by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Back in February 2015, Dogpatch Press published a two-part “History of Furry Publishing” by me. (Part 1 and Part 2) Patch has asked me to contact the furry specialty publishers for a follow-up to bring it up to date.
The traditional “Big Three” furry specialty publishers are FurPlanet Productions in Dallas, Rabbit Valley Books in Las Vegas, and Sofawolf Press in St. Paul. They were profiled in the earlier article. Here is their current status.
FurPlanet has been doing very well, as evidenced by having 24 new titles at Anthrocon 2016. FurPlanet has had dealer tables during 2016 at Further Confusion in January, Furry Fiesta, Anthrocon, and Rocky Mountain Fur Con, and plans to appear at Mephit FurMeet, Furry Migration, and Midwest FurFest in December. Besides selling books, FurPlanet has established a strong presence and met a lot of great fans, some of whom have been encouraged to become writers in FurPlanet’s anthologies.
FurPlanet prefers to release new titles at the conventions it attends. Further Confusion in San Jose in January and Anthrocon in Pittsburgh in late June or early July are the big release weekends each year, and publications are aimed for those dates. FurPlanet used to have several releases at RainFurrest in Seattle in late September, but with the disappearance of RainFurrest FurPlanet may shift to Midwest FurFest in Chicago in early December. If something becomes ready at a different time, it is released at the first convention it’s ready for.
Some of FurPlanet’s art folios are annuals. Those usually appear at the same convention each year. FurPlanet and its readers can count on two short fiction anthologies edited by Fred Patten at FC and AC, and an annual volume of FANG and ROAR at AC. Other anthologies, single-author collections, comic books, and one-shot art folios appear as they’re ready.
Erotica clearly sells very well. About 70% of FurPlanet’s sales are adult titles versus 30% of “all ages”. Of the 24 new titles at Anthrocon 2016, only 5 were all ages. FurPlanet’s best selling titles are the comics and books with well-written stories featuring adult themes. Rukis’ novels and comics, and the “Cupcake” novella books have been especially popular.
FurPlanet has three tables together at Anthrocon, so it has a much wider display of titles there. At conventions where it has only two or one table, there are about 100 titles, focusing on what is new or still selling well. Titles that are part of ongoing series will stay on the tables much longer.
Convention sales and online catalogue sales are about equal. Sales of FurPlanet’s print books are much greater than of Bad Dog Books’ e-editions. The Bad Dog e-books are not Amazon’s Kindle books. The only difference is that the Kindle books do not have adult illustrations, due to Amazon’s rules on eBooks. The Bad Dog titles are not censored. That is why many of the Bad Dog eBooks do not appear on Amazon.
For conventions relatively near Dallas, FurPlanet drives its stock there and back in its hatchback. For Further Confusion in California and when it was attending RainFurrest in Seattle, FurPlanet shipped its stock there and flew.
FurPlanet regularly displays Rabbit Valley’s and Sofawolf Press’s titles at conventions where those publishers do not have their own tables. There are no arrangements yet with other publishers, but with several new ones appearing, there could be in the future. FurPlanet has stocked a few mainstream books like the American editions of the French Blacksad and Grandville titles, but those are rare exceptions. FurPlanet’s recent carrying of several of Disney’s Zootopia titles has been due to the extreme interest in Zootopia by many furry fans. There are no plans to carry other books related to anthro-animal movies.
FurPlanet Productions is basically a part-time hobbyist mail-order business in Dallas. Everything there is in a large room called the Production Room. FurPlanet’s stock is kept there, orders are packed and shipped from there, and their bookbinding equipment is there. This room is not open to the public, and there are no plans to open a store front.
FurPlanet consists of four people: FuzzWolf and Teiran, the two owners, and their two long-term employees Buck Turner and Zia McCorgi. All four have regular jobs and run FurPlanet in their spare time. All four appear at almost every convention that FurPlanet displays at. They are sometimes joined by their friends Ajax B. Coriander and Andres Cyanni Halden, who have edited anthologies for FurPlanet in the past.
FurPlanet has this to say:
We’d like to thank everyone, our authors, artists, editors, customers, and helpers, especially Buck and Zia, who have made this all possible for the last eight years.