This is a call to action for publishers, editors, and writers alike to think boldly and critically when engaging with social justice movements, specifically, the Black Lives Matter movement.
With millions upon millions of people in the United States who think they have the next New York Times best seller, how can a publishing company find the diamond in the rough? What can a publishing house do to ensure they are receiving submissions for books they actually can and want to publish? The most effective way a publishing house can convey this information to an author is through the company’s mission statement.
At the core of any successful publishing press lies something very important: a mission statement. This declaration of intent and focus is how a press presents their goals and values to the public. Not only does this serve as a guideline for the future pursuits and acquisitions of titles within the press but it provides authors with a guideline for potential manuscript submissions. General audiences tend not to follow specific presses and often aren’t aware of the mission statements of the presses from which their favorite books are published. Even so, there are trends within each press that are more obvious to their employees.
Ooligan Press currently states that it “aspires to discover works that reflect the values and attitudes that inspire so many to call the Northwest their home.” While many of our current and backlist titles include Pacific Northwest locations and themes, Ooligan has not exclusively published these types of titles in the past. One of the neat things about Ooligan is looking at the different books we have published over the years and how certain trends have evolved. Ask any current Ooligan student what they think our publishing trend is today, and they would probably say “water” due to the large number of books published about rivers, oceans, etc. However, not every student knows that we have published books about historical figures and other countries.