A Note About Our Haitus

We’re spending this time away wrapping up our previous obligations, and laying the groundwork for new projects, but we’re not going away for good. Part of that involves reincorporating Dagan Books — already an LLC — as a not-for-profit. We feel this will better allow us to focus on our mission of producing beautiful and unusual books even when they involve less-commercial subjects. It is time-consuming, though, and we appreciate your patience.

Meanwhile, our magazine of short speculative fiction is now online and looking good. Please check out Lakeside Circus at www.lakesidecircus.com. Flash, short stories, and poetry, plus: we’ve added podcasts! Everything posted on the site is free to read, and listen to.

We’ll be back here shortly with more news about our reorganization.

Thank you.

Carrie Cuinn, Publisher

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January E-Book Sale! Buy One, Get One Free.

In preparation for launching new material this spring, we’re offering a sale on ebooks of our current publications, when purchased directly from us. Buy any of the items below, and we’ll email you to find out where you want another copy of the same item sent. Give a belated holiday gift! Give someone a birthday present! Share our books just because you love your friends and want them to read good books!

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Bibliotheca Fantastica $4.99:

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You can also get Bibliotheca Fantastica as an ebook bundle:

all three formats for $6.99 Add to Cart

Fish $4.99:

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Buy Bibliotheca Fantastica and Fish together!

$8.98 for the .epub Add to Cart or .mobi Add to Cart

IN SITU $3.99:

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Cthulhurotica $3.99:

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Get Fish, IN SITU, and Cthulhurotica together as an ebook bundle for only $8.98:

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Inedible Sins (novella) $1.99:

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We’re also offering this sale on our annual subscriptions to Lakeside Circus, so if you already have our previous books, you can get new original fiction delivered to your inbox for an entire year – and gift that to someone else as well.

Lakeside Circus 1 year (4 quarterly issues) for $20, including both the .epub and .mobi formats Add to Cart

As always, our ebooks are DRM-free. Thank you for your support.View Cart

Subscribe to Lakeside Circus now, and win free ebooks!

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From now until November 15, anyone who subscribes to Year One of Lakeside Circus will be entered to win a complete ebook package from Dagan Books, including Cthulhurotica, IN SITU, FISH, Bibliotheca Fantastica, and Inedible Sins (in both epub and mobi formats).

This is on top of the discounted early subscriber rate – only $20 for a full year of short, strange, fiction! Each issue has nearly 50,000 words of all original stories and poems will be delivered to you every three months. No reprints. Not us. Not ever.

Best of all, for every 10 new subscriptions we get before November 15, we’ll give away another set of these ebooks. The more people who subscribe, the more chances you have to win – so please, help us get the word out.

To subscribe and be automatically entered to win, click on the button below:

Subscribe now!

Please note: if you have already subscribed, you are already entered in the giveaway. There’s nothing more for you to do but tell your friends!

Learning from the Circus

I’ve been asked why we’re taking a little break here at Dagan Books. Are we tired of anthologies? Dislike novellas? Are we shuttering our doors for good?

No, no, and definitely not.

While it looks, on the outside, that we’re taking time off, behind the scenes, we’re busier than ever. Our staff is working very hard to support the team at Lakeside Circus while we put together and publish Issue One. We’re going over the novella submissions we got this year to make final decisions. We’re looking at the projects we thought were a good idea a couple of years ago, and deciding which ones to move forward with.

More than that, I’m changing the way we do business. It’s often difficult to make course corrections while you’re still in the middle of a thing, still swimming in that river, being carried away even while you know you’re supposed to be headed in the other direction. When I began Dagan Books in 2010, three years ago this month, it was to support a fun little anthology I didn’t think I could publish any other way. It wasn’t supposed to be this big thing, but over time, that’s exactly what it became.

When you’re running a small press out of your kitchen on your own dime, without getting paid, without really knowing what you’re doing, it’s a gigantic thing.

I asked for advice from people I thought knew better than me (and often, they did). I got a lot of advice from people I didn’t know well, but who seemed sincere. Some of it was good. Some of it was terrible. I was pushed to grow faster, take on projects with people I didn’t know, didn’t like, changed what we publish, change who we publish… everyone had an opinion, and the last year or so, it’s been obvious that we’d lost something along the way. At some point this summer, I sat down with the people who’d been there with me from the beginning, and realized:

This isn’t what I wanted. I wasn’t excited about this work anymore. I started to dread opening my email, looking at our accounting spreadsheets, talking with nearly anyone about what we were planning to publish. I hit the point where most people, I think, would have quit.

But there was a project I was still excited about. Lakeside Circus. A quarterly magazine of very short literary speculative fiction. The kind of work that I read, when I get to read for my own enjoyment. The type of story I write, when I can find time to write. Even SF/F poetry, because when it’s done well, I love it.

So I took a few months, gathered up new readers, and starting putting together the magazine from scratch. I used everything I’d learned from Dagan Books, working as a freelance editor, a writer, an office administrator, and we did things differently. New, more author-friendly contracts. Clearer deadlines. Pay rates we could afford to offer. Faster response rate on submissions. Payment on publication, or in advance. Better business practices, all across the board.

And it worked. We put together an amazing magazine of almost 50,000 words, in only a few months! Contracts have been sent, subscriptions set up, authors are already starting to get paid, and the magazine will be out in advance for reviewers (something we were never able to do for Dagan’s anthologies). Our finances and tasks are documented; it’s a better business, run by a version of me who knows what she’s doing, instead of the me from three years ago who just had an idea and wasn’t sure of how to make it happen.

Over the next few months, we’re going to be migrating these best practices back over to Dagan Books. Authors will get the new contracts and new payment schedules, projects will be done in advance for reviewers, and we’ll use the new accounting/office workflows to keep everything open and on time. We’re going back to the strange, beautiful, often-literary, speculative fiction I love. We’re going back to the vision that I have for Dagan Books, instead of what everything else thought we should be.

In the meantime, please do check out Lakeside Circus. You can find us on the web at lakesidecircus.com, on Twitter and Facebook, and even Pinterest. You can submit work to us (read our guidelines here) and subscribe, too.

If you subscribe now, you can get our first year for only $20. Even better, if you purchase your subscription before November 15, our first issue will be delivered a week early. Before anyone else can buy the magazine or begin to read us online, you’ll have an entire quarter’s worth of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, including work by:

Dean Francis Alfar, C.S.E. Cooney, Trevor Shikaze, Ada Hoffmann, Mike Allen, Alan Baxter, Lucas Ahlsen, Cate Gardner, Jill Corddry, Rachael Acks, Conor Powers-Smith, Andrew S. Williams, Lisa Bradley, John P. Murphy, Dan Campbell, Gitte Christensen, Megan Arkenberg, Rich Larson, Jon Arthur Kitson, David Sklar, Andrew Gilstrap, Sarah Hendrix, F.J. Bergmann, Virginia M. Mohlere, Michael Haynes, John Skylar, H.L. Fullerton, Sofia Samatar, Eric Rosenfield, Jamie Lackey,  Hermine Robinson, Deborah Walker, Vajra Chandrasekera, David Steffen, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Bryan Thao Worra, and more!

Read more and subscribe here.

Thank you for your support over the years. I hope you’ll stick around for what we’re going to be next.

– Carrie Cuinn, Publisher