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 of whom 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 (and other fan creators) to publish their original works. As such, we only work with fanfiction authors (and other people who started creating in fandom). 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? What about unagented submissions?

No, and if you send them, we’ll be peeved. Repeat offenders may be permanently banned from working with us. No one who works with us is required to have an agent, and to the best of my knowledge no one who works with us does have an agent.

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 applications, 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 and artists are selected for our anthologies, they are paid a flat fee for their work, and authors and artist who publish their individual works with us are paid flat fees and/or royalties, depending on the project. Likewise, editors are paid by the story, 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.

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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 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.

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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, produce your art, etc., 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, you can. There’s a form to fill out, linked in our server, and then…you write/art/create, we prepare and publish and run crowdfunding campaigns as appropriate and all that jazz, 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?

Yes, potentially. It depends what you’re looking for. We do not offer consulting as a Press, but some people we work with also do commission work on the side. Feel free to drop us an e-mail, I can ask around.

How are authors paid? What about other creators?

Anthology contributors are paid a flat rate equal to “the longest a story can be, at one sent a word.” So, if the maximum length for a work in an anthology is 5,000 words, we pay everyone a flat rate of $50. If the length restriction is 7,500 words, we pay everyone $75. Et cetera. Increasingly, we are modifying our contract terms such that anthology contributors also receive royalties on sales of the anthology made after our initial print run sells out.

Authors who publish stand-alone short stories, novellas, and novels with us are either flat rates, royalties, or both, depending on the specific project and the contract terms; we try to offer royalties whenever possible.

We are currently paying royalties between 50% and 75% of net sales on single-author e-books and print books, and artists often have subsequent payments depending on merchandise sales and anthology sales.

For individual projects, we often negotiate the final rates with the creators, trying to find a price that meets their needs and ours.

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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 many of our longer projects (some anthologies, novellas, and novels) are available through major retailers and many libraries, and we also are able to offer print-on-demand of a small number of our projects through several retailers.

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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 application call are met, and the works fit under the broad umbrella of being fanfiction, you can apply. Likewise for fanartists, plus we don’t have requirements on the media type(s) that the fanartist prefers to work in.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Yep! Several of our books are available through print-on-demand retailers (though not all our books, and not through our website, you’ll have to order through a third party such as Barnes and Noble). And yes, when possible we offer print books on our website.

We do not do any third-party print-on-demand, as in, you can’t come to us with your book and ask us to print it. We’re a publisher, not a printer.

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How do you price stories and books? Are print books priced the same?

In the interest of transparency and fairness, we’ve standardized how we price ebooks, 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.

Our prices for print books are not standardized and depend on the project, printing prices and paper costs, the length of the work, etc.

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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 books and merchandise we offer through our website!

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 (well, we do need legal name and address for contracts, but those are strictly confidential), 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. So far, we have only published fiction.

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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.

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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’d like to, but thus far have not been able to put together a model that will work with the tools available to us. It’s definitely on the DPP bucket list, though.

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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 private Discord (for those who have access) or e-mail works best. Tumblr ask box is also a good way. You can also join our Book Lover’s Discord and ask us there!

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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
  • 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, contributing suggestions to rec lists, 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
  • Podficcing/audiobook creation
  • Podcasting 
  • Sharing reviews of our works, when you’ve read them

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.