify the store's appearance.
For this reason, not only are we working on a new download store, but the plan also includes gradually moving all our CD sales to the same new storefront. Because we have many hundreds of CDs in our inventory, and we'll have to move all these over to the new store, it's time for the biggest "moving sale" we've ever had. No, we're not physically moving our operation. I guess we're "virtually" moving.
We're going to start a huge sale on the Hypnos store, with the goal of blowing out about 1/3 of our non-Hypnos titles. This will include two kinds of discounts.
1. Price reductions, some of which will be "while they last" closeouts, and some of which will be temporary until the store migration
2. Coupon codes applicable to anything and everything, including Hypnos items, new releases, and items already on sale
This sale will be ongoing until we have migrated to the new store, but it will go through several phases. We'll have some coupon codes that are valid as long as the existing Hypnos store is in operation, and other coupon specials that last only for certain durations, or for a certain number of uses (so you'll have to compete against each other to use these codes before someone else does).
When the download store is functional, I'll do a "soft open" with a small number of items for sale, and ask people to help out with test orders with big discounts. Then we'll gradually shift inventory over from the existing Hypnos store, running both stores in parallel, until we're ready to shut down the old Hypnos store.
Eventually, you'll have to visit the new SoundSwim store to purchase Hypnos CDs or downloads. The next phase after this will be the sales of non-Hypnos downloads. It's our hope to make the SoundSwim store as important an ambient music destination in the digital era as the Hypnos Online Store has been in the era of compact discs.
If you're a fan of CDs, don't worry. This remains our primary focus, and we don't expect to stop offering CDs any time soon. You'll find we're producing smaller editions, but there will always be a reasonable number available to avoid issues of artificial scarcity, editions selling out on day 1, that sort of thing.
I welcome questions and suggestions. More than that, we welcome your orders! Coupon codes coming soon. After that, category-by-category price reductions. In case it wasn't clear above, you'll be able to "stack" the coupon code discounts on top of the price reductions, and get some really ridiculous prices.
Thanks, everyone, for all your support of Hypnos over the years. We're still going strong, and expect to be healthier than ever after this evolution.