Friday, October 18, 2019

The Future of Nightscape Press

Dear friends,

This is Robert S. Wilson, Co-editor in Chief of Nightscape Press. Before I get started, I must warn you this is going to be a long one, so feel free to read the bolded portions and bulletin points to get the TLDR version. I’m reaching out to you all about something very important. Nightscape Press is about to start a huge new chapter. I was recently informed that my day job employer’s contract with our client will not be renewed and, as such, my employment upon the end of our current contract will be coming to an end. While this was unfortunate news to receive, it comes at a very interesting time for my family as my wife, co-owner and Co-editor in Chief, Jennifer, has just started a new day job, and other things within our household are shifting in such a way that we have decided, as a result of this news, for me to transition into focusing on Nightscape Press full time.

What does that mean for our future and for the future of our projects? Quite a lot. It means that I will be able to put the kind of focus into this company that it deserves. It means that we have the opportunity to start putting in place some of the strategies we’ve been working on for literally years toward making us a successful and fully independent publishing company. It also means that we could be at some financial risk in the process of working to make that happen.

We think we’re doing something really special and we’d like to share that with more people. We want to become a fully independent company with our beautiful books distributed in bookstores everywhere. And we know we have charitable projects on the horizon that can far exceed what we’ve done so far. But we need to have a more solid foundation going forward. Now that I will be able to fully focus on this company, a major part of that foundation will already be in place. The biggest hurdle now is that we still have some financial gaps that need filled.

And some of you already know that we’ve been struggling a bit as it is. And that making the kinds of changes that we need to make requires a certain level of funding. So, in order to get us through this transition, we’re putting out a call to action with a number of options for how you can help us…

  • Get our current books out on a reasonable schedule and not have to push back any currently scheduled releases
  • Successfully kick off our first charitable event in the summer of 2020: the Nightscape Press Caribbean Cabal Writer’s Retreat with special guests Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, and John Langan
  • Move to the next phase in our publishing model which has the potential to raise exponentially more money for charity
  • Distribute our non-limited books in physical stores
  • Start paying advances upon contract signing instead of upon publication or relative to publication
  • Stay in business for the long haul
  • Become fully independent

For those of you who are new to us or could use a refresher, here is a little bit more about what we’ve accomplished in the past, what we’re doing now, and what we have planned for the future. 

Here’s some of our previous projects that have raised money for charity:

        FantasyFor Good edited by Richard Salter and Jordan Ellinger (including stories by George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Katherine Kerr, Piers Anthony, Michael Moorcock, Carrie Vaughn, Alan Dean Foster, Nnedi Okorafor, Todd McCaffrey, and many more) Published in 2014. Contributes all net proceeds to The Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Has raised over $10,000 so far.)

        Charitable Chapbook #1 The Broker of Nightmares by Jon Padgett (Contributed $1,000 to the ACLU via the limited physical chapbook run and will continue to contribute 40% of each sale to this greatly needed charity via the eBook edition.

        Charitable Chapbook #2 If It Bleeds by Matthew M. Bartlett (Contributed $1,000 to the Dakin Humane Society via the limited physical chapbook run. Its eBook will also continue to contribute 40% of its proceeds to Matthew’s chosen charity the Dakin Humane Society with every sale.)

Here’s what we’re working on right now:

        Nox Pareidolia edited by Robert S. Wilson (including stories by Laird Barron, Brian Evenson, S.P. Miskowski, Michael Wehunt, Gwendolyn Kiste, Kristi DeMeester, doungjai gam, Carrie Laben, David Peak, Kurt Fawver, Christopher Ropes, and many more) is in pre-production and the eBook will be available this Halloween with the paperback edition scheduled in the near future

        After some delays, Charitable Chapbook #3 “watch the whole goddamned thing burn” by doungjai gam is finally in the formatting phase of pre-production

        Charitable Chapbook #4 Origami Dreams (Expanded Edition) by Jon Padgett is currently delayed due to some artwork issues

        Charitable Chapbook #5 Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Bad Can Ever Happen Here by Michael Wehunt is currently being printed and, upon selling out, has the potential to contribute $2,500+ to The Southern Poverty Law Center

        Secret Gateways (A Leeds/Dunnstown and Beyond Limited Hardcover Box Set) by Jon Padgett and Matthew M. Bartlett is currently scheduled for release on November 24th

        Charitable Chapbook #6 The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste is in pre-production with a scheduled release date of November 26th and has the potential to contribute $1,000+ to the National Aviary

        We’re currently waiting on a highly anticipated contract for Horror For RAICES edited by Jennifer Wilson and Robert S. Wilson (including stories by Poppy Z. Brite, Paul Tremblay, Laird Barron, Livia Llewellyn, Ramsey Campbell, Elizabeth Hand, Gwendolyn Kiste, Matthew M. Bartlett, Nadia Bulkin, S.P. Miskowski, Kurt Fawver, and many more) which will contribute all net proceeds to RAICES the wonderful charity helping immigrants and refugees with legal services. We currently have a GoFundMe that gives directly to RAICES in which anybody who donates $10 or more will get an early eBook edition of the book as soon as it’s ready. Once we receive the contract we’re waiting on, we’ll be heading into pre-production

        Lynne and I are currently reading stories for Best New Weird 2018 edited by Lynne Jamneck and Robert S. Wilson which is slated for a December 2019 release

And here are some of our projects planned for 2020:    

        Weird Whispers is a different kind of monthly digest which will take a deeper look at each story and contributor. Weird Whispers will be published for free online and in a monthly chapbook edition that will be available for purchase.

        The Bleeding Rainbow: A Spectrum of Weird Fiction edited by Robert S. Wilson and Maxwell Ian Gold. This will be an anthology of stories by LGBTQ+ authors themed around the colors of the Pride Flag and is slated for release during Pride Month in June of 2020.

        Charitable Chapbook #7 Do You Mind If We Dance With Your Legs? by Michael Cisco is scheduled to be released on February 18th of 2020 and has the potential to contribute $2,500+ to the Los Angeles LGBT Center

        Our first scheduled charitable novel, The Fertile Clay by Dennis Mombaur is slated for release early to mid 2020 and will contribute one third of all proceeds (a potential total of $5,000+) to autismus Köln/Bonn e.V.

        Our first scheduled charitable collection, Chaos Engine: The Kaodraze Cycle by Gemma Files is slated for a mid to late 2020 release and will contribute one third of all proceeds (a potential total of $10,000+) to the Autism Self Advocacy Network

        Weird For Good edited by Jon Padgett, Lynne Jamneck, and Robert S. Wilson is slated for a late 2020 release and will give all net proceeds to RAICES.

        Best New Weird 2019 edited by Lynne Jamneck and Jennifer Wilson is slated for a late 2020 release

As you can see, we’re working on a lot of projects with more in the wings, some of which we can’t talk about just yet, and as we move into full length charitable books, we have the potential to raise a lot more money for charity. So, let’s get into the different ways that you can help us.

  1. The first option for how to help almost entirely goes without saying. We have books for sale and you can buy them. You can buy or pre-order them directly from us on our webstore. Or, with the exception of our limited physical titles like our Charitable Chapbooks and the Secret Gateways box set by Jon Padgett and Matthew M. Bartlett, you can buy our books from Amazon, and you can buy them from other online retailers like Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Books-A-Million, and more.
  1. You can donate to our fundraiser on GoFundMe. We have several milestone goals for the fundraiser that, if we meet them, will allow us to open submissions to things like our upcoming Weird Whispers monthly journal, our Charitable Chapbooks book line that gives the majority of proceeds to authors and the charity of their choice, and, at certain milestones, we’ll be able to publish more stories through these projects which will mean more open slots for submissions. And speaking of Weird Whispers…
  1. You can purchase ad space in our upcoming Weird Whispers monthly journal launching in 2020 which will be both freely available to read online and available in a monthly physical chapbook for purchase. These would be full color ads online and black and white in print, with the possibility of upgrading to color in print at a higher cost.
  1. You can help sponsor the 2020 Nightscape Press Caribbean Cabal Charitable Writer’s Retreat with special guests Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, and John Langan.
  1. You can reach out to us about how you can become a private investor in our company.
  1. You can make a kind donation to us through PayPal.
  1. And finally, you can join our Patreon and contribute to our cause on a monthly basis and in return get perks like video interviews with our authors, early access to Weird Whispers online, and more.

That’s it really, though sharing this around with other readers and writers of horror and weird fiction could give us a good boost too. Word of mouth is always a great way to help out the publishers, editors, and authors who create great content that you enjoy. We’re no different. The more people talk about our books, share pictures of our books, share links to our books, review our books, and so on and so forth, the more of a chance we have at keeping the lights on and making more great books. Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting Nightscape Press!

Robert S. Wilson
Co-editor in Chief
Nightscape Press