Five Simple Steps: A New Chapter

A month ago today, I announced that I'd become an employee again as Mark Boulton Design Ltd had been acquired by Monotype. Five Simple Steps wasn't part of the deal. We delivered the news of the closure of Five Simple Steps with heavy hearts. Our friends and industry peers were thrilled for us but the closure of our little publishing business was met with some shock and sadness.

Step forward Craig Lockwood and Amie Duggan, the clever couple behind Handheld Conf, Besquare, Foundershub and later this year, the Web Is. As of Tuesday the 6th May, I'm delighted to say that Craig and Amie are the new owners of Five Simple Steps. Mark and I are thrilled that Craig and Amie are taking over the company. They see the value in the brand and the catalogue of books we have developed and want like to grow and develop the business in ways we would never have been able to.

Mark has talked about some of the business and personal reasons why we could no longer run Five Simple Steps on his blog. We loved what we built but it had become unsustainable. Since the announcement, it's been a tough few weeks working through the transition between old and new. It feels like I've been going through the breakdown of a relationship! The range of emotions I've experienced have been extreme. This wasn't entirely unexpected but hard none the less. It's also been difficult for our team to go through this - this decision was made by Mark and I but they have had to deal with the fall out. They have all been amazing and kept up their professionalism throughout.

At first, we continued to try to find a resolution for Five Simple Steps as a whole that suited each author individually. When that didn't seem possible, we worked hard to support our authors, to help them find a way forward and provide all the necessary information and assets they needed to continue selling their books elsewhere. The major sticking point was the physical stock. No-one wanted a pallet of books turning up on their doorstep. Another sticking point was the lack of cohesion. Despite the authors coming together and supporting each other, there was no place for all the books to exist together anymore. The wonderful thing we'd built was falling apart.

Craig and Amie's proposal came at the perfect moment and just felt right. After a lengthy discussion it was clear we all had the same vision for Five Simple Steps. The decision made itself. Finally, I felt like celebrating! It was going to be ok.

Mark and I are really excited that Five Simple Steps is going to still be alive and kicking and helping web designers everywhere to make great things online. I want to thank our customers everywhere for being part of the first 5 years of Five Simple Steps and I sincerely hope you'll join the next part of Five Simple Steps's journey. We can't wait to see where it goes.

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