Guest Post from Brooke Warner, SheWritesPress.

Posted By on October 9, 2012

A Unique Vision for the Future of Publishing

I first heard about Kamy Wicoff long before She Writes burst onto the scene in June 2009. I’d been working at Seal Press for five years by that point, and I’d contacted her in 2007 to blurb a book I’d acquired called Offbeat Bride. Kamy had written a book called I Do but I Don’t, and I’d heard somewhere from someone that she was a fan of Seal Press and a huge supporter of women writers.

So I wasn’t at all surprised—though totally inspired!—when she created She Writes with Deborah Siegel, an online community geared toward supporting women writers.

I contacted her pretty shortly after they launched to say I wanted to be involved, and that was it for a while. I was featured on She Writes as a preferred provider. I continued to follow what She Writes was up to. It seemed that every single author I’d ever worked with was a member, and my friend base at She Writes started to grow based on my Seal connections alone.

Over the years, it was clear to me that Kamy and I shared a similar passion—to support women in their literary and publishing pursuits. My nearly eight-year career at Seal was entirely focused on women and publishing. I’d confronted question after question over the years about why women needed their own dedicated space in publishing, and I’d come up with my pat replies: “Men don’t face the same hurdles women face when it comes to getting published;” “Men consistently outpublish women every single year even though more women write.”

The response among writers to She Writes was immediate. Women were being inspired, and I thought, These women have tapped into something big. This is exactly what women writers need. Siegel said in a blog post, “Women don’t let women write alone,” and in that short statement she nailed something I’d seen over and over in my years at Seal: women need the support of other women to thrive in this industry.

Fast forward to 2011. Kamy had been approached by a number of people with interests in She Writes. Meanwhile, I was contemplating leaving my beloved Seal Press. As much as my heart was behind its mission, I felt (and still feel) that the momentum and action in book publishing is not with traditional presses. I contacted Kamy to talk to her about the idea of starting a press, and from there the idea of She Writes Press was born. Kamy brought to the table the idea of vetting submissions, of creating a press that would and could rival traditional press books based on editorial quality. Her ideas for what the press could be fell directly in line with my own, as my primary qualm with self-publishing has always been about how much the quality of the books varies from author to author. Presses themselves don’t have strict quality control. They will publish anything and everything; after all, it’s a money-making endeavor. Together, using Kamy’s experience as a best-selling author and my thirteen years of book publishing experience, we started to conceptualize how She Writes Press could be different.

I believe we’ve succeeded, founding a press that is truly unique. We are hands-on and interested in feedback from our authors. Since we launched the press on the three-year anniversary of She Writes at the end of June 2012, we’ve had 58 submissions and we’ve signed 14 authors. We’re going strong, and our biggest goal is to gain notice among retailers, buyers, and reviewers as a press that is competing with the traditional presses while empowering its authors in new ways. We are indie all the way—and proud of it.

Kamy and I feel the future of book publishing is here, in independent presses where the author invests in the success of her own book and has a like-minded partner who’s invested in her success, too. We defer to the author, and yet we also weigh in heavily, bringing a strong editorial background and love for books to every project we publish. We’re also both publishing our own books on She Writes Press. Mine, What’s Your Book? launched just last week, and Kamy is aiming to publish in mid-2013, and she’s currently blogging about her process on She Writes.

Important to our mission is also to publish at least one Passion Project per year. In book publishing, a passion project is a project an editor feels passionately about; it’s a book an editor feels is worth taking a risk on because it speaks to her heart. She Writes Press will carry on this tradition, which was established at She Writes, and gift at least one She Publishes Package per year—and more as our momentum gets going.

We are excited about the possibilities for She Writes Press, and what we are offering: support, community, expertise, compassion, motivation, collaboration, and a promise that the women who publish with us will not publish in a bubble. Our goal is to change the face of self-publishing, and to offer women writers a new platform and the promise of a successful publishing experience.

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One Response to “Guest Post from Brooke Warner, SheWritesPress.”

  1. [...] The following is a guest post I wrote for Self-Publishing Resources: [...]

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