Tag Archives: publishing

Open Season on MERCANARY™

1. Terms of the Open MERCANARY License (version 1.0)

1.1 Henceforth, use of MERCANARY is bound by the terms of this open licensing agreement.

1.2 It is understood that David Reynolds is the creator of MERCANARY, which is the trademark of Problematic Press.

1.3 This license in no way relinquishes ownership of this trademark nor our copyrighted works, such as The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY.

1.4 Furthermore, we (David Reynolds and Problematic Press) reserve the right to withdraw and revoke this license from any individual or group of individuals at any time for any reason, which may require the unpublishing and removing of your content from distribution.

1.5 Otherwise, subject to the terms of this license as detailed here and updated from time to time, we grant the limited use of MERCANARY — the character, concept, design, and image — for commercial use in English-language content in any medium to any person or group of persons (hereafter referred to as “you”).

Contents of the Terms

2. Your Use of MERCANARY

2.1 Given that you abide by the terms set out in this agreement, we hereby grant you license to create content in English that uses MERCANARY.

2.2 Content may be created for any medium, including but not limited to short fiction, poetry, novella, novel, comic strip, graphic novel, zine, music, dance, theatre, film, puppet show, animation, or video game.

2.3 Your use of MERCANARY should consider the characteristics detailed in the guide below.

2.4 Your use of MERCANARY must comply with the limitations detailed below.

2.5 Use of MERCANARY in any way signifies your consent to the terms of the Open MERCANARY License.

3. Guiding Your Use of MERCANARY

3.1 While MERCANARY originated in MERCANARY™: A Zine of Poetry and Adventure and was further fleshed out through The Epic of the MERCANARY™ as well as The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™, you are not entirely bound by those depictions. Nevertheless, we suggest you use those sources as guides for the character.

3.2 For example, while we refer to MERCANARY as male (he/him), he is not bound by gender, and you may make him whatever gender you wish for your content.

3.3 Any reference to the character’s name in writing must maintain the use of ALL CAPS and include the symbol in its appropriate position, while references to his species should be styled using lowercase, like any common noun. So, as an example, one might write “MERCANARY is not the only mercanary to be mistaken for a mercenary.”

3.4 Otherwise, we have established in our previous works that MERCANARY is the following:

  • Half bird, half merman, and half myth.
  • He is a mystical being with supernatural powers.
  • He is absurd.
  • He may fly, swim, and slither.
  • He may change shape, so he is not bound to appear with a canary’s upper torso or even with a mer-tail.
  • He may turn invisible.
  • At times, he may be seen by children and hidden from adults.
  • He is inexplicably capable yet he is often naive.
  • He has an extra-dimensional pocket that stores everything he needs.
  • He often wields a pair of machine guns, which he unloads in celebration of small accomplishments and simple joys.
  • He may be mistaken for being a mercenary, given how often he brandishes his guns, but he is more precisely a sells-word, one who relishes in the story sold.
  • He loves reading, and he’s a fan of poetry.
  • Although he used to only speak in chirps and coos, now he has found his voice.

3.5 We suggest you explore one of the following settings or genres for your content:

  • magical realism
  • pulp noir
  • cyberpunk
  • fairypunk
  • retro-futurism
  • swashbuckling adventure
  • cosmic horror
  • dark academia
  • wuxia action

3.6 If you closely follow our suggestions and your content is a work of literature, then you may wish to submit it to us for consideration for publication. Please do so! You may use the submission form found here.

3.7 You retain copyright over your content, which means you may sell it on your own without owing a royalty to David Reynolds or Problematic Press as long as you abide by the terms of this licensing agreement and include the required acknowledgment as detailed below.

4. Limitations on Your Use of MERCANARY

4.1 You acknowledge and accept your responsibilities and limitations as a content creator according to the intellectual property laws of the jurisdiction in which you reside, and you indemnify David Reynolds and Problematic Press from any liability — legal, financial, personal, or otherwise — associated with the content you create.

4.2 While our previous publications also depict other characters, such as Harrison Stockton Bueller and Troll-Cat, this license does NOT grant the use of any other characters. This license ONLY grants the use of MERCANARY in your content.

4.3 You must not use MERCANARY in any way that damages David Reynolds or Problematic Press, including but not limited to anything that may constitute libel, slander, or defamation of David Reynolds, Problematic Press, or a third party.

4.4 To the point of undue hardship, you must make every reasonable attempt to prominently include in your content the required acknowledgment as detailed below.

5. Required Acknowledgments

5.1 In general, your content must include and prominently display this written declaration verbatim: “David Reynolds is the creator of MERCANARY, which is the trademark of Problematic Press. MERCANARY appears here in accordance with the terms of the Open MERCANARY License.”

5.2 If it is feasible, you must audibly declare for your audience that “David Reynolds is the creator of MERCANARY, which is the trademark of Problematic Press. MERCANARY appears here in accordance with the terms of the Open MERCANARY License.”

5.3 If it is feasible, you must include a link to problematicpress.com.

5.4 If it is feasible, you must include the Problematic Press logo.

5.5 We appreciate that different media have different ways of handling such acknowledgments, and we offer the following guidance:

  • For a print book, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo in the front matter of your book.
  • For an ebook, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo in the front matter of your ebook.
  • For a stage performance, place signs near the stage and entrance that include the written declaration, the link, and the logo, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment immediately before the performance begins.
  • For a puppet show, place signs near the stage and entrance that include the written declaration, the link, and the logo, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment immediately before the performance begins.
  • For a film, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo as part of the opening branding, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment while it is on-screen.
  • For a video game, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo as part of the opening branding, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment while it is on-screen.

5.6 If it is feasible, include such an acknowledgment when promoting your content, such as when giving interviews or in advertisements.

6.1 You can download a copy of this agreement as well as additional resources as a .zip file at this link here.

6.2 That .zip file contains logo images as well as a .pdf copy of MERCANARY™: A Zine of Poetry and Adventure.

7. Our Gratitude

7.1 David Reynolds and Problematic Press are thrilled that you are considering using MERCANARY in your content, and we thank you kindly for your interest.

7.2 May MERCANARY be a boon for your content!

Problematic Press
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our New Partnership with EBSCO

What’s black and white and read all over?

Problematic Press is pleased to announce we have signed a new partnership with EBSCO Information Services.

Through this new deal, all past and future Problematic Press titles will be easily accessible through libraries all over the globe.

This is because “EBSCO is the leading provider of research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions, e-books and discovery service to libraries of all kinds.”

Curious about EBSCO? Learn more from this short video.

Otherwise, at this stage, Problematic Press can think beyond the local markets, knowing our titles can be read all over. This excites us greatly! That’s a fact.

And, if you’re daring to consider the writerly life for yourself, then allow us to alert you to our present CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS.

Stay tuned for much more from Problematic Press.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Now Accepting Your Submission


Problematic Press is a modest operation with limited resources. Our aim is to publish 1-2 books per year going forward.

Our titles are published as paperbacks and ebooks that are distributed through retailers and libraries both online and around the world.

Problematic Press is pleased to make this call for submissions.

  • Highlighted Details
    • DEADLINE: Open and ongoing, so submit whenever.
    • We are interested in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
    • Final drafts should be 20,000-39,999 words.
    • Responses will be sent to applicants within two months.
    • Read the rest of this post thoroughly to get the details.
    • Find the link to the submission form at the bottom of this post.

We invite pitches from interested authors with titles intended for future publication, generally within the next year or two.

Provided the writing demonstrates exceptional mastery of English, we are open to considering original works from any person residing anywhere within Canada and legally entitled to work and earn income within Canada. However, we very much prefer to work with local creators in the St. John’s region of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This preference is stated outright.

Understand that any licensing agreement that may result from submitting your pitch represents an investment in you as well as your book. Beyond that, you must maintain a public persona that the publisher is excited to endorse. Liabilities will not be tolerated.

Expect this process to be lengthy, rigorous, and arduous. Our authors and artists thrive when challenged, and they have the dedication and patience required to persevere.

Before and after publication, all authors and artists are encouraged to pursue external funding opportunities, such as federal, provincial, and municipal grants. The timing of such opportunities will have an impact on the timeline of publication. That is understandable, and we are flexible enough to work within such a schedule for our grant-winning authors.

If this sounds thrilling to you, then dare to proceed.

Otherwise, turn back now, saving each of us a lot of time.

"Distant. Yesterday, I believe." - David Reynolds

Problematic Press embodies the way of the MERCANARY™, our trademark sells-word chimæra.

In that spirit, we are excited to receive pitches for book-length works (20,000 words to 39,999 words in length) in a variety of genres.

The key to a winning pitch is that it is high-quality, daring excitement, but — above all — it must be an achievable goal for each of us, from revising to editing to promotion to publication and to promotion again.

Be realistic.

Do you feel up for it?

Do not pitch a series.

Do you have a completed draft of your manuscript?


Turn back now.


You may continue.

Do you still feel up for it?


This is a test.

You are encouraged to come to this well-prepared.

Consider gaining experience and levelling up before you continue.

If you’re still here, you’re doing well.

MERCANARY™ is undergoing a metamorphosis.
MERCANARY™ approves.

What Problematic Press Wants

Problematic Press is only interested in pitches for hitherto unpublished anywhere original works of literature, and we are happy to consider such original works that fall within or near the following areas:

💥 scholarly non-fiction (literature, philosophy, semiotics, arts, humanities);

💥 substantial poetry (as in a collection of poems, a lengthy narrative poem, an epic, etc.);

💥 literary short fiction collections;

💥 sci-fi and fantasy short fiction collections;

💥 genre-bending short fiction collections;

💥 literary novellas;

💥 sci-fi and fantasy novellas;

💥 wuxia action novellas;

💥 retro-present novellas;

💥 retro-future novellas;

💥 pulp-styled space operas as novellas;

💥 cyber-noir detective novellas;

💥 kaiju conflict novellas;

💥 fit-to-print erotic novellas;

💥 genre-bending novellas;

💥 and, high seas adventure novellas.

Remember: do not pitch a series. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, right?

Before completing the submission form linked below, take the time to collect your materials and make this the best pitch that you can muster.

Touch up that draft you have there, think about how to best frame your pitch, dream of the writerly life, and then update your resume (or C.V.).

Your courage has brought you this far. If you feel brave enough to take the next step, then follow the link and scroll past the familiar to find The Form of Your Submission.

Either way, Problematic Press appreciates your interest and wishes you the best of luck with your writing adventure!


David Reynolds, Founder & Publisher

The Epic of the MERCANARY™
The Epic of the MERCANARY™
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reading, Writing, & Publishing Workshops at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9

By David Reynolds

Readers and writers on the Avalon Peninsula (that’s in Newfoundland, a magical place), take note: Sci-Fi on the Rock 9 will be hosting an assortment of reading, writing, and publishing workshops that you just might have to see for yourself!

Sci-Fi on the Rock’s ninth instalment takes place from April 24th to 26th at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. Mark off those dates on your calendar because you’re in for a treat, and read on to get a brief preview of some of the upcoming discussions and workshops.

As the convention begins, Engen Books presents some of the first writerly workshops that will get your attention. Engen returns to SFotR9 with “The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever: A Convention Tradition,” featuring Ellen Curtis and other authors. This panel promises to be so dysfunctional they’re presenting it twice – April 24th at 4pm in the Nimoy Room and April 25th at 9am in the Tolkien Room. Engen Books really knows how to represent at Newfoundland’s premier convention, and so they’re presenting another panel on the 25th at 10am in the Nimoy Room, titled “Engen Early Bird Panel: Wake Up Your Literary Side.” These talks will provide attendees with ample opportunity to address their questions about writing in various genres.

There are also a few more discussions featured throughout the convention that are sure to reveal the innermost secrets of the writing and publishing craft. On April 25th, at 2pm in the Lucas Room, Scott Bartlett presents “How to Make Your Writing Matter to You and to Others.” On April 26th, at 1pm in the Tolkien Room, Charles O’Keefe presents “Adventures with Vampires and Publishing.” Later on that same day, at 3pm in the Tolkien Room, David Reynolds (well, that’s me, actually) of Problematic Press (yeah, that’s us alright) presents “How to Guerilla Publish: Getting Your Book Out There with No Budget.” Together, attendees with dreams of writing and publishing their own material are sure to glean some important insights about the whole process of making their stories available to the world.

If you’re primarily interested in reading and raving on about your favourite fantasy series, then the con has got you covered, too! Interested attendees should keep an eye on the Ambassador Series, which features Alison Edwards and Dr. Christopher Lockett as well as others. Edwards discusses further reading for fans of popular fantasy in “Beyond Harry Potter: Books for the Young and the Young at Heart,” which takes place April 26th at 1pm in the Nimoy Room. Lockett delves into the intersections of some of fantasy’s greatest authors in “The Ballad of Joss, Neil, and Sir Terry: Reflections on Three of our Most Brilliant Fantasists,” to take place April 25th at 3pm in the Nimoy Room. Such nuanced presentations and discussions are sure to give fantasy addicts their fix.

Events at the convention target a broad age range, too. Shelley Chruchill presents “Wee Geeks Storytime” on April 25th at 11am in the Tolkien Room, which is sure to entertain the convention’s youngest readers. However, if you crave more adult flavours, then perhaps you can sate that hunger with Chelsea Smith and Janielle Butt’s “WTF Fanfiction: The Most Cringe-Worthy Stories of our Time,” which is set for April 24th at 8pm in the Roddenberry Room. Again, SFotR9 has a little something for just about every geeky niche.

This is just a sample of the convention’s events; there is much more in the works, so be sure to check it out for yourself when the time comes. You can find more details about all of their discussions and workshops by viewing the full schedule here. Plus, the convention also promises special guests and plenty of vendors, so prepare to get your geek on! For an idea of what to expect, click here to view NTV’s coverage of SFotR8.

James DeMille's A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, Annotated by David Reynolds

David Reynolds studied at Memorial University where he completed his BA in Philosophy and English Language and Literature in 2006 in addition to completing his MPhil in Humanities in 2008. His graduate research focused on the cultural significance of superhero narratives and culminated in his dissertation Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths. Presently, he enjoys teaching English at Memorial University while fumbling about as a publisher with Problematic Press.

Dig this? Then, “Like” us on Facebook!

Donate With PayPal

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Guerrilla Publish: or, The Basic Gist of It All

By David Reynolds

Being an independent publisher means working with little-to-no budget, so exploring how to optimize low cost publishing options is par for the course. While Problematic Press is financially unable to publish everything that’s awesome, we’re not too concerned about creating competition, and so we’d like to encourage and enable other upstart literati to embrace guerrilla publishing. This brief guide will introduce the uninitiated to a basic publishing strategy to potentially reach a global audience, while emphasizing a Canadian context.

Welcome to guerrilla publishing in the digital age of globalization!

STEP 1 – Learn Your Rights and Responsibilities

Before you begin this guerrilla publishing journey, you should brush up on the rights and responsibilities of content creators. (And, acknowledge my disclaimer: I am no legal expert, nor am I a tax expert; you’ll be responsible for your own actions.) In general, be upfront and respectful with your collaborators. They have rights, too. And, consider the Canadian context of publishing. For instance, in Canada, copyrights are assumed upon creation of a work, meaning you needn’t register your copyright anywhere. However, it is up to the copyright holder to protect their own works, because no one else is looking out for it. Another Canadian consideration is that publishers are required to submit copies of their books to Library and Archives Canada, in what’s known as the legal deposit. These are a few things you should look into before you begin publishing. Remember, self-publishing your work usually means many more hands-on, D.I.Y tasks are in your future.

STEP 2 – Develop Your Content

The next thing you’ll need is material (it’s also really the first thing you need, but we won’t debate the semantics here). If your plan is to publish a book, then that means you need a manuscript. Whatever genre you’re working in, your manuscript should be thoroughly edited, as every error present is the bane of your credibility. Beyond your flawless manuscript, you’ll need front matter, a bio, ad copy, a table of contents, and so on. Be sure to get on top of that, too. You’ll also need a book cover, which likely means artwork. Handle whatever you’re competent at on your own to save costs, or you could recruit assistance from your friends or professionals. Once you’ve got all the bits and pieces together to make a finished product, then you can begin formatting it all to fit the criteria of our online printers.

STEP 3 – Formatting Content for Online Printers

There is a whole, humongous plethora of self-publishing and e-publishing services available online, and you can explore as many options as you like, but we’ll suggest the following because they offer international distribution for zero cost. That’s nigh unbeatable.

Three services that cover most of the bases are CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Smashwords. CreateSpace provides you with a trade paperback print copy of your manuscript, and they offer streamlined distribution through Amazon’s many online sites. You can upload and distribute your book with them for potentially zero cost. Kindle Direct Publishing is great for linking the ebook to the print edition, but they only produce ebooks in Kindle format. Nevertheless, they, too, provide this distribution at no immediate cost to the publisher. Besides those two Amazon companies, it’s also a good idea to use Smashwords to reach readers on different devices and through different online retailers. Again, Smashwords allows publishers to upload and distribute content at no immediate cost. The companies earn their portion of the revenue as sales accrue, which is why they don’t charge fees upfront like some vanity publishers do.

So, you’ll have to review the content and format guidelines for CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and Smashwords. This means going back to format your files to meet their requirements. This part can be a bit tedious, but the work is worth it once your book is on that virtual shelf! The good news is if you can create a .doc and a .pdf of your book, then you can get it out there using these online companies.

As for the Canadian context, there are a few things to consider. For one, Canadians can utilize these American printing and distribution services, but unless you file all the proper tax documents then they’ll withhold 30% of your royalties. This means you’ll need to apply for a tax number with the IRS before you can take advantage of trade treaties between our countries which remove that withholding. It may be easier to work with a Canadian company, like Blurb, because they can distribute through Amazon as well, but this tax situation shouldn’t arise since they’re based within Canada. Secondly, Canadians can acquire ISBNs for free from the government by registering titles through the Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS).

Once the files are finalized, complete the submission process with each distributor, inputting your ISBN, setting price points, distribution channels, and so on. Then, with just a few clicks, your book will be available online for all of your eager readers!

STEP 4 – The Publishing End Game: Promoting Your Book

Once your book has been published, you’ve entered the end game. Now, you need to spread the word about your new book. There are many ways you could do that, ranging from paid advertisements to blog posts and social media. Maybe consider having a book launch, doing public readings, giving interviews, or creating a video log. If you have some promotional copies, you might send some to reviewers or hold a giveaway. If your finances are limited or non-existent, then consider devoting some time to blogging and social media, which only cost your time and effort. At this stage of the guerrilla publishing experience, putting in so much of your time and effort should be a given.

STEP 5 – Repeat, and Enjoy

Repeat, and enjoy!

Otherwise, if this all seems like too much of a mess, then you should recall I founded this publishing house called Problematic Press. This is exactly what the name implies.

Hat Logo - Final - Smaller

David Reynolds studied at Memorial University where he completed his BA in Philosophy and English Language and Literature in 2006 in addition to completing his MPhil in Humanities in 2008. His graduate research focused on the cultural significance of superhero narratives and culminated in his dissertation Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths. Presently, he enjoys teaching English at Memorial University while fumbling about as a publisher with Problematic Press.

Dig this? Then, “Like” us on Facebook!

Donate With PayPal

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 1: It Has Begun

Welcome, friends!

This is a momentous occasion.  Problematic Press has just arrived on the scene with a mission to stimulate your hungry, eager intellects!

Problematic Press intends to challenge your fundamental preconceptions of the world through original works of literature as well as important, yet often neglected, texts from the past.  Our first release will be Robert Hayman’s Quodlibets, which is quite likely the first work of literature produced in North America.  Written while Hayman was Governor of the British colony in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1628, this edition features David Reynolds’ adaptation of the Middle English poetry into more contemporary language, in order to make the text more accessible to today’s audience.  Reynolds makes every effort to preserve the poetic elements of Hayman’s work, which reflects upon matters ranging from spirituality to politics and is largely an appeal to the British to settle in the Newfound-land.  Quodlibets portrays the reflections and attitudes of one of Newfoundland’s, and also North America’s, founding fathers in unabashed eloquence.

Stay tuned for updates on other upcoming releases!  Tell your literati friends that Problematic Press is here to stay!


David Reynolds

Problematic Press - Hat Logo

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,