• Kamy Wicoff
  • If She Writes Has Meant Something To You, Please Support Me Today
This blog was featured on 08/30/2016
If She Writes Has Meant Something To You, Please Support Me Today
Contributor

Dear She Writers,

Six years ago today, June 29th, Deborah Siegel and I opened the virtual doors of this community, She Writes. Our vision was simple: in the rapidly changing, head-spinningly complex world of publishing, writers--and women writers in particular--needed a place to come together to share what they were learning, be inspired, and gather information about the craft and the business of writing. We created, in other words, the thing we needed. In the beginning, I thought we were founding an online home for off-line communities we were already part of. But in our first week we went from 40 founding members to 1,000, and today, we have more than 26,000 worldwide. There are She Writers in Italy and South Africa, Arizona and Alaska, Mexico and Dubai. Our growth amazes me, especially because it's been good growth. The site didn't exponentially explode, but expanded steadily as women serious about their craft and committed to supporting other writers continued to join us.

Every time I log on and see new members awaiting entry--as I do every day--I feel a mix of gratitude and awe. Clearly Debbie and I created not just the thing we needed, but something many thousands of others needed, too.

That being said, it's been a wild ride. In our first several years, I put heart and soul (and a lot of my personal resources) into launching She Writes as a startup seeking funding from outside investors. The team that launched us was stellar, and I'll always be in their debt--first to Debbie, of course, but also to Kathryn Gordon, Sarah Saffian, Wilson Sherwin, Gala Delmont Benatar, BK Loren, Julia Barry, Daphne Kis and Katie Weisner, as well as all the writers who contributed regularly to the She Writes blog. (They are too numerous to name!) I learned a huge amount about entrepreneurship during those years.

For a year or two after closing the door on that chapter, I kept She Writes afloat on my own with the help of several fabulous interns and community volunteers. (I will love you forever Caitlyn Levin, Isabel Fahri, Margaret Traylor, Amber West and Monica Medina!) I wasn't sure what to do next, but I was sure I couldn't let this valued and important resource go. And then, three and a half years ago, when I was just months into writing my first novel, having rediscovered my creative self after a long drought (something I wrote about in How My Writing Community Saved My Writing Life), fortune opened a window in the form of Brooke Warner and her vision for a new kind of publishing company. To add to our good luck, a year and a half after that, fellow author, friend, and She Writes member Julie Metz introduced me to the seasoned entrepreneur and publishing trailblazer Crystal Patriarche, who became our CEO. (Julie is now the Creative Director for SWP, responsible for our gorgeous cover designs.)

Deeply inspired by Brooke's determination to create a publishing model that would provide a much needed "third-way" to publish, and driven by our mission to elevate the stories and words of women, I proceeded to go all-in, turning down a traditional publishing deal (and a substantial advance) to publish with the newly minted She Writes Press. I felt strongly about putting my book where my press was, so to speak, but it wasn't an easy choice. Several of my traditionally published friends privately discouraged me from taking the risk. They expressed concern that our model was too new, and that my book's chances for success had to come first. But I couldn't see how this community could rally around me or my book if I didn't take the same risk so many talented, determined and pioneering She Writes Press authors had taken with us already. I’ve never looked back, in no small part because of the community and sisterhood I’ve found with my fellow She Writes Press authors.

As many of you know, of course, getting attention for a debut novel isn't easy no matter how you publish it. So today I'm asking you outright: if She Writes has meant something to you over these last six years, if it's lifted you up or pointed the way or given you a voice or taught you something new, it would mean the world to me if you would say thank you by buying a copy of my novel today. It’s called Wishful Thinking, as many of you know, and today, on She Writes' birthday, I'm making this birthday wish. 

Also in honor of the anniversary, I'm discounting the ebook on Amazon to $3.99 -- hopefully a price that's right! For those of you who like to hold a book in your hands, I'd be thrilled if you picked one up in your local indie or online. 

She Writes isn't about me, of course. That's the beauty of it--it's much much bigger than me, and always has been. But this anniversary takes me back to where Debbie and I started, in the living room of an apartment I moved out of years ago, holding our breaths, pushing a button, and taking a chance. I hope it's been a good ride for you, too.

Let's be friends

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Comments
  • Wonderful to see you back here Nina! That's one of the great things about this site, you can draw strength from it when you need it, and take a break when you need to, too. It will always be here when you get back. :)

  • Nina Newton

    Hi Kamy - I have just returned to the She Writes community after a few years of doing other stuff - working part-time writing and editing for a local Christian university among other things - and now I am working full-time from home doing free-lance writing and editing, so I wanted to reconnect with the community here. I love what you are doing and look forward to being more involved in supporting and promoting the She Writes community on all my social media sites. Thanks for all the hard work you've put into this project - keep up the good work! Nina Newton

  • Thank you so much Laura, Marilyn, Morgan and Michele. I appreciate it so much!!

  • Kamy, I missed the promotion, but I so wanted to get the word out about the success of She Writes, I blogged about it and will go and ask my library to buy a copy of your book!

    https://micheleberger.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/building-community-and-breaking-barriers-celebrating-she-writes-and-misty-copeland/

    You and She Writes Continue to inspire!

  • Morgan James

    What a great idea! Ask for what you want. You are on my Kindle and will be my next read. Thank you and all at She Writes for everything you do.

  • Thanks for letting us help you launch your debut novel. It's on my Kindle and I will post a review on Amazon when I'm done. 

  • Laura Brennan

    You're on my Kindle! Can't wait to read it!

  • Thank you so much everyone!!! It makes me feel so good and honestly really proud too. And knowing that the women I've become so bonded with over the last six years are supporting me and reading my words is so heart-warming. I'm glad She Writes has touched all of you and want you to know how much you've inspired me over the years too.

  • Jenni Ogden Writing

    Happy birthday She Writes! I have bought Wishful Thinking, and wish you all good things with it and all your future novels. For writers like me a long way from New York (the US, the UK, or any city or even a town!!) the She Writes community is very special. And She Writes Press, all of you, including the other She Writes authors are inspiring, supportive, fun, and turn writing from a simple obsession into a whole new companionable way of living the writing part of life. I have made so many new friends who seem much more than simply"on-line" "social net-working" friends. MUCH MORE!  So thank you and all at She Writes and SWP for your vision, determination, and generous hearts. 

  • Happy Birthday! Enjoyed the book thoroughly. Women trying to balance home and work will love it.

  • Thank you, Kamy!  I am one of those people who need to hold a book while I am reading it, so I will stop by our local Barnes and Noble to buy a copy.

  • Leza Lowitz

    Thank you so much, Kamy! Have shared! Congratulations on your new novel. This is an amazing forum that has helped so many people. Thanks to you and Deborah for your vision and hard work.

  • Stephany Levine

    Congratulations Kamy!! I have so enjoyed this email/blog - I just ordered your book from Amazon.com.  I still love to hold a book!!!!  Happy to support you and all you do.  Your information is so valuable to those of us who write.  Thank YOU!!!!

  • Yes it's available on the Nook!

  • B. Lynn Goodwin

    Congratulations. Is the book available for Nook? I don't have a Kindle.

  • Jenna Sauber

    Congrats on the six year anniversary! Buying the book on Kindle right now. Thanks for providing such a great community for women writers. I've been a member for a few years now, and really diving into it more these days as I focus on my writing more than ever before. I hope that SheWrites perhaps can become the publisher of my first book, whenever that will be! 

  • Alonna Shaw Writing

    Yay! Thanks for sticking with She Writes. 

  • Thank you so so much everyone. This means the world to me. It's so nice to feel this support coming from all of you.

  • RYCJ Revising

    Happy Birthday! It sometimes, quite frankly, overwhelms me thinking about what She Writes means to me, and the publishing industry. I think I still remember when the community hadn't quite hit 5000 members... and now 26K, WoW! For this reason I'm still holding out on how I want to package my thoughts, but in the interim of time must give Kamy a shout out for that impressive 'Hit the Road Tour' that hit Mt. Airy (Philly)!!! I have much respect for you ladies. Keep it going... 

  • Happy Birthday--and a great excuse (and reminder) for buying Wishful Thinking--just put a hold on a copy at Old Firehouse Books (indie bookstore in Fort Collins, CO) -- and FYI, something else to think of as a birthday gift, because the timing is lovely: In today's Wall Street Journal, there's an essay by She Writes Press author Ann Hedreen ("Her Beautiful Brain," 2014) on the Opinion page. Congrats on *everything,* Kamy :)

  • Happy Birthday, She Writes! I just read the first pages of your novel and found it so interesting, that I clicked and ordered. I hope you all celebrate She Writes with a yummy cake.

  • suzi banks baum

    Kamy.....ordered just now and am listening to the Dimes. This is such a great story. My writing groups will love this. Sharing more. xoxoS

  • Lisa Thomson

    Happy Birthday, She Writes! Thanks for the background on how it all started and congratulations on your book, the progress of this community and the she writes press! You've started and provided an amazing support community for us writers. When asked by my agent if I belong to a writing group my answer is "Hell ya---the largest writing group in the world". Thanks for all that you've done and do here, Kamy! Cheers.

  • suzi banks baum

    Congratulations Kamy! I will order your book now. And many thanks to all you do for us on She Writes. xoSuzi

  • Melanie Bishop

    I will purchase one, and I'm reviewing your novel in Carmel Magazine's August issue, and I will share this request on FB and Twitter and with Binders groups. Everybody needs to get on board here. Not just for Kamy, not just for Wishful Thinking, but for the spirit of She Writes and the future of She Writes Press.