I registered Gothic Funk Press in 2010 as a sole-proprietorship (first in Illinois, later in Michigan) in order to self-publish my novel Hungry Rats. In this sense, it was a vanity press, pure and simple, and I went on to use the name to publish Shattering Glass (2013) and Atlas (2015).
But as time has passed I have wanted to use the press to incubate, publish, and promote literary talent, especially in Flint, and as the “Gothic Funk movement” was meaningful to this project from its origins in 2004, it also made sense to use name of Gothic Funk Press to do this work as well. Here I am referring to: Mark’s Hat (2014), The Paramanu Pentaquark #4 (2016), the Flint Area Scavenger Hunt (2012, 2016), the Flint Order of Orpheus (2015-2017), the Flint Literary Festival (2017, in partnership with East Village Magazine and the Flint Public Library), and the Flint Teen Writers Workshop Anthology (2017, in partnership with the Flint Public Library). I think that this is the future of Gothic Funk Press and that it is an exciting future!
At the same time, it has been bothering me a bit this emergent publishing company is not selling anything except my own work. If someone curious about the Flint Literary Festival or the writers workshop, for example, came to this website and browsed the catalog, it is dominated by my own work for sale. To be clear, nobody has complained about this to me, or even commented upon it, but it has been starting to trouble me personally. I am obviously very proud of my writing and want to promote it aggressively, but these are two “missions” that I no longer think fit well under the same masthead. I don’t want my personal ambitions to detract from the more community-based mission, nor do I want to restrain my own efforts at self-promotion out of a sense of propriety or fear of a conflict-of-interest.
With this in mind, I have registered a second Michigan sole-proprietorship — Valancourt Press — which I will use for any self-publishing projects from this point on. (Valancourt is the name of a gambling hero from Ann Radcliffe’s superb novel The Mysteries of Udolpho, which feels appropriate to adventures in self-publishing or, indeed, writing in general.) I will no longer publish my own books through Gothic Funk Press, though I may be open to including my work in collections and anthologies. For the moment, I will leave my three books in print and on the website, but I will deemphasize their presence here, and if I have the time and opportunity to do so, I will publish a second edition of each through Valancourt Press and remove the books from Gothic Funk Press altogether.
I am not planning to build a new website and branding around Valancourt press — since it is a vanity press, this content is already present at http://connorcoyne.com — but this will help Gothic Funk Press continue to emerge as an independent and literary publishing company in Flint, Michigan.
In short, from now on:
Valancourt Press will mean books created by Connor Coyne, “a writer of strange and mysterious things.”
Gothic Funk Press will mean a Flint-based publishing company focusing on literature reflecting “an updated romanticism that exploits postmodern narrative technique.”