At Ooligan Press, we’re really excited to announce the upcoming publication of At the Waterline by debut author Brian K. Friesen. We’ve been working on the book for a while, and now we’ve wrapped up editing, we’ve ordered galleys, and we’re getting ready to transition into the marketing phase of publishing. We’re focusing on building the presence of At the Waterline so that by the time we launch, we have a lot of interest from relevant audiences who will, as you might expect, want to buy the book!

How is marketing At the Waterline different?

At the Waterline falls into the genre of adult literary fiction, a genre that’s notoriously difficult to market. If marketing research tells us anything, it’s that finding a niche and telling a story to your target market that centers around that niche is extremely important. Adult literary fiction is the opposite of niche. It’s quite possibly one of the most generic genres out there. Unlike romance or mystery, titles in this genre have no standard plot or theme to promote. And unlike young adult or children’s literature, they have no specific age group to market to.

Your reader of adult literary fiction could be anywhere from seventeen to a hundred years old, and there’s a lot they don’t have in common. So Team Rivers has been focusing on how we can pull out the best themes of the book and share them with the world to promote this great piece of literary fiction. While it hasn’t been easy, At the Waterline is a great book that we all truly believe in, and it has a lot of themes that we’d like to share with readers who would enjoy it as much as we do, which leads us to the next part:

Who is At the Waterline for?

Boating and water enthusiasts.

Perhaps the most obvious aspect of At the Waterline is the fact that it’s about water. The characters all live in boats tied together in an older, slightly run-down marina. The entire book is centered around these unique, loveable characters who make their lives at the waterline. So we’re primarily marketing this book to people who appreciate or are interested in life on the water.

Readers who care about a great narrative with strong characters.

One of the major highlights of At the Waterline is the unique, compelling characters that shape the houseboat community. There’s Dory, the marina’s hot dog vendor and source of local gossip; there’s Barry, an ex-Catholic priest turned alcoholic; and of course there’s Jack, the unofficial harbormaster who’s lived his entire life on the river—his only constant companions being a little dog and an outdated, but fully functional, shotgun. These are characters you care about. They’re duplicitously loveable and frustratingly human, and they reflect our own lives with an intense clarity you can’t get enough of. We hope to market this story to Pacific Northwest readers who genuinely care about the quality of the literature they read.

Those who want to know about the real Portland.

For a while now, Portland has been touted as the black sheep’s mecca. The “Keep Portland Weird” slogan has been around since 2003, reminding residents that it’s okay to be your own, oddball self. But what was Portland like before it needed the slogan? Well, At the Waterline provides some insight into that, offering the perspectives of true Portland residents, before cold brew coffee took over and gentrification set in. This is a story about the lives of people who lived their own alternative lifestyle on the changeable waterways of the Pacific Northwest before it was cool to be an outsider. This is a story that speaks not only to Portlandians who were here to witness the transition but also to those just coming to Portland, whether they’re staying for a week or a lifetime. To truly know a place, you have to know what it’s been, and that’s a story that At the Waterline tells.

If you fit into one of these categories, or even if you just think one of these aspects seems interesting, then go ahead and pick up At the Waterline when it comes out this spring! We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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