Becoming an independent book publisher is both as simple and as complicated as deciding to just do it. Last year when my book went out of print, Elizabeth “Ibby” Grace and I decided to start a new publishing house. We both suggested different names but Ibby, always the better wordsmith, suggested Reclamation Press and it stuck.
Now you may notice that all of our social media identities use RecLaPress and not Reclamation Press. We wanted to use Reclamation Press but ran into a problem on Twitter. So we’ve shortened it to just the first five letters and anytime you looking for us just look for us under RecLaPress on Twitter, Facebook, or the Internet.
There’s an incredible amount of wisdom, resilience, and knowledge within disability communities but it tends to be shared one-on-one. So a big part of our work is to find the writers reclaiming those stories and history and bring it into the book world where it can be shared more widely.
Ibby has a particular talent in finding fabulous books. When we began Reclamation Press she found us great manuscripts (the pages that a writer sends to a publisher).
Disability communities need to support our dreamers who can imagine fictionalized worlds. Ibby found a gem of a book in Selene dePackh’s dystopian science fiction novel Troubleshooting: Book One, Glitch in the System series. Selene (disabled) creates an autistic genderqueer Neuropunk teenager fighting to survive in an authoritarian world. The fact that her character survives all the way through the last page provides a hopeful read – something we all need right now.
Raymond Luczak (Deaf) writes novels, nonfiction, screen plays, poetry – basically he writes it all. So we were thrilled when he wanted to publish his book of short stories, Kinda Fella I Am, with Reclamation Press. For a writer of his experience and stature to entrust us with his valuable manuscript is indeed an honor.
On the nonfiction side, Naomi Ortiz (disabled) wrote Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice. An insightful guide to taking care of ourselves while being fierce advocates, Sustaining Spirit is a book that everybody needs right now.
My book, Fading Scars: My Queer Disability History, is getting retooled with a new introduction, new cover and interior reorganizing. Ironically while it was out of print the Women’s March selected Fading Scars as one of five Must Read Books. We are excited to get it back in print.
Now you may have noticed our four gorgeous book covers. Selene made the cover for Troubleshooting and Fading Scars. Raymond is the cover artist for the Kinda Fella I Am. Naomi’s cover for Sustaining Spirit is the third iteration in the collaborations between her and Selene.
We made the decision to put Reclamation Press under an existing nonprofit, Independent Arts and Media in San Francisco. We did this primarily to protect our authors. The Internet is full of horror stories of publishing houses that screwed their authors. We want to make sure that our authors are protected, receive their royalties, and are treated fairly. Having a fiscal sponsor ensures oversight that protects them.
For the 10 months that we’ve been quietly building Reclamation Press, our family and friends have been cheering us on. One of them even donated $500 dollars so that we could purchase ISBNs, which are the tracking systems for books.
Although Ibby’s pretty good on Twitter, I’m a social media illiterate. When high school student Melody Sifry (disabled) volunteered to create our social media campaign we were thrilled. She’s created a daily social media message for our next six months. So if you see us on your feeds you can thank Melody.
Publishing books takes a fair amount of money. Even though Ibby, Melody and I are all volunteering, we still need to pay for things like having a lawyer look over the author contracts, getting the manuscripts copy edited, getting cover art, cover design, layout, making print books, converting manuscripts into e-books, and a million other large and small expenses.
We could just ask people for money in hopes that they donated. But we know that everybody’s got lots of places that need their money so we want to give you something to make it worthwhile.
So here’s my fund raising pitch: If we raise the money we need, we are publishing our books in January 2018. That’s when they will be available for sale to the public. But if you donate money to us now, we’ll have money to print the books earlier and give you copies probably in November. So while everyone else has to wait for the books till January you’ll have them two months early. In addition to offering books, we are also offering full color printing of our gorgeous book covers.
Because everybody likes a special deal, every 30 days we will offer a different special. Since Corbett and Ibby both have birthdays soon, our first special is Corbett’s Birthday Special. With this special deal you have a choice of one of these:
* one of the last Original Fading Scars books. There are only TEN left.
* A video/ text/ phone conversation with Corbett on a topic of your choosing
• A written acknowledgment in the Ebook for the new edition of Fading Scars
* A writing/publishing consultation with Corbett who will read up to 10 pages and discuss it with you
As you can see, we are really excited about these fabulous four books and want them to get them into print as soon as we can. Please support us by spreading the word about Reclamation Press and making a donation. We want more wisdom from disability communities to get out into the world. You can find us at: