We’re going to post new FAQs on Tumblr once a week or so, because inevitably there are things we didn’t have room to include in the main Kickstarter page. First, we’ll answer a couple of questions about how Big Bang Press selects its books and authors.
How did the selection process work?
We already included something about this on Kickstarter, but there’s more room for me to elaborate here on Tumblr.
Our first step was to contact around thirty fanfic writer who are generally known for writing high-quality, novel-length stories. We asked them if they’d be interested in a project like Big Bang Press, and fifteen of them agreed to submit a three-chapter excerpt of original writing. The others were either too busy, or wanted to try mainstream publishing first, or had no interest in writing original fiction. We did not specify what type of original writing they should submit: the authors had complete creative freedom to choose the genre, audience, target length, and so on.
Our submissions editor worked with those fifteen authors to develop their writing samples. We wanted to give them every chance to improve their writing with an editor, rather than just asking them to produce something to our deadline with no help at all.
Once the writing samples were ready, they were submitted anonymously to the other four members of the publishing team, along with cover letters and plot summaries. The reason why we felt it was very important to read the manuscripts “blind” is because this way, we could be sure our selection process was fair and unbiased, and based purely on the quality of the writing.
Why didn’t we just have open submissions?
Open submissions simply weren’t a practical option this time round, and here’s why:
- We didn’t have the time and manpower to sift through potentially hundreds of manuscripts before we had even launched the project.
- If we went public before our “official” launch, it would have put a serious dent in our crowdfunding campaign. Basically, people are way more likely to get excited about something fresh and new, as opposed to something they’ve been hearing for months and months already.
- This way, we could launch Big Bang Press in a professional manner, with months of preparation behind us. We have three excellent excerpts in a variety of genres, sketches from our cover artists, a polished website, and a realistic plan for our Kickstarter campaign.
In an ideal world, we would’ve been able to open our submissions to everyone, and that’s definitely something we want to do in the future. Which brings me to my final point:
The Future of Big Bang Press
As a crowdfunding site, Kickstarter’s purpose is to launch creative projects in fields such as visual art, music, publishing, technology, and so on. You’re not actually allowed to use Kickstarter to gain investors when starting a business. So while Big Bang Press is definitely a publishing press in that we are a team of editors, publishers, writers, and publicists, our Kickstarter campaign only pays for the three books we are currently marketing.
Our long term aim is to become a self-sustaining publishing press, but that’s reliant on a number of factors. Mostly, we need to sell a lot of books once all three novels are on general release, at which point we could set ourselves up on a more permanent basis. If we do get to the point of being able to afford a second round of submissions, we would start soliciting manuscripts from any writer who is interested in working with us. Until then, Big Bang Press is a typical Kickstarter campaign: our customers fund us by pre-ordering various reward levels, and we provide the eventual product.
If you like what we’re doing, and want to submit a manuscript to us one day, then the best thing for you to do just now is back us on Kickstarter and spread the word! :)
— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, Managing Editor & Social Media Director
okay, maybe I’m reading this wrong, and if I am I’m definitely up for someone putting me right because I think the idea behind a fandom-run publishing business is pretty cool, but so far this:
a) presented it as a business for fandom as a whole that everyone could take part in, enjoy, and benefit from
b) then revealed no, it’s not a business, it’s a project for single three books, and no, fandom as a whole can’t submit, and there’s no definitive business plan for a definite business in the future
c) basically finished up by saying “give us your money! maybe someday we’ll deign to read your work too,” with probably a full awareness fandom is made up of a big group of aspiring writers?
I mean, I have no issue with people wanting to fund their work getting published, and people wanting to fund their friends’ work, I think that’s pretty cool, but I’m super uncomfortable with the whole way this has been presented, wow. Call it what it is.
Reblogging for the comments.
So I do think that you’re reading this wrong. Big Bang Press isn’t a full business yet, and they said in their FAQ post that they can’t can’t use Kickstarter to solicit investors to start the business. So instead, they’re collecting pre-orders for their first three books, which they picked through a relatively blind process (and that it only wasn’t open submission because of staff size/limitations).
If these books sell well beyond the pre-orders and are successful, the money will then be there to grow the company into a real business that can take more submissions and publish more books. That’s pretty basic.
So while it’s only these three books at the moment, if it’s successful then it will indeed be a publishing company that anyone in fandom can submit to. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize them for not being there yet, as though all of the money and expertise should be there before they start. Companies need years to grow, but these guys have a great idea, and they have a good plan for the future if they can make it successful. They deserve the benefit of the doubt and a more generous reading of the situation.
As someone who works in the book business, I can confirm that this is how reputable publishing works. If a publishing house is interested in a submission, the authors are given advances to complete their work, and then paid a percentage of sales after the amount of the advance goes back to the publishing house. This is what all good publishers do, and it’s refreshing to see fandom authors being treated well.
I am really damn excited about this and hopeful that the three books will do well and that the company will grow from there.
Okay I posted about this earlier but I thought hey, photos are good.
So due to my excessive sewing output, far outstripping what I can possibly personally use, I have opened an Etsy store! These items and more. And more to come. I’m hoping to add some fandomy stuff too. But for now this is what I’ve got. A bunch of fabric wallets, some infinity scarves and one awesome tote bag (not pictured).
HobbyGirl Crafts, check it out! It took me an embarrassingly long time to come up with that name.
I would be ALL OVER some fannish infinity scarves!
- my beautiful apartment on the south side, surrounded by people who don’t look like me
- riding the train above everything, giving into the rhythm and the sway
- the skyline and the lights and the noise and the wind and the angles
- the way my heart leaped when i saw my city and realized i’d made it
- walking down sidewalks with purpose and glaring at tourists stopping in front of crosswalks, or strolling in the sun and glare, squinting up at glass and metal and stone
- my amazing friends spread everywhere, helping me define myself rather than questioning everything i do or feel
- my unconditional family and the fact that i only had to travel an hour and a half for as many real hugs as i needed and more
- knowing that i have a place to go when i need to cry that won’t involve a plane or days in a car or feeling like i’m wasting someone’s time or damaging my reputation
- cabs home down lake shore drive or western ave, giddy with the motion and speed of someone else driving
- surrounding myself with books and book people at least three times a month, knowing i’d eventually come upon treasures, knowing i was safe
- feeling that surge of pride when my city is mentioned and realizing that i live there
but most of all, really, i miss me.
we miss you shannon <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
I dig this for a couple of reasons.
First, it’s got great style.
Perhaps more interestingly though, is that it’s a very different tone as far as the direction of aggression. Most people know the Clash of the Titans version where she’s on the hunt for him once he shows up. But let’s face it, Medusa really gets the shaft from destiny overall. She starts out as a priestess in a temple who gets raped by Poseidon and gets cursed for it as if it was all her fault. The result is that she’s basically doomed to live without human contact for eternity. Then she’s hunted down specifically for her head by a demigod whose got all sorts of great toys and backing to get the job done and depicted as some sort of horrible monster for defending her turf from folks out to kill her.
There are some really interesting theories about regarding just what the whole ‘gorgon’ thing was really about from a historical perspective. It’s really quite a tragic tale about the rise of patriarchy and the purge of goddess-centric worshipers. There are also parallels to the Apollo versus Typhon story which is part of the same era. Harsh.
See, even the demystified stories from ancient times are fascinating!
Reblogging for commentary.
I wish there were more nuanced portrayals of Medusa than as just a scary, snake lady.
Not to mention all this shit went down while she was pregnant with twins, the Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor, as a result from the rape. Perseus would mount Pegasus, and use him and Medusa’s head to kill a sea monster, thus winning him a wife, Andromeda. Medusa was cursed by the very goddess she served, Athena, who also gave Perseus the mirrored shield he used to slay her. Raped, betrayed by her god, hunted down like a beast in her own home while she was pregnant, her own children stolen from her and used to glorify and aide her killers and betrayers. And she’s supposed to be the monster?
That’s how Greek men saw the myth. Greek women viewed it as Athena protecting Medusa by giving her the power to make any man who looked at her completely harmless. Her head was used as a symbol to mark women’s shelters in ancient Greece.
Friendly reminder to remember that women have their own vivid lives and cultures and that the stories which are preserved today come through a heavy filter of gender, race, and class biases.
At first I felt the tragedy, but the last interpretation made me feel the empowerment.
Of course the guys would see it as a punishment that Medusa couldn’t be around men anymore. They couldn’t imagine a woman who would want nothing to do with them.
The women, on the other hand, knew better. They knew that after what happened, Medusa wanted to take some control back. She needed a way to feel safe from further violations at the hands of men, and Athena provided her with a way to stop men with a mere glance.
Medusa, rape survivor, was given power to protect herself by the Goddess who couldn’t help her in her time of need. Medusa, the powerful, was hunted down by the men who couldn’t tolerate the idea of a woman who had no need for them.
woah @ the bold
medusa is my new fave
sometimes you have to tilt your perception of history a few degrees
when i die i want to be buried wearing a pair of sunglasses so that a few decades down the line i will also be a cool skeleton
26,473 notes. 26,473 people identified with this statement. if even half that many people actually did this, can you imagine how confused future archaeologists would be
"In the end of the twenty-first century, a new grave good phenomenon spread rapidly in a global, decentralized fashion. In the relevant burials, the deceased would be buried with a pair of non-functioning spectacles fastened to their face; in many cases, the pair was anchored quite firmly into the skull (as-Sabah 2839), as though to make sure that it would not come off if the burial was disturbed.
"The significance of this grave good arrangement is unknown. The glasses vary wildly. One adolescent skeleton was found buried with a pair that chemical analyses indicate was bright pink at the time of burial and made of plastics common in twenty-first century excavations, and carved with an anthropomorphic image of a cat on one corner (Bao 2836). Another example was a finely manufactured pair, affixed with post-mortem stapling to a middle aged man’s skull, which had been plated with gold and had several small diamonds affixed, although much of the gold had come unfastened from the core in the intervening time (Jensen 2841). The main thing that all the glasses have in common is that, in contrast to the rarer, functional eyeglasses buried with a few individuals in previous years — presumably those who had used them in life, as spectacles were a common early method of vision correction (Zhang 2833) — the lenses are plain tinted glass. Their primarily function seems to have been to obscure the vision of the wearer.
"The reasoning for burying the dead with these items has been speculated on widely without much consensus. The most popular theory is that it is related to early twenty-first century cynicism; at the same time as the beginning of cynicism’s century-long dominance of serious philosophy and beginning just before the first Data War and escalating throughout it, many ceased to put faith in old religious ideas of a just world and peaceful afterlife and returned to less optimistic versions of their faiths. The glasses may have been meant to shield the wearers in the afterlife by limiting their visions and knowledge of it (Gonzoles 2840) an idea that was known to exist at the time and would develop further in the Cult of the Hammer and Cross, among other similar groups that dominated religious beliefs following the collapse of major world powers in the later half of the twenty-first century (Werlinich 2837)."
holy crap yep
The following post was written by Lesann, a staffer in our Development & Membership Committee
Twice a year, during drive time, OTW does its best to remind supporters and (hopefully) future supporters of what the organization is working on, how it is cutting edge and important. In order to do this, staffers in OTW interview the heads of different OTW projects. This time, I had the privilege of speaking with the editors of Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), the OTW’s academic journal.
In one of our emails back and forth, content editor Kristina Busse said, “we really just do our work to bring out 3 full journals with 5-10 full peer reviewed essays, 5-10 symposium pieces, and a couple of book reviews on average each.” It struck me, upon reading this tongue-in-cheek comment just how much volunteer work that means for herself and the entire journal team.
Three full journal issues a year, with five to ten peer reviewed essays each, would be no small feat even in an academically supported environment, where a university press is supporting the process and there is a built-in community of available peer-reviewers. What the team for TWC manages, is to overcome the lack of established academic infrastructure and consistently provide a respected journal of superlative quality. That is huge.
Like the OTW’s other projects, TWC is free to everyone. There is no requirement of subscription, payment, or any type of contribution to consume the journal pieces, and perhaps even transform aspects of them. Like all OTW volunteers, everyone who works for the journal contributes their time and skills for free: from the editorial staff and production staff to the academic peer reviewers, who assure the journal’s reputation within the field.
An academic journal that is free to any and all readers is a rare thing. To give some idea of how valuable a resource TWC is, a similar academic journal on fan studies charges individual subscribers $105 USD a year, a typical price for a 12-month subscription to a peer-reviewed journal in the field. Libraries also benefit by having TWC as a part of their holdings (but not an additional cost in their journal budget).
Even with all the hours of donated time, there are some financial costs associated with producing TWC. In an earlier post we mentioned the Web hosting costs for the server that houses the journal. Because TWC is online only, it also requires a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for each of its articles. Editor Karen Hellekson describes DOIs as “insurance against switching infrastructures.” A DOI, as explained by the MIT library site, “identifies an individual article (like a serial number) such that a permanent URL can be created.” In other words, should TWC ever need to move to a new online platform, having a DOI subscription will save hours upon hours of volunteer time, as well as prevent interested readers from being unable to find the content they seek. The OTW pays an annual subscription fee of $275 for this service, plus a $1 fee for the DOI of each individual journal article.
Transformative Works and Cultures strives to provide fresh and thought-provoking material for fans and non-fans alike. The next two issues, scheduled for March and June 2014, will focus on fan labor and fan materiality, respectively — both topics to which many fans can relate.
To help support the production of original, open-access fan scholarship, please consider making a donation today. Thank you!
"And if you want to imagine the future, imagine a boot… no, a sneaker, laces trailing, kicking a pebble; imagine a stick, to poke at interesting things, and throw for a dog that may or may not decide to retrieve it; imagine a tuneless whistle, pounding some luckless popular song into insensibility; imagine a figure, half angel, half devil, all human…
Slouching hopefully towards Tadfield.
… for ever.”
Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
"There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”
1984, by George Orwell
I am a bit fascinated by this parallel, mostly because for the love of G-somebody I can’t figure out the meaning behind it.
I have something:
The 1984 quote is the ultimate ending in a world taken over by dictators. It’s about the futility in the protagonist’s goal of rebellion, and how it’s only going to get worse because they’re taking away people’s motivations to rebel.
With the Good Omens quote, he’s discussing a different kind of future - chaotic, a little whimsical and silly, but not overwhelmingly good or bad. It just is, balanced and okay. But the idea of humans being “half devil,” and this being what makes them “all human”, could be, to some, a bad ending.
Basically, one is about the future being full of possibilities, and the other is about having those possibilities crushed out of you. At least, that’s my immediate impression.
I love this! AND AND AND, it’s like Night Vale vs. Desert Bluffs in Welcome to Night Vale!