28 Mar 2016
I browse Kickstarter every now and then, and always enjoy seeing the different ideas people are pursuing. It's a stage of the creative process that was largely invisible before, at least to most folks. While I enjoy checking out the projects, it's very rare that I back a Kickstarter. Most of the ones I like seem to be well on their way to exceeding the funding goal or they're lost causes. But this weekend I found an exception ….
Jellyfish Highway Press is doing a Kickstarter, and I would encourage you to check it out and consider supporting it. The money will help them jumpstart and expand their book publishing operation by doing things like establishing "book prizes for a woman, a writer of color, and a queer/trans writer." They are a real publisher (i.e., they pay authors advances and royalties), but as we all know, lit fiction is a tough fiscal road.
Importantly, Jellyfish Highway has a track record and concrete plans. In the past four months they've published two titles: The Farmacist by Ashley Farmer (reviewed here); and Your Sick by Elizabeth Colen, Carol Guess, and Kelly Magee (community reviews here). In early April they will release Daughters of Monsters by Melissa Goodrich (reviewed here) as well as You Can't Pick Your Genre by Emily O'Neill (interviewed here).
Indie presses are always a tough thing to pull off, but Jellyfish Highway has an experienced team. The publisher is Justin Lawrence Daugherty who, among other things, started the now-acclaimed Sundog Lit mag. Sundog has been consistently active since day one (2012), without the lapses in activity characteristic of many startup lit mags. That leads me to believe Jellyfish Highway, while a separate operation, will be run in similarly professional style.
They are looking for $5,000 by May 10th, and at this writing have about $2,000 in pledges (as you probably know, Kickstarter projects have to raise the full amount in order to receive any of the funds). They are offering some very cool rewards for backers. After I post this, I'm going to go donate. Even if you're not in a position to donate, you could pass the word along to others you think might be interested. I don't often do plugs on my site, but this struck me as a worthy cause where just a few dollars could make a difference.
Disclaimer: I have exchanged a few public tweets with Justin Daugherty/Jellyfish Highway/Sundog Lit on Twitter, but I otherwise have no connection with them. This post about their Kickstarter is entirely unsolicited, unprompted, and uncompensated. Also, I have no plans to submit to either Jellyfish Highway or Sundog Lit in the near future — my writing is more conventional in style than those outlets favor. I don't mean to imply that their editors would be swayed by a blog post anyway; my point is that I'm posting about this because I think it's a cool thing, not because I'm trying to curry favor with gatekeepers so as to benefit my own work. Finally, none of the links on this site are "referral" links: in other words, I receive no compensation should you use them to buy stuff. This is an entirely non-commercial site. And yes, this is a ridiculously long set of disclaimers, but there are also many small ways that integrity can be compromised, and I really want to avoid that.