An open letter from our founder Josh Higgins, with the latest update on The Needle Drops... Volume One, and when -- and where -- you can get your hands on the final publication, whether physical or digital.
Let's make it official - we're thrilled to finally announce that the complete The Needle Drops... Volume One will release on October 12th 2021, available via direct independent retailers, bookstores and directly from the Urhi store.
'Tis been quite the journey thus far; and we can see the end on the horizon. It feels like the second hour of The Return of the King, or the build-up to festivities and holidays. That part in Gremlins 3 where Gizmo secures his presidency in the White House (come on, Joe!).
Melodrama and jokes aside, let's take a moment to celebrate a selection of our achievements so far:
We have a complete, locked-in roster that features a huge variety of stories and voices we're confident will impress (again, thank you for the incredible response we saw from our call for submissions -- over 300 fantastic tales were read and considered for placement in Volume One, and 32 are included in the final roster).
Our comic strip, Desert Drive, has been completed and finalised by talented pen & ink artist / illustrator Thom Simpson.
We have a plethora of cover art, design work, promotional materials and extra goodies, each handcrafted with only a handful remaining.
A collection of behind-the-scenes features and Q&As right here on the Urhi blog.
Our Original Soundtrack has six complete tracks from contributor mvrlok - each an ode to horror scores from across the genre - awaiting final mastering, with work progressing steadily on the remaining two.
The final release version of Volume One is looking sharp, and full of surprises. Let's just say it's not merely just black text on white paper, and the e-book is an entire experience within itself.
It's clear to us that we need to refocus our efforts as a community toward independent, creative projects without being held back by the crux of the algorithm.
We want to break the mould and move away from reliance on corporate storefronts; thus, we're giving our initial launch window a little breathing room from Amazon. It's clear to us that we need to refocus our efforts as a community toward independent, creative projects without being held back by the crux of the algorithm. Considering accessibility, however, we will launch later on Amazon at a slightly increased cost, only out of necessity considering the fees associated.
This isn't a mission to generate lasting profits, but merely a creative expression of a multitude of voices and perspectives -- and something I've long wanted to have a hand in creating. We're lucky enough to launch Volume One from our own means, which only makes me shudder to think of stories and creative wonders lost to time due to mere inaccessibility and an obvious baseline level of privilege to get started, in a sector and market that's seemingly on life-support.
Our only goal, then, is to get Volume One seen and read by as many who want it as possible, and any profit generated will only go toward growing Urhi as a platform and publisher for any interested. From the very outset, we emphasised our 'fair pay' tenet, and every soul who has worked on Volume One will be compensated before or during publication. If you like what we're trying to do here, I can only suggest to head on over and check out the store or Supporters' Scheme, and hopefully you'll still be reading our publications a few years down the line.
We've already began discussing the future, with a non-fiction project in early development that'll draw focus to our home of Wales, a conceptual outline for The Needle Drops... Volume Two in place, and more I'm awfully excited to discuss -- but better hold the old tongue for the time being.
Going forward, you'll see our focus shift to promotion and engagement as we reach the content complete phase and move ahead with the production process. We've got plenty to show as we bound toward October 12th, with updates and releases to our OST, more contributor announcements and Q&As, tradeshow and event presence, special video content, merch and something something Radio Show.
Urhi Supporters will also soon be provided access to the introductory chapter of Desert Drive, and further samples of our fiction on show in Volume One.
I can't wait for you to consume the finished publication.