The Cover is HERE!

Getting our sales kits out the door, each with a chapbook, postcard, tipsheet, marketing plan, and small treat (coffee-related, obviously) was one of the driving forces for getting the cover concept finalized. After much effort and Pantone finessing on the part of our designer, Ryan Brewer, we have a cover we love! In honor of the momentous occasion of unveiling the face of Siblings, we thought it might also be appropriate to put some faces and names to the hardworking members of the project team who often go unseen.

Alexis has been on the Siblings team since September 2015 and plans to depart for graduation in June. Primarily an editor, they were especially involved in the copyediting stage; there are only two stories in the collection that they didn’t work on. When called to the challenge of participating in marketing and publicity, a departure from their usual area of focus, Alexis has knocked it out of the park with exceptional copywriting for blurb and review requests. Alexis also does the amazing work of providing the team with superior vegan baked goods.

Kristin has also been with Siblings since the book’s acquisition. She worked tirelessly on the research and development that led to the book’s final title and brainstormed preliminary cover design concepts. She also has her hands in tasks like polishing the author photo, brainstorming sales strategies, and keeping track of vital data and potential contacts. The contribution she’s proudest of is writing marketing copy because a book’s success hinges on catching and keeping readers’ interest.

Emily came to work on Siblings in January and has had the privilege of being a part of some pivotal moments in the book’s progress. Helping to develop the marketing plan and a classroom discussion guide allowed her to flex her creative muscles. Additionally, Emily procured one of the early glowing blurbs. Her copywriting work contributed to the finalized back cover copy, and she photographed and designed what became the postcard collateral for the sales kits.

In addition to being the 2016–2017 project manager for Siblings, Sophie designed and created the chapbooks we sent to the sales reps and continues to make content, like design briefs and booksheets, beautiful. Although she says marketing can be a challenge for her, Sophie has stepped up at every occasion, trying new things and learning the ropes with a smile and infectious laughter. As she continues to adopt more of the leadership role, we know there are more great things to come.

Cade has been a crucial contributor to design, sales, marketing, XML coding, corporate sponsorship, and event planning. Her unique abilities to be empathetic and creative make her a major asset for author relations and brainstorming unconventional ideas. When communicating with Heacock to discuss major considerations for the work (developmental edits, the final title, etc.), Cade took the time to truly acknowledge our author’s motives and aspirations. Her cover concept was the first runner up, and there will be more great design work coming from Cade throughout her time at Ooligan.

Some of Alex’s proudest contributions to Ooligan Press have been helping to bring Siblings to print. She helped develop the design briefs and offered feedback on the early jacket designs. Alex’s expertise in book publishing and Ooligan’s workflow and office administration have been invaluable in creating the sales kits to get booksellers excited to spread the word about the collection. She has also been pivotal in the creation of an analytics system that will be used to track the marketing and sales metrics for Siblings and other titles in the future.

With an amazing collection of short stories to rally around, an endlessly enthusiastic and creative author, and a competent and compassionate team of publishers, it’s no wonder these updates can be so overwhelmingly positive.


Learning How to Brag About Our Short Story Collection

Leading up to a brief break between terms, our group members have been astonishingly productive. After the cover concept was selected by the press, we worked with Kait Heacock to offer notes and feedback to the designer, Ryan Brewer, who continues to improve and expand the cover each day. We expect to have a final cover ready for unveiling in the next few weeks. Also within the realm of design, our group constructed an interior design brief and received more than ten applications. Leigh Thomas was selected for the honor of designing the Siblings interior, and we are thrilled to see her initial drafts soon.

On the marketing, publicity, and sales fronts, we got a handful of printed and bound copies to send to a few prospective blurbers. This is the first time the book has appeared in codex form, albeit in an undesigned word document on regular printer paper. It was an amazing preview into the excitement yet to come! We are hoping that these physical copies will find their way into the hands of some notable authors by the end of the month. Tell Cheryl Strayed to check her mail.

In addition to pitching to blurbers, we shared our enthusiasm about Siblings with our sales representative in a brief sales call last week. Preparing for the sales call, constructing the tipsheet, and drafting early backcover copy means finding concise, powerful ways to talk about Heacock and her work, highlighting the themes that run throughout each story without underselling the collection as homogenous. Learning how to most effectively talk about the strengths of this collection is an ongoing process, but our group could not be more suited to the challenge.

Our biggest upcoming task will put our creativity and marketing skills to the test: We are constructing sales kits that will get our distributor’s sales representatives excited and passionate about this collection. Stay tuned to hear what kinds of artifacts and collateral we include and how we articulate the literary eminence of Siblings.