This blog was featured on 08/29/2016
Happy 3rd Birthday, She Writes Press!
Contributor

Dear She Writes Press,

You’re three this month, and what a fast three years it’s been. You are a success story already, since most new businesses fail within the first year. So congratulations on making it to toddlerhood! We’ve had a wild first three years together. First, you grew up faster than I expected. So many amazing, talented women saw the potential in you from the get-go, and they hurried to publish under this innovative model you represent. I am so grateful to those trailblazers, the fall 2012, spring 2013, and fall 2013 authors who stepped out on a limb to show their faith in what we were creating. There were 24 of us in that first year, myself included, and the caliber of books we published set the tone for where we are today—with 92 books published and 156 authors signed.

You have so many people to thank for your success. Our authors, first and foremost, who are smart, articulate, brave, passionate, and accomplished women—all of them. We have every kind of personality you can imagine, and each of them has nurtured you and contributed to who you are today. I’m most grateful to those authors who have offered gentle direction and advise and no-nonsense expertise. Our authors are the reason we’re thriving, and I can’t articulate the depth of my gratitude for their investment in your success—even when it’s come with a good dose of tough love.

I want to give a special call-out to our big sister, SheWrites.com. Were it not for founder Kamy Wicoff’s capacity to see what you could be, you never would have been. Thank you Kamy for your vision and courage. Thank you also to April Eberhardt, who’s been instrumental in helping us to define what you are, and who’s spent countless unpaid hours brainstorming and dreaming with me about the future of publishing, and who gave you your official category of “partnership publishing.” Thank you to Crystal Patriarche, our new CEO, for seeing in you something fresh and exciting that she wanted to be a part of and lead into the future. She has upped your game in every way, and has given us a fresh start with her own flair and energy, and also with her amazing team. Thank you to Julie Metz, whose creative talents have made us an indie publisher to watch. That you’ve been praised by some of the toughest buyers in the industry as a press with gorgeous covers, some of the best of any small publisher out there, is testament to Julie’s eye and impeccable taste. And thank you to Cait Levin, who’s been there since your conception and who’s one of your biggest champions. Every publisher needs a person like Cait to keep everything tidy and sorted out and sane, and we’re lucky to have her. We must also thank all of our editors, designers, and other freelancers, too many to name here but so so valued. We have been incredibly lucky not only to have access to such a talented pool of experts, but a pool who’s genuinely excited about and committed to our books—which is more than any press can hope for.

Some of the major coups you’ve achieved that stand out for me include:

  1. Getting agented submissions and authors choosing to publish with She Writes Press over traditional houses.
  2. Securing our distribution deal with Ingram Publisher Services.
  3. Qualifying to submit our books through traditional channels for the trade review sites.
  4. Being praised for our covers by buyers across all accounts—national, regional, and specialty markets.

And then there’s the major coups and successes of our authors, too numerous to list here, but which include national media attention, hitting best-seller lists, awards up the wazoo, successful book launches, incredible book sales, and tons of trade reviews. Our authors have been featured in People, O! magazine, Salon, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and on NPR. And we’ve been reviewed in every trade: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness.

On your third birthday I celebrate you, She Writes Press, but also everyone who’s brought you along and who continues to bring you up. I’m so proud of what all of us—authors, staff, freelancers, allies—have done in these three years, and especially proud that we are disrupting the system and shaking up an industry that’s too often constrained by the way things have always been done. I am committed to continuing to make waves with you, and it looks like you’re committed to making wave with us too. Here’s to many more years of smashing success. Happy birthday, baby.

 

—Brooke

Publisher, She Writes Press

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Comments
  • Joan Z. Rough

    Congratulations to all!  When I first read about She Writes Press I was impressed with your direction and hutzpah. And you have impressed me everyday since then.  I know you'll be there for many more years!

  • Thanks, Kelly and Leslie!

  • Kelly Kittel

    She Writes is the only online site I still use where I log on with my old password! I, too, have been following the progress of SWP from its inception three years ago til today, as one of its authors! Rock on, ladies! As Matthew McConaughey would say, "AllWrite, AllWrite!"

  • I'm so proud to know you when you're only three SWP!  I can't wait to know you when you're ten!  I'm proud to be a fledgling author under you, and I'm glad I met Brooke Warner! :)

  • Thanks all!!

    Carole—so happy that you have two wonderful books with us. :)

  • Linda Kass

    Congratulations on three years of rapid progress! Thanks to everyone involved for providing an exciting space, and "third way" of publishing, for women writers! All of the She Writes team are trailblazers and, Brooke, you are THE tireless advocate and activist for this partnership model. As I was deciding to publish with SWP, I asked myself what I wanted from the experience for my first novel. I determined that I wanted quality, collaboration, and, most of all, to enjoy the process. That, indeed, has been my experience, to date. A shout out, too, to Julie Metz, for her inspiring designs!

  • Many thanks to all of your ladies for your hard work and Congratulations on 3 years of continued increasing successes.  Because of my involvement with this site, I have learned so much as a writer and know what work I must do to get myself to the point where I'd approach you about a novel that I have conceived of and have just begun writing.

  • Carole Bumpus

    I will never forget the last newsletter from She Writes (June 2012?) announcing your conception and rolling out the possibilities for authors, such as myself!  I submitted my manuscript knowing that it needed plenty of tender-loving cutting and I worked with one of your lovely editors, Stephanie Staal, to finally launch my historical novel, A Cup of Redemption, in October 2014.  Now, I'm birthing one more baby, Recipes for Redemption, this August 15th, so that's about the same gestation time as a real baby!  Whew!  But, thank you!  Thank you for giving each one of us this marvelous way to express our love of writing!

  • The person we have most to thank, of course, is Brooke Warner. Brooke, your vision is unparalleled in this industry -- you are a leader in every way, and almost every single one of these accomplishments involved you somehow. You have fought especially hard for our authors to be treated with the respect they deserve, alongside traditionally published ones, and I know it's been an uphill battle. Thank you for your tireless advocacy, peerless editing, and especially for your transparency as you have been open with us all over the years, learning from your mistakes and leading us with courage. I'm so proud of what She Writes Press has become in such a short period of time. Thank you for coming to me with your vision for a new kind of publisher!!!