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Publication of New Novel by Robert A. Heinlein by Arc Manor Shows How Small Presses are Changing Publishing

SOURCE Arc Manor

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- There has been ongoing turmoil in the publishing world with the introduction of new technologies and new ways of bringing books to readers. And now one of the most significant book releases in science fiction is being done by a small press using a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production.

Print-on-demand and ebooks have revolutionized the way books are offered to consumers and have led to a plethora of self-published authors bringing books directly to readers. The field is now saturated with new releases, but occasionally a gem rises that might not have otherwise.

A great example of this in science fiction is Andy Weir, who self-published The Martian in 2011 (subsequently made into a movie starring Matt Damon).

But it is not only self-publishers who have made use of these newer technologies. A multitude of small presses have sprung up, many of them using innovative means of doing business in an industry that has stayed remarkably stubborn throughout the years.

Like self-publishers, there is a wide difference among various small publishers. Some are little more than vanity-presses, but others have found remarkable success as true publishers (offering their authors advances and royalties). These new publishers are quicker, more innovative and more open to new ideas than their legacy counterparts.

One of the year's most significant science fiction releases is a new novel by Robert A. Heinlein, a rediscovered manuscript titled The Pursuit of the Pankera. Heinlein is, arguably, one of the best-known writers of science fiction, with titles like Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Known as the "dean" of science fiction, he died in 1988 but his books continue to sell worldwide and are often made into movies and TV series.

The significance of publishing a new book written by Heinlein cannot be understated. And a small press based in Maryland (Phoenix Pick, an imprint of Arc Manor) is going to publish it.

Publications of this magnitude can be very expensive, if done properly. So, Phoenix Pick has elected to do a Kickstarter campaign to offset some of the costs associated with the publication of a groundbreaking book. The manuscript is being worked on by a team of editors led by an award-winning editor, Pat LoBrutto, who has worked as chief editor at a number of major science fiction publishing houses and with some of the best-known authors in the industry.

According to the publisher, Shahid Mahmud, they decided to utilize the Kickstarter platform to better engage with fans while obtaining the funds needed. "Rewards" start with a discounted price for the ebook edition, with higher tiers offering multi-book Heinlein packages. For serious collectors, the Kickstarter also offers a numbered, limited edition of the book, restricted to only 200 printed copies.

"Being a fan myself, what has been absolutely thrilling has been the ability to actively engage with other fans who are now supporting this project," said Shahid. The Kickstarter is also offering all participants the ability to help select a cover from a number of draft sketches done by award-winning artist Scott Grimando.

The book is currently slated for release in March of 2020. Fans of the author can participate in the Kickstarter until the end of September 2019, although some limited rewards may run out before the end of September.

Interested parties can view the Kickstarter at

Shahid Mahmud

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