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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.)

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Merchandise Spotlight: Campaign Bookmarks and Pins!

The Seed&Spark campaign for He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown includes a lot of gorgeous merchandise options. Today, we’re taking a look at two of them!

Bookmarks

Our Bookmarks, one aligned with She Wears the Midnight Crown, the other with He Bears the Cape of Stars, feature the lovely artwork of Pippin Peacock.

Bookmark for She Wears the Midnight Crown.
Bookmark for He Bears the Cape of Stars.

With printing by UPrinting, who have also printed the campaign bookmarks for Add Magic to Taste and And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, our first two anthologies, we know that this merch will be gorgeous in high-gloss on quality, thick cardstock. The back of the She Wears the Midnight Crown bookmark will feature the signatures of the authors who contributed to that book; likewise, contributors to He Bears the Cape of Stars provided their signatures so we could share them on the back of that bookmark!

The bookmarks are each 2 in x 7.25 in (5 cm x 18.5 cm) and will have rounded corners, a 3/16 in hole at the top center, and gold tassels!

Enamel Pins

We’ve once again contracted Miss Aceriee to create artwork for our enamel pins, and the results are simply stunning. (In fact, Miss Aceriee produced so many lovely ideas that we had trouble picking – more on that later!). Miss Aceriee took our inspiration and ran with it, creating a design for two pins that are each lovely as stand-alone pieces, and even more amazing when paired!

Enamel pin designs aligned with She Wears the Midnight Crown (left) and He Bears the Cape of Stars (right).

For manufacturing purposes, we will be working with Alchemy for the third time – the pins they made for each of our previous campaigns have turned out fantastically. These pins will each be approximately 2 in x 1 in (5 cm x 2.5 cm), with two back-prongs to help ensure they attach securely. The metalwork is gold, with matching butterfly pin backers. The enamel work will be soft enamel with a clear epoxy coating, and one color (the dark green-blue) on each will have glitter to make it extra sparkly.

Bonus: Backer-Exclusive Reward!

We had so much trouble deciding which of Miss Aceriee’s designs to use as the campaign pins that we decided, first, to have a third/fourth pin offered as a stretch goal (if we hit $26,000 in funding, everyone who backed the campaign at level 5+ will receive one or both pins as extras!), and second, that we’d make the same design we chose for that into a die-cut sticker for some of our monthly backers. People who back Duck Prints Press monthly on Patreon or ko-fi at the $10 or $25 level, AND who back our crowdfunding campaigns, always get an exclusive extra. This time, it’ll be this design in one of these four colorways:

Want to know which of the four will become the sticker? So do we! Our backers can vote on their favorite for the next week, and their wish will be our command – and, if we reach the $26,000 stretch goal, the colors of their choice will also be made into two pins – the sun/crown mask and the star/beard mask, lovely as stand-alone, amazing as an interlocking pair!

So, if you’re a backer, go vote, and if you’re not a backer yet – no time like the present to become one!

You, yes YOU, can support us on Patreon or ko-fi!

And you can back the He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown Campaign HERE!

(Also, just sayin’ – it’s also the last 24 hours to have a say in the theme of our next Queer Fanworks Inspired By… anthology on Patreon or ko-fi – that poll is open to ALL our backers; the sticker poll is only open to backers at the $10 and $25 levels, since they’re the only folks who receive the exclusive campaign extra.)

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Poll Live On Patreon and Ko-fi: Help Pick the Theme for the Next “Queer Fanworks Inspired By…” Anthology!

I’m not saying that now would be a great time to back our Patreon or ko-fi…

…but I’m totally saying that now would be a great time to back our Patreon or ko-fi!!

Why?

Because right now, for the next week (until June 30th, 2022), our monthly backers can vote on the theme for our next Queer Fanworks Inspired By… anthology!!

The management team narrowed the choices down to five:

  1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  2. The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe
  3. Jane Austen (either collected works OR just one, we haven’t decided yet)
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  5. Beowulf

So, did you see And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and think “wow that sounds cool, I really wish there was an anthology of queer fanworks inspired by…”? This is your chance to have a say!

Back Duck Prints Press monthly on Patreon and Ko-fi, and make your voice heard!

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New Backer Free Short Story: “Not So Trivial Matters” by Nickel J. Keep

All monthly backers on our Patreon and our Ko-fi get access to one free short-story per month (fluff, rated gen or teen, up to 2,500 words). We’re actually playing catch-up right now – we fell behind on fulfilling this reward while I was dealing with health issues, but all the stories are now written and in various stages of being editing for posting to our account, and we’ll be sharing them over the next few weeks! So, if you want to read a whole bunch of wonderful short stories, full of fluff and good feels and queerness, and all written by authors transitioning from writing fanfiction to original fiction, why not back us and check them out? Backers can also access all the past backer-stories – that’s ten short stories you can read right now, just by backing us!

This month’s story is:

Title: Not So Trivial Matters

Author: Nickel J. Keep

Genre: Modern

Rating: General Audiences

Relationship: enlm

Character Features: non-binary character

Tags: anxiety, coming out, emotional hurt/comfort (mild), fluff (domestic), internalized transphobia, past tense, pov third person limited, slice of life

Copyright © 2022 Nickel J. Keep

Teaser:

“Sky? Are you almost done in there?” Matthew’s calm, reassuring voice rang from the other side of the door, not settling Sky’s nerves in the least bit. “We need to get going.”

“Yeah,” Sky replied after a moment. They took a look in the mirror. Matt had told them it would be okay, that they could dress how they felt most comfortable. Standing in the bathroom and regarding their reflection in the mirror, the knots in their stomach drew tighter. Where there had once been long brown hair now rested a short mop of green, styled into a quiff. Their lack of chest, hidden by the binder that had arrived that morning, was startling. But it felt right. Paired with a slightly baggy T-shirt and boot-leg jeans, they almost didn’t recognize their body.

It was perfect.

Want to read more? Become a monthly Duck Prints Press supporter on Patreon or Ko-fi and this and lots of other great stuff can be yours!

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Did you know…

Did you know that our Patreon backers get a lot of exclusive blog content? We post multiple times a week to our Patreon blog, sharing teasers, art previews, behind-the-scenes glimpses, extra information on our financials and expenses, opportunities to participate in votes that determine the types of content we create, exclusive fluffy short stories, exclusive slightly-longer erotica stories, 24/7 “AMA” for the DPP management team, and more! Further, to make sure that we’re always transparent about how much work we’re doing and how we spend our working time, we also post a Weekly Business Update every Friday, giving a synopsis of all the progress we’ve made in the previous week.

And now, all this and more is available to monthly backers on ko-fi, too!

We know that not everyone uses Patreon, and often people don’t want to have accounts on multiple websites, especially when those websites involve spending money monthly. We never want anyone to feel they have to join Patreon just to get access, so now we’ll be cross-posting all our exclusive backer content to both Patreon and ko-fi! For features such as surveys, which Patreon offers through internal functionality but ko-fi doesn’t, we’ll now list the surveys through a third-party website (probably Google Forms, for now) to make sure that all our supporters, regardless of platform, get a say!

What does backing us get you?

I’m so glad you asked! We offer 4 backer levels, each building on the previous.

Mallard Duck Backers: $3/month on Patreon or ko-fi

  • access to our backer-exclusive blog, featuring business updates, teasers, works-in-progress, art sneak peeks, and more
  • one free short story per month, up to 2,500 words, written by one of our authors, rated gen or teen (usually, these stories are fluff).
  • voting rights on polls that determine anthology themes
  • access to the Duck Prints Press Discord
  • optional inclusion on our Supporter List

Muscovy Duck Backers: $5/month on Patreon or ko-fi

  • everything that Mallard Ducks get, plus…
  • ask us anything! leave us a comment or send us a message with a question about what makes Duck Prints Press tick, and get the inside scoop written just for you (and our other backers…)
  • complimentary copies of any works of fiction under 1,000 words long that Duck Prints Press publishes
  • nominate themes for blog posts, prompt lists, short stories, and more
  • voting rights on surveys to determine the monthly 2,500 short story, themes for blog posts, etc.

Canvasback Duck Backers: $10/month on Patreon or ko-fi

  • everything that Muscovy Ducks get, plus…
  • a backer-exclusive extra reward for backers who also support our crowdfunding campaigns
  • one free erotica story per month, up to 5,000 words, written by our authors, rated M or E
  • one free e-book from our catalog each month
  • voting rights to determine the theme of the erotica story

Mandarin Duck Backers: $25/month on Patreon or ko-fi

  • everything, yes everything, that Canvasback Ducks get, plus
  • a complimentary copy of all “flat” merchandise produced during our crowd-funding campaigns (for example, art prints, bookmarks, stickers, enamel pins, magnets, keychains) even if you do not back the campaign (if you DO back the campaign, and you choose a level that includes this merch, you’ll get 2 of everything!)
  • a Duck Prints Press T-shirt (3 months backing required)
  • two die-cut stickers per year, produced in June and November each year (1 month backing required)
  • one merchandise item per year, distributed annually in August (last year it was two art prints!) (3 months backing required)
  • optional inclusion on our Premium Support List, which is included in all our e-books and published in all our print books!

As you can see, we have a whole lot to offer! And, supporting Duck Prints Press monthly helps us maximize the amount we can pay our creators – our monthly crowdfunding supports our software expenses, consulting costs, professional/legal services as need needed, supplies and hardware, and more. Our goal is to have our Patreon + ko-fi support total enough that it covers all our overhead each month! This would enable us to pay authors 90% royalties (we’re currently paying 75%), and we’d be able to afford to pay the authors who do the backer short stories (they get edited for free and the story rights revert to them in six months, so they don’t get nothing, but we’d love to offer cash-in-hand), and produce more merchandise, and raise the hourly pay for our staff, and I (the owner) might be able to take a paycheck someday, and, and, and. There’s so much we’ll be adding as we grow, and we’d love you to contribute to making that happen!

So.

Do you love queer creators? Do you love queer stories and art? Do you want to support fanfiction authors pursuing their dreams of publishing their original stories?

This is your moment!

Support Duck Prints Press monthly on Patreon or ko-fi, and help us grow!

(want to support us with money, but not monthly? You can always buy us a one-time ko-fi, or check out our shop, featuring our currently available book titles and our merch!)

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The “And Seek (Not) to Alter Me” Kickstarter is Now Finished!

Duck Prints Press LLC is thrilled to share that our second crowdfunding campaign, aimed at raising $12,000 to enable us to publish And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” has come to a successful conclusion! Over 30 days, 242 backers contributed to support us for a total of $14,914 US.

Backing the campaign was the only way to get a print copy of this gorgeous anthology, but it’s not your only purchase opportunity! We expect that the e-book version (in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats) will go up for sale on our website sometime in July; if we have any extra merchandise, we’ll likely offer that for sale at that time, too. So keep your eyes peeled (and make sure you follow us on social media!) and you can be among the first to hear!

Whether you backed this campaign or not, always remember that you can support us, and the fan-creators-transitioning-to-original-creation with whom we work, by backing us on Patreon. Alternatively, if you prefer Ko-fi, we don’t yet offer a subscription model on Ko-fi but we will soon (we expect to set it up in the next week or two! We’ll likely also open a merchandise store there) so consider following us there, and you’ll get a notification when we open up monthly subscription options there! And, of course, you can buy our books and merchandise anytime through our webstore!

Wondering what’s next for Duck Prints Press?

We’re so glad you asked, because the answer is: a lot!

  1. Our next two anthology, She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, are in-process. These two anthologies feature stories involving masquerades – in all kinds of settings, and with a very loose definition of what counts as a masquerade! She Wears the Midnight Crown focuses on wlw stories. He Bears the Cape of Stars focuses on mlm stories. Both include a huge variety of settings, types of characters, relationship models; we’ve got lots of genderqueerness and poly, too. Authors’ final check in is today; based on the editors’ reviews of work submitted at Check In 1 and Check In 2, trust us, you are not gonna want to miss these two books! We’ve also recently (technically, today!) contracted an artist for the two front covers – more on that in the coming days!
  2. The crowdfunding campaign for these two anthologies has a planned June 15th launch date, but! As promised in January when we were recruiting authors, we will not be continuing our relationship with Kickstarter. Instead, we will be working with Seed & Spark, an independent crowdfunding platform that focuses on projects that tell stories; they primarily work with film media, but we’ve had a lovely e-mail chat with the folks there – they’re happy to have us, and we’re delighted to be an early (but not the first!) book publishing project launching there. We’ve got a member profile there already set up – so, if you have an account there, we encourage you to give us a “follow,” and if you don’t have one yet, now might be a great time to make one! We’ll also share a followable version of our project at least a couple weeks before launch – we’ll make an announcement when the time comes, so be on the look out.
  3. With the help of our Patrons, we’ve officially decided on the theme for our fifth anthology! The project is still in its early planning phases – we have a theme but no title or schedule – but at our management meeting this week, we’ll be discussing a tentative timeline for production which amounts to, “hopefully formally announced/opened for recruitment in June, with an anticipated crowdfunding campaign in the fall or early winter.” Expect an announcement sometime in late spring or early summer.
  4. We’re also in the very early planning stages of an erotica anthology and our next “Queer Fanworks Inspired By…” anthology. Both would have 2023 crowdfunding releases.
  5. Now that we’re almost caught up, work-wise, on the backlog of editing that resulted from my health issues, we’re also looking to other “next projects,” especially working on publishing more novels. We expect to build on our existing relationships with A. L. Heard and Tris Lawrence, by publishing a re-edit of Hockey Bois and editing and helping crowdfund further books in Lawrence’s “Welcome to PHU” ‘verse. We’re hoping to have Hockey Bois our sometime this summer and a crowdfunding launch for “Missed Fortunes” and “Into the Split” (books 2 and 3 of the “Twinned” trilogy) sometime in Quarter 4. In addition to these known projects, we’ll be opening the floor to authors who’ve previously worked with us, likely in late summer or early fall, to discuss projects they may have in mind or in progress that they’d be interested in pursuing and potentially publishing with us. We’re tentatively hoping to publish 3 – 4 anthologies in 2023 and up to 4 novels. And, as always, you bet your bottom dollar everything is gonna be hella queer!
  6. As you may be aware, Patrons at the $10 and $25 level on our Patreon get access to one erotica story per month, written just for them – but, what you may not realize is that after 6 months, the rights for those stories revert to our authors in full, and they can do what they wish with those stories – including publishing them with us! One of our authors has opted to do so, and we’re hoping to have the story published on our website by the end of April (more information on this soon)! We’ve been hard at work tweaking our website and shop configuration in preparation for this, and Alessa Riel has developed an awesome variation on our standard Dux logo, for all your citrus-scale needs…

We’ll share more on the erotica label soon!

And none of this includes our ongoing projects – our regular blogging on writing, publishing, and prompting (we’ve been expanding our stable of blog post authors!); events like #drabbledaysaturday on Twitter and May Trope Mayhem (coming in 2 weeks!); our monthly Patreon short stories and erotica stories; and more!

As you can see, there’s a lot in the pipeline, and there’ll continue to be more to come. The success of both of our first crowdfunding campaigns has been a huge boost for us, helping us build a profile, grow our relationships, develop more reliable streams, and more. Thank you all for your support, your reads, your signal boosts, your backing, and your interest. There’s loads more work to do, of course…but the result of that work is going to be a growing catalog of amazing queer works by queer authors and artists, and honestly? We couldn’t be more excited about what tomorrow will bring!

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Our Second Kickstarter, Our Patreon, and More!

We wanted to remind everyone: our second Kickstarter is running for 6 more days. If you want to secure your own copy of And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired By William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” this is your moment – the print book will only be available during the Kickstarter! We’re at 90% of our funding goal as of about an hour ago, and looking forward to the moment when we cross the threshold! (Not “if,” definitely “when” – we’re sure it’ll fund, we’re just eager to start the official “WE DID IT!” celebration!)

Second, we are in the planning stages for our fifth, as-yet-untitled anthology – and you can get a say! Here’s what we know:

  1. Stories will all feature at least one main character who identifies as a gender identity outside/beyond the binary (genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, agender, bigender, omnigender, polygender, etc.)
  2. Stories will be optimistic/fluffy, and will have guaranteed happy endings!
  3. Stories will focus on positive family relationships – taking a loose definition of “family.” Found family? Yes. Platonic relationships? Yes. Extended family? Yes. Fostering? Adoption? Biological family? Family-of-choice? Marriage? Yes, yes, yessity yes. We want all the happy family feels.

What we don’t yet know is setting. That’s where you come in! 

You likely know that we have a Patreon that supports our overhead; essentially, Kickstarters/crowdfunding campaigns fund specific projects, while the Patreon keeps the lights on. The funds we get through Patreon enable us to keep our project costs down by covering the cost of software, hardware, supplies, staffing, and other core business functions.

Our Patrons get a lot of exclusive benefits – several of which apply to our crowdfunding campaigns!!

* all Patrons at our $25 level get a free copy of all “flat” merchandise from our crowdfunding campaigns, even if they don’t back the campaign!

* Patrons at the $10 and $25 levels can choose one free e-book from our catalog per month, which includes our crowdfunded works (once they’re officially published) – so, a $25 Patron could get all the flat merchandise AND the e-book from a campaign without even backing!

* Patrons at the $10 and $25 levels who DO choose to back the campaign also get bonus merch! For Add Magic to Taste, they got an exclusive magnet. For And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, they’re getting a sticker just for them! Which sticker? This one! Isn’t it cute? You know you want one…

* and lastly – finally coming back around to our fifth upcoming anthology! Right now, all our backers have the opportunity to have a voice in picking the setting! We’ve given them a choice between aetherpunk settings, solarpunk settings, or tidalpunk settings for our fluffy genderqueer found family stories. Did you love Add Magic to Taste? Well, we think this new project will be right up your alley – and now through tomorrow morning is your last chance to have a major impact on the anthology theme! 

So, take a look at everything we have to offer on Patreon and consider helping Duck Prints Press grow!

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Help Us Decide the Theme of Our Fifth Anthology!

Right now through next Friday, our Patrons have the opportunity to vote on which of three possible themes we’ll use for our next anthology (or, specifically, our fifth anthology – And Seek (Not) to Alter Me is our second anthology, and our third and fourth are already in the works). Here’s what we’ve already established about the anthology:

1. This anthology will feature genderqueer characters who AREN’T trans – genderfluid, agender, non-binary, bingender, omnigender, polygender, pangender, etc. This means that at least one of the main characters in every story must have a non-cis non-trans genderqueer identity.

2. Stories should be relatively fluffy/optimistic, and must have a Happily Ever After or Happily for Now ending.

3. All stories must incorporate a family element – in a positive light. So, NOT stories about “someone comes out and the family isn’t happy;” instead, we’re looking for stories about genderqueer folk having wonderful family experiences. This can be biological family, found family, married life, platonic, romantic, parenthood, adoption, fostering, etc. – we’re taking a loose definition of family, and we’ll be encouraging people to pitch stories that are not romantic. (there’ll be some romance also, promise, but we want a variety!)

That covers a lot, so what’s left? Setting! Our Patrons are voting on whether these stories will take place in an aetherpunk setting (a modern or historical setting featuring technology that runs on magic); a solarpunk setting (a modern or near-future setting featuring solutions to ecological issues and an emphasis on solar power); or a tidalpunk setting (a modern or near-future setting (also) featuring solutions to ecological issues, with an emphasis on the ocean, water, and living asea).

Are you itching to help steer the future of this project? Now is your chance! Become a Patron of ours, and cast your vote!