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!