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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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Duck Prints Press Summer 2023 Con Wrap!

We’ve now vended at our first two cons, and we wanted to take a few minutes to blog about it!

I (press owner Claire Houck/unforth) attended Fandom Fest in Schenectady, NY, and Albacon in Clifton Park, NY, and vended on behalf of the Press. Authors Nova Mason, Shea Sullivan, Catherine E. Green, and Tris Lawrence helped me out with manning the booth, handling transactions, participating in our first DPP panel, and more, so huge THANKS to them. (Also to Prof. Robert Heverly from Albany Law School, for contributing his expertise on copyright law to our Fandom Fest panel). I wrote about our Fandom Fest panel here, and about our events at Albacon here and here.

To be honest, we really had no idea how things would go, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that we far exceeded our expectations. Going into this, I’ll own I was very afraid – would people be interested in our Press? Would we make money? Or would we be that sad, lonely table that everyone walks quickly by? But things couldn’t have gone better – they went so well we’re already looking at more events to attend in the future.

From a fiscal standpoint, we made almost double what I anticipated and completely made up the expense of buying the supplies and equipment necessary for us to vend at these events and going forward. From a panel perspective, our events were nicely attended. From a “growing the business” standpoint, we added many names to our mailing lists and gained social media platforms. And, from a networking standpoint, we had a fantastic time and met a lot of awesome people – and that’s primarily what this post is about!

You already know about us; we’re here to shout-out some other folks we’re now very happy to know!

The amazing Syrren and I bonded instantly over our shared love of the men of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu books and Stardew Valley romance options. I miiiight have ended up with some merch (though the Genshin Impact ones are gifts for a friend).

According to the Fandom Fest organizers, it was 100% a coincidence that we ended up next to Duck and Cover, but we couldn’t have had a cooler or more appropriate neighbor. A con attendee felt it was so on-brand for Duck Prints Press that they actually bought us this one-of-a-kind hand-painted James Bond duckie! We also talked with Duck and Cover about maybe offering some of their custom ducks as campaign add-ons in the future, so be on the lookout…

The owner of The Cogitation Zone, Lisa, is a long-time friend of Tris Lawrence, who commissioned us this custom Duck Prints Press business card holder that’ll be accompanying us to all our future cons! Lisa also had made a large number of adorable creatures, and I miiiight have traded a copy of one of our anthologies for an axolotl. Because. Axolotl.

The Consol Collection, sadly, has no website that I can find, but they had a lot of things such as this adorable Totoro sticker I got for my kids. And when the owner of Eclectic Arts approached me in an absolutely fabulous Hawaiian shirt featuring Pride-flag-colored twenty-sided dice, I instantly agreed to a sticker trade. On the right, jiadoesart had many lovely things, and I picked out some stickers for my Ghibli-loving kids.

Some Other Neat Folks We Met:

Pastel Prince Shop: lots of gorgeous queer art and merch; I’m hoping to get one of their asexual pride bracelets in the future (it got sold before I could grab it, sadly).

Bear and Bird Boutique: a local business that was vending at Fandom Fest, too, they have a lot of amazing bits and baubles, both fandom-related and original. We’ve bought everything from the Hilda graphic novel to a dragon puzzle at their store.

Picnocline: the only reason I didn’t buy things from Picnocline’s shop is that there were so many cute things that I literally couldn’t pick.

It’s Getting Dicey: dice, one of my true weaknesses! They have metal pride-flag dice sets, and lots of queer dice trays. I wish I could get them all…

Two-Penny Nerdlesque: a local burlesque troupe; they were very enthusiastic about And Seek (Not) to Alter Me and our queerifying of Much Ado About Nothing, and delighted told me about their own very queer versions of Shakespeare and other plays – I’m definitely going to have to check them out in the future.

(There are others too, but I didn’t grab everyone’s information, and I think this is plenty for one post. 😀 )

If any of you all are seeing this post, it was an absolute delight to meet you, and please don’t be a stranger!

Going forward, we’re looking forward to participating in more events and making more connections with other creators, especially other queer creators! Just today, we’ve applied to vend at A Big Gay Market, taking place in Washington Park in Albany on October 29th, 2023. We’ve also got a tentative schedule for 2024, and we’ll post more about where you’ll be able to find us as the dates grow closer and we find out if the juried shows have accepted our applications. We’re going to do our best to continue the success we’ve enjoyed at our first two conventions by pursuing vending as a way to meet potential readers and customers, grow relationships with other queer creators, and get the Duck Prints Press names out there for the benefit of all the authors, artists, and others we work with!

Got a con in New York State or Massachusetts that you love and think we should try to attend in 2024? Let us know in the comments or by dropping us an e-mail at info@duckprintspress.com!