Fenris Publishing is producing an exciting array of books, comics, and tabletop games. We asked them a few questions about the furry writing community, and their plans for the future. We hope you find their answers interesting, and that you check out their website to see what titles interest you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and the publisher you are representing.
My name is Rex and I’m the owner of Fenris Publishing, LLC. I first became active in the community online in 1998 when I created my character for the Road Rovers fandom and soon transitioned into the larger furry community. My first convention was Further Confusion 2004 and I’ve been very active in the community ever since.
What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom?
My favorite part about this community is how welcoming and accepting it is. You can be who and what you want to be without judgment. I find the community overwhelmingly positive, uplifting, and joyful, and we all need more of that in our lives.
What made you decide to get involved with the furry publishing scene?
I got into publishing because I wrote my own tabletop RPG system called Triten and wanted to manage the publication of it myself. Rather than simply self-publishing and moving on to other creative projects, though, I fell in love with the business of publishing itself and decided to pursue that full time and have been doing so ever since.
What do you believe makes a good story?
For me, the characters are what make the greatest stories, followed by a strong plot. But primarily, you need to have interesting and engaging characters that I yearn to know more about and follow through their journeys.
What are some of the biggest challenges with publishing in a relatively niche market?
The biggest challenge comes from the business side. Small, niche markets limit how many books you can sell, and expenses pile up quickly when you’re running a small business. So, the biggest challenge is reaching a wide enough audience to keep the business afloat.
What are some of the best parts of publishing furry books?
The best part is getting to see all the great stories, characters, and worlds people dream up! I find great joy in letting a book take me away to a world full of anthropomorphic characters and seeing all the interesting ways various authors craft worlds around that premise.
What is the ideal writer to work with like?
The ideal writer will communicate openly with us and be receptive to the feedback our editors give them. It’s often a difficult process having an editor go through the work you put your heart and soul into and tell you that certain things need to be changed. The ideal writer will be willing to engage in that process and be open to making adjustments.
Novels vs Anthologies. Which do you prefer working on, and how do they compare in terms of sales?
We currently are only working on novels and novellas, but we plan to start exploring the world of anthologies starting in 2022.
What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the process of publishing, either specific to furry publishing or generally?
One big thing I think some writers aren’t prepared for is how very slow the process of publishing a novel can be, taking months or even years to complete, especially since most furry publishers and editors don’t (and can’t) do this work full time. Even just getting through and responding to our submissions can take us months.
It’s always said, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but just how important is cover art to the success of a book?
Book covers are extremely important. The next time you’re at furry convention, watch how buyers browse at a bookseller’s table. There can be dozens of titles on the table, and for your average customer, you have mere seconds to attract their attention to something they might like. Covers need to have sharp art and/or strong graphic design so a customer will even pick it up to look at the blurb on the back.
Is there anything you would like to see more of in furry fiction?
My personal favorite genre is medieval fantasy, so I always want to see more of that. I’d also love to see more stories with heavier, darker, more mature, and more expansive themes.
What has been your favourite book to work on recently? Why?
Based on my previous response, it’s probably not a surprise that my favorite book to work on recently was Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag, which we will be releasing within the next few months. The book is a medieval fantasy story featuring human characters who can shapeshift into various feral animals. The story focuses on how a cruel, tyrannical predator king and those who support him oppress prey species, and it follows a rabbit character on her journey to escape slavery and liberate her people.
One of the biggest strengths of the furry writing community is the healthy selection of publishers. We hope you’ll join us in supporting them during this month – and through the rest of the year!
Our guest tomorrow had a very special day on the weekend, so thankfully we got his answers well in advance. We hope you’ll join us then to see what he has to say.