This blog was featured on 08/30/2016
It's About Time: She Writes Press!

Today I am thrilled, proud and downright giddy to announce the launch of a new venture: She Writes Press.

About six months ago, Brooke Warner, formerly the Executive Editor of Seal Press (one of my favorite presses, by the way), came to me with an idea.  What if, she asked, we started a press for authors who want to try their hand at publishing outside the traditional system, but who also want to be part of a high-quality, curated imprint?  And what if we started this press as a an offshoot of the She Writes community, so its authors could leverage the support, networks, and knowledge of She Writers from all over the world?  Authors would pay She Writes Press to edit, print and distribute their work, but She Writes Press would not publish anything that wasn't up to a high, "She Writes-y" standard.

Best of both worlds, right?

I said I was on sabbatical.  Then I said I would think about it.

And think about it I did, even as I was diving more deeply into the writing of my book.  I started to think: when my novel is finished, do I want to shop it around to publishers who will most likely give me a small advance, take all but 7.5% of the net profits from paperback sales (mine is not a hardcover sort of book), and, in return, frustrate me to no end by relying on ME to do all the hard work of promotion?  Having spent some time trying to raise venture capital for a business idea associated with She Writes, I know that no entrepreneur would ever give away such a huge percentage of her idea for so little in return.  And I was having a hard time imagining myself doing the same.  I know publishers care deeply about books; I know some authors get the kind of publicity and support that makes the tradeoff worth making.  I also know that for some authors, laying out capital from the beginning just isn't possible.  (More on that in a minute.)  But my experience publishing my first book was more like that of most authors I know: I had to bend over backwards to "sell" my book to people who stood to make a lot more money off it than I ever convincing them that I would do all the work when it came to selling it.  And do all the work I did, paying out of my own pocket for a website, an independent publicist, and my own travel as I took my book on the road.

If I'm going to invest so much time and money in my work, why not own and control it?  And if I can do it under the She Writes brand, giving my book credibility, and publish it in a supportive, community environment, giving my book reach, why not?

I couldn't think of a good reason.  

She Writes Press is not going to be a press for "other people," people who couldn't get a deal with a traditional house (which, these days, seems to have as much to do with pitching yourself to a marketing department as it does with the quality of your work).  Like She Writes, which Deborah Siegel and I created because we needed it, I am founding She Writes Press with Brooke because I need it too.  And when my novel is done, SWP is where I will go to publish it.  That said, SWP won't be the right press for everybody, and She Writes will always be here for ALL women writers, no matter how they choose to publish.

Last but not least...I could never start a venture like this without making sure we found a way to support all authors with books we love, even those without the resources to invest in their books up front.  So each year, we will choose one to two projects that we will edit, publish and distribute for free (in the spirit of what we did with The Passion Project).

And now it's time, too, for my sabbatical to end!  I will be working on my novel, of course, but I will also be blogging every other week about my adventures in writing it, and Brooke will be blogging every other week too.  More on other changes to the SW blog, and additions to our team, coming soon.

If you think She Writes Press might be right for you, please, visit the new site!  And please, tell me what you think.

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • I live this!

  • Sarah Martin Byrd

    Great news. Publishing with a personal touch. Love it.

  • This is fabulous!

  • Cindy Brown

    Congratulations, ladies. This is very exciting for SheWriters!

  • Regina Rivers

    Very Awesome...

  • Elise Daly Parker

    Very exciting. All the best to the team!!

  • Miranda Koerner

    I LOVE this!  I can't wait to submit!  And with this great community of women, how can we not succeed?

  • Thanks for this perspective, @Janet. It's an expensive undertaking, to be sure, but well worth it for what a book is and what it says about you. It's about breaking even and hopefully making a profit, but it's also about putting authors on the map. It's a calling card for speaking gigs. It's something you have as an accreditation forever. So congratulations to you for completing your own novel and publishing!

  • Janet McAdams

    Brooke & Kamy, Just to say that after doing the math re: my own novel published in April, I see that the cost of this is quite reasonable. I would be well in the black with my own book. And I agree completely with what you've explained, Brooke, that one problem with self-published books is that they can look amateurish, even when what's inside may be very strong writing.

    And by vetting the books, that is, publishing them via a reputable imprint, the books are likely to find a greater readership.

    The price did seem steep when I first saw it, and may be prohibitive to many writers, but I see that someone could easily break even with it.

  • Regina Y. Swint

    Great idea, ladies!  :)

  • Karma

    Congrats! I love Seal Press.

  • Mary Ashun

    So thrilled to hear this! Congratulations and many blessings on this most exciting adventure...

  • Amber Medina West

    How exciting! And welcome back. :)

  • I am so proud to be a part of She Writes, too.  Reading these comments has blown me away: the encouragement, support and, let's face it, the smarts, is so fabulous!  Thank you.

  • Geraldine Nesbitt

    What a great idea. I have a couple of books ready to publish and will certainly be seriously considering SWP. Thanks for bringing things to the next level!

  • Karoline Barrett

    Thank you, Brooke, for explaining your services more in detail. I appreciate it!  I do still want to consider SWP, and I will. I worked with a published author (kathryn jensen on my novel, so I know my novel is ready to go.  I have one last agent who is now looking at the full ms. If she rejects it I will ready to self-pub. Thanks again!

  • Patricia Sands

    Welcome back! It sounds like your sabbatical was extremely productive! SheWritesPress is an an exciting undertaking and I look forward to reading more about it!

  • @Karoline. The services we're providing are very comprehensive. I hadn't heard of Booklocker, but I did go check them out and they're a completely different model. We view ourselves as a hybrid model. All of our authors will be publishing under the SWP logo. We have a vetting process. I can't speak to the quality of their books, but where self-publishing is concerned, this is a big concern! Our books will be on par with traditionally published books, aesthetically and quality-wise. We understand that our cost might be prohibitive to some authors, but again, what we're offering includes quite a long list of services (including proofreading, which we require).  My personal belief is that many self-published books fail because they look and feel self-published. We are presenting an alternative to the model that you do it all yourself and upload a product that you think is good enough. Those authors who publish with SWP will have assurance that the book is ready to be published.

    To share a personal story about money, when I was shopping for website designers, I got one quote for $1,000, another for $6,000, and another for $10,000. I felt nervous about the expense, but I went with the $6,000 one. I believe it's paid off in spades, as the $1,000 one was very sparse, and the impact of my website is that it drives business. This is how I see book projects, except that the turnaround on your profit will be more immediate. For a printed book priced at $16, for instance, once you subtract the manufacturing cost and our fee you can be earning a profit of $9 or $10 a book. This means you'd have to sell between about 400 copies to break even on your expenses. If you have a high-quality book that readers see is well-designed and that's been vetted by industry professionals, my belief is that you'll see through that many copies. This is spending money to make money, and we are looking at this publishing option as an entrepreneurial endeavor.

    Thank you for raising the question and your concern, and I hope my answer will explain some of our intentions for the press and for SWP authors.

  • @Julie, thanks for sharing this with us. I think a lot of people can relate to what you're talking about.

  • Karoline Barrett

    Hi Katrina, here is the link where I found it (it won't let me copy and paste for some reason)

    Go to

    Under the SUBMIT TO SWP banner click on GET PUBLISHED

    Then a few paragraphs down click on She Publishes package

    First sentence...

  • Katrina Maloney

    never mind...found it

  • Katrina Maloney

    where are you getting the figure $3900 Karoline? I'm not seeing any price tables on the website....

  • Congratulations, Kamy and Brooke and best of luck with the new press!! 

  • As most of us don't have a choice, in that it is almost impossible to find an agent or publisher in the traditional arena, I was relieved to be able to self-publish.  I believe in my work and am just about to publish #11 (dratted editing /proofreading stage) and the best thing about self-publishing is the complete control.  Although it is extremely demanding, especially as I want my books to be as professional as possible, the lack of money dictates that I must do it all - write, edit, design the cover, publish and market.  Both Lulu and Amazon have made it possible for me to publish free, and I can only be grateful that they exist.

    I will continue to write as long as I am alive and capable, and although I may not be able to make a living from it, it is something I must do.  Yes, I think I'm a talented writer but over the years I've never been able to break into the traditional 'elite' as most rejections say the same (no new clients).  But I must write and even if it wasn't possible to self-publish, I'd still do it.

    Those who have read my work, for the most part are positive, and I am always willing to learn from the negative.  Independent writers are openly criticised (that's not to say there are not some awful books, as well as gems), but I can only admire those who try, never giving up to those in higher positions.  I fully support the self-publishing route and read and review as many Indie books as possible - sometimes to the detriment of my own writing time.

    I can only speak for myself when I say that I cannot afford 'services' so must do everything myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are many others like me.  The most difficult thing is marketing, but all I can do is my best in the 'free' arena and hope that one day others may recognise the value of my work.

    Thanks for your time - delete me if I've stepped on anyone's toes. :)

  • Karoline Barrett

    I'm disappointed in the price. $3900?? Wow. There are other (reputable) places (, for instance) which will do the same things for lots, lots less money!