When She Writes first emerged in 2009, I knew it was something special. I’d already been acquiring books at Seal Press for five years at that point, and I’d witnessed firsthand how women writers (both in print and online) thrive in communities and environments that support and honor women’s unique perspectives, stories, and truths, so I was thrilled by the spirit and energy propelling SheWrites.com.
Having worked in traditional publishing for thirteen years, I’ve been up close and personal with the many changes happening in the industry on an almost daily basis. The explosion of self-publishing and e-publishing in recent years has been a game-changer. It’s provided authors with unprecedented opportunities to grow their platforms, to make good money selling their books, and to claim the title of published author.
I’ve had the privilege of working with traditional and self-published authors alike because of my coaching practice, Warner Coaching Inc., and recently I’ve noticed a pronounced uptick in the number of writers who are interested in bypassing traditional publishing altogether. Many of these authors have been hugely successful, largely because they have approached self-publishing as an entrepreneurial endeavor. They have hired consultants, editors, book designers, and in some cases marketing consultants or publicists. They have kept an eye on their top-notch team, and they have done very well for themselves as a result.
The key to self-publishing is publishing well. Generally speaking, traditionally-published authors have a team behind them to make sure that they don’t make any mistakes along the way, to give guidance, and to ultimately to bring their book into the marketplace. Increasingly, however, traditionally-published authors are getting less and less support. There is less hands-on editorial work happening at traditional presses, and marketing and publicity expectations are falling on authors’ shoulders. As a self-published author, as long as you have the right team in place, you may end up with a very similar kind of publishing experience, except you get to keep 70% of the profits on your net sales rather than the 7.5% that traditional houses pay out in standard royalties (which they only do after your book sales recoup your advance monies).
Kamy and I have come together on She Writes Press to create a unique offering in the rapidly changing marketplace. There are many self-publishing options now, but too many of them leave you out on your own, scrambling to figure out what to do. Too many self-published authors make easily avoidable mistakes. There are other hybrid models out there, too, but none of them offer the same kind of submissions process we’ve conceptualized, or the built-in community and sisterhood that She Writes Press gets from the She Writes community.
We know that She Writes Press will not appeal to all of our members. Replacing all other publishing channels is not our purpose here. We will continue to support traditionally-published authors, as we always have, and champion all authors in our community, whether they publish with us or elsewhere. But we also know that the barriers to traditional publishing are getting higher every day. Today, an author’s platform is valued more than the quality of her work. As true book lovers, we want She Writes Press to be the kind of press where authors feel that their style, sensibility, and voice is paramount. We want to help authors grow their platforms and increase their visibility on their own terms. And we hope that some traditionally-published authors will want to see what it looks like on the other side, too, following the lead of many other veteran authors who are opting to self-publish for reasons ranging from frustration with the publishing industry to the desire to have more control over their work to wanting to keep more of their profits.
Along with Kamy, I, too, will be publishing my own book on She Writes Press. I’m pleased to announce that I finished What’s Your Book? A Step-by-Step Guide to Get You from Inspiration to Published Author just this week, and I’m so happy that my timing happened to coincide almost precisely with the launching of She Writes Press!
Because I knew and believed that She Writes was the future when I first discovered it, it gives me great pleasure to be involved in the game-changing venture I know She Writes Press will become. I’m grateful to Kamy and Deborah Siegel for having brought She Writes into the world—and I invite all of you to visit the She Writes Press site to explore. Please send any questions to our team at email@example.com.
Thank you, and I look forward to getting to know many of you better!