Ooligan Press

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Blog Posts

pile of books with no time to read

According to Michael Shymanski, one of Ooligan's Acquisitions Managers, think of your first page as the reader's initial impression, much like "meeting your friend's spouse for the first time." First impressions can be insignificant, even disastrous, or they can be absolute magic. If the magic is there, an editor will know it immediately.

FAULTLAND's red book cover featuring a map of Portland in the shape of a piano

On March 30, 2021, Ooligan Press launched Suzy Vitello's debut adult novel, Faultland, with a virtual launch party that not only celebrated the book itself, but also it's journey from an idea in Suzy's mind to a beautiful novel that is already gaining wide acclaim. During the launch, Suzy answered questions, did a short reading from the novel, and engaged in an insightful conversation with fellow author and moderator for the evening, Monica Drake.

During discussions about branding strategies with my college peers, it is common to hear about the importance of searching for the value a reader is looking to find when they are browsing through books, and then focusing on producing manuscripts that target these values. This initiative probably works well when producing and marketing most products, but how effective could this strategy be in the book market?

Two upright female hands, one black and one white, holding pinkies

Numerous scholars have dedicated their careers to understanding why it is that people need to see themselves represented in stories, so a format like this one could never adequately address (or even summarize) the complexities of the problem at hand. But these complexities shouldn't deter us from the conversation, so I want to offer an explanation for one aspect of this problem in the hope that it will help equip anyone in a position to address issues of equity with a cogent reason why we should be actively providing more representation in publishing. This reason is symbolic annihilation.

From Knowledge to Power book cover

The aim for our social media promotion is to convey the book's positive message towards advocacy, while also highlighting national environmental dates to create climate change awareness.

stack of papers tied with black ribbon

If you're looking for a fun way to get your manuscript out in the world, check out #PitMad, a Twitter event put on by the organizers of Pitch Wars.

A copy of the New York Times newspaper sits open and horizontal on a white table with a cup of black coffee next to it.

Believe it or not, there may be a certain formula to finding your book amidst some of the nation's best-selling authors, and it's not just huge sales numbers. While success is not guaranteed, a behind-the-scenes look demystifies the ever-enigmatic selection process of the NYT best-seller staff.

A white, wooden chair with a pink party balloon tied to it.

I reached out to graduating project managers Grace Hansen, Cole Bowman, and Bailey Potter who oversaw the successful launch events for LAUREL EVERYWHERE, FAULTLAND, and FINDING THE VEIN, respectively. I asked each of them about advice for planning future virtual events. Within a few hours, I had struck gold. Synthesized below are their replies and some guidance to get started when it is time to plan a celebration of your new book.

A blue and silver sombrero.

Regardless of your background or your plans this Cinco de Mayo, if you're like most of us at Ooligan Press, any good day of celebration somehow involves a refreshing drink paired with a relevant new read. We may not know your drink preference, but we've compiled a list of YA titles highlighting Hispanic heritage that are perfect for celebrating this cultural holiday.

Front cover of the book Finding the Vein which portrays the title on a forested background.

As of this writing, FINDING THE VEIN is on the verge of publication and the entire team is so excited! While this post will be going up after the launch for FINDING THE VEIN has officially kicked off, rest assured that our team will keep the enthusiasm rolling as we continue to promote Ooligan Press's first mystery novel.

A stack of books across several genres, their spines facing out to showcase their titles.

It is not enough for a title to be good (that is, a fitting description of the events of the plot that also strikes the right tone and implies the themes surrounding it), it must be enticing to the target audience and lend itself to marketing.

Covers of famous true-crime books in a collage

While many true crime books focus on the murders, madmen, and crazed, one wonders how the survivors and victims, who are generally women, walk in a world where their deepest traumas are made permanent on ink and paper.

An outstretched hand holding a microphone against a green background

The Dilemma of Fact-Checking

While the author of a book needs to be responsible for fact-checking, publishers cannot overlook fact-checkers and just assume that authors have done their research anymore.

A desk filled with laptops and people working on them

What happens after a book is written, edited, and designed? No, not marketing—that's earlier. Find out what comes next and how that can impact the growth of an indie publisher.

A blue and green postcard with book cover, description, and author bio

The ramp up to the launch of FINDING THE VEIN has begun!

People cutting paper with craft supplies surrounding them

If you are a writer or an artist who would like to start issuing your own work, it might be an excellent time to start creating your own zine.

A close-up shot of a tan, Hermes Baby typewriter sitting on a table.

Your chosen font should invoke the messaging of the book and how you want the reader to feel while immersed in the writing. The right font is something the reader may not even notice because it flows so well with the content, whereas the wrong font can seem awkward and out of place, creating a jarring reading experience.

A light bulb lays on a chalkboard with a thought bubble drawn around it.

It is an agent's job to represent your material, get you the best deal, and make sure you're entering the market at a good time. But, they do more than that. Agents often help authors throughout the entire publishing process, from developing a book to creating a pitch to share with publishers. It's like having a personal support system from the very beginning.

A pair of headphones rests on a notebook

With so many choosing to listen to books instead of reading the physical copies, it is no doubt the publishing industry has needed to change with the evolving demands of technology and fast-paced culture.

A drawing of two people with flowers in their hair and text next to them that reads "Take care of yourself so you have space to care for others."

It's easy to let work and education overwhelm you, especially in this time of isolation we find ourselves in. There are so many things to do in the press, in classes, and in our own lives that we can lose the time we need to, well, take time. It can feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, or minutes in the hours we get, to just take time for ourselves—but there are when you add boundaries.