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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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Danmei and Baihe C Novels and Manhua Officially Licensed in English

Things are getting licensed fast enough that keeping a list like this up-to-date is basically impossible, but I saw someone asking in the tags so I figured I’d try. All titles are danmei unless otherwise noted (very little baihe is licensed so far). I’ve included Chinese titles and linked novelupdates for each title when I was able to find them, but sometimes publishers change the original titles so much that I can’t track them down, apologies.

Basically: this is everything I know of as of March 26, 2024. There might be more. I tried.

For the latest danmei news, Danmeinews.com is a great resources.

Note that some of this information was sourced from this Carrd, last updated in March 2023.

Seven Seas:

The full list of danmei novels licensed by Seven Seas is here. The full list of danmei manhua licensed by Seven Seas is here.

These titles are in various stages of publication, from “entire series released” to “license literally announced less than a week ago.” As far as I know, all Seven Seas titles are available world-wide, through major distributors and libraries, and in e-book and print formats.

Mo Xiang Tong Xiu titles:

Meatbun Doesn’t Eat Meat titles:

Meng Xi Shi titles:

priest titles:

Other titles:


Rosmei:

Rosmei licenses are Singapore distribution rights only. There is a list of international partners organizing group orders here. I’ve personally placed my orders through Yiggybean, as discussed in reply to this ask. Titles that weren’t originally on JJWXC (of which there are several here) WILL have e-book editions.

These titles are only being released as print editions.

Ning Yuan titles:

  • BAIHE: At the World’s Mercy by Ning Yuan
  • BAIHE (I think?) The Creator’s Grace by Ning Yuan

priest titles:

Other titles:


Peach Flower House:

Peach Flower House titles are primarily for sale through their website and through some distributors, such as Amazon.com. Whether titles are e-book only, print only, or both varies by title.

Da Feng Gua Guo:

Other Titles:

  • Golden Terrace (Huang Jin Tai) by Cang Wu Bin Bai
  • In the Dark (Zai Hei An Zhong) by Jin Shisi Chai
  • Little Mushroom (Xiao Mogu) by Shisi
  • University of the Underworld (Ziloi) (I’m not sure of the Chinese title for this one, sorry)

Via Lactea:

The full list of danmei novels licensed by Via Lactea is here.

Via Lactea titles are primarily for sale through their website and through some distributors, such as Amazon.com. All titles are either print-only or e-book + print. Only a handful have actually been released, the rest are licensed and presumably in progress.

Jing Shui Bian titles:

Other Titles:

  • Dawning (Liming Zhihou) by ICE
  • Euthanasia by Feng Su Jun
  • Falling (Luo Chi) by Yu Cheng
  • Psycho (Feng Zi) by Xiao Yao Zi
  • Limerence (Wo Xichen Ni Nan Pengyou Henjiule) by Jiang Zi Bei
  • Lip and Sword (Chun Qiang) by Jin Shisi Chai
  • The Missing Piece (Maoheshenli) by Kun Yi Wei Lou
  • Raising Myself in 2006 by Qing Lv
  • Rose and Renaissance (Wo Zhi Xihuan Ni de Renshe [Yule Quan]) by Zhi Chu
  • Killing Show (Sha Lu Xiu) by Fox
  • Soul Vibration (Linghun Saodong) by Dr.solo
  • To Rule in a Turbulent World (Luan Shi Wei Wang) by Gu Xuerou

Monogatari Novels:

It is unclear to me if Monogatari Novel titles are available for world-wide distribution, but there are group orders being organized or I think they can be ordered directly from their webpage; they are based in Spain. These titles can also be ordered from at least some major retailers. Note that there has been some controversy about Monogatari Novels.


Chaleuria:

As far as I can tell, Chaleuria has not updated their webpage since April 2023, so the current status of in-progress titles is unknown. All titles are digital and/or e-book, and I’m not sure how to purchase them as I haven’t tried.

A handful of other licenses are mentioned on the Carrd I linked at the beginning of this post; I have no idea the status of those titles and wasn’t able to find information on them while putting together this post other than what was listed on that Carrd, so I’ve omitted them.

As a final note, I’ve personally purchased from every printer on this list EXCEPT Monogatari Novels (I’m holding off because of the controversy and will see how things play out) and Chaleuria (which I vaguely knew existed but nothing beyond that).

Seven Seas translation varies but the editing is general strong and the editions are sturdy and nice. Extras that have come with final volumes are lovely. I am buying literally everything they publish except for You’ve Got Mail, due to information about the author that was shared with me that the author is a transphobe. Note that Kinnporsche by Daemi is not danmei as it’s Thai (and I’ve heard unsavory things about the author – I don’t have a link for that as the information was shared with me on Discord, and I encourage you to do your own research rather than taking my word for it). No judgement if you make a different choice than me, to be clear, I’m just sharing the information I have and why I personally am not buying the books. Note that Seven Seas isn’t without controversy, especially for treating their contractors poorly resulting in them unionizing. Some people have also been unhappy with the fidelity of their translations compared to the original Chinese (I’ve been satisfied personally but ymmv).

Peach Flower House has inconsistent editing quality, but the books are very readable, and I’m excited that they’re working with translators such as E. Danglars. I haven’t bought any of their special editions so can’t speak to their extras, but I’ve bought all their print translations and will continue to do so going forward.

I just got my first title from Via Lactea last week and finished reading it on Sunday, and the translation read very well and there were minimal errors. It also came with a bundle of cute extras, which I wasn’t expecting and pleased, and writing this post has caused me to cave and spend $150 to buy the rest of their books. Thank you, tax refund. (Should I spend this money? No. Did I anyway? …)

No Rosmei titles have actually shipped yet, so I can’t speak to their quality, though the previews they’ve shared on social media (as outlined here, for example) read decently and I’m optimistic. The cover art is also lovely, and they’ve been communicative and responsive, for example they’ve already issued a statement related to a recent controversy over perceived poor marketing for At the World’s Mercy.

Tl:dr, the above is absolutely everything I personally know about mlm and wlw Chinese novels and manhua that have been licensed for English publication. I hope it helps someone.

Now go forth, and buy some books!

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Small Business Saturday SALE on duckprintspress.com!

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: Newsletter Subscribers will receive a Coupon for 25% off their entire purchase made on November 25th!

This Saturday, November 25th, is Small Business Saturday! 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!

What have we got? Well, what are you looking for?? We have…

A graphic over a background of rainbow colors in watercolor splotches. Text at the top reads: Now available at duckprintspress.com/shop. Below this is an array if items with accompany labels: "art prints" with two examples, "Print books" with DPP anthologies "He Bears the Cape of Stars," "She Wears the Midnight Crown," and "And Seek (Not) to Alter Me," "Shirts" with three examples, two of which are t-shirts and one of which is a hoodie, "Stickers and Magnets" with a citrus slice with rainbow segments and a Dux with a mustache, devil horns, devil tail, and trident, and "Enamel Pins" with an owl, raccoon, crow, fox, moose, and wolf pin, and also a woman in a crown and a man in a cape. At the bottom of the graphic, text reads "...and MORE!"

BEST YET?

All newsletter subscribers will receive a coupon good for 25% off their ENTIRE PURCHASE made this weekend! So if you’re not a subscriber yet, there’s no time like the present!

And while you’re at it, make sure you follow us on the social media platform(s) of your choice! Also, come read with us on our Book Lover’s Discord Server. Want to support indie queer publishing all year round? Back us on Patreon and get awesome rewards!

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Great Queer Stories for Great Queer Causes

In honor of the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – June 28th, 1969 – Duck Prints Press is thrilled to share with you how we’re celebrating Pride Month: with queer stories, of course!

Introducing our Pride 2023 Bundles: two collections of short stories, one general imprint, one erotica, each priced at a discounted $19.69, with all purchases benefiting two wonderful queer charities selected by the authors of the stories in the bundles: The Ali Forney Center and the Transgender Law Center.

We’ll be donating roughly 35% of the proceeds from these bundles to charity – the Press is donating 10% off the top, and many of the authors chose to donate part of their royalties as well, bringing the totals to approximately 40% of the list price of the erotica collection and approximately 35% of the list price of the general imprint collection.

How This Works

  • you buy one or both bundles between now and July 28th, 2023.
  • we tally up all the proceeds earned and do some math-e-magic to figure out how much we’re donating!
  • we divide the charity share in half right down the middle and, within the first week of August, we donate raised money to the Ali Forney Center and the Transgender Law Center; then, 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 2 years, and in that time we’ve worked with well over 150 creators to publish four anthologies and almost 70 other stories, from shorts to novels, and we’ve got more on the works (our fifth anthology is Kickstarting RIGHT NOW, as a matter of fact!). 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).

20 of our authors have chosen to include their short stories in one or both of these short story bundles, and these 20 and others nominated charities, then voted to narrow it down to these two! Participation in these bundles was entirely voluntarily, as was choosing to donate shares of royalties, which about a third of the authors have opted to do.

About the Charities

Note: These charities are not 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 websites of each charity and is being used under fair use laws.

The Ali Forney Center was founded in 2002. Committed to saving the lives of LGBTQ+ young people, our mission is to protect them from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. A 24-hour program, The Ali Forney Center never closes its doors. We provide more than just a bed and food for those in need — from initial intake at our drop-in center to transitional housing and job readiness training, we provide homeless LGBTQ+ youth a safe, warm, supportive environment to escape the streets [of New York City].

Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Since 2002 we’ve been organizing, assisting, informing and empowering thousands of individual community members towards a long-term, national, trans-led movement for liberation.

About the Bundles

We’re offering two bundles: one containing 14 stories from our general imprint, the other containing 11 stories from our erotica imprint. For all the deets, you’ll need to visit the page for each story, but here’s an overview…

Titles in the General Imprint Charity Bundle:

Approximately 35% of the $19.69 list price of this bundle will go to the charities.

Titles in the Erotica Imprint Charity Bundle:

Approximately 40% of the $19.69 list price of this bundle will go to the charities.

What are you waiting for? 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 28th and get yours!

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Celebrate Small Press Month with Duck Prints Press

March was National Small Press Month, and Duck Prints Press celebrated by collecting 12 questions from press contributors, recording the answers, and posting them on Tiktok and Instagram! Curious about the Q&A? This post includes a link to all the videos, and transcripts of each one for those who aren’t inclined to watch a mess of recordings. Read on, and learn the answers to…

Introduction

Transcription: Howdy everyone, I’m Claire. I go by Nina Waters and unforth, and I’m the owner of Duck Prints Press, and I am very very very very much not accustomed to being a talking head in a Tiktok video, so I hope that this will be okay and that everything is awesome. So we are here at Duck Prints Press celebrating Small Press Month, and for that we had a bunch of our folks suggest questions that they might like me to answer and so over the next couple weeks (I expect) we’ll be answering those. So now you know what the basic idea is, and I hope you enjoy the answers.

What inspired you to start your own press?

@duckprintspress

Unforth is back answering the first question we got: What inspired you to start your own press? #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #booktok #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hey folks, it’s unforth again from Duck Prints Press and here answering some questions about the press for Small Press Month. The first question that we got was “what inspired you to start your own press?” There were definitely a lot of factors that went into it, but I would say that the sort of most immediate big one is that when I started writing fanfiction I found that I was surrounded by all these really really amazingly skilled writers and many of them dreamed of being involved in publishing and didn’t really know where to start, how to get involved, who to talk to, blah blah blah, all that stuff, and I had just enough connections in publishing to think I had some idea of what I was doing and some qualifications for filling that space. And then it took 7 years to actually do it, so yeah it was a pretty big job. But here we are!

What distinguishes Duck Prints Press from other small presses?

@duckprintspress

Claire is back answering our second question: What distinguishes Duck Prints Press from other small presses? #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #queer #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hello again, here’s unforth/Claire/Nina, depends on what you want to call me I guess. Unforth is online, Claire is my actual name, Nina is my pen name. Once again here to talk about Duck Prints Press as part of our feature for Small Press Month, and our second question is “what distinguishes Duck Prints Press from other small presses?” Answering this well would require knowing a lot more about other small presses than I actually do, but I would say a lot of it’s different because of – well, for several reasons. We are much less top-down, in that we have a much more collaborative process for basically everything we do. We’re also much less of a black box,  which is to say that it’s not like “send in submission, get answer back, that’s all you ever really know.” We try to be really really transparent and open about our process, what we’re doing, our timelines, our reasons for picking some people and not others, all of that jazz. We also are different in that we focus very strongly on LGBTQIA+ and queer stories and characters. I try not to say writers and creators and authors also because I’m not here to out anybody, but many of us are queer. I’m queer, hi! Yeah, that’s just a few of the ways, there’s way more, but I’m trying not to turn this into video essays. Have a good one, guys.

What is the best thing and what is the hardest thing about running a small press?

@duckprintspress

Claire is back, talking about the best and hardest things about running a #smallpress #booktok #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hi! Unforth here again for Small Press Week – Month – with Duck Prints Press, and we are answering questions we got from our contributors about the Press, and I am the owner/founder/manager/almost everything. “What is the best thing and what is the hardest thing about running a small press?” The best thing is the people. That one is really easy. I have met so many amazing creators who I would never have gotten to know otherwise, and everybody is just brilliant, talented, skilled, wonderful, y’all are amazing. I do this for you, and I do it for all of us, and I want to see us all succeed and be awesome and show everybody that a press modeled like this can work. You guys make it worth it every single day. The hardest thing is all of the not-fun parts. You know, everybody’s going to enjoy different parts of running a business. I find fiscal stuff to be challenging and a drag and it takes forever. I spent 3 hours doing our taxes last week. Don’t even get me started on collecting sales tax. It would bore you to tears, and it bores me to tears and I have to do it anyway. And marketing. Marketing takes so much time and so much work for so little reward that’s visible immediately. Like, the reward’s coming. It goes – little by little we get there, but it’s – man, it feels like you take baby steps for months to get, like, 5 feet closer to where you want to be. So I would say, the parts I find hardest are the actually “being a business” parts.

A word of advice to people wanting to start their own press.

@duckprintspress

Claire with a message for anyone with hopes of starting their own press #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hi hi, unforth here again from Duck Prints Press, filming some questions – sorry, filming some answers to questions we got from people involved in the press about how Duck Prints Press came to be as part of our features for Small Press Month. And our next question is, oh – it’s, well. “A word of advice to people wanting to start their own press.” One word: don’t. No, I’m kidding. It’s way more work than I ever thought it would be, but perhaps more importantly, you’ve got to be ready to be a jack of all trades. You’ve got to be ready to think that you can learn anything you need to learn, because you’re gonna have to. I know more about tax law than I ever would have imagined myself capable of learning because there’s never enough money to hire all the professionals you need who are experts and there’s never enough resources to recruit the people who have that information so you need to figure it out yourself, or at least that’s what my situation has been. Maybe if you have a lot more starting capital than I do you’ll be in a better position in that regard. Just, don’t be afraid of it, but be ready to learn all kinds of things you thought you’d never learn. And also if you think you’re gonna have time for your own writing, haha good luck with that. I hope you have a better time of it than I’ve had.

What is the best way for people to support small presses? 

@duckprintspress

What is the best way for people to support small presses like Duck Prints Press? One word! #booktok #smallpressmonth #smallpress #publishing #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hi! It’s unforth/Claire/Nina Waters here again. I’m the owner and founder of Duck Prints Press, a small press that focuses on working with fanfiction authors to publish their original work, and we are answering questions we got from our contributors about things about the press as part of Small Press Week. And the next question is – “what is the best way for people to support small presses like Duck Prints Press?” Money. The answer is money. I can’t imagine this is a surprise. I mean – this is best way, mind you, I’m not saying only way. But I mean – there is never enough sales. It would be, you know, back our Patreon, support us on ko-fi, buy our books, review our books on Storygraph, Goodreads, our website, any place else you can think of. Your personal blogs. I don’t know – anywhere. Instagram. Tiktok, hi! But I know money is in short supply for basically everybody. If you’re looking at this and going “well, duh, money, but how can I do that?” That’s fine. Signal boost us. Talking about us. I mean, even just literally, just hitting a reblog/retweet/share button really, really, really helps. Because even if you don’t have money, when the posts spread through social media if they find – if they spread through 100 people and one of those people has money, then we make a sale. And that helps us, because in the end, this can only be a passion project for us, and we need to make money if we’re really going to succeed and show people that we can do this. And I think and know and believe that we can. And so help us out!

Why do small presses matter?

@duckprintspress

Back again answering questions for #smallpressmonth ! This time Claire is explaining why small presses matter #booktok #smallpress #publishing #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hi, it’s unforth/Claire again, here for another Small Press Month update from Duck Prints Press, and I just realized – I decided to do all of these on a day I’m wearing a ducky shirt. I didn’t plan that or anything, just worked out. I only own one ducky shirt – it’s not even like there’s a lot of them. And our next questions is, “In your opinion, why do small presses matter?” Small presses matter because traditional publication – trad pub – is really obsessed with marketing and success and corporation stuff and making huge profits, and they don’t have time for small voices and taking risks and margin – you know – marginalized people and publishing stories stories that they don’t think will succeed. And they’re wrong. I think those stories absolutely can succeed, but also, you know, there needs to be somebody out there taking those chances and that’s what small presses do. And a lot of small press don’t succeed, but even when we fail, stories have still been published, they’ve still been out there, the stories have still gotten told. So even when we fail fiscally, we’ve still succeeded in the core goal, which is to tell these stories to as wide an audience as possible. And that’s why small presses matter.

What are the common misconceptions about small presses, either internal or external?

@duckprintspress

Today Claire’s talking about a big misconception in the small press industry #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Transcription: Hey hey, unforth here again with another of Duck Prints Press’s Q and A session answers to questions from our contributors that we’re doing for Small Press Month. And the next one is the first one that I’m sort of like “I don’t have any idea what I’m gonna say.” “What are common misconceptions about small presses, either internal or external?” I can answer internal I guess. I think people have a – well, maybe external too – I think people have a much inflated idea of our earnings and sales. They’re – they’re very low. Hi, I’m the owner. I’ve been running this for over 2 years and I have never taken a paycheck. One of these days I need to get paid. That would be nice. But I think there’s this idea that “if you build it they will come,” which is to say that if you write the book and put it out there, then people are going to magically appear to buy it. And that’s really, really not the case. It is so much work to get books into people’s hands or onto their devices as the case may be. In terms of other misconceptions from an external standpoint, I have no idea. You know, everybody comes to a job from a direction when they start a business. There’s gonna be things that they knew ahead of time and things that they didn’t. I came to this with a lot of experience in writing and editing and things like running web pages and organizing fandom events and things like that. I have no press experience. I haven’t worked for other presses. I am not traditionally published. I know some people in the industry, that’s about the closest that I get. And so what their point of view might be, I could not begin to tell you. But you know, we manage.

What are your biggest non-monetary victories?

@duckprintspress

Claire here to talk about some of our biggest non monetary victories! #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

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Transcription: Unforth from Duck Prints Press here again answering questions we got from our contributors about Small Press Month and what running a small press is like. So our next question is, “what are your biggest non-monetary victories?” I guess it sort of depends what you consider a victory. I really appreciate the buy-in we’ve gotten from fandoms that know about us. Every time we get a lot of reblogs and a lot of boosts, it feels good because these are our people. We are fans. That’s the whole point is that we’re fans doing this in the hopes that we can get other fans involved as readers and writers and artists and graphic designers and website people and like every single person is a fan. The only person involved who isn’t a fan is my – is the lawyer I hire. And for all I know he is a fan, I haven’t asked. It’s really none of my business. It’s also – it always feels good when somebody big notices us, so, you know, the owner of another small press backed our first Kickstarter. I don’t care about the money – it’s cool that this person noticed, that’s what I was excited about. Cecilia Tan reblogged – sorry, retweeted us. A few other, you know, people who you’re like “hey, I know that name! I know who they are!” saw that we existed, and that feels good. I also feel like it’s essential. So yeah, I would say that most of our biggest non-monetary ones have been, like, “senpai noticed me” moments, haha. But you know, we’re getting there. I feel like I keep ending them with things like that so let me trying tying this off a little bit more intelligently. I think that in order to succeed ultimately, we need that kind of attention on us, and so every time it happens, it feels like a small victory because I figure – I think I read somewhere, and this might be total nonsense, that you need to, like, see a word at least 20 times before you actually know it. Like, before you can remember it, spell it, use it correctly in context, blah blah blah. And so I tend to perhaps inappropriately use that as my metric for, like, what it takes to succeed. Which is to say that, any given person is going to need to see Duck Prints Press and know we exist at least 20 times before that actually means something to them and they maybe think of us when they go, “Hey what am I going to read next? What book should I buy?” So, you know, that those – when those big people see us, that’s a lot of people’s one time finding out that we exist, so that means a lot. And somehow this has ended up the longest video. Funny how that works out.

What are the core ideas behind Duck Prints Press?

@duckprintspress

What is Duck Prints Press’s mission? Claire here to talk about the core idea behind DPP #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #queer #duckprintspress

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Transcription: Hey hey! Unforth here yet again with another of our Q&A questions from Small Press Month. We asked people on our Discord if they had questions about running a small press that would work well for videos during Small Press Month and these were the results. And I’m sorry I keep swiveling my chair, I’m trying to find an angle where the snow falling outside doesn’t reflect horribly off of my glasses. That’s why this keeps happening. Anyway, the next question is: “What are the core ideas behind Duck Prints Press?” The core idea behind Duck Prints Press is to work with people in fandom communities – fan authors, fan artists, etc. – to help them to bring their original work from concept to fruition. You know – we love it when those people publish with us, but we do actually offer consulting, so if those people don’t want to publish with us, they can just have us edit and then publish it someplace else, and that would be fine too. The core of it is helping people create, encouraging people to create, and helping all – helping individuals succeed by helping all of us succeed. Because many of us have individual followings for our fan works, and I think that if we – I really believe, and it’s one of the core tenants of the press – that if we pool all of that together, we can help all of us to get to where we want to be in terms of – as writers, as artists, as creators, you know, as published people. So, yeah, that’s the core idea. That comes with a heavy queer/LGBTQIA+ flavor. Nobody has to be queer, no story has to be queer, but the general gist is all very, very not straight or cis, or you know any combination thereof. We’re not that picky. We’re not outing anybody “own voices” style here. Helping fan creators to get more attention for their original work and lifting all – lifting each other up to do it. That’s our core idea.

What would you do differently if you had to start over?

@duckprintspress

What would you do differently if you had to start over? Claire talks about the possible ways Duck Prints Press could’ve been changed #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

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Transcription: Unforth from Duck Prints Press here again answering questions for Small Press Week – Small Press Month. I keep making that mistake. Small Press Month about Duck Prints Press, the fan-oriented small press that works to help fan creators publish their original works. And our next question is: “What would you do differently if you had to start all over?” That is a really good question. Because if I’m honest, I don’t think we screwed anything up all that bad. And the things that got most messed up were kind of outside of our control to some extent. Like a lot of our year-2 plans just got delayed and put on hiatus because I ended up needing back surgery. I would do that differently. I would not try to run a business that was only 7 or 8 months old while suffering from increasingly severe spinal stenosis. That sucked. Don’t do that. In terms of things that I could control… I don’t know if it would have gone better because it’s really impossible to say, but doing a model where we had a lot more starting capital would have been very different and potentially could have gone a lot better. I think of Big Bang Press, which tried to do something very similar to us. They launched with a Kickstarter that raised $55,000, and what happened after that is best left to various fan wank webpages. But when I think about, sort of, what I could have done differently if we had started with $55,000, that would have been really different and I think potentially really helpful. We could have gotten a lot more input from professional than we’ve been able to really afford so far – like, by that I mean a CPA, a lawyer. Like, obviously we’ve spoken to those people, but I have to always try to keep it brief and do as much myself as possible because there’s just not enough money to go around. But if I’d had – if we’d gone a direction where instead of , sort of, shoestringing it from the beginning and trying to build from small to big, if we’d instead gone a “let’s collect investors and make this work from the – you know – build everything at once with a big starting investment” – I wonder how sustainable that would have been once the initial investment ran out? But it certainly would have made a lot of things different early on, and a lot of those things could have been easier. So, yeah, I know the reasons I didn’t do it that way, so I can’t actually say for sure I would do it differently or do it that way if I had to start over. But I do think that it’s a very different approach that could have had a very different outcome and might be interesting if we had a multiverse that we could test hypotheses in. 

Where do you see Duck Prints Press in 5 years?

@duckprintspress

Where will Duck Prints Press be in five years? Find out Claire’s plan so far! #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

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Transcription: Unforth here! I also go by Claire, which is my real name, and Nina, which is my pen name – Nina Waters. And I am the owner of Duck Prints Press, and I am here answering questions from our Discord…Discord members, that’s a good word…Discord members about the press as part of a celebration for Small Press Month. And our next question is, “Where do you see Duck Prints Press in 5 years?” And I’ll own, I actually usually don’t project out quite that far. By the time I go to 5 years, it feels a little too pipe-dreamy and I tend to look at more like one to two years as more like my goal. Like, I’m in planning for 2024 right now in March of 2023. But I would say, 5 years, I’d love to see us breaking even consistently and making enough of a profit. I’d love to see our Patreon bringing in about a thousand dollars a month, which would be a bit – a little over double what we’ve got now, we’re about $400. And when I say Patreon, and I mean Patreon and ko-fi combined, I always short-hand it. I’d love to us having a really steady stream of novels coming out, like, maybe 10 novels a year, as well as 4 anthologies and all the short stories, novellas, and novelettes. I would definitely like to see our books on some bookshelves. I think that that’s achievable and probably – I mean, honestly, I think all of this is achievable, or most of this is achievable in a shorter time frame than five years. Like, I think I can probably have books on bookshelves sometime in 2024 – bookstore bookshelves, I mean. And I also – I think I’d love to see a pretty solid cadre of artists and authors who are working with us consistently. I’d love to be doing several major art projects a year, so like – tarot decks, art books, card books – I feel like there’s a lot of other really obviously stuff and my brain is just totally blank right now. But you get the idea. So not just author projects, but also projects that are sort of the artist equivalent of a novel as it were. And…yeah. I’d just really like to see us keep growing and keep doing what we’re doing. I think we’re on a good track.

How do small presses in general (and Duck Prints Press specifically) differ from tradpub?

@duckprintspress

How do small presses and Duck Prints Press differ from traditional publication presses? It turns out there lots of ways we’re different! #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

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Transcription: Unforth here again from Duck Prints Press, answering questions about the press for Small Press Month. I’m going to try filming this one with my right hand holding the camera, which for some reason seems much harder. And this is our last question for small press – Small Press Month. How is one 3-word phrase something bumbling in so many of these videos? The world will never know. “How do small presses in general, or Duck Prints Press in particular, differ from traditional public – tradpub – traditional publication presses?” I mean, certainly size. I mean, those places that have entire departments to do things that I do all of myself or do all of, do most of with the support or 2 or 3 other people. I mean, we’re almost up to having an editing department. We’ve got 12 or 13 people now helping with editing. But, I mean, we still only have on lead editor, like for things like anthologies, it’s still – I’m still the last say. Nobody else has yet been able to step up and be a lead editor, though I’m looking forward to that as something we might do maybe next year. Things like, I mean, selection process, transparency, I mean obviously we’re not a public company, we’re not traded. We don’t have investors. We don’t have stockholders. Things like that. So, yeah, I mean, it’s honestly it’s so different that it’s hard to say how different all of it is. I would say this is not about presses in general, I think we’re pretty atypical in how we handle these things even among presses – small presses, I should say. I’m not trying to exceptionalize us, like, I’m sure there are other places doing things similar to what we’re doing. But I certainly don’t know what they are, so I can’t like shout them out like “hey that place does what we’re doing!” Yeah, it’s sort of different on every level. In ways, like, we don’t work through agents at all. We don’t take unsolicited manuscripts ever. Our recruitment strategies are totally different. Our marketing strategies are totally different. You know, we’re – we really came at this as fans, first, and we looked at kind of what – what makes a fan thing succeed, whether that this is a new fanwork, or a zine, or a pay-for-production campaign, whatever it is. What are the things we’ve seen and been involved in that have worked that have done that. We tried to emulate that because we’re fans and we expect our audience to be fans, so we decided to take an approach using methods that are tried-and-true in fandom, and applying them to our original work. And, yeah, from bottom to top, that is just totally different than what trad pub does.

Outro

@duckprintspress

One last message from Claire as we wrap up Small Press Month. We hope you all enjoyed these as much as we did! Do you have any additional questions? Drop them here! #booktok #smallpress #smallpressmonth #publishing #duckprintspress

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Transcription: Hey hey, so one last time here with unforth. That’s me. My real name is Claire, my pen name is Nina Waters. I am the owner and founder of Duck Prints Press, which is a small press that works with fan authors and fan artists and fan creators to publish and share our original work. We’ve been celebrating Small Press Month all through March, answering a whole mess of questions that we got from our Discord members. We hope that you’ve found these interviews interesting. I’ve honestly never done anything like this before. I have no idea if I’m doing a good job. But I hope you’ve enjoyed them. They’ve been interesting questions to think about and to answer, and I look forward to sort of opening up dialogues about any of these topics. If you’ve seen anything, heard anything, read anything in any of our posts on this topic that got you thinking, we would love to hear more about that. So, probably you know – I expect I’m gonna use this last video in a master post that links to all the others, check them out! We answered a bunch of questions about why we exists, what we do, who we work with, how we’re different, and we’d love you to get more involved. So don’t be a stranger, okay? And yeah, that’s again, I’m Claire/unforth, this has been all about Duck Prints Press, duckprintspress.com, in case that wasn’t really obvious, and um. Yeah. I hope you have a great day. And in conclusion, you guys – you guys want to see the snow? It’s been snowing the whole time I did this. It’s really pretty outside, take a look. Hopefully you’re not just seeing, like, tons of bug wire right now cause I can’t really see how good a view you’re getting, but yeah it’s really snowy outside of my office right now. Hopefully that wasn’t just, like, 10 seconds of just like glaring white light. If it was, I’m really sorry. Have a good one, everyone. Bye!


Thanks for joining us for Small Press Month, y’all, and if you’ve got any questions we didn’t answer, we encourage you to check out our FAQ, comment on this post, or drop us an ask on Tumblr!

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Celebrate Aromantic Awareness Week with Our 8 Favorite Books with Aro Characters!

To celebrate #aromanticawarenessweek, we asked our contributors (some of whom chose to remain anonymous) to recommend their favorite books with aromantic characters (some explicit, some implied).

Here are our 8 favorites!


Loveless by Alice Oseman
This is the funny, honest, messy, completely relatable story of Georgia, who doesn’t understand why she can’t crush and kiss and make out like her friends do. She’s surrounded by the narrative that dating + sex = love. It’s not until she gets to college that she discovers the A range of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum — coming to understand herself as asexual/aromantic. Disrupting the narrative that she’s been told since birth isn’t easy — there are many mistakes along the way to inviting people into a newly found articulation of an always-known part of your identity. But Georgia’s determined to get her life right, with the help of (and despite the major drama of) her friends.


Commit to the Kick by Tris Lawrence
For eighteen years, Alaric has lived under the cloying politics of family and his Clan community. His freshman year is supposed to be a chance to explore a world where Clan and his shapeshifting Talent isn’t central to his life. But when his inner bear bursts forth during his first football game, endangering those around him, Alaric realizes that it’s not so easy to ignore his past, or his own internalized anger.

In his quest for anger management, Alaric begins to train in taekwondo, and makes new friends in both sports. He finds that he is creating his own small community, where Clan, Mages, other Talents, and even humans come together and build their own found family.


When Alaric receives news that something has happened to his brother Orson, he must return and deal with his Clan and his place in their world. He discovers that old prejudices are still strong between Clan and Mage communities, but that both may be in danger from a creature long thought to be only a legend. Alaric must figure out how to move forward and prevent a war and protect both his home and newly built communities, his found family with him every step of the way.


The Graverobbers’ Chronicles by Xu Lei
Uncle Three loves good food, good booze, good card games, and bad women–and he’s never found a grave he wouldn’t rob. He can’t help it – it’s in his blood – grave robbing has been the family business for centuries. So when his bookseller nephew comes to him with a map to an ancient tomb, Uncle Three sets off to find it, in the company of some grave-robbing colleagues, his nerdy nephew, and a strange poker-faced guy that nobody can quite figure out. Uncle Three knows that the grave he seeks will lead him and his companions to “another kind of world,” but not even he could ever imagine what they are about to find. Lost in a labyrinthine cavern that is full of dead bodies, Uncle Three and his comrades fight for their lives as they come up against vampires, corpse-eating bugs, and blood zombies.


The Devil’s Luck by L. S. Baird
Years ago, a foolish wastrel once played a hand of cards with the devil… and lost. Now Frey has inherited his uncle’s double curse: the Devil’s claim written on his body in crimson letters, and the impossibly good luck that comes with it. Death is Frey’s only escape from his destiny, but not even Etienne, an expert assassin from the Order of the Crimson Seal, can defeat Frey’s luck alone. And when Etienne finds himself growing too fond of his victim, he doesn’t know if Frey’s good nature or the luck is to blame. However, Etienne will give his all to preventing the Archdemon’s return, even if his all includes wearing a corset, and killing a friend.


All Systems Red by Martha Wells
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid – a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.


In Good Company by Nicola Kapron
Haruki no longer remembered what had been going through his head the first time he’d killed. All he recalled was the sight of those he’d once loved with all the helpless force of a scared, scarred child covered in red and utterly still. He hadn’t felt grief or triumph when he realized they weren’t struggling anymore. He’d just felt—

Empty.

Better to be hollow than to despair.


Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions–much good it did me.

So begins Kaikeyi’s story. The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, she is raised on legends of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharat prospers, and how they offer powerful boons to the devout and the wise. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.

Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.

But as the evil from her childhood tales threatens the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family. Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak–and what legacy she intends to leave behind.


Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace
New Liberty City, 2134.

Two corporations have replaced the US, splitting the country’s remaining forty-five states (five have been submerged under the ocean) between them: Stellaxis Innovations and Greenleaf. There are nine supercities within the continental US, and New Liberty City is the only amalgamated city split between the two megacorps, and thus at a perpetual state of civil war as the feeds broadcast the atrocities committed by each side.

Here, Mallory streams Stellaxis’s wargame, SecOps on BestLife, spending more time jacked in than in the world just to eke out a hardscrabble living from tips. When a chance encounter with one of the game’s rare super-soldiers leads to a side job for Mal–looking to link an actual missing girl to one of the SecOps characters. Mal’s sudden burst in online fame rivals her deepening fear of what she is uncovering about BestLife’s developer, and puts her in the kind of danger she’s only experienced through her avatar.


Recommendations contributed by Nina Waters, softestpunk, Adrian Harley, and others.


Also: did you know? Duck Prints Press’s owner, Nina Waters, is aro! We’re an aro-owned company!

Who we are: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to help fanfiction authors navigate the complex process of bringing their original works from first draft to print, culminating in publishing their work under our imprint. We are particularly dedicated to working with queer authors and publishing stories featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Love what we do? Want to make sure you don’t miss the announcement for future giveaways? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get previews, behind-the-scenes information, coupons, and more! Want to support the Press, read about us behind-the-scenes, learn about what’s coming down the pipeline, get exclusive teasers, and claim free stories? Back us on Patreon or ko-fi monthly!

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Celebrate Pride by Learning About Ten Queer Independent Publishers!

This week, we’re spotlighting other queer, independent presses out there – some queer-owned, some focusing on publishing queer stories, some both. Take a look below – and if you know another press that’s not on the list, add it in the reblogs! The more queer publishers, the better. 😀

Brown Recluse Zine Distro is a collectively run organization created to support and center zines by queer and trans people of color. Check out their shop for zines on dozens of topics, from personal reflection to political organizing.

Zombies Need Brains has been publishing themed anthologies for 10 years, and, this summer, they’re expanding to publish two short stories per month through their Patreon. Their next anthology’s theme will be announced in July; in the meantime, you can also pick up their previous anthologies and other ebooks in their store

Interlude Press and their YA imprint, Duet Books, have published more than 90 works of LGBTQ+ fiction across genres. Their catalog is full of award-winners, and with the plethora of genres, they offer something for everyone.

All Worlds Wayfarer, a quarterly speculative literary magazine, has recently started producing themed anthologies as well. Their latest, Prismatic Dreams, contains 30 sci-fi, fantasy, and horror short stories with queer protagonists.

Speculatively Queer “publishes speculative stories about queer hope, joy, love, affirmation, and community.” It Gets Even Better: Stories About Queer Possibility is available now, and Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth is available for preorder.

Renaissance Press publishes diverse Canadian voices across genres. Their latest release is AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets. 

Microcosm Publishing is a Portland-based publisher founded in 1996 to focus “on … the experiences of what it is like to be a marginalized person.” They especially focus on publishing work by women. They’ve currently got a Kickstarter running for their next title, “Unf*ck Your Grief.”

OFIC Mag is a small, new press focused on publishing a quarterly anthology featuring original stories and art by fanauthors and fanartists. They recently opened their third edition to submissions.

Ylva Publishing focusing on stories about women loving women, with an emphasis on diversity. They’re woman-owned and cross-genre, releasing everything from mysteries to romance to historical to erotica. They also publish YA titles!

Atthis Arts Indie Publishing is a small press named after a character from Sappho’s poetry. They are especially interested in publishing works by members of underrepresented groups.

Bonus! An 11th Press

Space Wizard Science Fantasy, an indie press focused on queer sci-fi and fantasy, is just getting started. They’ve launched a Year 1 Kickstarter, featuring a number of titles they are working on, and they could really use more support. Back their current Kickstarter to purchase individual books or subscribe to the whole Year 1 slate of fiction!