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.
Currently, we are in the early stages of establishing our business and developing collaborative relationships with fanfiction authors who wish to publish original works. We’re aiming to publish four anthologies in 2022, and we also expect to begin growing our catalog of short stories and novels. You can see our exact status – what we’re working on right now, by visiting our Trello!
Long term, we will operate as a cooperative multi-genre publisher. Members of the cooperative will provide services such as editing, copy-editing, formatting, and art to other members of the cooperative. Operating as a cooperative will enable us to leverage our diverse skills, publish high-quality books at a low cost, and maximize the percentage of each sale that we can pay forward directly to authors.
Duck Prints Press started as a brainstorm between Claire Houck (the owner) and her friend Burdock during the summer of 2015. Claire reflected on how many skilled authors she’d met in fandom circles and how they could be an excellent audience for approaching to work with on original publications. Before then, Burdock had edited a couple anthologies independently, aiming specifically to find new and/or young and/or unknown authors and incorporate them into projects; Claire wrote for three of those anthologies. That summer, Burdock mentioned to Claire that they wanted to found a small press eventually, and Claire grabbed that ball and ran like crazy with it. However, life went a bit sideways after that, and by the time Claire and Burdock both came back up for air, Burdock had moved, gotten a new relationship and a new job, changed their gender and pronouns, and a few other things, and Claire also changed jobs, Kickstarted a stand-alone novel, had two kids, etc. By then, Burdock was no longer as interested and had moved to other stuff (they sell soap and have a lovely hobby farm and an equally lovely husband now!). Meanwhile, Claire still really really wanted to do launch a Press.
For Claire’s stand-alone novel A Glimmer of Hope, which Kickstarted in fall, 2016, Claire wanted an imprint to place on the spine, and that’s when Duck Prints Press was born. The name is an in-joke with Burdock and Claire; when in college together c. 2001, they would prank each other with jokes for Reasons, and so Claire knew the name had to involve ducks, and the pronunciation between Prince and Prints and the potential for a duck print as an icon solidified the concept into Duck Prints Press.
Around 2019, after several years of Press-related inactivity, Claire started moving more seriously to make the idea of a small Press into a reality. Claire asked around in my online social circles to see who would be most interested in helping, and ended up with the initial core team – Alessa, A. L. Heard, P. J. Claremore, and Adaille.
The management team did some serious planning right in August, 20129, but come that September it became clear the team wasn’t going to be able to make it happen quite yet (too many young children between us being one of the primary obstacles), and so the team put their planning on hiatus for a bit longer, blew the dust off everything in December, 2020, and Claire officially incorporated Duck Prints Press in January, 2021.
Since then, Duck Prints Press has expanded the management team as needed to do so – for example, when we decided to do And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, an anthology that included a large art component, we approached Pallas Perilous to see if they would be willing to help (and were very excited when they said yes), and when we felt we needed another “main member” and editor, we approached Lacey Hays, who we first met as a contributor to Add Magic to Taste.
We’ve been working very hard, and we look forward to growing this business over the years to come!
A Message From Our Founders
The goal of this Press has always been to find a bunch of fandom folks who write fanfiction (and who make fanart and create other types of fanmedia, but the original vision was fanfiction-specific), and who, like us, want to publish original work too. For me personally, the reason I wanted to go a small press route was mental health – I knew running the gauntlet of traditional publishing rejection letters would absolutely destroy my clinically depressed brain, and I hated that it was considered a rite of passage/necessary hazing to do that, and to be able to do that, in order to be a successful author. I wanted to create a place where people who, like me, want to write original fiction, and who, like me, have existing followings for our fanfiction – a place where we could leverage our existing skills and followings to help make all of our dreams a reality. That’s the core goal: to get us to a point where a lot of Press management matters are handled collaboratively/through barter. Obviously, there’ll never be a point where everything can be bartered (for example, I anticipate the Press will pay for cover art for a long time to come), but the core idea is that we do a lot as exchange – I edit for you, you type set for me, we all market for each other, etc.
The plan has always been to do a few anthologies to develop a group of people interested to work with us, then spread out from there. Implementation/company development-wise, that’s where we are right now: we have our first 4 anthologies and a few short stories published, the Press has garnered some attention and momentum, and now is the time to spread out and do other projects and also start relying more on the collaborative aspect.
The key to keep in mind about where Duck Prints Press is going long-term is: publishing is never going to be something we’ll be able to just “do for you.” We can’t implement a “if we build it, folks will come for your stuff” model, at least not now, but probably not long-term either. It’s better to think of Duck Prints Press as a bunch of people who might, otherwise, be doing self-pub, instead banding together to use all our skills and all our resources and all our personal readerships to try to build us up as a group.
We hope you’ll consider joining us for this journey as Duck Prints Press grows!