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Coming Soon: May Trope Mayhem 2024!

A graphic with a pale blue background. The header reads "May Trope Mayhem: A Multi-Fandom and Original Work Creation Challenge 2024 List." Below this is a blurred out area with a swirl of thin black lines, with the word "SOON!" written in large bold letters. The Duck Prints Press logo, surrounded by rainbow duck prints on two sides, with the white dux mascot on the right and the words "we print diversity" below that, is in the lower right corner of the image.

It’s almost time for May Trope Mayhem!

What is May Trope Mayhem? It’s Duck Prints Press’s annual multi-fandom/original work creation event! Our creators have shared their favorite tropes, and we’ve picked 30 (+1 free day!), one per day of May to make an awesome, fun, diverse list of prompts to inspire your creativity. Come May 1st, we invite everyone to create a ficlet, artwork, gif set, photo montage, or whatever else they feel like, inspired by the trope of the day. We’re open to any fandom or no fandom at all, original characters and old faves, any ship (yes even that one) or no ship or reader inserts or, or, or… basically, if you can imagine it, we can accommodate it!

This year marks our fourth-annual May Trope Mayhem. Curious about the event? You can learn some by checking out our previous three years!

The rules for 2024 will be about the same as in the past, so the only big change will be in the tropes – some are repeats, some are not. And of course day 31 is still a free day – we’d love to know YOUR favorite trope, especially if it it doesn’t end up our list for this year!

The 2024 list goes public on May 1st. Mark your calendars, tell yours friends, and get ready to create with us! And follow us on social media to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Backers on Patreon can see the list early! It’s up now – become a backer and check it out.

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Become a Duck Prints Press Patron and Help Us Pick Our Next Anthology Theme!

The Duck Prints Press Patreon includes a lot of awesome perks for people depending on their backer level, and one of the coolest? Every single backer, from the lowest $3/month level to the highest $25/month level, gets a say in deciding themes for our anthologies!

Starting yesterday, and for the next week (ending April 19 2024), we’re running a poll to pick the theme for our next General Imprint anthology!

What are the choices?

The common element is cozy. We love our debut anthology Add Magic to Taste, and we wanted something with a similar feel-good vibe for this collection. With that in mind, the DPP staff discussed a lot of options, and we narrowed it down to five – and picking between those five is where the backers come in!

  • cozy cottagecore (cabins and farms count as “cottages” – think Stardew Valley and Slime Rancher vibes)
  • cozy critters (any setting, cozy stories that include non-human characters)
  • cozy libraries/museums/colleges (take the central idea of “dark academia” as a genre…and turn it cozy. “Light academia” if you will)
  • cozy vacations/travels/trips (let’s take a journey together, and it’s soft and happy, and includes a lot of tropes like There Was Only One Bed)
  • cozy sword-and-sorcery/action adventure in a fantasy setting (self-explanatory. 😀 )

Which will win?

A screen capture of five options in a poll, with circles for voting - indicating that each voter must pick one. The five listed options are the same as already listed earlier in this blog post.

Time will tell!

Want to vote? You can! Become a Duck Prints Press Patreon supporter TODAY!

Interested in applying to contribute to this project, once we’ve settled on a theme? We anticipate opening recruitment for this anthology in July, 2024. You can make sure you hear about it when we do by signing up for our mailing list!

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Mythical Creature Pride Enamel Pins and Stickers!

A banner graphic with a blue background dotted with white flowers and stars. Text reads "Mythical Creature Pride Pins + Stickers. Unlock more Designs!" Images overlaying the background show six pin designs, and six sticker designs that are the same except for having black line art and more shading. The six designs are: a pegasus lying on a puff of cotton candy, in trans pride flag colors; a Nessie plesiosaur lounging in an open can, in mlm pride flag colors; a phoenix taking flight in front of a cloudy sky, in wlw pride flag colors; a dragon with their hoard inside a bottle, in nb pride flag colors; a cerberus frolicking in a pond, in bisexual pride flag colors; and a cerberus standing in front of a stained glass window, in asexual pride flag colors.

The Kickstarter campaign to create enamel pins and stickers of these six absolutely precious mythical creature designs is now live! Love Pride? Love cute creatures? Longing to fly your Pride colors high with some cute-but-subtle Pride beasties? You have come to the right place! We’ve taken our excitement for Pride 2024 and turned it into six precious, adorable, gorgeous designs featuring playful mythical creatures in Pride flag colors that you’re not gonna want to miss! 

Each design is available as a die-cut sticker and as an enamel pin. You can get whichever stickers and pins you want: mix-and-match; get duplicates; or even back at our highest, premium backer level and get to anoint one of these cuties with a name that we’ll use for them forever after this campaign!

All the artwork is by Pippin Peacock, who brought 110% of their inspiration, creativity, and dedication to this project, and logistics are being handled by Nina Waters at Duck Prints Press.

The designs are:

  • Pegasus, in transgender pride flag colors.
  • Loch Ness, in mlm/gay pride flag colors.
  • Phoenix, in wlw/lesbian pride flag colors.
  • Dragon, in non-binary pride flag colors.
  • Chimera, in bisexual pride flag colors.
  • Cerberus, in asexual pride flag colors (these are also the colors of the demisexual pride flag).

This campaign is running through April 2nd 2024, and we are aiming for fulfillment before or during Pride month in June.

Even better – if we can hit our stretch goals, we can offer more creatures in more flag colors!

So help us reach our goals – check out the campaign and become a backer now!

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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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Gorgeous Merchandise to Accompany an Awesome Anthology!

Graphic labeled "Meet the Aether Beyond the Binary Merchandise." It shows a book cover for the Aether Beyond the Binary anthology, and then four other labeled images:
"Hologram Plant-Watering Robot Sticker (art by Mar Spragge)": a floating robot watering tropical plants.
"Aether Music Magic Bookmark (art by Pippin Peacock)": a white person playing the guitar with magical swirls coming from where their hands strum.
"Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin (art by Atomic Pixies)": a green whale flying before a purple sky and clouds and yellow stars. A chain with a non-binary symbol charm dangles from its mouth.
"Aether Dux Sticker (art by Alessa Riel)": a duck, their wings spread, with a blue mohawk and crystals where their wing feathers would be.
Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter launches in FOUR DAYS! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!"

It wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press crowdfunding campaign if we didn’t have super cool merchandise to accompany our spectacular anthology of outside-the-binary characters exploring aetherpunk worlds, Aether Beyond the Binary. We worked with some really awesome creators this time, and we’re so excited to share the art they’ve done and the merch we’ll be making with it!

  • Hologram Plant-Loving Robot Sticker: this adorable plant-watering bot graces the back cover of the wrap-around cover by Mar Spragge, and they and the plants they’re watering will sparkle and shine on this rectangular, shimmery, holographic sticker. 4 in x 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Aether Music Magic Bookmark: this lovely glossy bookmark features artwork by Pippin Peacock on the front and the signatures of the contributors to Aether Beyond the Binary on the back. 2 in x 7 in/5 cm x 17.75 cm. (Printed by UPrinting)
  • Aether Dux Die-Cut Sticker: it wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press anthology without a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel. Dux is our non-binary company mascot, and for this campaign they’re decked out with crystals and machinery and ready for aether flight. 3 in x 3 in/7.5 cm x 7.5 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin: this lovely pin depicts a celestial whale moving through a starscape, with the non-binary gender sign dangling by a chain from they’re mouth. The artwork for this pin is by Atomic Pixies. 2 in x 2 in/5 cm x 5 cm. (Manufactured by Alchemy)
  • BONUS MERCHANDISE! That adorable plant-loving robot? We’ll be making it into a key chain as our Patron-exclusive extra! All $10/month and $25/month patrons who also back the campaign will get this cutie to hang from their keys!

Our campaign, which launches on December 26th 2023 (four days from when this post goes up – soooooon!) will include backer levels with all this merch, and also pick-and-choose add-on options. We’re also offering a trade paperback AND a premium hardcover edition of this book – our first anthology published as a hardcover! There’s loads of other add-ons too – our past anthologies (as e-books or in print!), a short story bundle of works by Aether Beyond the Binary contributors, 5 (FIVE!!!) of the adorable dux plushies by EmpowerFantasy Plush, one-of-a-kind wands by Alessa Riel, and more.

We’re days away from launch – follow our pre-launch page and get notified when the campaign goes live!

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Get to Know AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY

A graphic entitled "Get to know AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY." In the center, it features the cover of the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Seven arrows point away from this central graphic, aimed at text that reads: 17 stories; queer creators; small press; non-binary and genderqueer main characters; aetherpunk!; modern settings (but magical!), queer relationships.

Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter Launches DECEMBER 26th! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!

We are only ONE WEEK away from the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Duck Prints Press’s sixth anthology, AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY.

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this very different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

What is aetherpunk? Imagine a world where there’s technology not unlike what we have in the modern world, except that instead of that technology operating using the principles that we, now, would call “science,” that technology operates using magic! That’s aetherpunk—the awesome union of technology and complex magical systems in magic-filled worlds to produce unique settings that resemble modern-day Earth but are also very, very different. With aetherpunk stories, the impossible becomes possible, and new solutions to the world’s problems become available! You can learn more about the history of aetherpunk and what aetherpunk is in this blog post!

What is a character outside the gender binary? The gender binary consists of the two most common genders: male and female. Most people, whether they are cisgender or transgender, fall within this binary. Nonetheless, gender is a spectrum, and there are many gender identities that are outside, between, among, or combinations of cis and trans, male and female. One umbrella term for these identities is non-binary, and specific identities include agender (like our lead editor!), genderfluid, bigender, demigender, pangender, and x gender. Every story in Aether Beyond the Binary features at least one non-binary main character, and many stories utilize neopronouns.

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or unchanged, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether.

We have been working on this project for over a year, and are so excited to finally be bringing it to y’all. We launch on December 26th, with a funding goal of $14,250.

Follow our Kickstarter pre-launch page TODAY and make sure you’re among the first to get notified when this super-cool, innovative anthology becomes available!

Love what we do? Want to get an awesome, exclusive bonus merch item when you back this campaign? Become a backer on our Patreon, support Duck Prints Press year-round, and get awesome stuff!

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Help Us Get Our Novel’s Pre-Order Campaign Funded!

There are three days left on our crowdfunding campaign for Hockey Bois by A. L. Heard. This awesome mlm hockey sports-romance novel has been previously published, but we’ve completely revised it and are aiming to publish it in hardcover format for the first time. But we need your help! It’s December 7th, and our campaign ends on December 10th, and we’ve only raised 50% of our funding target of $2,800.

We’re looking to sell approx. $1,400 worth of copies of this awesome book and related merchandise before the campaign ends on December 10th – but you can help us without spending a penny! How? SHARE THIS POST! The deciding factor in every crowdfunding campaign is visibility and exposure – even if you don’t want it, someone who follows you might, but they’ll never know it exists if they never see information about it!

Please, please help us get the word out about Hockey Bois by reblogging/sharing this post on your platform of choice. Thank you in advance!

And, now that we’ve caught your attention…THE BOOK!

A graphic for advertising a book. The background shows an icy water surface, like a rink, in a gradient from deep blue to nearly white. The ice is cut up as if people have been skating on it, and it reflects light. A book cover is centered over the background graphic. The title of the book is "Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance" and the author is "A. L. Heard." The image on the book cover shows two men from the back. They are in a loose embrace, one with an arm over the other's shoulder, the other with his arm around the first's waist. They're wearing hockey helmets and jerseys that read "Jensen 68" and "Porter 12," and there are hearts in red, white, and blue floating around them. Text above the book cover reads "Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance by A. L. Heard." The book cover is surrounded by arrows that point to text. This text reads:
"hockey players are sexy af"
"meddling friends and family"
"emotionally constipated idiots to lovers"
"m/m"
"grumpy x sunshine"
"mutual pining"
"slooooow burn"
At the bottom of the graphic, text reads "Pre-orders close DECEMBER 10th!"

Nick Porter has always loved hockey. Ever since he can remember, it’s been his favorite thing in the world. It’s too bad he never learned to play, he’d tell himself, but it was too late to do it now. Adults don’t just magically learn to skate and join a hockey team. That’d be ridiculous.

Except maybe they do? On a whim, he decides to sign up for an adult beginner’s class. He learns to skate, joins a team, and meets a really hot teammate… and it’s pretty much a disaster from there on out.

What can you get?

Can’t decide what to get? We have bundles for that…

Visit our pre-order campaign page to read all the details, access the shop listings, and get your books and swag NOW!

Want to help us spread the word? Here are some links to platforms where our posts are shareable!

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Pre-Order Hockey Bois by A. L. Heard!

A graphic depicting the purchase options for the crowdfunding campaign for "Hockey Bois" by A. L. Heard. Text at the top reads "Pre-order A. L. Heard's Novel 'Hockey Bois'." Beneath this is shown labeled merchandise: Magnets: Two chibi figures in hockey gear skating. Two-sided bookmark: shows both sides, one of a blonde man, the other of a dark-haired man with facial hair. Both are white. Both are dressed in hockey gear. Hockey Bois e-book, trade paperback, and hard cover!: the Hockey Bois cover. Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance is the full title and the author is A. L. Heard. The base color of the cover is orange, with text and a drawing over it. The drawing depicts two men from the back. They are in a loose embrace, one with an arm over the other's shoulder, the other with his arm around the first's waist. They're wearing hockey helmets and jerseys that read "Jensen 68" and "Porter 12," and there are hearts in red, white, and blue floating around them. Stickers: shows five stickers. Two are the same as the magnets. One is the same as the embrace image on the cover. One shows two chibi men in hockey jerseys hugging. The last shows the blond man in a Capitals jersey and the bearded man in a Penguins jersey holding hands. A divider separates the above images from a lower section labeled BUNDLES. "Just the Book" bundle: Trade Paperback OR Hardcover + E-Book Download. Accompanied by images of the book cover, already described. "Book + Merch" Bundle (includes three random stickers): Trade Paperback OR Hardcover, E-book Download, and merchandise, with already-described images of the book cover, bookmark, stickers, and magnets.

Pre-orders for A. L. Heard’s modern beer-league hockey m/m romance are now open!

Nick Porter has always loved hockey. Ever since he can remember, it’s been his favorite thing in the world. It’s too bad he never learned to play, he’d tell himself, but it was too late to do it now. Adults don’t just magically learn to skate and join a hockey team. That’d be ridiculous.

Except maybe they do? On a whim, he decides to sign up for an adult beginner’s class. He learns to skate, joins a team, and meets a really hot teammate… and it’s pretty much a disaster from there on out.

Almost three years after the debut of Hockey Bois, A. L. Heard returns with a new edition of this much-loved book! The text has been revised and streamlined, the interior appearance re-done, and we’ll be offering an e-book edition, trade paperback, AND hard cover! If your preferred flavor of m/m story is slow burn, mutual pining, and romance-with-plot, you won’t want to miss this, and the hockey hunks are just a lovely, delicious, not-to-be-missed bonus!

What can you get?

Can’t decide what to get? We have bundles for that…

Visit our pre-order campaign page to read all the details, access the shop listings, and get your books and swag NOW!

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Pre-Orders for Hockey Bois Open TOMORROW!

A graphic for advertising a book. The background shows an icy water surface, like a rink, in a gradient from deep blue to nearly white. The ice is cut up as if people have been skating on it, and it reflects light. A book cover is centered over the background graphic. The title of the book is "Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance" and the author is "A. L. Heard." The image on the book cover shows two men from the back. They are in a loose embrace, one with an arm over the other's shoulder, the other with his arm around the first's waist. They're wearing hockey helmets and jerseys that read "Jensen 68" and "Porter 12," and there are hearts in red, white, and blue floating around them. Text above the book cover reads "Hockey Bois: A Beer League Romance by A. L. Heard." The book cover is surrounded by arrows that point to text. This text reads:
"hockey players are sexy af"
"meddling friends and family"
"emotionally constipated idiots to lovers"
"m/m"
"grumpy x sunshine"
"mutual pining"
"slooooow burn"
At the bottom of the graphic, text reads "Pre-orders open TOMORROW, December 1st"

Nick Porter has always loved hockey. Ever since he can remember, it’s been his favorite thing in the world. It’s too bad he never learned to play, he’d tell himself, but it was too late to do it now. Adults don’t just magically learn to skate and join a hockey team. That’d be ridiculous.

Except maybe they do? On a whim, he decides to sign-up for an adult beginner’s class. He learns to skate, joins a team, and meets a really hot teammate… and it’s pretty much a disaster from there on out.

Pre-orders for the all-new, revised edition of A. L. Heard’s novel Hockey Bois open tomorrow! We’re also, for the first time ever for this book AND for Duck Prints Press, offering a hard cover edition. Wondering what else we’ll have and how things are priced? The campaign page is now live, so you can preview all the awesome we’ve got for you and get even more excited about this fantastic opportunity to get a great m/m book!

Too excited to wait ’til tomorrow? We gotchu! Join us on Discord TONIGHT, November 30th, at 8 p.m. Eastern time for a pre-launch ask me anything session with author A. L. Heard! Bring a beer, your love of hockey, and of course your plot- or writing-related questions to ask this accomplished, prolific writer!