Our Vision for Comics Anthologies

It’s Story Time!

Jayel and Lynsey here! We want to use this as an opportunity to clear the air about our anthologies, what exactly they’re meant to be, and how they work, etc. Whether you’re a creator, an avid reader, or just mildly curious, this is for you. Get ready, it’s story time! 📖

Where We Started

Oneshi Press Comics Anthology Issue Number ONe, Second Edition, Cover

As you may have already heard, we recently announced a call for submissions to DESTINATIONS, our 12th comics anthology. We couldn’t be more excited about this! But, in our excitement, we may have failed to explain everything super clearly. There have been a few questions coming our way about what the heck we’re doing. Seems we’ve left some folks feeling confused. 🤔

When we first partnered together on the Tracy Queen and PACK comics, we imagined the sheer uniqueness of these stories and lovability of their characters, the cleverness of the nuanced narratives, landing them a sweet publishing deal out of the gate. It turned out to not be that simple. Many publishers want to own their own IPs and already have their own styles and genres worked out. Almost none of our stories neatly fit into any one style or genre…What were we to do? 😱

So we created Oneshi Press, where all of our varied, nuanced, and unique stories could fit. But that wasn’t enough. We needed this platform we built, and it was a long hard crawl uphill to build it. Surely, we thought, others could benefit from that hard work…We could help them with what we built to help ourselves. And so came into being the very first Oneshi Press Comics Anthology—a collection of short comics that let us tell our stories alongside those of other creators! We got to share our audience with them, and vice versa. Win-win! 📘

Where We’re At

Oneshi Press Comics Anthology Issue Number Eleven, Cover

Now, eleven anthologies later, we’re looking at where we started and how far we’ve come. We’ve always wanted these anthologies to be a way for people who, like us, need a platform for their work. That said, we’re not buying work from people for our vision. We’re showcasing other people’s work—work that they keep the rights to and can still submit elsewhere down the road. We are not purchasing work-for-hire; we’re using a co-op model to help others get their work out into the world. 🥰

Originally, we had the dream of anthologies being lucrative enough that we could pay people royalty checks when our anthologies’ earnings exceeded the costs of production. Creators still have to recoup their costs and be able to earn some money so they can eat, after all. Unfortunately, this labor of love has proven to be quite expensive for us, and so far, we haven’t been able to pay out royalties to our creators. So on our last anthology, BECOMING, we decided to crowdfund via Kickstarter and give our contributors bonuses based on campaign performance. The better our campaign did, the bigger the bonuses! We ended up paying out over $1k in bonuses! 💸

What a great success that was! In addition to creators keeping the rights to their work and getting free contributor copies and wholesale-priced copies, they also got cash bonuses! We were really starting to feel like we’re heading in the right direction. We did notice that some of our contributors really went well above and beyond to help promote the Kickstarter campaign. While of course everyone should get bonuses for having their work in the anthology…We couldn’t shake the feeling that some folks deserve a little something more. 💝

Where We’re Going

Oneshi Press's book, DWAYNE: A Tale From Existentia, cover

So, we’re working on a solution. Our idea is that all of our contributors on our next anthology will get a percentage-based bonus from our Kickstarter, like last time: the better the Kickstarter does, the bigger everyone’s bonus will be. However, for the folks who want to go the extra mile, we will give them a unique referral link that is connected to their individual account. They will get 10% of every pledge that comes through their link. This way, people who go the extra mile and do the extra work can enjoy the extra reward. 💪

We found a place called Kickbooster that lets us deputize folks who want to get paid to help us spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign. You can sign up to be a “Kickbooster” on our campaign and get a referral link created for you. Then, you’ll be able to log into your own account and see exactly how many people have signed up through your link and how much of a cut you’ve earned. ✂️

We’re going to experiment with using it on a few campaigns before our next anthology Kickstarter, to see if this works as well as we hope it does. If you’re not planning to contribute to our next anthology, fear not—anyone will be able to sign up for a referral link to earn royalties, not just contributors. We’ll be using Kickbooster for Dwayne: A Tale From Existentia, which launches on the 1st of February, so keep an eye out for news from us about that.👁️

We’ll end by saying that the anthologies, for us, have always been about building communities and helping people get their stories out into the world. Our goal is to make it as fair as possible to everyone involved, including the two of us at Oneshi Press, who spend countless hours during the year putting these books together and fundraising for them. We should all benefit from this fairly so we can make the best dang collection imaginable.✨💖✨

We can’t tell you how much it means to us that you’ve read this. Please, feel free to respond with any thoughts and/or questions. We’re so grateful to have you here with us.

—Jayel & Lynsey 🧔‍👩‍🦰

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