Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of a crowd-funding project, is brought to you by Dan Grubb of Fantastic Books Publishing.
Tiny publisher finds itself in Elite Dangerous territory playing David to Goliath Gollancz
Both publishers are to release authorised fiction titles to coincide with Frontier Developments’ release of the much anticipated space-trading game Elite:Dangerous in March 2014.
The giant Gollancz bought the rights to three authorised fiction works. But two other authors also authorised by Frontier Developments approached the tiny publishing house, Fantastic Books Publishing, to be their publisher.
Author, Drew Wagar, who had had a short story published by Fantastic Books says, ‘I was so impressed with the quality of the editorial process at Fantastic Books that I decided there and then to ask if they would publish my novel Elite:Reclamation. I was delighted when they agreed.’
As well as Elite:Reclamation, Fantastic Books Publishing has taken on New Zealand author, John Harper, and his ‘Elite’ novel, And Here The Wheel. John Harper says that he has watched the progress of the other authors with interest. ‘I was particularly impressed with Drew’s commitment to the social side of creating fiction,’ John told me. ‘When I saw his account of how he found and signed up with Fantastic Books Publishing, I immediately got in touch.’
Both novels are complete and going through their final editing process. Fantastic Books Publishing’s CEO, Dan Grubb, says, ‘I am delighted with both our Elite authors. Drew is a real expert at connecting with his potential readers, even appearing at conferences and online radio stations devoted to the Elite universe. John, too, is a talented writer with a real commitment to this project.’
Did Fantastic Books deliberately seek out the world of fiction. ‘Not at all,’ says Dan. ‘It found us. We started a fantasy / sci-fi thread and were delighted when first Drew and then John came to us with their Elite novels.’
And how does a tiny new outfit like Fantastic Books compete against a publishing Goliath? It turns out that Dan had accepted both novels before knowing that this would put him in direct competition with Gollancz as official Elite fiction publishers. However, he is characteristically positive about this development. ‘Gollancz is huge, skilled and has decades of publishing experience. I don’t see my company as being in competition with them, more that we have become partners in Frontier Developments’ Elite world. I hope that it will be a partnership that will benefit all parties and in particular the many Elite:Dangerous fans out there.’
What’s next? ‘We have a brand new division on the go,’ says Dan. ‘Taking our sci-fi titles and everything else we publish to a new level; to the world of 3D sound. We’ve set up Fantastic Books Audio which we’re launching via a crowd funding platform so anyone can join us and take part. We’re offering pledge gifts including MP3 players, free books, and original artwork. Our overall aim is to take publishing to a new level. We’re only too happy to learn from the giants like Gollancz but one day we hope to be the ones with the with lessons to teach them.’
- Fantastic Books Audio: check out the crowd-funding venture at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fantastic-books-audio
- Fantastic Books Publishing: www.fantasticbookspublishing.com
- Drew Wagar: http://www.drewwagar.com
- John Harper: http://andherethewheel.co.nz
- Frontier: http://elite.frontier.co.uk
Thank you, Dan, and good luck.
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