It didn't take long for Midge Raymond and her husband, John Yunker, to set up shop and extend their already widespread literary and publishing activities into a new venture.
The recent arrivals to the Rogue Valley launched Ashland Creek Press this month, mirroring their own range of interests — from travel stories and eco-literature to short stories and articles fostering an appreciation of the animal kingdom, environment and ecology.
The literary effort complements a more analytical venture they run called Byte Level Research, which circulates something called the Web Globalization Report Card.
"For the first time in both our careers, we weren't tied to a city and were able to choose Ashland," Raymond said. "After several difficult years in publishing, we have noticed a growing need for new ways for authors to get their work out into the world."
Their publishing and cybersphere experience suits them well for the endeavor.
Raymond is a former Boston University writing instructor who has worked with the likes of publishing houses Penguin Putnam, St. Martin's Press, Bantam and Houghton Mifflin. She wrote a short-story collection, "Forgetting English," published by Eastern Washington University Press.
Yunker, a former senior program manager at Microsoft, cofounded Byte Level Research in 2000. He wrote the first book devoted to the emerging field of Web globalization, "Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies," and is a fellow with the Society for New Communications Research.
Ashland Creek Press officially launched at the beginning of March and attracted a dozen submissions in a matter of weeks from the Pacific Northwest and California.
The firm is especially interested in submissions about the Klamath-Siskiyou area, Raymond said. "It's such an amazing, diverse ecosystem, and we'd love to see more books out there that highlight this region."
Ashland Creek Press uses Lightning Source, a Tennessee printer, for paperback editions. Distribution is through Ingram Book Group, another Tennessee operation, which has a warehouse south of Roseburg near the Winston freeway exit.
"It allows us to manage costs effectively by ordering books as we need them and to keep inventory manageable," she said.
Raymond, still a writing instructor and editor at heart, blogs regularly with hints for aspiring authors.
The sheer volume of manuscripts, she said, makes it tough to catch a major publisher's eye, and once published there's plenty of work ahead.
"It's hard to find an audience," Raymond said. "A lot of writers think the publishers will market the book, but that's not true even with big publishers."
That means scheduling readings at bookstores and maintaining an online presence.
"We want to work with authors who are really passionate about their work," she said. "So we have to be selective right now."
For more on the Web, see www.ashlandcreekpress.com/blog.
Greg Stiles is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. He can be reached at 541-776-4463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.