This is Jeanne Thornton and Miracle Jones of Instar Books. We publish the darkness. We will answer every question you ask. Forever.
Instar Books is a new publishing company that we both run. We are using the sale of our own books to finance future projects in development. So far, it is working pretty good! Here's a little about us:
All our sales are public. We sell ebooks direct to customers. Over time, we will make our books available through additional channels, assuming that these are effective and ethical.
As our books breach arbitrary "sales goals," new art projects and new forms of our books open up as bonuses. For instance, when one of our ebooks sells 500 copies, it becomes a print book from OR Books, the independent publisher of Julian Assange, Eileen Myles, Ed Wood, and many other dissident voices.
We publish fucked-up underground fiction, poetry, and non-fiction—the kind of action that BIG CORPORATE PUBLISHING does not want and does not understand. We are also into publishing peculiar Internet errata, like twitterbots and leaks and games and interesting code.
We don't deal with Amazon. Fuck Amazon. We know many people love Amazon, but seriously, they are terrible for the ecosystem of American literature. Ask us about it.
We also sell our books in "seed" form, as custom-designed USB sculptures.
GET TO KNOW US PERSONALLY:
I am Miracle Jones! I am from Houston, Texas (though I now live in NYC) and today is my birthday. Some of my "hits" include "How to Get Laid for Zero Dollars and Zero Cents," a story about a "rat king" in the WTC wreckage of 9/11 (here's the video), "Fulfillment," a story about working in an Amazon warehouse over the holidays, "Fear Boys With Dolls," a story about Batman's terrifying high-tech sex doll collection, and "Vitalics," a story about a Catholic priest whose job is to go around baptizing artificial intelligences.
You can read THESE FINE TALES and many other stories for free at: http://www.miraclejones.com.
My novel "Sharing" was just published last week at Instar Books. It's a fantasy/sci-fi thriller, and the first part of an ongoing epic about messed-up psychics waging interdimensional war against manipulative unicorns, in the grand slipstream tradition of China Mieville and Henry Darger.
I wrote the book "The Black Emerald," a bunch of short stories about creepy stuff and sometimes trans women's issues. One of the stories from the book is available here at CURA. It is about a trans woman agreeing to sleep with an alcoholic couple in exchange for dessert, kind of on Nietszche's advice. I also wrote the book "The Dream of Doctor Bantam," which is about a Scientology-like cult, and which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. I do these webcomics, Bad Mother (badmothercomix.com) and The Man Who Hates Fun (manwhohatesfun.com), and publish Rocksalt Magazine, with Geoff Sebesta. I also work as a freelance editor & copy editor for myriad books on myriad subjects. It is not my birthday today, but it will be on February 2!
You can check out our 2014-2015 catalog here, but some of our other upcoming titles include:
VIDEOGAMES FOR HUMANS: An anthology of Twine games, edited by merritt kopas (creator of Consensual Torture Simulator, Lim, and Hugpunx), as played by other Twine creators, writers, and journalists, and dedicated to the idea that digital games, to evolve, must show increasing diversity both of creators and of subject matter. Contributors include Zoe Quinn, Imogen Binnie, Christine Love, Emily Short, Anna Anthropy, Pippin Barr, Leigh Alexander, and many more.
THINGBODY: A mixed-media experimental verse narrative by Clare Louise Harmon that tells the story of a young classical musician's journey, following a traumatic assault, through hospitalization and toward recovery and reintegration with the world, via verse, visual art, typography, critical analysis, and Claymation.
HOTWRITING, V.0: Working at the conjunction of words, sounds, wearable computing, and performance poetry, "code poet" Todd Anderson brings together the best of his Hotwriting pieces from the Derangement of the Senses and Poetry Observed events, painting a surreal image of a hypermodern America beset with James Brown lines, drunken Santas, sex revolutionaries, and dance breakdowns forever. The book will include both straightforward poetry and an interactive collection of word art and technology (check out this example of "hotwriting in action" and be eternally changed).
EVERYWORD: THE BOOK: Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the conclusion, in June 2014, of the Twitter bot @everyword's run through the entire English language one tweeted word at a time, "Everyword: The Book" collects the entire corpus of tweets by @everyword from 2007-2014, including accurate information about the number of favorites and retweets each word received, for the convenience of the casual reader. Foreign rights are available for this title.
Ask us anything. We will answer EVERY question. F-O-R-E-V-E-R. That means we will continue to check up on this AMA indefinitely, so this thread will always be a place where you can reach us if you have questions / concerns / ideas / want to pitch us a book. You can also sign up for our mailing list at www.instarbooks.com.