Kamy Wicoff and I, Brooke Warner, are thrilled to have the opportunity to speak this coming Friday, November 2, at NAMW’s Fall Telesummit about publishing, and the changing face of publishing. How timely, given the news that the merger between Random House and Penguin is official, and last week’s announcement that Simon & Schuster is restructuring its adult publishing division.  

Kamy and I bring two distinct perspectives to the call—she as an author-turned-entrepreneur who’d had the kind of tough experiences with traditional publishing that tend to turn authors onto self-publishing; me as a publishing veteran who’d been witnessing the changes to the industry with optimism rather than the sky-is-falling attitude common among many of my colleagues.

Kamy’s vision for SheWrites.com, which she founded in 2009 with Deborah Siegel, was to create a community of women writers supporting one another. What a dream! And what a success! Today, SheWrites.com boasts well over 20,000 members. This summer, on the third anniversary of She Writes, we launched She Writes Press, to provide women writers with a publishing option that gives them the freedom, control, and financial rewards of investing in their own books up front, without sacrificing the credibility and status that comes with publishing under a highly selective imprint.

Kamy and I feel that the momentum and action in book publishing is not with the traditional presses. We are excited about the possibilities for She Writes Press, but also about the shake-up in traditional publishing in general. As traditional publishers take fewer and fewer risks, more authors will be freed up to make decisions that are best for their books and their readers. One of our goals is to contribute in a positive way to the changes already being seen in self-publishing, and to offer women writers a new platform and the promise of a successful publishing experience.

No matter where you enter into the publishing equation, it’s important to know your options, and to check your expectations. We hope we can provide you some perspective, and talk to you about why we are so passionate about community and building a platform for women writers.