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Pride Story Bundles to Benefit Charity

A banner with a faded-out background of rainbow pride-flag-esque stripes. Text reads, "Read Queer Stories, Support Queer Causes with Duck Prints Press." It includes the Duck Prints Press logo, with the name of the business, rainbow duck prints on the left and bottom sides, and a white duck standing beside the name, looking at the viewer. Beneath that is the Press slogan, "we print diversity."

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH, EVERYONE! We are thrilled to announce our second-annual Pride Bundles for Charity with two all-new short story bundles – 30 stories total! – that we are selling at a discount to raise money for our chosen queer charity!

Last year, our debut Pride bundles raised almost $350 for queer charities. This year, we’re back with a new General Imprint Bundle and a new Explicit Imprint Bundle, each discounted 20% from their list prices (and each including multiple stories that aren’t for sale and are usually only available to our backers on Patreon) and with 20% of the net profit going to Rainbow Railroad.

How This Works

  • you buy one or both bundles between now and July 8th, 2024.
  • we tally up all the proceeds earned and do some math-e-magic to figure out how much we’re donating!
  • before the end of July, we donate the raised money to Rainbow Railroad, we post the proof we’ve done so.
  • you get fantastic stories!
  • we all get that happy, glowy feeling of knowing that money has been well-spent on fantastic causes!

About the Press

Duck Prints Press is a queer-owned indie press, founded to publish original works by fancreators. We’ve been in operation for over 3 years, and in that time we’ve worked with well over 150 creators to publish six anthologies and almost 100 other stories, from shorts to novels, and we’ve got more on the works (our next anthology, our first erotica collection, will be crowdfunding within the next month!). The vast majority of our creators and their creations are queer/LGTBQIA+ (maybe even all, but we don’t out anyone and we don’t ask demography because, frankly, it’s none of our business).

25 of our authors have chosen to include their short stories in one or both of these short story bundles, and all our short story authors nominated potential charities and voted to select Rainbow Railroad as the beneficiary for our 2024 Pride Bundles.

About Rainbow Railroad

In countries around the world, LGBTQI+ people face violence and oppression simply because of who they love or who they are. Rainbow Railroad helps them get to safety! Rainbow Railroad is a global not-for-profit organization that helps at-risk LGBTQI+ people get to safety worldwide. Based in the United States and Canada, they’re an organization that helps LGBTQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. In a time when there are more displaced people than ever, LGBTQI+ people are uniquely vulnerable due to systemic, state-enabled homophobia and transphobia. These factors either displace them in their own country or prevent them from escaping harm. 

Note: This charity isnot affiliated with the Press, do not know we’re doing this fundraiser, have not endorsed this in anyway and are, as such, utterly uninvolved in this beyond being the beneficiaries of our efforts! Text is from the Rainbow Railroad website.

About the Bundles

We are offering two bundles, one with 18 short stories published under our General Imprint, the other containing 12 stories published under our Explicit Imprint. The shop listings include details about and excerpts from all the stories. Here’s the gist…

A graphic with a semi-opaque background of vertical rainbow stripes. Text on the graphic reads "Buy 18 General Imprint Stories, Support Rainbow Railroad! with Duck Prints Press." Beside the Press name are duck prints each a different rainbow color (on the left and bottom) and on the right is a white duck with orange beak and feet. This is the Duck Prints Press logo, and beneath it is the slogan "We Print Diversity."

Titles in the General Imprint Charity Bundle:

18 stories. 254 pages. 82,462 words of fiction!

Price: $22.50

Approximately 20% of the list price of this bundle will go to Rainbow Railroad.


Titles in the Explicit Imprint Charity Bundle:

12 stories. 198 pages. 69,550 words.

Price: $21.50

Approximately 20% of the list price of this bundle will go to Rainbow Railroad.

A graphic with a semi-opaque background of vertical rainbow stripes. Text on the graphic reads "Buy 12 Explicit Imprint Stories, Support Rainbow Railroad! with Duck Prints Press." Beside the Press name are duck prints each a different rainbow color (on the left and bottom) and on the right is a white duck with orange beak and feet. This is the Duck Prints Press logo, and beneath it is the slogan "We Print Diversity."

Come get some great stories, support a queer-owned business this Pride, and benefit two fantastic causes. Win-win-win situations don’t get much better than this!

These bundles will only be available for one month, so don’t miss out. Visit our webstore between now and July 8th and get yours!

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Upcoming Event: A Big Gay Market!

A graphic with a simple background in orange, blue, and purple. It's entitled "A Big Gay Market" followed by a heart with the colors of the Progress Pride Flag on it. Beside this, it reads "Next Market: Sunday, April 28th, Washington Park, Knox Street Mall, 11 AM - 3 PM. Rain Date: Sunday, May 5th." In the middle of the image is the Duck Prints Press logo - the business name, with a rainbow of duck prints on the left and bottom sides and the white dux mascot on the right. Beside this is a purple circle around a duck print with rainbow stripes. At the bottom of the graphic, in the lower left it reads "Our Beneficiary: Unirondack Queer Youth Advocacy Retreat" and "Current Sponsors: Gabriella Romero Democrat and Iovo." In the lower right, it says "Learn More Below: www.abiggaymarket.com."

This Sunday, April 28th, we’re thrilled to be among the 100+ vendors who will be selling their wares at Albany’s quarterly A Big Gay Market! We’ll be there with our latest books and merch, and all our old favorites, and a few new never-before-seen things too, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Washington Park on the Knox Street Mall in Albany. The forecast is looking gorgeous – high of 73, partial sun, chance of showers in the afternoon and evening. Definitely a day to wear sunscreen!

Even better? 10% of our net profits will be donated to Camp Unirondack!

So, if you’re anywhere near the Capital District of New York and are looking for an awesome opportunity to do some shopping, get some fabulous stuff, and support a great cause, make sure to come say hi (and claim your very own free tiny duck…)!

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Answered Asks: Publishing Without Using Amazon?

Cross-posted reply to an ask received on Tumblr.

hey, i’d like to just throw this out to you, since you’re a press so i have a feeling you might know. if i was seeking to publish a book but i didn’t want it to ever be sold through amazon, what would my options be?

I’m assuming you mean you’re interested in self-publishing? If yes, then yeah, I can give you at least some information about your options. 😀

If you don’t want to use Amazon, you definitely still have some options for self-publishing a book. I can sympathize with this sentiment; we hate Amazon and I’ve done what I can to keep our works off there (and, ultimately, failed, but still kept it to a minimum).

There’s two overarching questions you’ll need to consider when deciding how to proceed:

  • What formats are you selling? Are you doing e-book only or e-book + print or print book only? What about audiobooks? Which will influence your choices.
  • Are you mostly interested in direct sales (as in, you personally sell the book to the customer) or sales-through-an-intermediary (as in, a bookstore sells your book to a customer) or distribution (as in, you list the book with someone who acts as an intermediary between you and other vendors)?

As briefly as I can, first, here’s what Duck Prints Press uses:

  • Ingram – e-book (and, once we have one – we’re working on our first! – audiobook) distribution. Ingram is the biggest book distributor in the US and has a virtual monopoly on distribution. Even places that aren’t technically Ingram, such as draft2digital, usually use Ingram. Because they’re a near-monopoly, Ingram has a lot of ability to, well, screw people, and one way they’ve tried to screw people is they keep making it harder to get into their better services, pushing people to their much-less-supported service IngramSpark. I managed to get the Press grand-fathered in to Coresource, which is their e-book and audiobook distribution system, even tho we don’t meet the current minimums for number of titles for that product. I CAN’T get into Lightning Source, which is their better-supported print book distribution service, because we don’t have enough titles (we’d need 30, we currently have 10ish). If I wanted to use IngramSpark, I’d have to ditch Coresource, and I don’t want to do that because Coresource works great and has good customer support, and so I had to settle on a compromise I don’t love until we meet the minimums for Lightning Source – I use Coresource through Ingram for e-book distribution (and don’t distribute to Amazon), which is…
  • draft2digital – print book distribution. This was my work around for not losing Coresource in the name of getting Ingram print on demand (pod), and it came with a price: d2d doesn’t let me opt out of Amazon, much to my irritation. So the three titles we currently have pod on ARE on Amazon.
  • our webstore – e-book and print books, directly sold to the public. Our website lets people download e-books; I package print book orders made through the webstore myself and mail them myself.
  • in-person sales – I started vending at events last year; this year I’ll be doing about a dozen.

All of which goes to show, even trying to publish while avoiding the most evil places is really hard and a source of frustration. If anyone knows a good option for ethical publishing distribution, I’m honestly all ears. Competing with Ingram is extremely David vs. Goliath (see also the recent death of Small Press Distribution).

So: remembering that Amazon is easily the worst but that there’s still basically no ethical consumption or production under capitalism…

Ingram

Of the places I’m familiar with, the best-known option with the widest reach for self-publishing distribution is IngramSpark. As mentioned, I don’t use Spark, but Coresource lets me completely customize which of Ingram’s partners (vendors, wholesalers, libraries, etc.) I actually distribute with, and I’ve assumed that other Ingram products are the same. I believe IngramSpark is currently free per title; they get paid by charging fees per sale and because they get better listing deals with partners than an individual would get (like, Ingram might get charged x per title they list with, idk, Barnes and Noble, whereas you as an individual would get charged y, where y is larger than x, and Ingram pockets the difference).

I know a lot of people who use IngramSpark and my impression is that when it works, it works really well, but when it doesn’t, getting help/customer service can be a nightmare. Virtually everyone I know who has used them has stories about late titles, support taking a week+ to reply, that kind of thing. I believe they have an option to pay for better/more rapid responses from customer support, which I feel kinda tells you everything you need to know about IngramSpark.

Draft2Digital

Another option is draft2digital. They use the Ingram distribution network, but again they can do so cheaper than an individual can because of their bulk sales through Ingram. They also offer e-book, audiobook, and print distribution. I use draft2digital for print and I’ve been quite satisfied with their customer support, but their print distribution doesn’t allow opt-out of Amazon. HOWEVER, I believe their e-book distribution does. At minimum, there’s a checklist on d2d about “steps you have to take to distribute e-books through d2d” and I’m assuming if you just. didn’t do that checklist. then you obviously wouldn’t get your books distributed through them. The other big thing I don’t like about d2d (which may also be true of IngramSpark, idk) is that they charge after the first revision. Which is to say: you put together your book, you upload your book, you get it all set… and you notice a mistake. Okay, fine. You fix the mistake and re-upload. Re-uploading uses a “change token.” You only get one free change token per title per six months. So, you notice another mistake you feel you have to fix a few days after that first? That’ll cost $25. I’ve personally just kinda… tried to find all my mistakes right off and fix them, and anything I spot after that, I keep a log and will update all of them at the six month point. (I understand why they do this, btw – they have actual humans doing set-up on their end, so if you revise eight times in a week, that’s a lot for an actual human, and charging for the tokens forces people to be careful, helps ensure people submit books that are actually ready in good faith, and helps keep costs low. That doesn’t mean it’s not annoying, though.)

Bookvault

Bookvault is a UK-based print-on-demand option (so NO e-book distribution, just print) that has recently started offerings in the US too. They currently have a relatively limited distribution network, but they’re growing, and especially for UK-based people they’re a strong alternative. I’ve heard a lot of positive reports about their printing in a FB group I’m in (Kickstarter for Authors – do recommend, lots of great info there), but I’ll own my personal experiences weren’t great and I’ve decided not to keep using them for now. However, if what you primarily want is print books as print-on-demand, and some limited distribution choices, they’re a good choice, and they can help with option five below.

Do It Yourself Lite

A fourth option that’s a LOT of work is…you add it everywhere yourself. Most places will let you. For example, here’s how to sell on Barnes and Noble.com. When I self-pubbed a book a few years back, before I ran the Press, I submitted my work by hand to several different options (B&N, Kobo, Amazon because I still used them then, Smashwords, to name a few). However, doing this isn’t the same as distribution – it only will sell through that specific vendor – and as far as I know there are no options for doing print-on-demand those ways (I THINK, tho I’m not sure, that Amazon is the only place you can set up both e-book and pod through a single vendor – it’s not something I’ve researched tho, cause with the Press, doing single-title-at-a-time entry across so many different vendors is simply not realistic).

Side note on this: I don’t believe there’s a way to list self-pub books on Bookshop.org, but don’t quote me on that.

This method also doesn’t work well if you want to get your title in with libraries. I researched this a bit well over a year ago now, so I don’t recall all the details, but before we signed up for Ingram I DID try to see if there was a way for us to publish and get in libraries especially without involving them, but there…wasn’t really. Places like Overdrive that handle e-book-to-library distribution don’t really have a way for individuals to submit; I have this vague memory I found a way to do it that involved paying per title but tbh I can’t even find that now (though while I was looking I did find this decent-looking article about how to get your self-published book out in the world, echoing a lot of what I say here).

Do It Yourself Difficult Mode

Your fifth major option, and what we originally did as a press, is: do it all yourself. You can get your own storefront (ours is through Woocommerce + WordPress). You can do your own crowdfunding. You can run your own newsletter (I use Mailerlite), do your own advertising, etc. You can do your own printing (we currently use Booklogix and I’m quite happy with them, their customer service is A+++). You can vend at events, you can market to local bookstores, sell through bookstores that do consignment, etc. You can learn to format your own e-books (I use a combination of Affinity software and Calibre, with an assist from Daisy to improve the accessibility of our e-books). You can get access to stock images and vector art to make things look nice (I use vecteezy). There’s a LOT you can do entirely on your own. And that’s what I did for myself before I ran the Press, and what I did for the Press for the first couple years we operated.

The reason I changed how the Press handles things? I hate to say this but the sad truth of publishing is that not using Amazon is utterly crippling to a publisher. As of 2 years ago, Amazon represented 67% of all book sales in the United States. Not selling through Amazon means accepting you’ll simply be completely unable to reach more than half of the people reading works in English all around the world (works not in English may be different, I don’t know that market since I publish in English). And for myself, alone – for my works? I could make that choice. But the Press currently works with well over 100 authors, and I ultimately felt I couldn’t make the same choice to them. I tried so so hard not to compromise this, but refusing all distribution, when we were also avoiding Amazon, meant completely hamstringing the ability of authors we work with to market and sell their books. It meant, to work with us, people would have to sacrifice so much of their ability to earn money from their words, and it just didn’t feel right to continue in that avenue as we grew. So, I was forced to compromise: first to use Ingram, which I did on the condition that I’d be able to reject Amazon specifically, and then by having to use draft2digital, including their goddamn Amazon print-on-demand, at least until I qualify for a better option, which as soon as I can do? You bet your butt I’ll be switching and opting out of Amazon again.

The current climate makes these choices really hard, and I didn’t make them lightly, nor did I make them alone – there’s about 20 people on the DPP staff, and they all contributed opinions and voted on the final decisions I implemented for the Press in these regards.

(and sorry, I know “what DPP does and why” is a bit to the left of your actual question, but I felt like it’d be weird to make a list of recommendations without including the decisions I’ve personally made and why – like, why would I recommend you something I don’t do myself with the books I publish? So sorry for the info dump.)

The TL:DR of all this is, as far as I know, and as I’ve been forced to accept as part of the realities of running a small press in the modern world of publishing, is that avoiding one Big Evil (Amazon) with any hope of achieving even a modicum of success basically requires partnering with at least one other Big Evil (Ingram especially). It’s a very hard game to win.

HOWEVER, you are doing this FOR YOURSELF, NOT for all the people involved in a business larger than just you. If you’re willing to put in the extra work to figure out a lot on your own and manage your own marketing, you can theoretically build enough of an audience to go it alone without Amazon OR Ingram OR places like Kobo/B&N/etc. You’ll have to outlay more out of pocket – things like webhosting cost money – and you’ll have to be a lot more careful – if you’re running your own website instead of using someone elses, you gotta go above and beyond making you’re in compliance with privacy rules and such – but it can be done.

And if you don’t want to go that route, and your only real “to avoid” is Amazon specifically… use IngramSpark.

Sorry I’m long-winded. I hope this helps! Good luck with your publishing goals!

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Become an Advance Reader for Duck Prints Press!

A graphic that says "ARC Readers Wanted!" Below this is the cover of a book as shown on a tablet reader; the book cover is "Aether Beyond the Binary: A Duck Prints Press Anthology" and features two people, one light skinned, one dark skinned, engaged in doing magic/science with a floating flower. Additional text on the graphic reads: "Join Duck Prints Press's Reviewer Program and apply to receive an e-ARC of our upcoming aetherpunk, genderqueer anthology: Aether Beyond the Binary." The background of the graphic is white with green-blue and gray swirls and circuit board motifs.

Reviews are essential for showing prospective readers that we’re publishing awesome books that they want to buy and read. We’re looking to recruit an active group of people who post reviews of our work, and to do that we need your help! For the first time, we’re offering Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of one of our projects: Aether Beyond the Binary, our most recent anthology, featuring 17 stories of characters outside the gender binary exploring modern-esque aetherpunk worlds.

How it works: You see this post. You think, oh, I love reading! I love leaving reviews! I want to join the Duck Prints Press Reviewer Program! Then, you go and read the rules for our Reviewer Program. And, if everything there sounds like something you can do, you fill out the form, and – we’ll be in touch! Even better: this program isn’t only for Aether Beyond the Binary, and isn’t only for “advance” titles. Our reviewers are encouraged to claim titles that are currently released, too, to help build up a robust collection of reviews of Duck Prints Press titles!

Requirements:

  • You must be over 18 years old.
  • You must be prepared to post reviews on Goodreads and/or Storygraph.
  • You must also post the review on the appropriate listing on the Duck Prints Press webstore (for advance titles, you’ll have to wait ’til we list them there).
  • Upon acceptance to the program, you must join the Duck Prints Press Book Lover’s Server.
  • Reviews must be at least 100 words long must and engage with the actual content of the work being reviewed.
  • Reviews must be left within 6 months of claiming a title, or you will be removed from the program.

What isn’t Required:

  • That the reviews be positive. Reviews are for readers. We require that reviews be honest to your own experience of the work, not that they be glowing.
  • That you post the reviews to social media. Doing so is definitely a bonus, but you don’t have to.
  • That you associate yourself publicly with the review-leaving (beyond using a valid Goodreads and/or Storygraph account). As in, you don’t have to say, “I, (your name here), reviewed this book” or link your book website accounts with your existing social media presence or anything like that, nor do we request any demographic information beyond confirmation of your age.
  • That you purchase anything. Absolutely no purchase necessary!

What You Get:

  • A e-book copy (ePub and/or PDF) of the work you’re reviewing. We do not provide physical ARCs.
  • After you post your first review, you’ll get a coupon for 10% off a purchase from the Duck Prints Press webstore!
  • For every ten reviews you post, you can claim a freebie sticker from among our sticker offerings, if you want. (You’ll have to provide a snail mail address to get this, of course.)
  • A community of fun book-lovers to hang out with! (You can get that even without joining the ARC program, though – our Book Lover’s Discord is open to everyone.)

We’re accepting applicants for claiming Aether Beyond the Binary ARCs through April 10th, 2024. On the 11th, we’ll randomly select 25 of applicants to receive ARC copies of Aether Beyond the Binary. Everyone else will still be entirely welcome in the program and invited to start with a different, back-catalog book or story to review. We’ll make another pool of Aether Beyond the Binary ARCs available in May.

So… those are the basics. Interested? Go read the full rules, then apply to be a Duck Prints Press ARC reader TODAY!

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Meet Some of Duck Prints Press’s Transgender Authors!

A graphic showing 10 book covers over stripes in pastel blue, pastel pink, and white - the colors of the trans pride flag. The graphic is labeled as "Transgender Day of Visibility: 11 reads by Trans Authors x Duck Prints Press." The book covers are: Aether Beyond the Binary: A Duck Prints Press Anthology; Of Loops and Weaves by Catherine E. Green; Sarisa by N. C. Farrell; Whispers of Atlantis: A Tale of Discovery and Belonging by Neo Scarlett; Chrysopoeia by Zel Howland; Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley; A Shield for the People by Puck Malamud; This Treatment for Chronic Pain has an Unbelievable Side Effect! by Xianyu Zhou; And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"; and LA Photographs Itself by YF Ollwell.

Today, March 31st 2024, is Transgender Day of Visibility! We’re celebrating by shining the spotlight on 11 trans authors who’ve published with us, and three more who are contributing to projects that are in the pipeline. Duck Prints Press works with many trans creators, but we never disclose such information without explicit permission – there are way more than 11 trans folks working with us, but the people highlighted in this post all opted in to be included: they’re here, they’re trans, and they’re happy for y’all to know that about them!

Most of these authors have published more than one work with Duck Prints Press; we’re mostly highlighting one story each for this post, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to read!

Aether Beyond the Binary is our most recent anthology (Kickstarted in January, expected to go up for sale in late spring or early summer). About half the contributors are transgender or genderqueer, including four who volunteered to be included in this post!

  • S. J. Ralston, who contributed the story Razzmatazz, about a dystopian Hollywood where robots of long-dead stars are forced to make movies, and about the non-binary mechanic who services them.
  • Kelas Lloyd, who contributed the story True, about a non-binary teen going to a remedial camp to help them learn to channel aether.
  • Catherine E. Green, who contributed the story To Hold the World Close, about an established non-binary couple working together to try to take down a corporation that’s trying to control access to the world-wide aether network.
  • Zel Howland, who contributed the story Flower and Rot, about a world where channeling aether causes human bodies to sprout plants, and about the people who sprout fungi instead.
  • Meet the other contributors, too!

All of our anthologies have had trans contributors; highlighted here also is And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” contributed to by Adrian Harley (a character study of modern-day Benedick’s coming out as a trans man) and Nickel J. Keep (a wlw historical story about the characters returning home after serving in World War 2).

You can read about all the contributors to Aether Beyond the Binary here.

And other works by our trans authors…

And we’ve got upcoming projects featuring even more trans authors!

So come check out Duck Prints Press, an indie press that works with fancreators to publish their original works, and support some awesome trans creators this Transgender Day of Visibility!

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Happy International Women’s Day! Enjoy these 13 Queer Books Starring Women!

First graphic of two. Shows a squiggly rainbow over a white background, placed above three doodles of flowers: a daisy, a daffodil, and a rose. Text over this reads: 13 queer books starring female characters for International Women's Day.
Second graphic of two. Thirteen book covers overlay a graphic with a rainbow squiggle down the middle and a purple daisy on the side. The thirteen book covers are: The Trator Baru Cormorant by seth Dickinson; Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin; Harrow the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir; Deveil Venerable Also Wants to Know by Cyan Wings; A Memory Called Empire by Arkday Martine; Alanna: The First ADventure by Tamora Pierce; Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee; The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera; She Wears the Midnight Crown edited by Nina Waters; Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle; Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland; Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk; and A Restless TRuth by Frey Marske.

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. Duck Prints Press challenged our rec list contributors with a Herculean task: to pick one, and only one, favorite queer book starring a female character. Thirteen contributors rose to this challenge, and this rec list is the result! The contributors to this list are Shadaras, Polls, Alex, boneturtle, Alessa Riel, Dei Walker, Nina Waters, Maggie Page, and four anonymous contributors.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade series) by Seth Dickinson

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb series) by Tamsyn Muir

Devil Venerable Also Wants to Know by Cyan Wings

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan series) by Arkady Martine

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Quartet series) by Tamora Pierce

Ninefox Gambit (The Machineries of Empire series) by Yoon Ha Lee

The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency series) by K. Arsenault Rivera

She Wears the Midnight Crown edited by Nina Waters

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle

Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

A Restless Truth (The Last Binding series) by Freya Marske

How about you? Can you pick JUST ONE favorite queer book starring a female character?

You can view these recommendations, and many others, by visiting the our shelves on Goodreads.

New! Duck Prints Press is now a Bookshop.org affiliate! We are still in the process of turning all our rec lists into browsable shopping lists, but we’re working on it. See a book on this list, or any of our other lists, that you’d like to buy? Make us your Bookstore on Bookshop.org to support indie book stores and indie press: you get a great book at a great price, and part of your purchase goes to supporting Bookshop.org and Duck Prints Press!

Love queer books? Want an awesome community to talk about queer books with? Join our Book Lover’s Discord Server!

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Ongoing Pre-Order Campaigns: Updates!

Now that we’ve finished our month-long push for our Kickstarter campaign for Aether Beyond the Binary, we have space and time to talk about literally anything else on our social media (lol). We’ve gotten a couple private inquiries about the status of our other projects, so here’s an overview of progress on our current publishing projects (we’ve also got a couple art projects in the works, but that’s a topic for another day).

A graphic featuring book covers over a background with a gradient from dark blue to pink (reminiscent of the bisexual pride flag). Text at the top says "Project Updates from Duck Prints Press," with the "Duck Prints Press" part inserted as the Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints and our Dux mascot standing beside it. There are five book covers shown below this: "To Drive the Hundred Miles" by Alec J. Marsh (depicting two people walking hand-in-hand against a snowy forest background), "Aim For The Heart" (which shows a person in historical Musketeer-esque clothing baring their chest as three swords are aimed at the center), "Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance" by A. L. Heard (which shows two men in hockey helmets and jerseys embracing), "Aether Beyond the Binary: A Duck Prints Press Anthology" (which shows two people of indeterminate gender doing science, studying a floating flower), and "Many Drops Make a Stream" by Adrian Harley (which shows a giant bird carrying a woman high in the sky, a fantasy/historical style city far beneath them.)

To Drive the Hundred Miles by Alec J. Marsh

Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers

  • fulfillment on the crowdfunding campaign for our most recent anthology is complete
  • as of January 20th, the book and leftover merch are now available on our webpage!
  • you can also get the e-book through major retailers and can request it through your library
  • we’re working on reformatting the book to a slightly different size so that we can also offer it print-on-demand to major retailers, local bookstores, and libraries everywhere

Hockey Bois by A. L. Heard

  • all merchandise has been received and prepared for distribution
  • trade paperback books have been received
  • the proof of the hardcover edition has been approved, and the hardcover edition is in production
  • according to our book printer, BookLogix, we should expect delivery of the hardcover edition in roughly a month (around the end of February)
  • once we’ve received all items necessary for fulfillment, we will send out everyone’s orders as quickly as possible

Aether Beyond the Binary

  • the crowdfunding campaign for our next anthology successfully concluded yesterday!
  • we are putting finishing touches on stories
  • we are preparing templates suitable for printing our merchandise
  • we’ve begun to gather information from backers necessary fulfillment
  • most fulfillment activities are on hold until the funds clear and we can actually place orders; this will take roughly three weeks

Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley

Other Projects

  • Many Hands: An Anthology of Polyamorous Erotica: stories for this collection are being edited, with progress ranging from “barely started” to “almost done.” We’re just beginning to discuss the books internal appearance, and are waiting on the final cover from the artist we’re working with. We expect to release the contributor list in the next few weeks and hope to crowdfund the anthology during the spring.
  • Untitled Best Of Anthologies: we’ll be doing two anthologies – one general imprint and one explicit imprint – featuring stories published to our Patreon and webpage before September 31, 2023. Most of the stories have been set, and we’ll beginning work on the cover and campaign features soon. We expect to launch this during the summer of 2024.
  • A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: recruitment for this anthology closed on January 15th, and we will be selecting contributors and notifying them by January 31st. We expect this campaign to be ready for launch in roughly a year (late 2024 or early 2025).
  • Untitled General Imprint Anthology: we’re in the very preliminary stages of discussing a theme for our next general imprint anthology, and we expect to open recruitment for it in the late spring, with an expected publication date of summer, 2025.
  • Scrap Metal Angel by Nicola Kapron: our next novella project, we are working on final editing, and once that’s done we’ll begin work on a cover, artwork, and other campaign aspects. We don’t yet have a time frame on pre-orders, but definitely during 2024, before the fall.
  • The Twinned Trilogy by Tris Lawrence: we still have a great deal of editing to complete on this project, but covers are done and the pre-launch page is on Kickstarter. We’re aiming for spring or summer 2024 for crowdfunding.
  • We have several other novellas and novels in the pipeline, but none that we’re ready to announce yet. Be on the look-out!

Want to always know the latest on what we’re working on? Want a say in what we work on next? Want behind-the-scenes access, more information, awesome extras, free stories, and more? Want exclusive extra merch for supporting our future campaigns? Best yet: want the joy of supporting queer independent publishing? If you said “yes” to any of these, there’s no time like today to become a backer of our Patreon!

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Aether Beyond the Binary Merch Spotlight: All About Dux

Dux, also known as Darcy Paige Paddlesworth III (as named by our Patrons), is the non-binary Duck Prints Press mascot who uses they/them pronouns. All our ducks are called Dux – no matter what they wear or where they go, they’re still our darling Dux! You can learn more about Dux and see Dux’s many incarnations by visiting the Get to Know Dux page on our website.

Aether Dux

For the Aether Beyond the Binary campaign, Dux designer Alessa Riel has pulled out all the stops, equipping Dux with an awesome Mohawk and amazing crystalline wings. Are they cybernetic? Are they an assistive device? Are they just for the aesthetique ™? Dux hasn’t told us – so you can draw your own conclusions!

A drawing of a duck with a blue mohawk, blue eyeliner, and crystalline wings instead of feathers.

Aether Dux die-cut stickers, 3 in x 3 in (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm), are one of the core merchandise items for this crowdfunding campaign – everyone who backs at a level that includes merchandise will get this Dux sticker, and everyone who gets only the book can add an Aether Dux sticker to their order as an add-on.

But – this isn’t the only Dux merch being offered as add-ons! We’ve also got…

Dux Keychain

An acrylic key chain with metal hardware, featuring a picture of a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet. The duck faces the viewer, and their beak curves in a slight smile.

A sturdy acrylic key chain with metal hardware, 3 in x 1.5 in (7.5 cm x 4 cm). (also available on our website)

The Basic Dux Sticker Set

A graphic depicting four stickers. One is a white duck with orange beak and feet, shown from the front, wearing a red bow tie. The second is the neck and head of a duck, with the eyes replaced by large rainbow hearts. The third is the Duck Prints Press logo, with rainbow duck prints on the left and below the company name and the white and orange duck mascot (sans bowtie) standing on the right. The last is a circle made of duck prints, each print a different color of the rainbow from yellow to green, plus white and brown.

This set of 4 die-cut stickers includes our logo with Dux standing proudly beside it, a rainbow circle of Dux prints, are cute heart-eyes Dux, and our most popular Dux sticker, bowtie Dux! All four of these stickers are available individually through our website, but as part of the Kickstarter, you can get the four as an add-on bundle for only $10, instead of the usual $12 if you bought them individually!

The Costumed Dux Sticker Set

A graphic depicting four stickers. Top left: a duck wearing an apron and carrying a teacup with saucer and a cupcake. Top right: a duck wearing a feathered hat and tabard and wielding a rapier. Bottom left: a duck, green instead of the usual white, wearing a witch hat, carrying a broom and pumpkin, and standing before a crescent moon. Bottom right: a duck wearing a feathered cap and a neck ruff, carrying a book in one wing and a feather pin dripping rainbow ink in the other.

This set includes our two most recent costumed Dux – musketeer Dux, from our recent anthology Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers” and witch Dux, created as a Patreon reward last Halloween (our largest Dux sticker ever, nearly 4 in by 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm). It also includes our two most popular costumed Dux, barista Dux (debuted with our anthology Add Magic to Taste) and bard Dux (who accompanied our first Queer Fanworks Anthology, And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, with stories and art inspired by “Much Ado About Nothing.”) Again, all these are available from our webstore, but the bundle is discounted for Kickstarter add-on purposes!

Other Merch

Dux is also featured on our tote bag, a common sight in our seconds grab bags, and of course they are the inspiration behind the absolutely adorable Dux plushies made by EmpowerFantasy Plush (we had five for this campaign, and we’re already down to only two left, so if you want one you should grab it now – and these are NOT currently available from our website!). And of course…

The Ultimate: YOUR OWN DUX

If you love dux even a fraction as much as we do, you can also still claim our ultimate add-on: a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel to YOUR specifications. We only have this opportunity on offer once for the Aether Beyond the Binary campaign, and this is only the second time we’ve ever offered this! There are a few restrictions (for example, Dux most remain non-binary), but this is a great chance to get your very own lovable duck! Make sure you review the add-on text for all the details. 😀

Long story short: we love Dux, and we hope now that you’ve gotten to know them, you do too!

So back our Kickstarter, and don’t forget to add-on ALL THE DUX!

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DPP Contributor Interview: A. L. Heard

A photograph of an open hard-cover book resting on a white surface. It's sunny and bright. A blurred-out background suggests the outdoors. Text over the image reads "Author interview! Meet A. L. Heard." The Duck Prints Press logo is at the bottom middle of the image.

A. L. Heard is one of the founding members of Duck Prints Press and has been a part of our planning team since before our official inception, offering her advice and expertise to the Press since mid-2019, and she’s been an editor on our anthologies Add Magic to Taste, And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, He Bears the Cape of Stars, She Wears the Midnight Crown, and Aim For The Heart. She’s also a prolific author of stories of all lengths and in all genres, and one of the most active authors involved with the Press.

Pre-orders of the revised edition of A. L. Heard’s debut novel Hockey Bois open on December 1st, 2023!

Want to meet A. L. Heard and ask her YOUR questions? YOU CAN! Join us TOMORROW, Thursday, November 30th, at 8 p.m. Eastern time (converter) on our Book Lover’s Discord server for a very special Ask Me Anything session with the author of Hockey Bois!

A photograph of a slim white woman, shown from the shoulders up, with a forest in the background. She is casually dressed, her hair up, and large aviator-style sunglasses cover her eyes. This is an author portrait of A. L. Heard.

Author Biography: Ashley, pen name A. L. Heard, fandom name jhoom, is a 35-year-old teacher, writer, and mother of two little boys. She’s been writing fanworks since she discovered fanfiction.net back in her middle school days; the platform has changed and the writing’s improved, but Ashley ultimately still spends her free time writing about characters she adores in worlds she’d like to explore. Her first novel, Hockey Bois, was published in 2021. In between writing projects, she works as a language teacher in the Pittsburgh area, plays hockey, and plays trains with her sons.

Links: Bluesky | Instagram


How did you pick the name you create under?

It’s a combination of my [real life] name and family names, making it unique but also still connected to me.


When and why did you begin creating?

I started writing fic during middle school and went through phases where I’d write fic and original work and then long periods with no writing. I’m happy to be settled into writing on a regular basis 🙂


What’s your favorite part of the creation process?

The brainstorming and playing around with a new story and characters, where everything is still possible and I haven’t had to commit to any particular plot point.


Describe your ideal creation space.

An office that’s well lit with an endless supply of tea or coffee or snacks, with no distractions or extra noises except birds. Either that or a brewery or cafe with background noise.


What are your favorite snacks and/or drinks to consume while creating?

Tea, coffee, and baked goods (cookies, scones, that sort of thing)


What’s one thing (style, genre, etc.) that you think you’ll never do, and why not?

Epic fantasy – they’re awesome stories but I don’t have the creativity/brain for a large scale world and magic system like that.


Short Stories A. L. has published with Duck Prints Press:

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Shop Duck Prints Press This Weekend and Save!

A text graphic over a watercolor-esque background of light rainbow shades. The text reads: This Saturday, November 25th, celebrate Small Business Saturday. Below this text is the American Express 'Shop Small' logo, then the word at, then the Duck Prints Press Logo that reads Duck Prints Press, is edged on the left and bottom by duck prints in rainbow shades, has the Press duck mascot Dux standing on the right, and includes the Press slogan 'We Print Diversity' at the bottom. Additional text below this reads: Use code ? to save 25% off your order placed this weekend!

This Saturday, November 25th, is Small Business Saturday! Duck Prints Press is offering our best coupon of the year – 25% off, no other purchase necessary! Looking to shop small this holiday season? Check out Duck Prints Press, the fan-created independent small press that publishes the (usually extremely queer) original work of fanauthors and fanartists. We’ve got great gifts for the queer book lover in your life, including anthologies, short stories, merchandise, and more. And, of course, we’ve got lots of adorable merch featuring our adorable Dux mascot, too!

This coupon was created for our newsletter subscribers… but there are a couple sneaky ways to get it even if you’re not a subscriber. Want to grab this discount for yourself but didn’t get to subscribe to our newsletter in time? Well, don’t despair – there’s still two ways you can get in on the savings!

You can…

back us on Patreon, and get access to this coupon and additional coupons you can use all year round!

join our Book Lover’s Discord Server, and get this coupon, a lovely place to chat with fans who love books, and access to Discord-exclusive events like Ask Me Anything sessions!