‘CONSTANCY. Constancy may be symbolised by the phoenix which, knowing that by nature it must be resuscitated, has the constancy to endure the burning flames which consume it, and then it rises anew.’ Leonardo da Vinci
Follow the adventures of a little publisher and learn with us too. “Join the story, become part of the adventure…”
PHOENIX ARK’S MISSION
MISSION ONE) First to recover and protect the works of David Clement-Davies, especially in the field of animal fantasy, and so to give an ecological slant too to blogs and essays here at Phoenix Ark Press. The clue is in the name, The Phoenix and The Ark. So to allow a prominent author to lead a small publisher and a journalistic blog too with many creative projects, both as a business but also a place for creativity and inspiration. Short term goals are to publish Light of The White Bear, beyond ebook, get Dragon In The Post flying and also to bring Fire Bringer back into hard copy print in the UK and elsewhere. Fire Bringer is a book that has achieved classic status and yet with the ambitious movement of editors inside firms, it was not protected, with the excuse the market made it unfeasible to keep it in print. While we are all prey to the market, it is also our own efforts that can change or define that market.
MISSION TWO) To draw in readers and writers, artists and illustrators for a creative grass-roots conversation, in opposition to the isolations of the Internet, and see what we can give back. Also to ask if a label can lead others in projects, created and achieved at a crowd funding level, on platforms like Kickstarter. That is why I want you to think of it as ‘Your publisher‘. We may not be able to publish your work, but we will certainly listen to your story and I want to make work available to younger people here. That could be spreading the digital word, writing articles, helping a website redesign or doing new artwork for book covers. Only the cover of The Sight/Fell ebook will remain in future, so this is a call for artists to make something new. I’m afraid there is no money yet, and even if people back Kickstarter projects it cannot ensure art work would be taken, but I hope it can help you learn and grow.
MISSION THREE) To highlight the destruction of written culture in a digital world, like the mass copyright attacks of Google, the abuse of publishing contracts, and the wholesale handing out of ebook rights by big publishers, often without the author’s say so. But it is also about the effect of Social Media and blogs on individuals and on writers and their relationship to what ‘being published’ really means now, if anything at all.
YOUR MISSION) If as I hope this can become ‘Your publisher’ I want to know where you think we should go too, as I try to draw on your talents, concerns and ideas. Could there be a wider charity element, should we take the activism root on particular issues, especially environmental, what is it that would really fire and inspire you?
With 120,000 new titles published in the UK each year, and the revolution in online media forms, book publishing is now in grave danger and so are writers and artists. That danger is contributed to by the political cynicism of many agents and powerful publishers, and their failure to protect and understand committed, professional authors. The story of Phoenix Ark’s MD in America is a case in point, and part of the journey of a new publisher. Should everyone have a right to a hearing? Most certainly, if what is said is responsible, important, or extraordinary, and it is the democratic genius of blogs and online publishing. Should everyone publish books, whether novels or non-fiction? Most certainly not, because that is the path of commitment, talent and considerable skill. With an author at the top of this new endeavour, who knows personally the difficult road writers can face to even survive, it is time to go back to basics. Back to basics with great books, grounded in the power of story, but linked to people who care not only about the ‘products’, but the lives behind them too, and the ultimate values those books enshrine. But the story of Phoenix Ark is also an extraordinary one in itself, that may challenge many people to open their eyes and listen. DCD
Phoenixarkpress.com APRIL 2014