Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jenny Hudson: A literary midwife who helps birth your book and guides it out to the marketplace.

  Interview with Doug Holder 

 Jenny Hudson is a literary midwife—she will help birth your book. Delivery can be painful but Hudson is there like a kind, doting and wise partner. She will even help you name your baby…I mean book.

Jenny Hudson--CEO of Merrimack Media


Jenny Hudson has worked as a graphic designer, art teacher, and has designed and produced a line of outerwear for the boutique market. She became smitten with the Internet while designing a site for the clothing business and went on to study web design.  She has produced websites and graphics through her own business since 2002. 

Now she now publishes print-on-demand books and helps authors market them through her business, Merrimack Media ( 

Jenny has published three of her own novels along the way and written many short stories and poems. She was the producer and host of the cable show about live jazz, Live From Chianti, and is an exhibiting digital artist.

I had the pleasure to speak to her on my Somerville Community Access TV showPoet to Poet: Writer to Writer.


Doug Holder: There are many services out there that publish books. What makes Merrimack Media different? Why wouldn’t I go to them instead of you? Don’t the bigger ones like Lulu and their ilk have more resources available to them?

Jenny Hudson:  Not really. Yes they are bigger. They have more volume. But we have a production entity where books are produced and designed. I don’t think the big guys really promote their books like we do. The author does not get the personal attention. Of course I am local, and I meet with people who are local, but I am not limited to locals because of Skype.
I have a number of writers and artists on staff. I have been a graphic designer for years. I have also been an art teacher. I worked for a number of universities. I was at the University of Wisconsin as a web designer and graphic artist. I moved back to Boston 2 years ago.

DH:  Your business is sort of like a mom and pop literary storefront.

JH: I think our business is like a mom and pop store. I answer phone calls, and I actually speak to my authors. (Laugh) I often meet with them and help them.

DH: You are also about creating community—offering events, classes, readings. You are sort of like GRUB STREET in Boston?

JH: Well… GRUB ST. gets you ready for publishing. I  publish the book and beyond. I have a Meet Up group called The Write Publishing Network. There is over 100 people in the network. There are different events offered. Connected with this we have The Writer’s Table that is a monthly critique group. Authors come to have their work critiqued. Jennifer Kroll, who wrote for the Boston Herald is involved. It is free right now. There are a lot of young writers who really appreciate the help.
We also have something called Merrimack Writers, a program that includes events that you can attend for a minimal charge. Right now we have a series of wine readings on Sunday afternoons.

DH: Tell me the process a prospective author goes through to have his manuscript start the process.

JH: Well the author should go to: http://www. —we have a very robust website. We will want to know what your book is about, what services you will need. For instance sometimes an author will need an editor. We have a total of three editors. After the book is completed we schedule readings. We have had readings at Porter Square Books in Cambridge  for instance. We have had a Mass. Art professor read, a local private eye, quite an eclectic group. We also host something called the Beer and Book Series in East Cambridge.

DH: Are your books Print On Demand?

JH:  All our books are POD. They have good production values. Authors get royalty for each book ordered.

DH: Are you selective in regards to manuscripts?

JH: I have looked at manuscripts that are not ready. I tell the author that he or she needs to work with an editor.

DH: Can you talk about some of your authors?

JH:  I have one author Steve Pinkham who wrote Old Tales of the Maine Woods. He grew up in Maine and is in love with the outdoors. This book has many stories that celebrate Maine, its wilderness and mountains. Hal Marshall, a Boston native, penned a book about a runaway slave. He wrote this book when he was sick with cancer. What a triumph to come out with this book! These are just a couple of the many authors we have helped since our inception.

No comments:

Post a Comment