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Meet Trailblazer Holly Kammier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Kammier.

Holly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a writer and former journalist, I originally owned a content editing company. When one of my closest friends, best-selling author, Jessica Therrien, came to me and told me she had just earned the rights back to her wildly popular Children of the Gods book series from her traditional publishing house, and she wanted to self-publish, we came up with a crazy idea. I changed the name of my company so that Jessica could publish under an Acorn Publishing, LLC imprint and not appear self-published.

As Jessica began to plan out her publishing campaign, I felt inspired to join her on her journey. We self-published my manuscript, Kingston Court, under the Acorn Publishing, LLC imprint as well.

Long story short, both of our books skyrocketed. We realized we could turn our “fake” publishing imprint into a real company and teach other writers like ourselves how to keep their rights and profits through self-publishing under the umbrella of our imprint. Acorn Publishing, LLC was born.

It was a very scary idea for us, to be in charge of something so important. But I am forever grateful we made the leap. Our first Acorn author’s book was named a Kirkus Reviews, Indie Book of the Year. That success built our confidence and we began teaching publishing seminars at writer’s conferences and taking on more new authors.

Today, we have shepherded more than 75 books into publication, many of which have become best-selling and award-winning novels. We could not be more proud of our Acorn authors and the unique company we have created.

Acorn Publishing, LLC is a highly selective imprint that uses a hybrid publishing model, meaning we combine elements of traditional publishing with elements of self-publishing. You publish a book with the same high-end cover design, customized interior, and polished content, as a top 5 traditional publishing house, and you keep 100% of your profits and 100% of your rights. It’s a game-changer.

Acorn Publishing, LLC truly offers the best of both worlds.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our first struggle was believing in ourselves. Honestly, we were so unsure of our abilities to help other writers publish award-winning, best-selling books, that we did a test run on our first two authors, taking them through the entire publishing process and doing all of the work on our end for free. We needed tangible proof we could do this. Once we saw our authors exceed our greatest expectations, we felt the confidence to push forward.

From there, we refined our process as went. One of our most important goals for our company was to give every Acorn author complete control of the entire publishing process. Because of that, we originally guided our authors on how to create their book cover design. What we found, however, was putting the author in charge of every single step wasn’t always in the author’s best interest. When it came to cover design, it was kind of like giving a patient the dental equipment and guiding them on how to clean their own teeth. The process was stressful for everyone and in the end, Jessica and I would take over and complete the design for them. The finished covers rivaled anything on the shelves at Barnes & Noble, but the path to completion could be painful. We took over the cover design and everyone has been much happier. It was a lesson learned for sure.

All of that said, whether it’s starting your own company, or taking charge of a piece of your company’s process that you excel at, my best advice to women is to believe in yourself. We each have so much to offer and our talents are our gift to share with others.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Acorn Publishing, LLC – what should we know?
Of all the writers out there with completed manuscripts, only two percent secure literary agents. Of all the literary agents shopping manuscripts, only 2 percent will land a traditional publishing deal for their author. Most of the writers who get publishing contracts with the top 5 publishing houses already have star power. They bring a large pool of potential readers to the table. That leaves a whole lot of quality writers out in the cold.

We have flipped the model on traditional publishing. Acorn authors pay a flat fee upfront and keep everything on the back-end. This allows us to focus on quality writing rather than a writer’s platform or star power to sell books. Many of our authors make their money back and more. Some do not. But we allow quality writers to invest in themselves and their art.

What sets us apart for other hybrid publishers? We vet for quality and we excel at what we do. Our award-winning, best-selling books look as good and contain content that rivals the top publishing houses and we are the only company out there that allows our authors to keep 100% of their profits and rights on the back-end. Jessica Therrien and I started this company to help writers like ourselves. We are writers first, and as such, we put our writers’ best interest above all else.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Brene Brown is an inspiration to me. I am a huge fan of her research and advice for living your best life. I may have highlighted every single sentence in her book, Rising Strong.

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Image Credit:
Julia Badei – shot the personal photo

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