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Thread: Owl Hollow Press

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Owl Hollow Press

    Does anyone have any familiarity with Owl Hollow Press? I've seen them on Twitter, but I haven't been able to find out much about them aside from their website: https://owlhollowpress.com/

  2. #2
    Born at sea Clairels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    The 7th parallel
    I'm not familiar with them, but here's my .02 after checking out their site:

    They only have one book out, an anthology released just this month, and a novel due out next year.

    Their page states that they publish "genre fiction, contemporaries, and nonfiction." That's a lot of ground to cover. Most companies seem to do better when they start out focusing on one or two genres.

    The staff seem well-meaning and enthusiastic, but their bios don't explicitly state any experience in publishing.

    Give this one two years and see how they're doing.

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  3. #3
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I like that they use Twitter to update when they've read past a given date in the submissions they've received (I take it they read chronologically). That's a smart strategy and saves both writers and publisher a lot of time in follow-up emails.

    I notice their staff focus almost exclusively on editing. They're all fairly young, which is great, but I don't see anyone there with much in the way of sales or book marketing experience at all. If considering an offer from them, those would be among the first questions I'd ask and I wouldn't stop asking until I got a satisfactory answer. Degrees in editing are great, but understanding how books move through the trade will make a much bigger difference for the author.

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Any updates? Has anyone had any interaction with this publisher?

  5. #5
    I write novels
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    In the resistance
    The one novel coming out this week has a spiffy cover, but the Amazon listing has zero editorial reviews, and there's no Look Inside for the book. The B&N listing for the paperback doesn't have the cover or the cover copy. They seem to depend on their "Flock" of readers to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but the novel coming out this week doesn't have even one Goodreads review, so that approach doesn't appear to be very effective.

    I'd wait another year or two to see what their sales are like. At this point, it's too much of a risk, imo.

  6. #6
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    between rising apes and falling angels
    Without the bare minimum of a 'Look Inside' feature, I'm not interested. I expect that from major publishers as well as serious small presses. Owl Hollow, I *want* to like you. But you need to start respecting your readers with a text sample.

    The next step is professional marketing done well before publication.
    Last edited by Filigree; 05-07-2017 at 10:41 PM. Reason: more info

    This M/M space opera
    Blog: Blue Night
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  7. #7
    I write novels
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    In the resistance
    I want to like them too! Good small presses are wonderful. But they need to meet my expectations for marketing and publicity and distribution, not just pretty covers. (And, well, I'd like to comment on their editing, but without a Look Inside feature, that's right out.)

    fwiw, I've emailed them, asking if they pay advances, and what the general range is.

    ETA: They say they do pay an advance "in the few hundred dollar range."
    Last edited by eqb; 05-10-2017 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Added info about advances

  8. #8
    figuring it all out C Alberts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Given the range of genres on their submissions page, I would hope they are aiming for bricks-and-mortar presence. That's tough when you've only got a couple of titles out but they can get there if the books are good. The book they are releasing next week is listed as available through Ingram with a standard discount and returnability; this is a good sign as it means that, even though they don't have full distribution yet, there are no barriers to a store ordering a copy for a customer or even deciding to carry it if they want. It takes a lot more than than to get in a meaningful number of stores but it is a good start and one that many new small publishers don't do right.

    I would suggest next steps would include getting more editorial reviews and blurbs (ideally in PW and the like, but at least from recognizable authors or industry people).
    And as others have pointed out, Look Inside is a key for readers and even booksellers when it comes to a brand new, unfamiliar press (yes, booksellers get a twisted little joy out of using Amazon as a resource, LOL). I don't see any excerpts on their site either, but maybe I didn't look hard enough. In any case, there's no easy way to know if their books are actually polished and edited well, etc without buying one. So I can't really form an opinion one way or another on that.

    But the few existing covers range from good to pretty great, the website is navigable and geared to readers. They are off to a slow start which can mean a few things, but it could mean that they really are doing it right by taking their time and giving proper attention to each title. So I err on the side of thinking that's a good sign. (I spent time over the last few days going down the rabbit hole in this subforum of well-intentioned but clueless failed/failing publisher startups, and this one looks like a breath of fresh air compared to those.)

    I'm intrigued by their mission and the descriptions on their submissions page. I hope they really are on the right track.
    Last edited by C Alberts; 05-08-2017 at 05:54 AM.

  9. #9
    I write novels
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    In the resistance
    Quote Originally Posted by C Alberts View Post
    They are off to a slow start which can mean a few things, but it could mean that they really are doing it right by taking their time and giving proper attention to each title.
    Except...if they were giving proper time and attention to each title, they would have trade reviews for the book that's being released *tomorrow*. They would make sure that B&N has the cover image and cover copy for the paperback version. They would have excerpts available both on the vendor sites and their own site.

    Again, they might learn the ropes over time, but I would caution people against submitting to this place until we can see what their sales are like.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Hello! My Sci-Fi trilogy was recently signed on with Owl Hollow Press in late April. My debut novel, Golden Skies, is projected to be released in the summer of 2018.

    I still haven't started the editing process with Owl Hollow yet, but it's only a few weeks away now. In any case, I wanted to bring something to the attention of everyone on this thread - recently Owl Hollow took on an agented author for a YA novel: Del Tero Moon. The author is Darby Karchut, repped by Amanda Rutter at Red Sofa Literary.


    I would take this as a good sign of the company doing well though it can be argued that I am biased haha. Benjamin Thomas attended a book launch party a few weeks ago in Utah and his novel is available in some stores there from what I know. That's all I got.

  11. #11
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Am I the only person who can't say "Owl Hollow" out loud without mangling it?

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW SaraC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    I'm waiting to see how they do before I consider sending them any novels. If they are going strong in a couple years and the stuff I am querying now still hasn't found a home, then I would try them with it.

    I do have a piece of flash fiction in their Dark Magic anthology. They paid me $50 for it, which I was happy with - it came to about .10 per word, but it wasn't an advance against royalties, just a one time payment. I was also happy with the way the promoted the anthology. They sent each author a swag kit (bookmarks and buttons). They have good cover art, good editors, and are pleasant to work with. I will send them another short if I come up with anything that matches one of their calls, but sometimes, publishing a novel with a small press seems like self-publishing but instead of outright paying someone to proof read and make your cover art, they take half, or more than half, of your sales.

  13. #13
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    The land from whence the shadows fall
    I'm always of two minds of small presses. I like the idea in concept but dunno enough about the reality.
    Last edited by Harlequin; 06-27-2017 at 12:20 AM.
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  14. #14
    Author of FORTNEY ROAD Jeff C. Stevenson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    New York City
    The Look Inside feature can take a few days to engage and it's been up for months now (with 22 4 1/2 star average reviews) and excepts are available at their site. I was published in their DARK MAGIC anthology and they gave each author a "full page" tweet about his/her story, so they really work hard at promotion. The editing of my story was terrific--not a lot was required, but they suggested some tweaks and I, too, like their covers. So keep watching them but I say, so far, so good, and agree they need some PW, Kirkus reviews, etc but they don't review every book that is submitted to them.
    The True Story of Life, Death, and Deception
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