Once the publisher of seminal magazines Weird Tales and Fantastic Stories, Warren Lapine suffered some financial setbacks two years ago. But now he's come back with some bright ideas about futuristic publishing.

Lapine tells SFScope's Ian Randal Strock that he's paid off nearly all the debts related to his previous publishing company, DNA Publications, which handled Fantastic Stories, Absolute Magnitude and Dreams of Decadence, among other classic titles. After two years of financial recovery, he's back with Tir Na Nog Press, which will bring back Fantastic Stories as a quarterly magazine starting this fall. He's already got Harlan Ellison signed up to pen a story for it.

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But here's what's really cool. One of Lapine's most successful publishing ventures has been his small print-on-demand company, Wilder Publications, which he says sold 50,000 books last year. He's now going to expand Wilder to encompass classic scifi titles under an imprint called Fantastic Books. Writes Strock:

Fantastic Books is interested in out-of-print back lists, new novels, and perhaps some single-author collections, paying a royalty of 10% of cover price. Queries (not manuscripts) may be sent to him at warrenlapine at yahoo dot com. While the company is currently 100% print on demand, Lapine expects to move into traditional publishing in the future. He notes that Wilder sold more than 50,000 copies of its books in 2008, and he anticipates 30-50% growth this year.

Given where the publishing industry is headed, I think it would be wise for Lapine to stick with a print-on-demand model. Make the books available online as e-books, and available as print-on-demand to those of us who still fetishize print.

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But regardless of what happens in the future with Fantastic Books, it's exciting to see scifi publishers experimenting with new publication models. More books and magazines for us!

Warren Lapine Returns [via SFScope]

Warren Lapine [via LiveJournal]