John Wood speaks at Chautauqua about The Names of Things

By John Yunker,

Author and anthropologist John Colman Wood’s novel, The Names of Things, was a finalist for the 2013 Chautauqua Prize, and John was later invited to present at the Chautauqua Institution‘s annual summer author series.

Fortunately for those of us who couldn’t be there, one of John’s presentations was recorded. Enjoy!

For more about The Names of Things, click here.

State of the Press: August 2014

By John Yunker,

We send out periodic updates to our authors about what’s new at Ashland Creek Press, and because we have a lot going on this year, I wanted to share some of this news from our State of the Press Address.


First of all, I want to share a few highlights from the past six months:

  • JoeAnn Hart’s novel Float won second prize in the International Rubery Book Award, and first place in fiction.
  • John Colman Wood, whose novel The Names of Things was a Chautauqua award finalist, will be speaking at Chautauqua on August 14.
  • Jean Ryan’s collection Survival Skills was a Lambda Literary Award finalist (general fiction category).
  • Olivia Chadha’s novel Balance of Fragile Things has been adopted as part of the University of California San Diego Muir College Writing Program.

Congratulations to all!

We, along with our authors, continue to promote books long after their publication dates, and these achievements show that book marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and that it’s never too late for new readers to discover a book, no matter when it was published.

The Publishing Landscape and the ACP Store
It’s hard to be a writer or a reader and not know about the Hachette/Amazon dispute and how it’s affecting publishers large and small. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the situation, as are all publishers.

In order to make our books as accessible as they can possibly be, we now offer direct sales of both print and eBooks from our website (you can order directly from any book page on the site). For print books, we offer free US shipping for orders over $50, and our eBooks are available for immediate download and are free of DRM restrictions. Please feel free to let readers know that they have this option to buy online and to support small presses!

Looking Ahead
We launched the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Writing this year. There are two months left before the deadline and we’re excited to have Karen Joy Fowler as our final judge. Her novel We are Completely Beside Ourselves won the PEN Faulkner award and has just been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Feel free to share the award information; the deadline is coming up on September 30.


As always, we’re glad to be doing the work we do as a small press in a rapidly changing landscape, where far more doors are opening than closing for today’s authors (and readers). Stay tuned for our next State of the Press Address, in which we’ll announce what’s coming up in early 2015!


Project Passenger Pigeon

By John Yunker,

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This year marks 100 years since the extinction of the passenger pigeon. This uniquely North American bird was estimated to number in the billions at one point in time — only to go extinct in a period of roughly four decades.

The bird was hunted to extinction. Its breeding grounds destroyed.

And the last known passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, died alone in a zoo in Ohio.

Author Ray Keifetz told us that the story of the passenger pigeon inspired his haunting story “Miriam’s Lantern,” which you can find in Among Animals.

I encourage you to visit Project Passenger Pigeon — a year-long effort to raise awareness of this tragedy (and other species tragedies) so that we can work to prevent history from repeating with other species.



Head to Chautauqua this August to meet author John Colman Wood

By John Yunker,

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 7.56.06 AM

The Names of Things by John Colman Wood was a Chautauqua Award finalist in 2013.

Each summer, the Chautauqua Institution selects nine books of literary quality and invites the authors to participate in its summer author series. John Colman Wood will be speaking there on August 14. Here are the details.

If you can plan a trip to this beautiful part of New York, we recommend it!

How many books must one sell to become an Amazon bestseller?

By John Yunker,

I used to think that to become a bestselling author you needed to sell millions of books.

And while millions of books will certainly get you on the bestselling list, it turns out you could sell far fewer copies and still make a bestseller list.

How does 325 copies per day sound?

Amazon bestsellers

According to analysis conducted by Publishers Weekly, a book can make Amazon’s daily bestseller list by selling about 300 copies per day. Publishers Weekly arrived at this number by dividing the roughly 1,000 copies per day sold by a given bestselling book across all retailers by 30% — which is the percentage of print books that Amazon sells.

That’s right, Amazon sales account for about 30% (or more) of all print books sold in this country.

Now back to those 300 copies per day. This may not seem like many copies, but if you’re a publisher or published author you know that 300 copies is quite a lot of copies. And that’s why I recommend our book Everyday Book Marketing to authors.

When you’re a writer or small press like us, every book sold is a success story.

And if by chance or persistence or luck (or a combination of all three) you happen to sell 300 or more books per day on Amazon, keep a close eye on the bestseller list.