February 19, 2016
Dear Intrepid Readers,
Last week, we announced that we’ve decided to begin posting our back issues online, so that all readers can enjoy the issues we’ve curated. We’ve come through! Starting today, you can read all the contributed works for Issue 1, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, on our website. Check out the thirty-four contributed pieces that made up our first issue. While you can read the contributed work online now, for the best reading experience, if you do have an iPhone or iPad, download the reader and experience the issues and source text working the way we’d envisioned when we first conceived of the idea for what became our first milestone, Lithomobilus. We’ll be bringing out a new issue online each week until we’re caught up with our current issue.
This week I’ve been thinking about milestones, and why we celebrate them. When I say “milestones”, I’m not just taking about birthdays and anniversaries—though the latter term can apply to everything from our friendships and relationships to the high points of our creative and working lives. Milestones are things that we celebrate (or mark on Facebook, in our modern age) because they’re signifiers of our progress and evolution.
Over the past 2 years, Zoetic Press has seen far-off goals become milestones we’ve met and surpassed. The fact that we’ve been a press for 2 years is a milestone in itself. It’s difficult to launch a small press, especially if your vision for the press is unlike any other press out there. There’s no business model to follow on a path to success; you are the trailblazer, so every success feels a thousand times as exciting, and every setback feels like the ground being yanked out from beneath you. Both of these emotions are part of the reason we care about milestones. The successes become our milestones—though truth be told, sometimes our greatest failures also become milestones, because they offer us the opportunity to choose a new path. Either way, milestones guide us to the next level of our lives, the next tier of our dreams, the next rung of our goals. So far, 2016 has given our press some fantastic milestones: one of our contributors, Saba Razvi, was named one of the winners for the annual Best Independent American Poetry for her poem, “O Dervish of the Restless Heart,” featured in NBR #6, 1001 Arabian Nights. We’ve had contributors and editors nominated for Elgin Awards by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Our Editor-in-Chief has been the monthly spotlight feature for AWP and named Writer of the Month by Drunk Monkeys. We launched the LithoReader bookstore this month, and we’re bringing you our first round of full-length Zoetic Press books for purchase: Erin Elizabeth Smith’s The Fear of Being Found and Christopher E. Grillo’s The Six-Fold Radial Symmetry of Snow mark our first milestone for “tiering up” as publishers from quarterly literary periodicals to book publishers.
Which is the thing that got me thinking about milestones (well, that and my own anniversary, which Facebook’s “milestone” function kindly reminded me of this week). Milestones are important not only because they show us where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and guide the way to the next leg of our journey, but also because they’re ways in which we allow ourselves to take a breather and reflect upon all of those things. No one runs a marathon without taking a breather. Milestones allow us to take on our journeys, or goals, our dreams, our literal and figurative miles one step at a time. Milestones are how we chart our own progress, appreciate our own evolution, find new ways to problem-solve the places where we’ve stumbled, and remember the stride we used when our feet seemed fleet as a deer’s. So as you consider your own milestones, remember to take a breather and enjoy the journey as much as you enjoy reaching your destination. No one wants to hit the wall and peter out. Pace your progress, and may the miles ahead of you take you to all the places you’ve ever wanted to go, and even to some places you didn’t know you wanted to be until you got there.
If you mark your own milestones on Facebook, take a moment to pop over to our page, or join our Facebook group, so you can share your news with a group of supportive peers and readers. We also want to remind you that our next issue, NBR#8, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, drops in March, and that means that we’re still open for submissions for NBR #9 and #10, Sherlock Holmes A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
While we work on bringing all of the 250+ works that comprise our first 2 years publishing this periodical, we’re still rolling out new Alphanumeric pieces every week, so don’t forget to check in on Tuesdays to read what’s new. But don’t stop your reading there. Unbound Octavo and NonBinary Review are our serial publications, each of which use the Lithomobilus technology in a different way to enhance your reading experience—Unbound Octavo allows readers to collaboratively create a story, whose installments are curated by our reading team, while NonBinary Review takes novels and collections in the public domain and allow writers to take the stories in their own direction—a sort of “literary fanfic”, if you will. Which brings us to our blog, Rhizomatic Ideas, where we publish opinion pieces, book reviews, author spotlights, weekly reader roundups from the web—it’s our little bit of miscellany to keep you entertained and informed throughout the week. If you’ve never explored our other sites, click over and see where we think the future of narrative is headed and how we intend to ride the crest of that wave as it comes in to shore.
So to close out this letter, we want to remind you that we will be posting all of our publishing updates (for online migrations and new releases) on our various social media pages, so we hope that you’ll follow us so you can be up-to-date on all our publishing news, as well as enjoying the articles, memes and content we post for your time-wasting needs. Our Pinterest boards are always available for your browsing pleasure, and it’s a relaxing way to connect with us and our followers, find new reads and spark your creativity. On Facebook, we hope that you’ll follow our pages (Zoetic Press, Lithomobilus) to keep up with the latest happenings, online features, blog posts and book reviews. The Zoetic Press Facebook group is where you’ll find new Alphanumeric features, contributor spotlights, and other literary community news—it’s also the best forum for you to connect with our editors and staff to tell us what you want to see more of on our pages. We’re also interested in working with other publishers to bring their books to the Lithomobilus format, so if you’re a publisher who’d like to trade beta tester feedback for Litho publication, send us a note and a brief overview of your project.We’re also on Twitter (@ZoeticPress and @Lithomobilus), where we bring you micro-updates and retweet the most interesting links we come across. We have a YouTube channel for those of you who like to hear the authors reading their work, where in the coming weeks we’ll be featuring our first two Zoetic authors, Ern Elizabeth Smith and Christopher E. Grillo, reading their work. So if you’re interested in hearing more from us about updates, new releases, and some of our plans and projects for 2016, sign up for our monthly newsletter. We’re serious about your privacy, and promise not to flood your inbox. If you want to be a guest writer for Rhizomatic Ideas or profile one of our contributors, we’re always interested in hearing about the topics that interest you, or your responses to blogs we’ve published. We know that there are some topics that pique your interest more than others, and we want you to tell us what you want to see more of. Or if you want to grab the mic and tell us more, send us a pitch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re always interested in reviewers for book review swaps, so check out our submissions for reviews, or contact us to get in on the review swapping!
Until next week—