Closing of Multifarious Press

I’ve been dreading both coming to this decision and telling people about it.

One of the hardest things for me to do is admit I’ve been a fool. But boy have I ever been a fool in thinking that *I* had it in me to run a press.

I don’t. I really don’t. If it were something as simple as doing the work of editing, making the covers, publishing the books, (which, I foolishly thought was the bulk of running a press) I could totally do all that. I HAVE done all that for my own books.

But it has honestly come down to people. Creatures I don’t understand in the slightest.

A little over a two years ago I saw so many diverse voices going unpublished because there is a lot of lip service going on about wanting diversity, but not a lot of actual books being put out for a lot of kinds of diversity.

Neuroatypicality for one. I have a lot of the skills necessary to get books out there, but what I don’t have is a thick hide. I’m broken, mentally ill, and the VAST amount of censure and harassment I (and my staff) have come under for DARING to want to help diverse voices find publication is just…

It’s a lot. It’s a large part of what caused me to run my head into a mental health crisis. Just wanting to help diverse voices find publication was definitely not enough. Having the skills wasn’t enough.

I’ve spoken about this before, but other peoples’ expectations of who and what I am shouldn’t have changed the moment I opened a press. Their opinions of my staff shouldn’t have changed either, but there isn’t a single person on my staff except perhaps my website designer who hasn’t gotten hassled for being a *publishing professional* because they’re affiliated with my tiny little shoestring press. I’m appalled that it did? How can people be so… short sighted and cruel? But they were. They REALLY were. People will be people and I’ll continually not understand them.

I thought, maybe if I waited long enough on my mental health hiatus that I’d be able to come back to it and finally publish these beautiful stories. I have some that I wanted to publish so badly that are so damned beautiful, and they DESERVE publication. But I just can’t do it. I don’t think, and neither does my therapist, that me being healthy enough to work at the press is likely to happen any time soon, and I can’t in good conscious keep holding up these brilliant authors from looking elsewhere.

When I opened this tiny little boutique press, I had a bit more faith in humanity. Faith in humanity has always been a failing of mine. I’m an optimist, really, though with all I’ve lived through I really shouldn’t be. I thought that people would, well, help a bit more than they ended up doing. I thought maybe we’d get editors who wanted to pen their own lines of diverse titles, I thought we’d get people interested in helping with contracts and legal paperwork. I definitely thought we’d get more than one patron. There is SO MUCH lip service being put to getting diverse voices out there. There isn’t a lot of follow through from people in publishing on it. Sadly. I foolishly thought there would be.

My staff and I were almost immediately swamped with queries. Which was wonderful, but none of us were being paid for reading them and we have to eat, which means that our paid work and our own writing always had to come first. Our patreon for the press remained for the entire time it was open with ONE person as a patreon. (I’ll be returning that extremely generous patron’s funds.)

I’ve considered keeping the press/website open for as long as I have the business license (another year and a half) but it’s cruel to keep holding the hope that I’ll be well enough to work on these stories over the author heads.

I can’t do that and I won’t.

I’m sorry for not being strong enough to do what I said I wanted to do. I’m sorry I had enough faith in humanity that they’d actually do what they said they wanted to do. But maybe people aren’t yet ready for the diverse stories and voices that are crying out to be seen.

I’ve had many people tell me they’re happy to wait for me to be well enough to work at the press again because they believe in the ideal of the press.

I really and truly wish I could say the same. I believe, deeply, that we need diverse stories. I desperately need more diverse stories to read, but when it came down to it? It was me and my staff working hard at a pipe dream.

I believe I’ve contacted all of my authors personally, if I have missed you, I sincerely apologize. My health has not been good for months, and I can only admit the truth of how badly that affects me, it could easily have made me miss someone.

 

 

 

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Multifarious Press

Welp, cat is officially out of the bag on this one. So, some words.

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The idea to found Multifarious Press smacked me like a freight train a little over a year ago. Remember I’ve been writing for a long time, editing for almost as long.

I discovered writer-twitter and the wonderful (and horrible) world it can be roughly two years ago.

Through that medium, I’ve met some amazing authors, many diverse, wonderful voices that have honored me by letting me read their words.

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I’d been chatting with an author who felt their chances for a book they’d written had been lost because the diverse voice was too real.

An autistic voice. Like my own.

Silenced.

My soul cried out at that, because I need more adult autistic voice stories, and this one might never see the light of day.

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In the two years I’ve been talking with authors on twitter, I’ve also seen so many diverse authors quit.

They stopped trying.

They stopped writing.

I’ve been working behind the scenes with my editors and web developer to get this fledgling press up and running for close to a year. From the seed of an idea to figuring out how we’ll work it all to getting people I trust to do what they’ll say they’ll do… it’s been a journey.

We’re all parents and people with lives and jobs and difficulties so you could say there were a few potholes.

But I am not going anywhere.

I’ll be honest, I’m bloody terrified that people won’t think I can do this, that they’ll think… unkind things about me, when all I want to do is help others like me. Diverse Voices.

One thing I’ve been accused of being a time or million is stubborn. Once I choose a piece of ground to stand for, I’ve been likened to a donkey with its feet planted in cement.

This is my ground.

I may not have a lot of experience with publishing, but by gods, I know how to get stories out there. I know how to edit and make covers and market. I know sales like the back of my hand because that was my career for the longest time.

If the world really wants diversity? (I think it does…) this press has a chance to open those doors to those authors who quit because they feel they’ll never make it in publishing.

I can make a difference.

I will. I will be the change in the world that I want to see.

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Go here for the Submissions Guidelines or check out the Multifarious Press website. 

Addendum post: https://kaelanrhywiol.com/2017/04/14/why-xxx-for-multifarious/