Sunday, February 8, 2015

Introducing Weird Beard Press

          I started Weird Beard Press at the beginning of 2015 by merging two of my earlier imprints, Weirdbeard Publications and Tawdry Times Publications, both of which focused primarily on editing, into a new company that will now specialize in publishing.  Weird Beard Press now offers editing, publishing, and marketing services in the following twenty-four areas of interest, which may overlap to some extent from one work to another:

  • Atheism and Free Thought - Investigations into all forms of free thought – from skeptical inquiry to antitheism – and their impacts on human society
  • Chick Lit - Fiction concerned with women balancing their personal ambitions with all types of relationship
  • Drama - Stage plays, screenplays, and narratives about the theater and stagecraft
  • Erotica - Sexually explicit narrative written with an artistic touch and a sophisticated style
  • Essays - Non-fiction expounding the author’s point of view on a variety of subjects, typically related to one or more aspects of psychology or sociology, published in collections by single or multiple authors
  • Fantasy - Speculative fiction involving supernatural phenomena and characters such as elves, fairies, ghosts, vampires, and werewolves
  • Fiction - Relatively realistic narrative works based primarily on the author’s imagination or suppositions rather than on verifiable fact
  • Film and TV Criticism - Thematic studies of popular visual entertainment media
  • Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Studies – Studies of nonconformist sexual orientation with an emphasis on its psychological, social, and cultural aspects rather than on politics
  • Horror - Fiction, often speculative but not exclusively so, crafted to produce feelings of shock and dread in readers as it taps into their internal fear instincts
  • Humor - Narratives, typically lighthearted but occasionally dark, geared to appeal to readers’ sense of the comic or absurd
  • Languages and Linguistics - Reference works about specific languages, including phrase books and dictionaries, or about the science of linguistics and language learning
  • Memoirs - Personal recollections of true events with an emphasis on the changes brought about within history for better or worse-
  • Mysteries - Fiction, occasionally speculative, involving crime or stealth and detection; recent examples demonstrate an increasing reliance on investigative technology
  • New Age - An eclectic blend of metaphysical disciplines incorporating elements of the human potential, meditation, mythology, and the supernatural
  • Poetry - Typically short compositions that draw on the rhythmic properties of language in a variety of ways to sway human emotions
  • Psychology - Studies of the human personality or psyche geared toward fostering an understanding of human motivations and their social implications
  • Religion - Studies of belief systems as they impact human psychology and society both positively or negatively; not inspirational fiction or nonfiction
  • Science Fiction - Speculative fiction involving science, technology, and non-human intelligence or its functional equivalents
  • Self-Help - Primarily nonfictional narratives that offer support, guidance, and encouragement in challenging areas of endeavor such as compulsive behavior or chronic indecision
  • Sexuality - Primarily educational narratives, mostly nonfiction, describing sexual functions and dysfunctions
  • Sociology - Studies of various aspects of social behavior and its impact on history and the environment
  • Transgender Studies - Studies of fluid gender identity with an emphasis on its psychological, social, and cultural aspects rather than on politics
  • Travel - Reference works about what to enjoy abroad and memoirs about societies and cultures other than the author’s or the narrator’s

          Today’s writers rightly feel they should be spending their valuable writing, not shopping their work around to a series of publishers.  Whether they’re working on a new project, doing research in their field of expertise, or simply honing their craft so they can reach a wider audience, few can boast the wherewithal to plug their work to the right people.  As a result, many opt to self-publish.  More titles have been self-published every year since 2008 than those issued by publishing houses like McGraw-Hill, Wiley, or HarperCollins.  Their overall quality nonetheless suffers, mostly from a lack of professional editing.  Few yield a profit for their authors – unless they’re picked up by a mainstream publisher. 
          That’s where Weird Beard Press steps in.  Budding writers need advice, or at least constructive input, from experts like us at Weird Beard Press to explain to them what works and what doesn't and why.  We review proposals for articles, essays, stories, and novels to determine whether they’re likely to sell in the current publishing market.  If they show promise, we’ll work with their authors up to ninety days to shape up the manuscript – at no cost to the authors.  If we publish the manuscript, we deduct the costs of editing and publishing from the net proceeds on sales.  Even if we decide not to publish the work, we may be able to use portions of it in educational material that can help other struggling authors sharpen their writing skills.  Because we publish a lot of short pieces, typically in anthologies, the royalties will start out small.  Authors can command higher fees per piece after their work has been published in successful collections.  No one wants to lose money on a creative project.  We’re committed to helping our clients realize a decent profit from their work as well.  Bear in mind that fame normally precedes fortune.  If fame eludes you, a fresh buzz sometimes does the trick.