Scenes: Books Akashic An interview with Johanna Ingalls
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Scenes
Books Akashic An interview with Johanna Ingalls

inline graphic inline graphic inline graphic inline graphic Could you briefly describe your press's history?

Akashic Books was cofounded by Johnny Temple (the current publisher) and two friends Mark & Bobby Sullivan. The first book we published was the cult classic, The Fuck-Up by Arthur Nersesian which we released in 1997, and was later picked up by MTV Books. To date we've published over 400 books, currently release 35-40 books/year, and are a full-time staff of six, with assistance from freelance designers and interns.

How would you characterize the work you publish?

We primarily publish fiction, typically dark, literary fiction, though we also publish crime fiction, the Akashic Noir Series (noir anthologies set in specific locations); there are over 70 in print including Brooklyn Noir edited by Tim McLoughlin (2004), Prison Noir edited by Joyce Carol Oates (2014), Boston Noir edited by Dennis Lehane (2013), and Tehran Noir edited by Salar Abdoh (2014), music-related/pop culture titles—including photo books, political nonfiction, and more recently children's picture books & young adult novels, through our Black Sheep imprint.

Who is your audience, and in what ways are you trying to reach them?

We publish a diverse array of authors and types of books, so our audience is pretty diverse as well, in terms of race, religion, economic status, age, etc. We try to reach our readers through traditional media, social media, and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth—especially through author appearances and readings. We also find public book fairs like the Brooklyn Book Festival, Miami International Book Fair, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books as great ways to connect with our readers and meet new ones!

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Dance of the Jakaranda featured as a New York Times Editors' Choice selection.

What is your role in the publishing scene?

To publish great books, with a focus on giving voice to those who may not find a voice within larger publishing houses.

What's in the future for your press?

This year, 2017, marks Akashic Books's twentieth anniversary, and we hope to continue publishing great literature for at least another twenty years, if not longer!

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The Book of Harlan is the winner of the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction).

To discover more about Akashic Books visit thier webiste www.akashicbooks.com.

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