Researching Today and Forever, but Mostly Today

Ooligan Press is no stranger to young adult titles. We’ve published and won awards for many. I was on the Ricochet River reprint team that released just last term, and we have another YA title set to release this upcoming fall term as well. So clearly, the young adult category isn’t quite revolutionary for the press. That said, this project is like no other we’ve done, and it’s working to expand the Ooligan list of titles to keep our press growing and evolving. If you’ve been paying attention to Ooligan news, you’ll have noticed that we’ve changed our submission guidelines. New guidelines have, among other things, opened our press up to genre fiction submissions, and Sleeping in My Jeans will be the first Ooligan title to really fall into the category of genre fiction. Though the project has goals of positioning itself socially, it also features a great deal of suspenseful moments that make it one of the most thrilling reads Ooligan has yet to publish.

Sleeping in My Jeans is the story of sixteen-year-old Mattie Rollins who abruptly finds herself homeless with her mother and six-year-old sister, Meg. Though handling the pressures of school, a social life, and watching over her sister while their mother looks for an apartment are tough, nothing’s as bad as when Mattie’s mom turns up missing. A thrilling account of one girl’s struggle to keep herself and her family together, Sleeping in My Jeans is more than just a suspenseful YA novel. It brings up a host of legitimate issues that real children like Mattie face every single day in places like Eugene, OR, where the story is set.

A beautiful blend of suspenseful genre fiction and meaningful YA literature rooted in the Pacific Northwest, Sleeping in My Jeans is just the kind of book Ooligan was looking for, and our team is excited to take on this new challenge. We’ve already started with the editing process, and while waiting for our fantastic author Connie King Leonard to revise, we’re delving deep into our comparative titles in order to establish a firm understanding of who our target audience is and how we can market to them. And what better way to perfect our marketing strategy than to research how it’s been done in the past?

So, we’re starting with research on every single one of our comp titles, and then we’re researching our dream comp titles. Like the major unicorn bestsellers that only come around once a decade. The goal is to glean as much information from presses both large and small who have been graced with a similar task. We’re looking at other publisher’s marketing efforts and other author’s marketing efforts; we’re looking at cover design and front and back matter; we’re doing everything we can to see what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t. It’s a quite a bit of work, and though it might feel like we’ve been researching forever, we know we’re generating a great deal of information we’ll be able to use as the project moves forward.

We’ll apply our research to a successful marketing campaign for this book that means so much to us. Our team genuinely cares about the message that Sleeping in My Jeans has to offer and the issues it addresses, and we’re going to work hard to spread it as far across our little corner of the world as we can. It’s not very often you read a book that you simply can’t put down that also holds a great deal of social meaning, and it’s our job to get it in the hands of readers sure to appreciate it.

Be sure to keep checking the Ooligan blog as well as our social media accounts for more updates on the progress of Sleeping in My Jeans as it gets closer to its Fall 2018 pub date!

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