Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012: The Year in Review (Part 1)

A week into January, life begins to return to normal. The ornaments have been taken down, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, and packed away again until next Christmas. The tree (a real one this year) is out on the brush pile, currently providing temporary shelter for birds and already well on its way to becoming the dry and brittle centerpiece of next midsummer's bonfire. The last of the pine needles have been vacuumed out of the carpet; the living room furniture returned to normal configuration; the holiday cards taken down and changes-of-addresses noted and filed away; and the NFL playoffs have begun as they rightly should, with the Packers beating the snot out of the Vikings. It's time to pause, take a deep breath, and take stock of the situation.

Executive Summary

Rampant Loon Media LLC is:
A privately held limited liability company, dedicated to proving out the proposition that if we produce high-quality work, conduct our dealings in an open and ethical manner, and always treat our contributors and staff as we ourselves would wish to be treated, it is possible to build a successful commercial publishing enterprise without seeking foundation grants, courting sponsors and advertisers, becoming the house press for some religious or political advocacy group, or publishing work we would be embarrassed to have our children or parents read. 
Rampant Loon Press™ is:
An imprint and trademark of Rampant Loon Media LLC. 
Rampant Loon Press's premiere short-fiction showcase, dedicated to finding promising new talent, encouraging its growth and development, and bringing the resulting creative works before a wider audience, in hopes that the talents we help to develop will someday outgrow us and move on to significant careers in the publishing industry.

What We Accomplished in 2012

In 2012, we received and processed more than three thousand new short story submissions. With the tireless help of the Fearless Slush Pile Reader Corps—Erin, Guy, Barbara, Allan, Frances, Jason, Karen, Ryan, Arisia, Tyler, Ricky, Paul, Mike, David, Alicia, and Theo—we reduced this mountain to somewhat more manageable dimensions, eventually accepting about 150 stories for publication. With the generous assistance of the core editorial crew—Henry Vogel, M. David Blake, David Yener Goodman, and Kersley Fitzgerald—we published 89 of these short stories and novelettes in eight volumes of STUPEFYING STORIES, while also releasing three full-length novels through Rampant Loon Press. We are pleased to report that a number of the stories that we published for the first time have since been picked up for podcasts or reprint anthologies, and several of our authors and/or their stories are currently in consideration for significant awards.

Considered objectively, then, 2012 saw some impressive achievements. Well done, everyone.

Measured against our original goals of releasing sixteen new volumes of STUPEFYING STORIES and six novels in 2012, though—well, perhaps our original goals were not merely aggressively ambitious, but flat-out ludicrous.

Thanks to the generosity and patience of our investors Rampant Loon Press remains well-capitalized, with sufficient funding in-hand to continue pursuing our development plan through 2013. We are still losing money with each new book released, but it's a smaller loss each time, and we are still tracking to our projection of breaking even by the end of Fiscal Year Two.

The members of the STUPEFYING STORIES crew continue to perform well above and beyond any reasonable expectations, and we are deeply grateful for their continued help and support. The critical factor limiting our growth remains what it has been since the inception: my time, and the other demands that contend for a share of it.

...to be continued...


Unknown said...

Very encouraging to see a company try to act like an ethical human being because, as we all know, companies are people too. Wink.

Seriously, I purchased the last volume and will purchase the next, and will hopefully soon be submitting a story for consideration.

In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight and keep on keeping on...

Sean said...

This is a great update. I have no doubts that 2013 will be a great year for Rampant Loon and Stupefying stories. Keep up the great work!!!

Unknown said...

Out of curiosity: are you planning to release either a print collection or print editions of issues? I ask only because my mother demands it, and it's hard to resist her. She'll attack you with kindness...

Unknown said...

Good news. Huzzah!

L. Joseph Shosty said...

Good news! Good luck to you in the coming year.

~brb said...

Thanks for the kind words!


~brb said...

We'd love to, and we flirted with the idea very seriously, but ultimately we decided to stick to e-books only and spend all the money we would have spent on printing on paying the authors more instead. After all, no one ever buys a book and says, "Wow, what great printing! And the binding, too; that was awesome! Too bad all the stories inside it really sucked."

So, thanks for the kind thought, but it's not something we can do at this time.

~brb said...