Brooke Warner has an answer to traditional publishing

Brooke Warner to discuss her 'brave new' answer to traditional publishing at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival

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  • Brooke Warner (Photo provided)

“Green-lighting your own work is a bigger act of courage than waiting around for someone else's 'yes.' Pay attention to what makes you feel more alive. Legitimacy cannot be bestowed. You have to take it.”
Brooke Warner

By Marilyn Rosenthal

— Brooke Warner is a “green-lighter." That's someone who pursues a creative life on their own terms instead of just waiting around for the traditional powers-that-be in publishing, which rely on an author or composer's fame or beauty, or the commercial viability of their work.

Warner’s viewpoint will provide a counterpoint to the others on the publishing panel "Words Won’t Die: The Brave New World of Publishing" at The Milford Readers and Writers Festival, with publisher Jane Friedman and author Julie Barton, on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Milford Theatre.

“Green-lighting your own work is a bigger act of courage than waiting around for someone else's 'yes,'" said Warner. "Pay attention to what makes you feel more alive. Legitimacy cannot be bestowed. You have to take it.”

This green-lighter left traditional publishing after 16 years to co-found She Writes Press in 2012. Her mission is to encourage writers achieve their goals

She also does writing coaching and professional publishing consulting. And she is chair of the Independent Book Publishers Association.

She Writes Press deals specifically with women writers. It is a new type of publishing in a new era in the industry. Warner calls it “hybrid publishing.” It is not a vanity press, where anyone can have their book published as long as they pay for it. And it is not a traditional press, where more attention is paid to commercial marketability, to whom you know, and to how famous you already are, according to Warner.

Warner and her staff review a submission on the basis of its content and its quality. The author contributes $5,900 to the cost of the publication and receives 60 percent of sales of print books and 80 percent of sales of ebooks. And the press provides the copy editing and distribution. Content editing, if needed, is extra.

As of 2015, She Writes Press reached a huge milestone, signing its 100th author.

“We are a mission-driven, female-run company with a strong vision, passion, and work ethic," Warner said. "Our roster of impressive, accomplished authors speaks for itself, and we’re proud of being an industry game-changer.”

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