World Teachers’ Day

According to a Japanese proverb, “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” There’s truth in those words, as anyone who has ever had a great teacher will know!

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day, a day to celebrate educators around the world. Teaching is incredibly difficult (and often thankless) work, yet it might just be the world’s most important job. Teachers can and do change lives every day. They inspire generations of students to think, learn, create, and accomplish things they never believed they could do.

We think this day is a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to the important role teachers play in our society. Our friends at Grammarly created an infographic to share some statistics and honor educators around the globe. 

World-Teacher-Day-infographic

https://www.grammarly.com/plagiarism-checker

Global Literacy is Everyone’s Concern

From our friends at Grammarly (written by Brittney Ross)

Our world today is perhaps more text-driven than at any other time in history. In the Digital Age, the ability to read and write can transform lives, families, and even whole communities. Since UNESCO celebrated the very first International Literacy Day on September 8, 1966, the plight of millions of people around the world has improved through programs dedicated to helping marginalized populations become literate. But there is still a long way to go.

Illiteracy is more than just a lack of reading skills. Around the world, it is a clear predictor of poverty, illness, and disempowerment. It’s not a problem confined to the developing world, either. Even in the United States, there are thirty-two million adults who cannot read, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

To celebrate International Literacy Day and help raise awareness about the importance of literacy, we have gathered the latest literacy statistics from around the world into an infographic.

Literacy-Day

via https://www.grammarly.com/plagiarism-checker

Guest Post from Indie Reader: Get Your Book in Front of 37,000 Book Industry Professionals

Book_IRIS_programFor many Indie authors, getting their books in an actual physical bookstore is the Holy Grail. We hear it all the time. The problem is, it’s a crazy amount of work to canvas the shops, have meetings with store owners and convince them that you’re book is a good fit.

So we at IndieReader came up with a solution. Not just another listing, IR In-Store (IRIS) reviews and catalogs your book as part of a branded collection on Edelweiss, an online catalog service used by a majority of independent bookstores (plus B&N!), a social network platform for industry professionals and an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers and reviewers.

The cost to indie authors is $399.00* per title (assuming the the title is available via Ingram Wholesale, if it’s not, IR can make it available there for a small additional fee) and includes an IndieReader book review that will accompany the title in the Edelweiss database.

Not only that, but for no additional fee, your book is included in the Edelweiss Digital Review Copy (DRC) Module. Similar in function to NetGalley, it is a secure, controlled way for authors to share their DRCs with reviewers, bloggers, librarians, media, booksellers, wholesalers, etc.

But don’t just take our word for it. Says Counting to D author and MindBuck Media client, Kate Scott, “Participating in IndieReader’s In-Store (IRIS) program is an investment I would definitely do again. If you are planning to spend any money on publicity and/or marketing for your upcoming title, I recommend joining IRIS first. I will definitely be listing all my future titles on the Edelweiss network.”

And bookstore owners concur.  Says Tony Herr, from Cape Atlantic Bookstore in Cape May, NJ:

“I love this idea very much and want to utilize it completely. We’ve had an indie section since we opened 2 years ago, but it hasn’t been very diverse since I cannot review everything that comes my way, and so far the indie selections from Ingram have only been offered at 25-30% discounts, (I would happily take more chances with titles if Ingram offered them at my regular discount). I definitely believe this service will go a long way to getting these selections properly reviewed and on bookstore shelves.”

More information on the Indie Reader In Store program.

Guest post by Amy Edelman at IndieReader

Guest Post From Grammarly: Common Grammar Mistakes

By Nikolas Baron of Grammarly.com

Every writer makes mistakes. It’s impossible not to do. When you begin a book, poem, short story, novella, article, or writing exercise, you want to get everything down on the page. If there’s a quick burst of genius, you’ll stop at nothing to ride the burst out. Even if you’re the type of writer who edits while you write, mistakes are imminent. However, grammar mistakes are sometimes the most difficult types of mistakes to overcome. There are writers I’ve talked to who still have trouble with who and whom, lay and lie, and affect and effect. Through my research and discussions with editors, writers, bloggers, and English professors, I’ve discovered five of the most common grammar mistakes and how to avoid them.

Owl_Who1) Who and Whom: Let’s first break down the part of speech for each of these words. “Who” is a subject/nominative pronoun (he, she, it, we, they, etc.) and acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun (him, her, it, us, them, etc.) and acts as the object of a clause. When you’re trying to decide which to use, think about if you’re referring to the subject or the object of the sentence. Another technique that works quite well is replacing the “who” or “whom” of the sentence with another pronoun. For example, one can substitute the sentence “Who went to get ice cream?” with “She went to get ice cream.” A person can also say, “You gave the last ice cream to whom?” or “I gave the last ice cream to him.”

2) Which and That: This is a mistake that I see almost on a daily basis. Whether it is in an email, a flyer, a Facebook status post, a tweet, or a newspaper, it’s everywhere. Looking at the part of speech in these instances can really help break down and explain the problem. Simply put, “that” is a restrictive pronoun, and “which” introduces a relative clause. “That” restricts while “which” qualifies. Moreover, “which” can also be used in restrictive clauses. Consider the following examples: a) “I really want that elephant from the circus.” b) “Which elephant do you want?” c) “I want the elephant that only eats peanuts.” d) “Many elephants eat peanuts, which make for an excellent source of protein in their diet.”

3) Lay and Lie: This is by far the trickiest mistake of them all. I had a professor in college who changed his license plate in order to make a point about the use of “lay” and “lie.” “Lay” is a transitive verb while “Lie” is an intransitive verb. “Lay” requires a direct subject and one or more objects while “Lie” needs no object. “Lie” is the present tense while “Lay” is the past tense. The major issue of concern usually comes into play when a writer is using the past tense of “Lay” such as, he laid on the bed. What the writer actually means is, he lay on the bed. Here are some further examples: I lay the book on the floor; Last week, I laid on the floor of the gym after a hard run; The chocolate bars lie between the Sour Patch Kids and the marshmallows.

Proofread4) Whether and If: One of the major qualms with “Whether” vs. “If” is the belief that they are interchangeable. They are not. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives while “If” is a condition where there are no alternatives. Take the following sentences as examples of proper use: Whether or not I go to class is dependent on the weather. If I go to class, there may be a pop quiz, though.

5) Affect and Effect: “Affect” vs. “Effect” is another daily issue for me. “Affect” is typically a verb where “Effect” is typically a noun. What helps the most is the definitions of these words, though. Affect: To act on; produce an effect or change in. Effect: Something that is produced by an agency or cause; consequence; influence. Some examples: His failure to prove the effects of his science experiment affected his mood. Sarah’s bad attitude affected her coworker, Jane, which caused a negative effect on the amount of work she got done.

There are still many more grammar mistakes, but these are by far the most common among writers. Additional resources can be used to check for these mistakes, as well. Grammarly, an online grammar check resource, can catch errors that Microsoft Word misses and can help you identify your most common mistakes. Save yourself and your editors some time by using an online resource to grammar check and take the time to learn proper grammar so as to avoid these mistakes in the future.

 

Nik-Baron-615x410Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown childrens’ novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, travelling, and reading.

Guest Post from Grammarly: Using Technology to Complete a Novel at Warp-Speed

We at Mindbuck Media are pleased as the proverbial spiked punch to have Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com provide a guest post for us.

By Allison VanNest, Grammarly.com

Over the last decade, technology has changed just about every part of our lives. From smart phones and tablets to ever-present Wi-Fi and HDTV, the list of incredible technological advances goes on and on. However, one area that technology hasn’t seemed to touch is novel writing. A proper novel will always require a dedicated author working tirelessly to develop a story and to bring compelling characters to life.

Technology doesn’t really figure in to the novel writing process.

Or does it?

GrammoWriMo LogoIn November, Grammarly debuted GrammoWriMo, a spinoff of National Novel Writing Month. As part of this project, hundreds of writers signed up to co-write a single 50,000-word novel. While this is would be a daunting project for any single writer to complete in 30 days, Grammarly’s writers knew that they were up for the task if they did it together.

And they were right. Although more than 300,000 people signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2013, only 41,940 novels were actually completed. Clocking in at a total of 130,927 unedited words, the GrammoWriMo group novel was among them!

Over the next few years, technology will drastically change the way that we communicate in writing. Grammarly is at the forefront of this change – having already created a project to make the writing process both social and democratic.

The response to GrammoWriMo was overwhelming:

  • Thousands of people participated in surveys to determine the plot of the group novel and submit potential cover art; 287 writers ultimately contributed to the project
  • Writers from 27 countries – and 44 U.S. states – contributed an average of 580 words each to the group novel
  • 70 percent of GrammoWriMo participants have a personal blog, and an impressive 55 percent have been published online at some point

Naturally, there are some hurdles to clear when trying to bring together a project of this size in such a short amount of time. Two of the biggest challenges that the Grammarly team faced were organization and cohesion.

WriteOnNaNoWriMoGetting organized

To make GrammoWriMo work, Grammarly divided writers into groups (around 25 people per chapter) that were assigned to work simultaneously on each of the novel’s 30 chapters. Each writer within each group was assigned a specific day on which to write. Writers built on the work of those before them until the chapter was finished and each author has applied his or her own touch to the manuscript.

Technology played a large role in making this kind of organization possible. A Google Doc was assigned to each chapter-group, so writers could easily access the growing document without having to pass around email attachments. Also, individual Facebook groups were established for each chapter so they could quickly and easily communicate and problem-solve along the way.

lonely wishgiverCreating a cohesive novel

Each of the 30 chapters was written simultaneously, so writers had to pay close attention to the outline created for their own chapter, as well as the plot points introduced in chapters before and after them. For this to work, the entire book had to be outlined in advance of the project so writers working on later chapters would have an idea of what would be appearing in the earlier pages of the novel.

A very specific and detailed plot summary was provided to all writers, highlighting the purpose and direction of each individual chapter. This document was continuously updated by the Grammarly team and established the main characters and storyline while allowing for some freedom of creativity for the writers themselves.

What do you think?

Is this project likely to change the way novels are written from this day forward? No – probably not. However, it is an exciting demonstration of how technology can bring people and ideas together with a common goal. No longer is the process of writing a novel limited to a solitary writer banging away on a keyboard until the story is complete. Projects like GrammoWriMo prove that innovative thinking can bring new solutions to age-old challenges.

Would you co-write a novel with 300 other people? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

AllieA self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and more than ONE MILLION Grammarly Facebook fans at http://www.facebook.com/grammarly.

 

Secrets, Inspiration and Indulgence with the Sexy Grammarian

I had a virtual sit down with San Francisco based teacher and writer Kristy Lin Billuni also known as The Sexy Grammarian.  What follows is our conversation from grammar to robots for your enjoyment.

Official.SexyG.Headshot_Pola_Name

Jessica G: Off the top, what’s so sexy about grammar? Hmmmm?

Sexy Grammarian:  One the most important sex education lessons I know is that sexy is different for everybody. Grammar is sexy for me for a lot of reasons. I like strong, clear communication. I like juicy, meaningful self-expression. That stuff turns me on. And I can geek out on the grammatical structure of a sentence too. For a lot of people, even writers, grammar is the least sexy thing in the world, which makes it hard to learn. I cut my educator teeth on sex education, so I use a lot of the same principles when I teach grammar and writing. I’m nonjudgmental about what turns you on as a writer. I emphasize the drive of active verbs and the beauty of a well-placed comma. And I use naughty language in my example sentences.

JG: What advice do you have for someone who has just finished their first book length manuscript?

SG: Readers! Before you pay for a professional line edit or start looking for a publisher, get a few trusted friends to give you their opinion. Because editors charge by the word, you will save money by cutting unnecessary sections. Or you might realize that your ending doesn’t work. And you will definitely gain more devoted supporters and future readers by getting the people you love to invest time and love into your project.

JG: Do you recommend people edit as they write or that they wait until the story is a full draft?

SG: I absolutely believe in separating your composition time from your critique time. I know a lot of writers do it, but I think it’s tough to expect yourself to be expansive and creative while also being self-critical and detail oriented. I like to write with abandon, focus on quantity, then let the manuscript rest before I return to it for editing and polishing for quality.

JG: Robots or dinosaurs?

SG: I rely on robots for everything from boiling water to running my social media, so I have to be loyal to them.

JG: How long have you had your Sexy Grammarian website?

SG:  In 2013 I celebrated 10 years in business, but I haven’t always called myself The Sexy Grammarian. I launched the Sexy Grammar blog in 2008 to experiment with social media. People loved it, so I embraced it. Now, it’s my service mission: Arouse the writer.

JG: Would you consider a pit match with Grammar Girl?
(For the record, JG is an ardent Grammar Girl fan, too and has considered tattooing a QR code for the Affect V. Effect post on the back of her hand. But who would say no to Grammar Celebrity Pit Matches?)

SG:  Well, I don’t know what a pit match is, but I wouldn’t want to go up against Mignon Fogarty in any kind of contest. I love what she does and go to her website to review grammar guidelines all the time.

JG: Do you have any current projects you are particularly excited about?

SG: I’m about to start editing a graphic novel for the first time, and I’m excited about entering a new genre. I’m helping a psychic brand her services, which is a totally fascinating process. And I’ve got four of my own dirty stories coming out in collections from Cleis Press this year. I’m really proud of that.

JG:  Tell us about your workshops. Are these available online to those outside of SF?

SexyGPostSG: I think that writing requires attention in three major areas: You have to learn some of the secrets of writing, the rules and guidelines. You have to embrace whatever inspires you. And you have to indulge in a writer’s life, whatever that means for you. So writers in the Sexy Grammar Workshop explore secrets, inspiration, and indulgence, and we have a lot of fun moving our projects forward. I like to mix genres in my workshops so that poets are helping real estate agents write marketing content, and academics are giving novelists feedback on their plots. This works because no matter what you’re writing, the process matters. We focus on finding the process that works for each writer. You can bring the Sexy Grammar Workshop to your organization or writing group right now, and we’re launching the online version at the end of 2014.


You are encouraged to find out more about The Sexy Grammarian on her website SexyG.co and to flirt with her on Twitter  @SexyGrammar

Editing Rx

Editing_Tools_2By Kristin Thiel of Indigo Editing

Just as a therapist may be able to prescribe medication or not, may counsel the physical or the mental side of a person, or may have a certificate or a medical license, an editor may perform any number of different editing tasks and have a background distinct from other editors. Editor is a broad term, so it’s important for authors to ask editors questions and see samples of their work to understand what they do and what perspectives they bring to their work. Two very different editors can both be wonderful—but not equally wonderful for the same writer.

As a group, the editors of Indigo offer a variety of skills and experiences, but here’s the framework within which we all work. For each project, we:

  • Provide a free sample edit so that the author can see the editor’s individual style and so that the editor can offer a clear estimate on time and cost
  • Make suggestions while encouraging the writer’s own style and voice—the author always has the final say on a project
  • Keep a style sheet of all style decisions, variant spellings, and fact-checked proper nouns
  • Write an editorial letter to summarize our edits and explain what the author should do next

We take these steps in each stage of editing. Some projects need all stages, some just one—the editor and the author work together to determine what level of work is needed.

  • Developmental editing digs deep, addressing content, presentation, and documentation. The editor works closely with the author. Because this may continue for several rounds, for the sake of a client’s budget, Indigo tries to keep this contained in a single round. If we notice in a sample edit that a project requires deep structural work, we suggest a Reader’s Response first to help alleviate the heavy lifting required in multiple developmental editing rounds. (For a Reader’s Response, an Indigo editor reads the manuscript at a reader’s, rather than an editor’s, pace and then prepares a letter of reply, highlighting what the editor sees as the manuscript’s strengths and what could be done to address the less successful patterns.)
  • Line editing includes editing for grammar, syntax, and consistent formatting among similar elements, cross-checking across the text, and fact-checking.
  •  Proofreading may happen before design, after design, and after the printer has provided proofs, the editor at this stage catching lingering errors in spelling and punctuation through awkward line or page breaks.

Email info@indigoediting.com to talk with Indigo about the editing you want for your writing. (We can also help with project management of your independent publishing project as well as book design.)

IndigoEditing_web

Pubslush Explains Literary Crowdfunding

We @MindbuckMedia are psyched to present this guest post by Justine Schofield from PubSlush.com

One thing many authors fail to plan for is the marketing and promotion of their book. Hiring a publicist for your work is one of the crucial steps to publishing successfully. If you think about all the time, dedication, and grueling hard work every author puts into writing a book, don’t they owe it to themselves to use the proper marketing and promotion tools to get their book out into the world?

Yes. Yes, they do. But as with many aspects of publishing, publicists can be expensive and many self-publishing authors are more focused on producing their book than effectively marketing it. However, with the power of crowdfunding, authors can raise funds to pay for services, such as hiring a publicist, that they may not have been able to afford out-of-pocket.

Pubslush2Crowdfunding is a means to raise funds for any business or creative project by collecting small monetary pledges from a large group of people. Crowdfunding has seen great success in the fields of publishing, technology, film, and more. Prior to the rise of the Internet and the online marketplace, entrepreneurs were solely dependent on the conglomerates of their industry to fund the creation and marketing of their products. Of course, we know the conglomerates of the publishing industry are the publishing houses. Now, though, authors have access to publishing technology and with crowdfunding they also have the opportunity to raise funds pre-publication.

Crowdfunding allows authors to utilize their pre-established network in order to mitigate the financial risk of publishing, gauge the initial market viability of their book, and ultimately, make their book the absolute best it can be.

So, you may be wondering how exactly this whole crowdfunding thing works.

In order to create a campaign an author must:

  • Submit an excerpt of their book, usually about 10 pages in length.
  • Provide a summary of their book to give the reader an overview of the plot.
  • Create a personalized video, explaining their book, why they wrote it, and why people should support their campaign.
  • Create reward levels at varying monetary amounts to create incentive for people to support their campaign.
  • Add additional information, such as pictures, Q&A, and website and social media links.

Creating a campaign is the first step, but authors should be aware that just like writing a book, crowdfunding requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • A lot of planning is required before the launch of a campaign. Campaigns are time sensitive, lasting 30-60 days, so it’s important to have an extensive marketing plan and create a buzz around your campaign before it goes live.
  • Have creative rewards. Developing fun and unique rewards will entice people to support your campaign at various levels. Also, it shows people you’ve taken the time to really think about your audience, which they will appreciate.
  • Provide a support level for everyone. Offering a reward tier as low as $1 ensures you aren’t excluding anyone from being able to pledge to your campaign. After all, every dollar counts!
  • Have a loyal pre-existing network, both personal and professional.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people in your network and ask for their support. Asking is the key to success. Many people feel uncomfortable asking others for financial pledges, but every supporter receives a reward, most often the final product, in exchange for their pledge.
  • One of the most important things about conducting a crowdfunding campaign is to keep the momentum going. You will have to be as excited (if not more!) and dedicated to your campaign on the final day as you were on day one. Your crowdfunding campaign will be your job for its 30-60 day duration. But, on the bright side, at the end you may be able to hire a publicist for your book and not have to continue the intense marketing and promotion aspect by yourself.

Crowdfunding can be an incredibly powerful tool when people are informed and dedicated. Learn more about crowdfunding for books and see if you could be the next publishing success story.

Justine Schofield is the communications coordinator of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for books. Authors can raise funds, understand their audience, and self-publish or traditionally publish their work. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations, has held various freelance editing and writing jobs, and her work has been published in many online and print publications.

Pubslush_Type

Tuck and Roll with Camille Cole

Camille_Cole_quoteIf you’ve published a book, you’re part of the secret society who know the truth—the grim facts. It’s not glamorous or lucrative and it’s not over when you think it’s over—as in: your manuscript is on its way to that glorious world of publication. The munchkins and book faeries will take over now and you can lay back, sip something pink out of a sugar-coated glass (don’t poke your eye out with the paper umbrella) and dream of the next genius project.

Remember that screeching sound in Wiley Coyote cartoons? This is the part where the road runner dashes up to your deck chair and says, “You did line up the book reviews months ago, right? You at least checked with the publisher?”

“Huh? Wha?”

“Book reviews, you idiot!”

Listen, I don’t know about you, but when I’m ironing out the third or fourth version of a manuscript, I’m writing!! Right? The faery princess is taking care of those mundane details for me, the arteest, right?

Well apparently not, or apparently this is not a god-given outcome. Apparently, if you want the book-launch to line up with sales and media attention and all that, you better clone yourself and hustle, huck, and jive your way into the hearts of book reviewers, get your galleys in front of the eyes of journalists—and anyone who writes about anything related to the topic of this thing to which you’ve dedicated a good (or bad) portion of your life. Or hire someone to do it for you—someone who knows what they are doing and whose reputation rides on yours. The marketing department at your publisher’s place is busy, and they don’t really understand the kernel of your book—only you do. Oh, and they’re on salary and get paid no matter.

What marketing department, you say. Exactly. It was all a dream about an imaginary world, like Mad Men.

So here’s what I learned: by not knowing these simple facts it’s going to take longer and will be harder for me to help sell my book. I didn’t say impossible because if you’ve ever completed a book project, you don’t believe in the power or implication of that word. (For my first two books, I just figured that books for teachers don’t get reviews and sell slowly by nature, that my publisher was taking care of it all.)

The-Brass-Bell-promoCover-221x323My latest book, The Brass Bell, really matters to me. It’s personal. As my father used to say, “Why do you have to learn everything the hard way?” I hope the answer is because I learn it better that way. If you’ve ever tucked and rolled out of a moving vehicle, and I have, you know it’s possible to avoid permanent damage when things go wrong.

Camille-FirstL-Color-266x365Camille Cole

http://cherryroadschool.blogspot.com/

www.camillecole.com

Ashland Creek Press Interview

ashlandcreek_logo_200Q&A with Jessica Glenn, MindBuck Media and Ashland Creek Press

 

What type of books does Ashland Creek Press publish?

Our niche is environmental literature—our goal is to publish fiction with themes relating to the environment, ecology, animal protection, and wildlife.

Has the focus changed or evolved over time, or have you always had a distinct niche?

We founded Ashland Creek Press to publish “books with a world view,” and this includes travel literature and multicultural works, as well as books with environmental themes. We are leaning more toward strictly environmental and animal-protection themed works, but are still open to books that are beautifully written and highlight the ways in which we all connect.

Do you have a regional focus, national or international? Will this change in the future?

Our focus is worldwide. Our authors come from all over the world—from both coasts of the U.S. to Europe to Australia to Japan. There are distribution challenges for authors living abroad, but with digital printing and e-books, this is becoming less of an issue. We’re especially excited about one of our summer 2014 books, which is an English translation of a French novel, The Green and the Red.

If writers feel that Ashland Creek might be a good fit for a finished manuscript, how do you prefer to be contacted?

We prefer to receive submissions via our submissions manager (Submittable), and literary agents are welcome to query via email. We often receive manuscripts that are totally unrelated to what we do, and so we appreciate it when authors take the time to see if their work is a good fit. Our guidelines are available on our submissions page , and we also encourage authors to check out some of our books—each of our titles has a free excerpt available via our website.

What are three books readers could get from Ashland Creek that would impart a broader understanding of your brand?

Mindy Mejia’s The Dragon Keeper is a wonderful book about endangered species and the issues surrounding animals in captivity.

JoeAnn Hart’s novel Float is a wise, witty novel that addresses the issues of plastics in the oceans.

Our forthcoming fiction anthology, Among Animals, due out in February 2014, comprises short stories that portray the human-animal relationship, and this is a great example of the type of fiction we love to publish.

touristtrail_250And, finally, I have to mention John Yunker’s The Tourist Trail because Ashland Creek Press was founded in large part due to this book. After John’s  agent was unable to sell it, in part because there was no market for eco-literature, he self-published it and eventually brought it under the ACP imprint. It’s a great example what we’re all about—we’re passionate about the subjects of environmental awareness and animal protection, and we also hope to provide a home for books like this that have fewer prospects because eco-fiction is still an emerging genre.

What sorts of publicity does Ashland Creek do for new releases?

We send out review copies to all the industry trades as well as local, regional, and national media. We look into awards, events, and other opportunities for our authors, and we’re active on social media as well. As a small press, we depend on the authors to be very active partners in book promotion so we work closely with authors on developing a comprehensive marketing plan for each book.

In what ways are authors expected to help with publicity?

We encourage authors to play a very large role in publicity—after all, they are the very best sales force for their own books. We expect authors to have a strong online presence, from websites to social media activity, and we encourage them to do as many events as possible, whether it’s an in-person book tour or meeting with book clubs via Skype. There are myriad ways to reach readers, and so it’s all about finding authors’ comfort levels and doing what fits best with their schedules and their books. Authors need to be prepared to do a great deal of promotion in order to reach their audience.

General advice for writers?

Write what you love, and trust there will be a home for it. And if there isn’t one, create it!

Also, once you’re published, remember that no one’s going to talk about your book if you’re not talking about your book. We find so many authors are shy or reluctant to tackle the marketing aspect of promotion, but this is essential in reaching new readers. Writing the book and publishing it is only the very beginning!