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Greenwood residents start own publishing house

Greenwood author Nathan Crowder has written eight novels and a number of short stories, and was most recently published in the anthology “Close Encounters of the Urban Kind” in April. Now, Crowder and fellow Greenwood resident and editor Caroline Dombrowski have started their own publishing company, Timid Pirate Publishing, along with Art Director Jeremy Matthews.

Timid Pirate’s first release is coming out on Oct.1. The anthology of superhero fiction, “Cobalt City: Timeslip,” features seven authors: Crowder, Erik Scott de Bie, Michaela Hutfles, Rosemary Jones, S. Aarron Kemp, Dawn Vogel, and Jeremy Zimmerman. It’s the lastest in the “Cobalt City” series, which Crowder created.

History comes alive with a time-swept librarian knight, zap-gun wielding alien princess, a faceless spy-smashing vigilante, Norse gods, the young archer facing down steamwork ex-presidents, and a bitter heroine trying to recapture her youth.

Their release party, book reading and author signing is set for 7-10 p.m. Oct. 9 at Wayward Coffeehouse, 8570 Greenwood Ave. N. The book will be available through bookstores, Amazon.com, and Timid Pirate’s website on Oct. 1.

Crowder says the Timid Pirate name comes from a friend who had a fascination with pirates, but was also scared every time he went to downtown Seattle. He and a friend even wrote a children’s book called “The Timid Pirate,” which was never published. “It’s a very fun book,” Crowder said. “Maybe we’ll publish it ourselves someday.”

Crowder said he’s been self-publishing his own novels for friends and family for years and decided to take the plunge into an actual publishing house. “It sort of grew from me wanting to see if we can make this an actual publishing venture. It just seemed like a logical progression,” he said.

He said print-on-demand technology is so much better now than the old warehouse method of publishing. You can literally be anywhere in the world. They’ll be using the Lightning Source print-on-demand service.

“You don’t have to warehouse thousands of books. You don’t have to do these big print runs which are very cost prohibitive and have kept small publishers out of the business for so long,” he said.

Timid Pirate’s next anthology of Biopunk is now accepting submissions. It will be published in April 2011. Crowder says Biopunk is “biology-based science fiction,” not to be confused with Steam Punk. “Steam Punk is fine and fun, but that market is glutted. We have the opportunity to really define what Biopunk is,” he said.

Timid Pirate will remain small, with plans to publish two anthologies next year, and eventually four each year. Crowder doesn’t anticipate quitting his day job writing product copy for a dot-com.

“It’s just a labor of love,” he said of Timid Pirate. “We want to tell fun stories that don’t necessarily appeal to a large audience. We’re not doing it for the money. We’re doing it to share these stories with an audience that might not see them otherwise.”

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