She Writes, an online social network of women writers all over the world, celebrated its third anniversary last week by launching She Writes Press, an imprint that will specialize in publishing work in all genres by women. The press will debut with two releases in August: What’s Your Book: A Step-by-Step Guide to Get You from Inspiration to Published by Brooke Warner, the new press’s publisher, and Off the Leash: A Woman, Her Dog, and the Road Trip of a Lifetime by Jean Whatley.
“The press is a hybrid self-publishing model for women 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,” managing editor Krissa Lagos wrote in an e-mail. She Writes Press is headed by its founder, author Kamy Wicoff, who launched She Writes in 2009, and by Warner, who, until April, served as executive editor at Seal Press, a position she held since 2004. She previously worked for four years as an editor at North Atlantic Books, a New Age publisher in Berkeley, Calif. There are five employees on staff, with another four affiliates working with She Writes staff on production and distribution. Warner will also draw from her professional contacts as needed on projects. She Writes personnel are based on both coasts.
Authors will pay She Writes Press $3,900 to proofread, edit and publish, with distribution to the trade through Seattle Book Company. An experienced team of editors will assess each manuscript submitted, and provide editorial feedback on those manuscripts accepted for publication. Books will be released in both print and e-book formats, with a POD-only option available through Lightning Source. Besides offering authors marketing tips through freelance publicist Lauren Cerand’s online webinar, “Innovative Publicity Now,” She Writes Press will promote releases both online and through a biannual print catalog mailed to book reviewers, booksellers, and media. At least one “deserving” manuscript each year will be published and marketed without cost to its author, at the discretion of the staff.
“We are committed to bringing viable projects into the marketplace,” Lagos stated, “This process will ensure the quality of our projects and ongoing list.”
“We will have very experienced eyes looking at submissions,” Warner added in a phone interview, “We’re following as much as we can a traditional publishing model, even though we’re a DIY publisher.”
Books will be published on an “as-they-come-in basis,” Warner explained, “If the book is ready, we are ready to go.” Initial print runs will average from 500-750 print copies.
Authors will receive the profits from sales on a quarterly basis, minus a percentage retained by the press which will keep 20% from the sales of print books, 15% from POD, and 15% from sales of e-books.
While membership in She Writes, which Warner describes as “Facebook for women writers,” is not a prerequisite for publication by She Writes Press, the press will solicit submissions from She Writes’ 20,000 members, who write in all genres.
“It’s the kind of community that would benefit from a DIY press,” Warner noted.