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What is Duck Prints Press?

Duck Prints Press is a small press independent publisher that works with fanfiction authors to put their original stories into print.

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.

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—how do I work with you?

Duck Prints Press is starting small by taking applications from fanauthors to contribute to anthologies, and we will initially only be working with authors who are involved in our anthologies and those who apply, aren’t selected, but who we choose to invite in. Once stories for an anthology are completed, if we’ve had a positive experience with an author, we will approach them about their interest in participating in future Duck Prints Press projects, and if they wish to, we’ll form an agreement and proceed from there. At the moment, the only way to become a Duck Prints Press author is to apply to be a contributor in one of our anthologies.

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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). Also, we’d love to hear from you on some of our smaller events—for example, we host #drabbledaysaturday weekly on our Twitter, and there’s no age restriction on that, and we often put out calls for writing questions and such on our Tumblr. 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.

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

This is a really good question, and one we don’t have a solid answer to yet. Right now, we’re focused on producing our anthologies and making them as good as we can. For authors who have published in our anthologies and chosen to continue working with us, we reserve “returner” slots for authors who’ve previously written with us.

In the next six months, we also anticipate initiating discussion with our cadre of authors—there are nearly 100 writers involved with the Press at this point—about publishing their original work. Until we see how much interest there is, we can’t say for sure what the process will be for choosing which manuscripts we prioritize, but ultimately we hope to be able to accommodate anyone and everyone who is established with the Press and wants to publish more (we only can’t quite yet because we’re still building our editorial staff). What will we publish? Anything from a drabble-a-day to the epic multi-novel series of your dreams—or non-fiction (within limited parameters, at least at the moment), or poetry, or children’s books, or, or, or. We’re a multi-genre publisher. Once authors join us, our base premise is we want to publish what you want to write. Once you’re in Duck Prints Press, you’ll definitely have opportunities to publish with us.

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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.

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How are authors paid?

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 able to pay royalties to anthology contributors, because of the accounting acrobatics required, 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 not able to publish novels at the moment, but when we start doing so, we hope to be able to pay authors between 80% and 90% of the cover price. Exactly how much we’ll be able to pay can’t be projected because it depends on budgetary factors we can’t be predicted until we see how we grow over the next six months to year. (For comparison, most self-publishing platforms pay 70% to 75%).

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Where will books produced by Duck Prints Press be available?

Print books are currently only available to backers of our crowdsourcing campaigns. E-books are for sale in our web store.

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I’m a different type of creator, such as an artist, and I’m interested in getting involved. How can I work with you?

Right now, you can’t. Ultimately, we hope to be able to recruit other types of creators and to publish art books, audio books, and a range of types of media. However, at the moment, this is beyond our capacity. We’ll be outreaching to individuals we know and who have the skills required. We appreciate your interest, and we hope in the future we’ll be able to work with you! Feel free to follow one of our social media accounts so that when we are ready, you’ll be among the first to know!

Find us on…

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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. 

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How often does Duck Prints Press publish anthologies?

We’re still too young of a company to have a “regular” schedule, but we can say that in 2022 we anticipate putting out four anthologies: And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, the paired anthologies She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, and an untitled project that we are still in the planning stages of.

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What types of original works does Duck Prints Press publish?

Currently, we are only doing narrow, targeted, fiction anthologies, and works by our founding staff. However, as we grow and as writers join Duck Prints Press as collaborative members, we will be publishing any works these individuals wish to publish any genre of fiction, including romance, literary fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, other genre works, erotica, and poetry. Works can be of any length, drabble through epic, and will be priced accordingly. We will also consider publishing non-fiction, if that’s a direction that our authors wish to go, though doing so right now is outside of our capacity.

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What eBook formats do you offer?

We offer all works in PDF, ePub and Mobi. 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.

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What forms of payment can you take?

Through our website, we are able to accept Paypal, Venmo, and the following credit cards: American Express, Discover Card, Diners Card, Mastercard, Visa, Click to Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Microsoft Pay. (We accept payments through Paypal, WooCommerce, and Stripe).

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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): $3.99
  • Novels (50,001 to 100,000 words): $4.99
  • (Long) Novels (100,001 to 150,000 words): $5.99
  • Epics (150,001 words to 200,000 words): $6.99
  • (Even longer) epics: add $1 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 $4.99, a new release novel $5.99, etc. This only applies if the book in question wasn’t previously crowdfunded.

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Do you ship physical books and merchandise internationally? How much does it cost?

We absolutely ship anywhere in the world! Our current international shipping rates are based solely on the merchandise listed on our website, as we’re not currently selling any physical books through the site, and shipping is handled separately for our crowdfunding campaigns. If you order only small, flat items (such as stickers, magnets, and/or bookmarks), the price is around $2 US to anywhere in the world. For the enamel pins, the rate is $13 US flat to Canada, $15 US flat to the EU, and $16 US flat to the rest of the world; you can add stickers, magnets, etc., to this order without increasing the price. Lastly, the mugs are $15 US flat to Canada, $16 US flat to the EU, and $30 US flat to Australia and New Zealand, and $25 flat to the rest of the world, and again, you can add pins and flat merchandise to your mug order without increasing the price.

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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, buy the merchandise we offer through our website, or buy other merchandise on RedBubble! Visit us on those sites to learn more about what rewards we can offer to people who support us.

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

No, we’re not, though they have a similar mission to us. If supporting 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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

We’ve considered it, but turning that consideration into a reality is, by and large, outside of our current capacity. The team has batted around a few ideas for ways to do serialized webnovels. The challenge is how to set up a website to do it effectively. What I’d love to do is to create a platform actually designed for that (for example, something like Jinjiang Literature City), but that’d require a huge investment of capital and time and is probably just enough outside what we usually do for it to not make sense for us to go that direction at this time. What we do think we can do, is publish by-the-chapter and/or by-the-short-story. Think similar to the way Series are structured on Archive of Our Own. And, once there’s a full collection, there’d be potential for compiling the shorter works into a novel/anthology and then more “formally” publishing that.

Alternatively, there are ways to do serialized fiction through Patreon/ko-fi, and that’s another direction we’ve considered.

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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.

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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!

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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.