Two days and counting! When I first started this, I thought we’d get anywhere from 50-60 submissions. Maybe 100 if something wild happened and the word got out more than expected.
Instead, we’re at 221 submissions, with more coming in everyday. At the current rate, it’s conceivable that we’ll have 250 stories and that is so amazing and humbling for me. The idea that so many wonderful, creative people believe in our little publishing house and want their work to be one of the very first that we showcase is a beautiful reality that I didn’t expect.
Originally, we’d planned on having an anthology of around 10-15 stories. That seemed like a reasonable number, especially since we’re limiting ourselves to the “best of the best” when it comes to the stories we accept here.
It also seemed reasonable based on our budget.
Passion projects need more than passion
It was my goal to pay for this myself, raising all the funds through work I do as a marketing consultant. And as a person who works for herself, it is important to me that we pay our writers and artists fairly from the jump. I mean, it’s no easy feat to wrangle a cast of characters and get them to move the story along for even the most basic of plot lines, much less ones that throw in magic, mayhem, or the fantastical. And I’ve seen the level of dedication that my artistic friends put into their work, making it look “just right” and anguishing over shadows and highlights and subtle effects that are so far outside my skill set they may as well originate from another planet.It is important to me that we pay our writers and artists fairly from the jump. Click To Tweet
It was also vital to me that I never pay anyone with “exposure”. As a copywriter and marketing consultant, I’ve been down that road. No one should ever be paid with “exposure”. Exposure does not pay bills. In fact, people have died from “exposure” and I’m pretty sure that “exposure” in the wrong context will get you sent straight to jail (which is where some people who want to pay in “exposure” should be sent for taking advantage of others).
What all that boils down to is this: Anyone who contributes to our site has to be paid fairly for their efforts.
So I sat myself down with a calculator, took hard look at reality and figured out what I thought would be the bare minimum to get this thing off the ground in the right way. Initially, I budgeted for things like:
- Establishing an LLC
- Buying an ISBN block
- Cover art
- Author payments
- Ebook and print layout
- A submission platform
- Social media ads
- …and so on
I have been fortunate to have exceptionally talented editors that have put in their time and effort for free, because they believe in this project and they believe in your work. But with almost five times the number of submissions that I expected, it’s become abundantly clear that there is the opportunity for more. And that in order for us to reach that next level, I need to think bigger than what I can support on my own.
I said at the beginning of this post that I wasn’t expecting us to get so much attention and support. But not expecting it is no reason to let the opportunity pass. That being said, it’s also important to set goals that are both ambitious and attainable. To that end, we’re moving forward with plans to expand Sanguine Press into a full-fledged publishing house.
Specifically, we’re planning to:
- make the anthology a quarterly publication (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)
- create a monthly e-zine hosted right here on this site
- add an artist showcase
- include artwork in future anthologies
- eventually have a separate quarterly anthology for just artwork
We’ve got the talent (your talent, thank you for sharing it with us!) but where we come up short is funds.
As much as I’d like to give you all 100% of my consulting fees minus video game splurges and crafting supplies, the mortgage company would not look kindly upon me if I did that. (Also I have an almost-16-year-old who eats three times his weight in groceries.)
We’re also going to need to make some pretty significant adjustments in the back-end infrastructure to accommodate increased traffic and security for those who subscribe. Going forward, we’ll also need staff as we start to grow.
To make all this happen, I’m going to need your help.If you believe in empowerment through sharing POC stories, please support Sanguine Press. Click To Tweet
In fact, I need the help of everyone who wants to see more stories that are focused on the voices of POC as they tell their stories.
That’s why I’m announcing today that we’re opening an Indiegogo campaign to help fund our expanded publication goals. Together, we can make this happen!
If you believe in POC-focused media, and the empowerment that comes from sharing our stories, please support Sanguine Press in whatever way you can. I know not everyone can donate, but even a signal boost can help us to reach our goals and provide an amazing experience for authors and readers alike.