The answer to this question depends on how much confidence you have in your book or writing skills, what does $8,500 mean to you, and what better use you could have of that amount? If you are turning to, She Writes Press or any other publisher that demands handsome upfront money from you, chances are you are either a first-time author or a parent to a first-time author. Previously published authors whose books were well received mostly look for traditional contracts, even if they self-published their first books.
It takes a lot for a traditional publisher to trust a first-time author. Not a piece of cake. Even if you have a college degree to become a novelist or author, you must be exceptionally talented to be accepted by a traditional publisher as a first-time author. Your chances further slim down if you are a woman. We all know how magical Harry Potter books were, but J K Rowling was rejected a dozen times, and after searching for a publisher for an entire year, Bloomsbury finally agreed to publish her book. However, even the 13th publisher insisted that she should not use a name reflecting her gender as a woman.
It is also worth noticing that many seasoned authors or celebrities refuse the traditional contracts they are offered and instead opt to self-publish just because they know they have what it takes to sell the books and make money out of it, so they don’t wish to share the royalties or control with a traditional publishing company. She Writes Press is also a good option for such candidates as they can get professional-level editors and advisors at their service without sharing their profits.
Why would I be recommending SHE WRITES PRESS?
There are multiple reasons for it.
- Feminist approach
- Traditional distribution through Ingram Publishers services
- Nationtional Press tours
1. Feminist Approach
In a publishing world where authors like J K Rowling are encouraged to use initials to mask the fact that they are female, I feel there is a dire need for publishers who publish female authors exclusively and celebrates the creative skill women possess. It’s an achievement that in the past 8 years, She Writes Press has published 500 female authors so far.
The publishing company is willing to offer a chance to female authors solely on the merits of their writing alone.
She Writes Press is fairly transparent about what the publication company charges and what services they offer in return. Here is an image from their website detailing everything. It is very rare for a hybrid publisher to introduce the packages with prices outright on their website.
In 2019, She Writes Press was charging $7,500, and in a year, it has increased the charges for its services to a whopping $2000. I acknowledge that $ 9500 is a huge amount and not everyone can perhaps afford it, but there is a nice long list of services they are offering in exchange for it. Not to mention you get what you pay for. They are most likely also offering other packages suited to the author’s needs.
3. Nationtional Press tours
Crystal Patriarche, CEO of SWP, shared with Publishers Weekly that biannually company arranges for authors to go on national press tours twice per year and have access to webinars and other educational tools.
So She Writes Press recommends hiring a publicist (which means additional cost), acknowledging their packages’ lack of marketing services. Unlike many, it is amazing how open and transparent they are about their shortcomings.
I have found some very positive words about them on the publisher’s weekly website here.
However, She Writes Press still needs to develop a network of bookstores to store their authors’ books. As defined by IBPA, it is the responsibility of a hybrid publisher to market the bookshelves and ensure that printed books hit the shelves of reputable bookstores.
4. For whom it is suitable?
She Writes Press works on a hybrid publishing model, which is a controversial and confusing subject. Before you decide on hybrid publishing companies, run a background checkup and look for first-hand reviews. If you are offered a contributory or partnership contract, run your numbers first. Of course, it feels great to be offered an advance from a traditional publisher, and it’s a vote of confidence. But the vote of confidence is not enough because, fortunately, or unfortunately, that’s not how the publishing world operates. Some of the much-anticipated books fail on markets, and some do amazingly well after receiving hundreds of rejection letters.
Hybrid Publishing is suitable for someone serious about writing and can churn up a lot of content. For example, who plans to write multiple books on a topic or a sequel of a novel? In such a case, numbers do not favor traditional authors, and publishing through a hybrid publisher could pay well. After all, who pays who, and what is the difference between traditional and hybrid publishers?
Considering that the company was only conceived in 2012, it still has a long way to go.