Carmel Valley’s Acorn Publishing Celebrates 100th Book Release


Carmel Valley resident Holly Kammier and her friend Jessica Therrien were so sick of trying to market their books to agents and publishers that they decided to do their own thing.

“My best friend, Jessica, and I started this company as a ‘fake’ company just for ourselves to publish our books,” Kammier said. “Both of our books were bestsellers, so we thought, ‘If we can do it for ourselves, why not do it for others.’ We created the LLC and the website, and invited the authors to submit their work to us.

Seven years later, Acorn Publishing LLC, on Sunday August 15, will celebrate the release of its 100th book by Barnes & Noble at the Mira Mesa Marketcenter, 10775 Westview Parkway.

Jessica Therrien, author and co-founder of Acorn Publishing

(Susie Bakonis)

“This small business that was founded here in Carmel Valley by two writers has grown into a business that makes new writers’ dreams come true,” said Kammier. “We are so proud of what we have done and honestly surprised. When we started this we didn’t know how important it would become. “

The 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. event will feature 10 best-selling authors from Acorn who will talk about their experiences and books while signing volumes for attendees who purchase them.

One of the participants is Christina Mai Fong, who earned the distinction of writing Acorn’s 100th release – “Under the Lavender Moon”.

Holly Kammier, author and co-founder of Acorn Publishing

Holly Kammier, author and co-founder of Acorn Publishing

(Julia Badei)

“The story is a (young adult’s) fantasy,” Kamier said. “The main character is Asian. We really try to promote diversity among authors, so that readers can read about characters from all kinds of different cultures and backgrounds. “

Other writers who should appear are listed below with their titles and genres of books:

-David W. Reed, “Uphill and Into the Wind”, dissertation;

-Fabrice Wilfong, “The angel without wings”, science fiction;

-TD Fox, “The Walls of Orion,” dystopian young adult;

-Sherrill Joseph, “The Botanic Hill Detective Mysteries,” mid-level mystery;

-D. James Mcgee, “Beauty is the Beast”, thriller;

-Nancy Johnson, “Things My Mama Never Told Me,” adolescent education;

-Lacey Impellizeri, “Your Words Matter,” book writing guide;

-Danielle Harrington, “The Hollis Timewire Series”, fantasy for young adults

-Dennis K. Crosby, “Death’s Legacy”, urban fantasy.

Crosby said that, like many new authors, he tried unsuccessfully to gain acceptance for his book through literary agents and publishing houses.

After meeting Kammier and Therrien at a writers’ conference a few years ago, the San Diego resident decided to contact them in the spring of 2020.

“I’ve always admired the business model, the hybrid model,” he said. “But like many writers, when they’re starting out they think, ‘Let’s try the traditional approach.’ As I thought about it more and more after talking with them, I felt that working with Acorn would be the best opportunity for me. …

“I jumped at the chance to take my first novel and partner with them to make it the best it can be and I’m really excited and glad I did. I think it was the perfect choice for me as a first time writer. “

Not only did Crosby’s book sell well, but the attention it received through its success led him to be invited to speak at a number of events dedicated to the book and the authors.

“It works really well,” he said. “(” Death’s Legacy “) debuted on Amazon in three different Hot New Releases categories. It became a bestseller in January. Thanks to what I was able to do with Acorn, I was invited to speak at many events.

In the “hybrid model,” authors pay up front a company such as Acorn to do all the work typical self-publishing authors would have to do on their own, including intensive editing, creation of covers and promotion.

“(The writers) invest in themselves from the start, and then they keep all of their rights and benefits in the back,” Kammier said. “It’s the reverse model of a traditional publishing house, where you can get a bit of a head start and take the financial responsibility for the cover design and things like that, but then they keep the majority of the profits.” . “

In the traditional model, she said, only about 2% of authored books are supported by agents and only about 2% of books represented by agents are accepted by publishers.

For Acorn’s model to work, Kammier said, he needs to be careful in choosing clients to ensure they and the company are maximizing results. Acorn’s lowest per pound charge is almost $ 7,000.

“We are very selective,” she said. “We’re not taking anyone. We only accept about 10 percent of the books submitted to us, which is well over the 2 percent of the 2 percent.

“We have authors who have come to us who have waited years to get an agent and who would never have been published.”

A unique aspect of Acorn’s services is its relationships with publishers in Europe, through which it can promote its books for publication in foreign languages.

The last of three novels published by Kammier’s Acorn – “Lost Girl” – was published in Italian by a publishing house in Italy.

“There is no other hybrid publisher that does this and there is no other hybrid publisher that gives its authors 100 percent of their rights,” she said. “We are the only ones doing it. And I think it’s because we are first and foremost writers.

Experiencing Acorn’s success as well as his own books has provided a “tremendous sense of accomplishment,” said Kammier, who has a background in journalism.

“Every step of the way has been completely organic,” she said. “We never sat down with this plan to be who we are now. It was’ Oh my God, it worked out. Why don’t we take a few more authors? ‘ “

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