What is Duck Prints Press?

Duck Prints Press is a small press independent publisher that works with fancreators to put their original works into print. We work with authors, artists, graphic designers, and others, all who have their roots in fandom.

Are you only open to fanfiction authors? What if I don’t write fanfiction?

Our vision—our goal—our niche in the huge world of publishing is that we work with fanfiction authors to publish their original works. As such, we only work with fanfiction authors. If you don’t write fanfiction, we’re not the Press for you; here is a list of other small presses focused works by queer authors about queer characters: https://blog.reedsy.com/lgbt-publishers/.

Where are you based?

We are based in Schenectady, New York, USA. We have contributors from around the world and sell our publications internationally.

Do you take unsolicited manuscripts?

No, and if you send them, we’ll be peeved. Repeat offenders may be permanently banned from working with us.

Are you a vanity press?

No. A vanity press takes payment from an author and, in exchange, publishes their work. That is not how we operate. Authors cannot get an “in” by paying us, nor by supporting our projects, purchasing works we sell, buying us ko-fis, or backing our Patreon. When we open submissions for publications, the work of applicants are reviewed “blind,” and no preference in selection is given to people who offer us payment or back us (in fact, trying to bribe us would result in us banning the offender). When authors are selected for our anthologies, they are paid for their work by the word, and authors who publish their individual works with us are paid royalties. Likewise, artists are paid by the piece, consultants by the hour, graphic designers (usually) by the project, etc. We are not a “pay to play” Press, hence: we are not a vanity press.

I’m an author or artist—how do I work with you?

If you want to get involved with Duck Prints Press, keep your eyes open for when we put out calls for authors and artists, and apply to work with us then! We recommend signing up for our mailing list so you don’t miss a chance.

Transparent Duck Print: Yellow

I’m not 18 yet but I’d like to get involved. What are my options?

While we’re not able to work with individuals under 18 for multiple reasons, we absolutely do want to encourage young writers. When you do turn 18, you’re immediately eligible and we’d love to hear from you. As such, we recommend that you follow one (or more) of our social media accounts and/or sign up for our mailing list (you can find all our social media and our mailing list sign up on our Contacts Page). And keep writing! You’ll only improve in the meantime. We know how hard it is to wait, but don’t worry – when the time comes, we’ll still be here, and you’ll be ready.

Transparent Duck Print: White

Can I use “AI” generators such as ChatGPT as part of my Duck Prints Press application or publications?

Flat out, if you use use so-called AI to write your document, and we catch you, you will be permanently banned from working with us. Small usages of AI such as GoogleDoc editing suggestions are permitted.

Once we’re in one Duck Prints Press anthology, what will be the process to be included in another in the future?

Once you’ve completed one story with us, from pitch to final edit, if you want to do more with us, you can. There’s a form to fill out, linked in our server, and then…you write, we edit and publish, everyone wins!

Can I hire someone from Duck Prints Press to help me with editing, art, manuscript formatting, beta-reading, or other writing-related services?

At the moment, no, but we are hoping to be able to offer at least some of these services at hourly and/or by-the-project rates in the future. This is separate from publishing with us: hourly/per-project rates are for individuals who don’t wish to publish their novel under our imprint—whether their goal is to self-publish or to work with another press or agent. Those who publish under our imprint don’t pay for editing, formatting, or other parts of the publishing process. Duck Prints Press is paid for our part of bringing the novel to market when we take our share of the sales price.

How are authors paid? What about other creators?

Anthology contributors are paid by the word. Authors who publish stand-alone short stories, novellas, and novels with us are paid royalties on sales of the story. We’re not currently paying royalties to anthology contributors because of the accounting acrobatics required (we expect to do our first anthology including royalties in early 2024), and we’re not able at this time to pay an up-front amount for a novel or other work because we don’t yet have the capital. We are currently paying royalties of 75% of net sales on single-author e-books and print books.

Artists, graphic designers, editors, and others we work with are paid by the project, with rates negotiated and agreed upon up front.

Transparent Duck Print: Brown

Where are books produced by Duck Prints Press available?

Print books are currently only available to backers of our crowdsourcing campaigns. E-books are for sale in our web store. E-books of our anthologies and the novella To Drive the Hundred Miles are also available through many vendors (such as Barnes and Noble and Kobo) and library reading programs (such as Hoopla).

Transparent Duck Print: Orange

I’m interested in applying to one of your anthologies—does it matter what type of fanworks I’ve created or what fandoms I’ve created for?

No. When we put out calls for submissions, we welcome all fanwork creators regardless of what fandom, ship, or type of fanfiction they’ve written. Poetry, twitfics, song fics, self-inserts, and other types of fanwork also all qualify. As long as the minimum requirements outlined in the submission call are met, and the works fit under the broad umbrella of being fanfiction, you can apply. 

Transparent Duck Print: Red

How often does Duck Prints Press publish anthologies?

We put out approximately one anthology per quarter, and we’re currently aiming for 3 to 5 anthologies per year.

Transparent Duck Print: Purple

What types of original works does Duck Prints Press publish?

We’ll publish virtually anything our accepted authors want to publish, but we’re currently focused on fiction, and we prefer queer fiction. For art projects, similarly, we’re open to any project an accepted artist chooses to pitch.

Transparent Duck Print: Blue

What eBook formats do you offer?

We offer all works in PDF and ePub. If there proves to be a demand for other formats, we would consider expanding our offerings.

Do you offer print-on-demand services? Do you sell print books through your website?

At this time, no. Print copies of our anthologies and other projects are only be available to backers of our crowdfunding campaigns. We may have a few extra copies that we retain for giveaways and/or rewards, but otherwise, if you want a print copy you’ll need to purchase one through our campaigns when they run.

Transparent Duck Print: Yellow

How do you price stories and books?

In the interest of transparency and fairness, we’ve standardized how we price books, as follows (all prices are in US dollars):

  • Drabbles, micro-fiction and flash-fiction (up to 1,000 words): only published for monthly backers on Patreon and ko-fi; available free to all backers at the $5 level or higher. (Authors still receive payment/royalties as per their contracts, paid at the contracted rate as if the story is being sold for 25 cents per buyer.)
  • (Very) short stories (1,001 to 3,000 words): 99 cents
  • Short stories (3,001 to 10,000 words): $1.99
  • Novelettes (10,001 to 20,000 words): $2.99
  • Novellas (20,001 to 50,000 words): $4.99
  • Novels (50,001 to 100,000 words): $7.99
  • (Long) Novels (100,001 to 150,000 words): $9.99
  • Epics (150,001 words to 200,000 words): $11.99
  • (Even longer) epics: add $2 per 50,000 words.

In addition to these base prices, for novellas, novels, and epics, the price is $1 higher for the first three months of it’s release—a premium for earlier access, before the story reverts to our standard pricing scale. So, a new release novella would be $5.99, a new release novel $8.99 or more, etc.

Note 1: introductory price rates do not apply to titles that have been previously Kickstarted.

Note 2: works that include full-page illustrations, such as our Queer Fanworks Inspired By… anthologies, are NOT priced according to the above scale.

Transparent Duck Print: White

Do you ship physical books and merchandise internationally?

We absolutely ship anywhere in the world! You can see how much it costs to ship to your location by initiating your order. Small, flat things we can often ship for just the price of a stamp!

This all sounds like an amazing idea and I want to help support you, but I’ve already bought your available books and/or they don’t interest me—is there another way I can fiscally support you?

Yes! You can buy us a ko-fi, back us on Patreon, or buy the merchandise we offer through our website! Visit us on those sites to learn more about what rewards we can offer to people who support us.

Are you affiliated with Carnation Books? How about with Big Bang Press?

We’re not affiliated with any other small presses at this time, though we have growing positive relationships with some. If small presses that work with fanfiction authors on publishing original fiction sounds like something you’d like to support, you could check Carnation Books out, too! And Big Bang Press is…something…but no, we have no relationship with the people who were involved in that project.

Do I need to be LGBTQIA+ to work with Duck Prints Press?

You need to be a creator to work with Duck Prints Press. That’s the only requirement, because to have any more specific requirement would potentially force people to out themselves and that’s the last thing we want. Whoever you are, if you’re interested with working with us, you are welcome, so please consider applying to one of our anthologies next time we put out a call! You never need to disclose anything about yourself that you’d prefer to keep private, and – should you become a creator working with us – we will only ever publicly share information you authorize.

Transparent Duck Print: Brown

What is Duck Prints Press’s stance on the #ownvoices tag?

We don’t use #ownvoices, ever, because what was created as a tag to help highlight creators speaking on their own experiences became a bludgeon to bully people and force them to out themselves. We say publicly that we primarily aim to work with LGBTQIA+ authors to publish LGBTQIA+ stories, but we don’t actually require that our creators be any form of queer, nor do their stories/artwork/creations have to feature LGBTQIA+ characters or themes. No one ever has to disclose more about their identity than they wish to, nor does anyone have to use a real name (outside of contracts, which are of course not shared), link any social media accounts, etc. – since we only share the info our creators explicitly want shared, they can publicize as much or as little as they’d like to about themselves – then can go “full public” and use their actual name to write, share all their social media, etc., or they can deny the public access to them beyond a pen name, or anything in between. We use this approach to protect creators and make sure no one will be forced to out themselves, and while the Press is primarily aimed at LGBTQIA+ themes, we’ll of course apply the same approach to other aspects of author identity – race, ethnicity, religion, etc. In all respects, the creators themselves choose how much to disclose, and we will never share anything beyond what they’ve authorized.

Our views on the #ownvoices tag were primarily formed based on this blog post from We Need Diverse Books.

All that said, since we’re so explicitly a queer-focused Press, there’s always a danger that people will assume our creators are some flavor of queer whether they are or not, but we really can’t help what other people assume, and we never explicitly say that creators MUST be queer (nor do we require it privately – we have worked with creators who aren’t queer). If you’re ever wondering about a specific creator, we encourage you to check out our various author biography pages for our anthologies and the Press as a whole, and see what the creators have, and have not, chosen to share!

Transparent Duck Print: Orange

Have you considered publishing academic writing?

Yes, we have considered it! Our ability to do so will largely depend on what type of academic writing an author is proposing and if we can get people qualified to edit it. Also, depending on what the specific genre is, there are potentially fact-checking, ethical, and insurance concerns. Genres that require less fact-checking (such as memoirs) will be easier for us to offer than (for example) a hard-science or history work.

Transparent Duck Print: Red

 Are you planning to distribute through Amazon in any way, even just for ebooks?

We’re really trying to avoid Amazon for multiple reasons. We can’t, in good conscience, do anything that will put money in Bezo’s pocket. From an internal standpoint, selling through Amazon also puts us in a really annoying accounting position functioning as a “pass through” – if the Press lists books there on behalf of an author, we’ll have to handle taking in the money and then paying it forward to authors.

But, flip side, we know it really hobbles our authors, and we don’t want people to feel they must take a pay-cut/reduce their personal exposure just to publish with us.

Flip side, flip side, if I give authors permission to list there independently, when Duck Prints Press has paid for the art, editing, typesetting, etc., we could end up getting virtually no return on our investment. It’s really complicated, basically, and we had multiple long discussions about it when we were doing development in winter 2021, the conclusion of which was that we’d really rather not. We’d potentially be open to listing on other, non-Amazon websites such as Smashwords? Because at least they’re not evil. But, evidence also shows, sales are not much better there. Amazon is the juggernaut, and everyone else is peanuts in this market at the moment.

I’d say, tentatively, without having yet checked this with the team, that if someone really wanted the freedom to use Amazon for their work, I’d encourage them to take the self-publishing route. We have a consulting price list; if an author involved in the Press wants to self-publish, being involved in the Press does also open up access to resources that would facilitate hiring creators to do the cover, handle the typesetting, etc. We wouldn’t be publishing the book, so we wouldn’t be paying for the artwork, etc., on the author’s behalf; the author would have to pay for everything (unlike when someone publishes with us; we pay for everything in those instances).

As a side note, authors are welcome and encouraged to diversify how they publish. An author who works with us doesn’t have to publish all their work with us – they can self-publish some, do some with other Press’s, etc. The extent to which creators working with Duck Prints Press choose to involve themselves in the Press is up to them; we’re not here to control anyone or force their output into a certain pathway – we’re here to help creators foster their careers and get paid for their creations.

Transparent Duck Print: Purple

Why did you stop using Twitter?

No one thing led us to discontinue our usage of Twitter, but rather it was a very clear-cut case of “too many straws breaking the camel’s back.” The final straw was Elon Musk announcing his intention to use tweets to train a new AI engine, but we were already close to leaving as a result of his transphobic behavior, his mismanagement, his platforming of hate, and many other outrages. We’re sorry to leave a platform that once was so important an equalizer for giving voice to the marginalized, but Musk has made it clear that organizations like ours no longer belong there.

Transparent Duck Print: Blue

Do you publish straight/heterosexual romance works?

Yes. No one is required to be queer – not our creators, not our management team, and not the characters in the works people create. If a creator involved with us wants to make it, and wants us to sell it, we will sell it.

Transparent Duck Print: Green

Has Duck Prints Press considered creating/implementing a serialization model for publishing original fiction?

We’re working on it! Give us about a year? We’re aiming to launch a serialization model of some sort by then end of 2024.

Transparent Duck Print: Yellow

How do you prefer to be contacted with questions, comments, ideas, etc.?

For questions, the #ask-a-mod channel in our Discord (for those who have access) or e-mail works best. Tumblr ask box is also a good way.

Transparent Duck Print: White

I’m already involved in Duck Prints Press, and I’m interested in getting more involved. How should I indicate that interest? What are some roles that I might be able to take on to help out?

Your best way to indicate interest is to send me a DM on Discord, as we mostly run the social/communication aspects of the Press through Discord. Here’s a list of ways we know people can help out. These are surely not all of the ways that someone could help, but they’re the ones we’ve thought of so far.

  • Alphaing/betaing/sensitivity reading
  • Editing
  • Meta-data development and organization (such as tagging/tag wrangling, categorization, file organization, etc.)
  • Mentoring new people who join the Press
  • Creating and/or moderating fandom and non-fandom events for DPP, such as May Trope Mayhem, a Pride event, other LGBTQIA+ day/week events, etc.
  • Discord moderation
  • adding to events and calls-for-submissions 
  • Doing Q&As, live streams, and similar “Fan interaction events
  • Blogging/social media (such as creating/writing blog posts, helping run or running a social media account, contributing photographs or other materials to one or more of our accounts, etc.)
  • Art creation (either for books or for promotional graphics, merch, etc. – this would include graphic creation, sculpture, photography, etc.)
  • Writing (obviously)
  • Merchandise development and design
  • Contributing Kickstarter extras
  • Graphic design
  • Budget writing and development
  • Marketing
  • Networking (such as building relationships with other queer publishers, outreaching to book bloggers, etc.)
  • Web design
  • Selling Your Stuff through our website
  • Video production
  • Book reviewing (we’ve been considering expanding into some kind of book reviewing but I remain on the fence, as I have since the beginning) and/or creation of themed lists (“5 Queer Books about X” kind of stuff)
  • Podficcing/audiobook creation
  • Podcasting 

That said, if you have other skills you think might be relevant, we’d love to hear from you!

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Feel free to drop us an ask on Tumblr, DM us on Twitter, or e-mail us.