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Our Next Anthology! Aim for the Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers”

Our next anthology, second in our Queer Fanworks Inspired By… series, will feature stories and black-and-white artworks inspired by The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas! This theme was selected by monthly backers on our Patreon and ko-fi, based on a list of finalists selected by our management team, and we couldn’t be more excited about their choice!

Have you ever thought, “this story is great but why isn’t it queer”?

Are Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan your OT4?

Do you love ridiculous hats? Flamboyant outfits? Skirts wider than doorways? Shiny shiny swords?

Are you positive that literally every female character in the book deserved better than canon?

Well, if any of those describe you, WE WANT YOUR ARTWORK! This is an open call for artist applicants to create a black-and-white or grayscale artwork of A4 size, taking inspiration from the source material of the d’Artagnan romances, transforming them, and queerifying them for the delight and enjoyment of all! You must create fanart (of any fandom, doesn’t have to be this one!) to be eligible to apply for this anthology! And – this is a paid opportunity! We’ll be paying a minimum of $50 per page of artwork – and there may be opportunities for artists to do more than one page, and there may be a pay increase (dependent on crowdfunding success).

Interested? Fascinated? Intrigued? You and Milady both! Read on to learn more…

Recruitment is open until October 15th, 2022.

We’d love to hear from you, so why not take a stab at publishing with us and Apply Now!

Artwork by Pallas Perilous.

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Do You Tiktok?

Well, now we do too! We’ve actually had the account for ages, and we’ve batted around a lot of ideas for how to use it without implementing any of them, but now we’ve posted our first video there. Long-term, we hope to post there regularly; at the moment, if you use Tiktok and want to give us a follow, expect intermittent posts: unboxings, asks answered, slice-of-life, book gushing, readings, and of course ducks (always ducks!), that kind of thing.

Our account is here!

And our first video? Why, here of course! It’s a video of me (Nina Waters, the Press owner!) unboxing the patches for the crowdfunding campaign for She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars. The merch was produced by Alchemy, featuring artwork by Reship KMN (Tumblr | Twitter).

@duckprintspress

Duck Prints Press Unboxes: Patches for “He Bears the Cape of Stars” and “She Wears the Midnight Crown.” Art by Reshipkmn, Manufactured by Alchemy.

♬ original sound – duckprintspress

Have something you’d like to see a member of the Press talk about in a video? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do to make it happen!

We’ll also be cross-posting videos on Instagram and YouTube, so even if you don’t have Tiktok, don’t worry – you’ve got options to make sure you don’t miss out!

Oh, and here’s a pic of the patches – they’re so beautiful and sturdy! I can’t wait to send them out to everyone.

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Current Projects and Their Statuses

We received the following ask on Tumblr:

Hi, Friendly anon here! I was wondering if y’all had any updates on your projects? I found a reference to a Trello taskboard thing that looked like it might have some but I got waaaaay confused trying to understand it. How goes everything?

And, our answer!

Hey anon!

Yeah, we’ve publicly shared our Trello here but for someone who’s not familiar with how Trello boards are set up I can absolutely see how it could be confusing. So I’m figuring I can answer this Ask two-fold: first with what we’re actually up to right now, and second with a quick how-to that’d hopefully help with understanding the Trello in the future.

Current Projects and Their Statuses:

And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Kickstarter fulfillment is complete except for people who haven’t done their backer surveys. We are planning to release the e-book and some surplus merch on our website on October 1st, so we’ve been doing work related to that: taking pictures, preparing shop listings, working on our controlled vocabulary, etc.

He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown: we’ve got virtually all the merchandise here and ready to go with a few exceptions; the bath bombs still need to be repackaged, the patches are currently shipping and are slated to arrive on Wednesday, and chocolates we won’t get until it’s time to ship, so they won’t spoil while sitting around waiting. We’re still hard at work on the books themselves and the stories. There are a total of 36 stories in the two collections; as of right now, 19 stories are completely done/edited/ready to go, and 7 more are close (at the final step before completion). The rest are in various stages of editing. We’ve ended up behind our originally (intentionally optimistic) projected schedule for a variety of reasons, but we’re well within the range of our more “pessimistic” projections, which had us fulfilling in March or so. As it is, we expect to be able to complete fulfillment/ship people’s purchases in early November.

Our Next Anthology: we’ve been hard at work on the planning for our second Queer Fanworks Inspired By… anthology. We’ve hammered out all the details, figured out a schedule, got a title, drafted and edited the websites and surveys that include the rules, guidelines, recruitment stuff, etc., and we anticipate launching recruitment (which will mostly be internal) on October 1st.

An Enamel Pin Campaign: we originally intended to launch a campaign featuring only enamel pins in September. We’re still planning to launch it, but we had so many ideas that we’ve struggled to narrow them down, and so odds are we’ll be launching this in October instead. Right now, we’ve narrowed it to a specific theme and right now we’re voting on which specific pins we want within that theme.

General Business Tasks: as we’re getting closer to finishing the stories for He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown we’ve been tackling a back-log of more general tasks. For example, we’ve opened up opportunities for authors we’ve worked with to publish their solo original works (as in, personal projects by our authors instead of themed anthologies) and we’re in the process of reviewing the interest checks people sent in, gathering more information from the authors, and getting the ball rolling on having more stand-alone/solo projects coming down the pipes. This is an essential step in widening the scope of what we publish, and we are aiming to start getting out roughly a novel a quarter starting this winter. Also, starting in October, we expect to publish a short story per week on our website, though we’re still getting the ducks in a row to make that a reality so consider that tentative, not official. We’ve also also been expanding the resources part of our website, preparing a style guide, an e-book formatting guide, a fandom lexicon, and more. Our resource-related posts have tended to be well-received, and also because the resources are free we consider providing them an important part of our mission of helping fanfiction author publish their works: even someone who never works with DPP can benefit from a public, free, thorough, professional-level guide that helps them format their story for e-book publication without needing any special/expensive software, for example.

That’s…all the basics I think? there’s also a continuous background buzz of Things That We Do – regular blogging, daily monitoring/upkeep on our social media, maintaining our Patreon and ko-fi accounts, accounting, end-of-month and beginning-of-month fiscal activities, etc. – all the day-to-day activities that keep a business (even a business as small and new as this one) running.

How to Navigate the Trello

So, while we’re still hammering out the details on how best to organize the Trello for utility both for us as we organize things and to the public – in particular, I’m going to need to tweak how it’s set up if we’re going to effectively use the built-in calendar functionality – here’s how it’s set up now.

LISTS:

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The highest level of organization on a Trello Board is the lists. We’ve currently got a whole bunch of different lists.

At a Glance: this is the “overview” lists. It includes all of our current projects, and all of our regular/general management. Those are organized on Cards – more on that next.

Merchandise: lists all the merchandise we’ve currently got in production/in process, and what their current status is. (it does NOT include merch produced for past campaigns/activities)

After those two, we have a whole bunch of lists that all serve the same function: they indicate what stage of editing we’ve completed for each of a number of stories we’re currently working on.

  • Developmental – Writing in Progress: first draft isn’t done
  • Developmental – Draft Completed: first draft is done, waiting for an editor
  • Concept Editing – First Pass Completed: a concept-edit run has been returned to the author and is pending their review
  • Concept Editing – Second Pass Completed: a second concept-edit run has been returned to the author and is pending their review.
  • Copy – First Edits Completed: a SPAG edit run has been returned to the author and is pending their review.
  • Copy – Second Pass Completed: a second SPAG edit run has been returned to the author and is pending their review.
  • Copy – Final Edits Completed: a final/clean-up SPAG edit run has been returned to the author and is pending their review.
  • Final Edits Approved, Contract Sent and Pending Signature: the author has approved the final edit run and has been sent their contract.
  • Story Completed, Contract Signed, Author Paid, Preliminary Formatting Done: what it says on the tin
  • Typesetting – First Pass: the typesetter has done the first run on formatting the story for print.
  • Typesetting Completed: what it says on the tin.

Not every single story ends up needing every single one of these, and sometimes stories need more concept or SPAG runs than this, but we thought this division reflected the process stories go through most often. We’ve given the stories basic anonymizing so that no author feels “called out,” though more often than not it’s the editing team that’s behind, not the authors.

Long-Term Ideas, Lists, Information We May Need Someday: the last of our lists is what it says on the tin. We keep track of ideas for future anthologies, potential merch, things we’ve thought of and went “we can’t do that now but maybe someday…” etc., and we just toss it all there so that the ideas don’t get lost.

CARDS:

Every List is composed of Cards. Each Card reflects one category of “thing that needs to be done.” There are a lot of ways to actually set up lists and cards (and we may change ours in the future) but currently, we have:

Cards for all our main projects/overarching “areas” in which we’re working. These are on the At a Glance List.

Cards for all currently in-progress Merchandise, on the Merchandise list.

Cards for all stories we have in-progress at the moment, on the appropriate Lists for their current status.

Cards for some over-arching categories of “things for not now,” on the Long-Term Ideas list.

All the Cards on At a Glance have the same basic structure. If you click on the Card, you’ll be able to see sub-tasks/checklists related to the items on that list. For example, here’s the Recurring Tasks Card:

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This is one of the most complex of the Cards, as it includes all the activities we engage in daily, weekly, monthly, and annually to keep the business running smoothly. Other “management” related Cards on this list include two related to our weekly management meetings and monthly all-server meetings, and the General Task Card, which lists a whole slew of background activities that we’ve been working on and/or intend to do (divided into separate checklists for each category, cause there are just so many).

Then, below the the general Cards the cards for specific projects. Here’s the one for He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown.

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This, and the other specific project Cards, list all the tasks we currently know of/have thought of that need to be done for the given project. The checklists give a quick idea of what the task is, and indicates the current status of that task. A few also have dates attached to them, though not most cause we don’t tend to treat deadlines as that “hard” internally – we prefer to maintain flexibility considering how many people are involved in these projects and how complex all our lives are and how the world just, ya know, is right now.

As we complete tasks, we move them into the Comments section at the bottom of the Card. Because we only recently implemented this public system (previously, we worked from a private Trello that looked a lot like this but was just a bit messier and not designed to be viewed by outsiders, like, we used a lot of shorthand, that kind of thing) it doesn’t include tasks completed before we implemented this system, but we’ve been doing our best to keep on top of it since we opened the public Trello a couple weeks ago. For example, here’s the completed tasks for our upcoming anthology that we expect to open recruitment for on October 1st:

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So, I think that’s the basic?

Because we want to use the Calendar more, we may end up breaking out more of the individual tasks currently listed on checklists on Cards into their own Cards, since the Calendar mostly functions at the Card-level, not at the checklist-item level. If we do that, we’ll likely make additional Lists for our main active projects, with cards for each task that is currently a checklist item. However, that’s not going to happen immediately just cause there are higher priority things to be done.

If there’s something more specific that you’re finding confusing, I’m happy to put together a tutorial – I tend to figure that if one person has a question and actually tells me they have a question, there are at least a half-dozen other people who had the same question and decided for whatever reason not to ask, and as you likely know, anon and everyone else reading this, we’re committed to transparency, and the Trello is one of the biggest, newest facets of that, so ensuring it’s navigable for new comers is really important to us. It’s hard to create a public-facing system that maintains a certain degree of confidentiality and still serves our needs for managing the business, and also just – we’ve got a lot going on basically all the time (and more and more as we grow), so there’s a lot that has to go on there, which means by necessity it’s kinda complicated. I do worry that if it’s really complex, it’ll serve to create obscurity instead of transparency, but…well, we’re doing our best, and we’ll keep doing our best, and we hope that when questions/issues/concerns/delays/etc. do arise, people will continue to be as patient with us as they have been! <3

Hope that helps, and thanks for sending an ask!! We’re always here to help. <3

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For This Week’s Blog Post: We Need YOU!

One of our long-term projects at Duck Prints Press – something we’ve been working on on-and-off for a while but haven’t made public yet – is a Fandom Lexicon. There are a lot of websites and blog posts that include parts of a list of fandom-specific language, but we’ve not been able to find just a simple glossary, so we decided to put one together. (We’re not saying such websites don’t exist…they surely do…but we also wanted to do our own!)

There are many challenges in making such a list (one of the most obvious being what to include – how general a term is “too” general for inclusion?) but we’ve been doing our best, casting a wide net, and picking the collective brains of people involved in the Press.

And…we’ve basically exhausted our own knowledge/memories/ideas, which is where you, yes YOU, come in!

We want your terminology! What are fandom words you’ve encountered and said “wait, what does that mean?” What’s old fandom slang you used to use that you don’t see anymore and know that some newbie would be confused by? What are words you wish you could have found on a list when you first joined fandom?

We’ve already put together a list of 222 general fandom terms and abbreviations (some definitely “fandom specific,” others more “internet general slang”) and 29 fandom-specific abbreviations (this list is, obviously, much more nascent). You can see the entire list here. (note: there is citrusy terminology on this list, both literally the citrus scale is on there, but also things like A/B/O, BDSM, etc. – it’s a lexicon, after all.)

Currently, we are looking for:

general fandom terms/online terms that would be confusing to people out of context; and

over-arching fandom abbreviations (e.g., MCYT = Minecraft Youtuber, but we don’t want every single abbreviation for every sub-part of the fandom – just the level that if someone saw the abbreviation “in the wild” they’d have at least some frame of reference).

Long term, we’d love to do fandom-specific lexicons as well (NOT wikis, mind you, literally just “this abbreviation often means this” with links to resources that can give more information) but that’s a much larger project that would require recruiting people with enough fandom-specific knowledge for each fandom, and is not our current aim, so please don’t send us stuff like that.

Have you been in fandom a long time? Do you just HATE when people use the word “drabble” wrong? Have you got a list of words you wish fandom still used, or a list of newer terms you regularly look at and go “wait wtf does THAT one mean?”? Send us your words, so we can incorporate them into our list!

You can add a comment! Add your words to the tags! Drop us an ask! However you feel like sending the words our way, go for it.

You can see everything currently on our list HERE. (reminder: lemon text at this link)

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For those who may not have seen…

The crowdfunding campaign for our anthologies She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars has ended, and we’re funded!

A huge, HUGE thank you to everyone who helped spread the word, all the authors and other contributors, and of course to everyone who backed!! We couldn’t have done it without you.

Wondering what comes next? Well…

…we finish editing!

…we order merch!

…we fulfill all our orders!

…we publish the e-book versions on our website!

…and we keep working on publishing more queer books, queer anthologies, queer art, and more!!

(Missed the chance to back the campaign? Well, the books will be available on our website as e-books in – probably – November or December. And, you can always support us monthly – and get lots of awesome perks for doing so! – by backing us on Patreon or ko-fi! Backers get sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes access, exclusive stories, a say in determining themes for future anthologies, and more.)