The last time you heard from the Ocean in My Ears team, we were busy copyediting the manuscript. Well, now the copyediting is finished, and we have since turned our attention to the cover. Like many of our projects at Ooligan Press, this was a collaborative effort. Taylor Farris came up with the original concept for the cover that featured a watercolor splash, a denim textured font, and a clean aesthetic; Leigh Thomas built upon this design, adding the mountains and the reflection, as well as fine-tuning the details; and Riley Pittenger hand drew the illustrated car. Needless to say, the result is a cover that is more than the sum of its parts, but let’s go ahead and take a closer look at some of those parts anyway.
Kait Heacock’s Siblings and Other Disappointments is out in the world, and maybe even at a bookstore near you! It’s been a journey. As a team, we’ve all been grappling with some mixed emotions lately—from the particular thrill of seeing hard work pay off to the melancholy feeling of saying goodbye to an old friend—but what is Siblings itself if not an emotionally complicated experience from start to finish? We continue to be blown away by the positive and personal reactions that Siblings elicits in its readers, including this lovely review from Lauren O’Brien in Shelf Awareness. Though the lion’s share of our work with Siblings is behind us now, we’ll still be keeping up with the book—and with Kait, as she too moves on to new and different things. Keep an eye on Ooligan’s Facebook page and Twitter account for all the updates. (But you’re already following us, right?)
Every couple of years, it gets easier to make websites look the way we want them to. First, there was just HTML coding, where cheesy-looking animated candle frames were often as fancy as it got. Then CSS came along and let us add structure to sites: drop shadows, new colors and shapes, more easy-on-the-eyes navigation. Then content management systems like Wordpress made it so regular people (like me) can make cool-looking websites.
Write to Publish—the annual conference that Ooligan hosts to demystify the publishing world for writers—has come and gone. By all accounts, it went pretty well. For an event that housed two concurring panels and a room for publishing vendors, the rooms were filled and it was well attended. Of course, the logistics of hosting an event is one thing (securing food for the event, finding speakers who were willing to talk, etc.), but getting people to buy tickets and come to the event is another, which is where marketing comes in.
The one thing you can do is write a really good book—a book that’s good enough that somebody will read it, and at the end, turn to somebody else and say, “You have to read this one.” So I think it’s empowering; the best marketing you can do is write a good book.
Ooligan was approached by a fellow writer and editor who is involved in the Portland literary scene, which is often predominantly white. Where are the Asian, African American, Native American, and Latino writers he knows reside in this city?