Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Guest Post w/ Jennifer Wessner ~ Marketing Director for OakTara Publishing

The publishing world can be a pretty dreary place these days. It seems that everyone is losing their jobs and no new authors are even being considered for publication. Ramona Tucker, a renowned book editor with over twenty years of experience, grew frustrated with the limitations and lack of risks the industry was taking. She knew there was a place in the market for a company that was willing to take risks on talented, new authors and compelling, boundary pushing fiction. So in 2006 she quit her fulltime job at Christianity Today and opened her own publishing company with Jeff Nesbit, a prolific author with over 17 novels to his credit. Jeff brought the author’s prospective and business savvy and Ramona brought her editorial experience to the new venture that became OakTara Publishers.

OakTara has published over 120 books in the three short years since its inception. A large percentage of the books are from first time authors. Ramona and Jeff believe strongly in giving new talent a platform. The biggest shock is that as a result of publishing unknown authors the company is actually growing! And growing and growing and growing! For OakTara, it is an exciting time to be in the book-publishing world!

The fun part of being on the ground floor of a new forward thinking company is the ability to think outside the box. Jeff and Ramona are passionate about new media and see its potential to expand the company and connect with readers. We are in the beginning stages of rolling out a complete Internet presence. Currently we have a Twitter account, Facebook account, and Youtube channel for our book trailers. We are using these mediums to respond to new authors’ questions and to engage new readers. We hope to use the Facebook page more in the future to keep those interested in OakTara updated on the company, where authors’ book signings are taking place, giveaways, and much more. We also have a Scribd account where we post previews of our newest novels. We are also hoping to roll out a blog in the next month or so. The blog will give our authors a platform for increased exposure and give others the opportunity to hear directly from Ramona and Jeff. For me, that’s the best thing about blogs. The opportunity to connect with people otherwise inaccessible to me is the real brilliance of new media.

The unique way new media requires people and companies to constantly adapt and change their business models is what has most publishing companies running scared. At OakTara, we are trying to embrace this shift and are excited about the possibilities. And we are always open to new suggestions! Let us know if you have a great idea that we haven’t tried yet!

If you want to learn about Oaktara, head to our website at

I can be reached via email at: I can also be reached on twitter at: and on Facebook at:

If you want to take a look at all our social media channels, they are listed on the left-hand side of our home page.
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  1. Publishing is definitely changing. The next few years should be very interesting in the ol' book world. Glad to have you drop by today, Jenn. :)

  2. Thanks Jennifer for your post about OakTara. I am one of the new authors which OakTara has contracted, and my book is now in production. After years of trying to get my feet in the publishing door, I was thrilled when OakTara contacted me seeking to publish my book, Bringing Them Home. In an environment where it is extremely difficult to get a publishing house to even look at your work, it was great to discover that OakTara was willing to give new authors a chance. Thanks OakTara! It is encouraging to see the growth in the company over the last year.

    Beth Wiens

  3. 120 titles already. Wow! I had no idea OakTara had grown so quickly. You go, guys!

  4. Awesome! A good thing to keep in mind for when I finish Wounded Hearts.

  5. Lorna, you should definitely keep us in mind. Lynnette, thanks for the opportunity to do this post. I hope everyone found it helpful/ informative!

  6. Loved your post, Jennifer. I'm an Oak Tara author, and feel very grateful to have had the publishing door opened by people like Ramona and Jeff. Welcome to the "family."

  7. This venture is great and I am glad to know they exist with a mission to introduce new authors to the world. And it's exciting that the growth is so rapid. However, reading a variety of topics, I immediately noticed the similarities in cadence between the names OakTara and Nesta Webster's book Ostara. Ostara is the pagan Greek goddess of Light, New things, Spring, Awakening. Is there a connection? A new publishing house bringing light to new authors? I'm just curious.

  8. Strokeofliving, this is from their website "...Aramaic word for "doorkeeper" (tara) to go along with the oak door at the entrance to an old, stone church. The combination of the two created OakTara."

  9. Thanks Lynette for researching that and responding.