Brooke Warner & She Writes Press - Why Go Hybrid? Ep. 2
I interviewed Brooke Warner in a previous Women in Publishing Summit about why she started She Writes Press and about Hybrid presses. This is a great interview opening doors to other routes to publishing.
Brooke Warner, of She Writes Press, talks about the world of publishing from a traditional standpoint, and why this led her to start the Hybrid Press for Women, She Writes Press.
[00:00:00] spk_0: the publisher podcast episode to welcome back to another episode just briefly. I wanted to let you know that over the next few episodes I'm going to be taking previous interviews from the women in Publishing Summit and posting them here. The content was so rich and just really provided some great information, and I thought this would be a great way to kick off our podcast, especially since we're in the final stages of preparing for the March 2021 Women in Publishing Summit. If you aren't registered, head on over Tow women in publishing summit dot com and make sure you at least sign up for more information and the free track. But definitely check out what we have going on for full conference holders. All right. With that in mind, please enjoy Episode two. Welcome to the published Her podcast. A place where you can come to get inspiration, motivation, help, encouragement and Support in your journey to write, published and sell Your book hosted by Alexa Bigwarfe. Because I've been where you've e and I felt what you're feeling Welcome. I'm super excited with someone I consider a mentor and friend Brooke Warner who is the publisher of she writes press, president of Warner Coaching Inc and author of Green Light. Your Book and What's Your Book? She is the former executive editor of Seal Press and currently sits on the boards of the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Book Festival and the National Association of Memoir Writers. She writes monthly column for Publishers Weekly and blog's actively on Huffington post books, and shewrites.com So she knows just that teeny, tiny bit about publishing books. Welcome book. Thank you for being with us.
[00:02:02] spk_1: Thank you for having me.
[00:02:03] spk_0: Um, yeah. I mean, I don't even know really where to go from. It's kind of like we could talk about a million different things, but really, I I would like to just kind of get started with you have obviously a very extensive background in the publishing in traditional publishing. And then you decided toe launch. She writes, press what was kind of your your reason for doing that? Why did you feel it needed to be in our world?
[00:02:31] spk_1: When I started, she writes press. I honestly had I would say I didn't have such huge ambitions For what it was gonna become. It really had a life of its own almost immediately. And so I had already been working at a well at the traditional press I worked at. It was a women on Lee Press, so I had this experience working exclusively with women authors for the previous eight years. And I loved working in that space and then simultaneously I was rejecting really good book on. That was there was this mix of things going on. It was the rejection of books that I wished we could have published, and the rejection really was based on the lack of authority platform. The author wasn't bringing to the table. Ah, fan base or they you know, they didn't have all the things that you need to have to be attractive to a traditional publisher. But the books themselves deserve to be published. And then there was this explosion, which is still happening of self publishing and people being excited about self publishing and wanting more control, and then simultaneously this sort of negative energy going on in the publishing in the traditional publishing world that I was starting to feel uncomfortable with. So it was this convergence of things that I thought. Okay, well, I'm just going to start this press, she writes press on my new KMI Wykoff, who already had she writes dot com at the time. And so it was not just like, Oh, I'm going to start this thing It was Oh, she writes dot com exists. It's this huge platform for women writers, and I really stepped into something that was already pretty big and had a loyal following, and it was a natural fit for us to have this publishing arm. And so it's been just over five years now, and it has far exceeded my expectations of what it was gonna be. But those were the reasons, and I just thought it would be exciting to be able Thio give publishing contracts based on the writing alone, which was really always the mandate. Um, and you know, we can talk about hybrid publishing and what that is. But that goal was really important for me and Cammy and, you know, and and it's continued to fuel our mission.
[00:04:48] spk_0: Absolutely. And yes, I do want you to explain hybrid publishing for sure, to our to our audience. I know it. Z working in the writing industry. I hear so many people say I just wanna be traditionally published and I, you know and I have never written a book and I've never done anything to build my platform. But I have this great thing. I just know I'm going to get picked up in published. Well, what is the truth behind that? And then why does hybrid publishing provides such a great answer to that,
[00:05:17] spk_1: Right, Yeah, I mean the truth. Unfortunately, behind those kinds of statements, which I also hear all the time, is that it's incredibly unlikely eso people will come to me and just say I have something that is so unique, so different, that's never been done before. People tell me this. People tell me that I'm gonna be the next New York Times bestseller. There's all the There's all this hype around what people's expectations are. Interestingly, I think more than half the time, those authors are also struggling from crises of confidence. There's like this interesting, symbiotic thing going on where people are both like my book is the best ever, and it's the worst ever on DSO. It's this kind of weird thing in the publishing world. But yeah, the reality is, if you don't have an author Paul platform, which means all kinds of things, it means a social media following. It means a great website. It means that you're putting content out into the world in a regular way. Um, you know what publishers want. Ah, lot. They have high expectations. At this point, you should have a Ted talk. You should have a podcast. You should have, you know, whatever it is, and and all of that stuff really matters. And so people who are coming and just being like, I don't have anything, You know, I'm not even on social media. I don't have a website. I just have a great book. I have so little hope that those people will ever get a traditional publishing contract. And so because of that, what she writes press aspires to do. And I think it is great is that we're not based on any of that. I mean, someone could easily come to us and say, I have a really great book. I have no social media presence, no website, no anything. And what we do is we assess the book and If in fact, they do have a great book, then what we're also offering is an opportunity to build platform because a book build a platform on author once they have a book can should do social media website etcetera. But the way that our press has evolved and it didn't start this way, you know, when we first started, I didn't have a name for it. A lot of people were calling it Partnership Publishing, and it evolved into hybrid because that is the name that I like the most. It suited what we were doing. It really is a hybrid between self publishing and traditional publishing, and also the industry latched onto that term. And so when we started getting coverage, when I started writing about what we were doing, the industry locked in on Okay, this is hybrid, and the reason it's hybrid is because it's a gray zone between self publishing and traditional publishing, and in that zone are a lot of us. You know, there's so many hybrid publishers, as you know, you're one of them. Um, and we we have different publishing models, you know, not everybody's models are the same. And so the she writes. Model does charge a fee to publish, and we offer high royalties on the tail end. And we have traditional distribution and we vet our projects. And those are some of the qualifications for us of what makes the hybrid press.
[00:08:20] spk_0: Yeah, and you know, it's interesting because a lot of people, in fact, I just had somebody post this comment in a in my group the other day. They were like, People keep telling I love it when anything starts with people, keep telling me I'm always like, Whoa, what's about to happen here? People keep telling me You should never pay toe have your book published and I was just, like, deep breath. Okay, let's talk about this for a minute. But I am super glad that you've taken on the platform of really explaining what it means, because when you break it down to the fact that it costs a lot of money to publish a book, and publishers are don't want to take that risk on someone that they know can't sell a book. So it makes perfect sense that you would enter into a partnership where you both assess the risk and you're both willing to take a little bit of that risk. Um, but I'm really glad that you've led the way and kind of explaining that and making it clear to people that paying for your not you're investing in your product. You're saying, you know, I I believe in this product and that I know that it can get out there and then committing to building the platform as you build it, instead of just waiting for 10 years until it's to the point where you could potentially get published by a traditional. But I love that, um, is there anything else you want to tell people about hybrid press before we move on to some of the other many things I want
[00:09:41] spk_1: to piggyback on what you're saying? You know, the reality of the publishing world is different than it was even 10 years ago. And so I think one thing that people with this mentality from a decade plus ago have is solution never pay to publish. At one point I think that was a true statement. Not anymore. And people have to evolve with the times and see the changing face of the publishing industry and also the fact that traditional publishers choices are really being driven by publicity and marketing and platform and not by content. And so as a result, we have a paradigm shift. And so people who want to say Oh, you should never pay to be published are not recognizing the paradigm shift their back in some old world of publishing. And meanwhile, you know, if you continue on with that mentality, you will never get
[00:10:30] spk_0: published. Yeah, that's very true. So, well, before we leave the she writes press topic, what is the process? Then walk us kind of through what it would be like to work with the hybrid publisher?
[00:10:43] spk_1: Well, for I mean, I can only speak to us, and I'm sure different from from publisher to publisher in terms of what the processes. But I really did, you know, basically take the steel press model and kind of put it on top of she writes. Right? And so in our case, it's a very traditional process. The primary and principle way in which it's not traditional, is that we don't have in house publicity, So we actually are owned by a up. Interestingly, a publicity firm, you know, So Start Point Studio is our parent company and this we didn't start that way. We had a merger about three years in. So now we have this publicity arm. But it's different than a traditional publisher because in a traditional house it would all be kind of under the same umbrella. And she writes press, we don't require anyone to hire our publicity arm. They can. And so the publishing process itself, however, is very much like the traditional process. Like the manuscript comes in, you get a project manager. We shepherd the book all the way through the process. We have a submissions process, but the submissions process is also very different than traditional. Because in traditional, you you submit to the editor or an agent or whatever and then most likely either they say, you know we're not. Your book isn't right for our list. I just published something like this recently. Your platform isn't big enough. If they're being honest, Andi and then that's it, you know, whereas what we do is we take in the the submissions and then we give people a one page assessment, you know, telling them where we think there book falls, whether it's published ready, whether it needs a copy at it or whether it's not ready and it needs a developmental edit or coaching. And so what we're really efforting to do here is Thio also create education agency. Um, you know, just some kind of momentum for an author to be able to say Okay, you know, I'm getting some feedback because I think one of the hard things for authors in the traditional spaces they get no feedback and then they don't really know what to Dio. So our process is very much geared toward educating authors. We do do as much hand holding as we can. The authors also need a lot of hand holding is what I found. You know, whether they're traditionally published or not on. And then of course, you know, with the she right side, the author doesn't have thio. I mean, they have some degree of creative control, but we are doing the cover design the interior design were handling the distribution, were handling all the data. So we're also sort of standing between them and making mistakes because our brand is at risk. You know, if they are doing things that don't make sense or that sort of our don't fall into the way that the publishing system works. Then we let them know, you know, we kind of stopped and say, You know, no, you can't do that and then explain why.
[00:13:43] spk_0: Okay, Yeah, that that makes perfect sense. Um, and she writes, Press. Now you guys have There's another arm so that the public city arm, that's what I wanted to ask about. Do you recommend that everybody hire a publicist when they launch a book? I guess it depends on their goals of what they're doing with the book, but I think a lot of people really struggle with marketing.
[00:14:05] spk_1: Yeah, we dio recommend that people hire a publicist again. It absolutely you're right depends on what their goals are. And so if someone really just has a legacy project that they want to publish, that's possible. But if that were the case, you know, I would I would also question authors. Why are you publishing what she writes? Because one of the things that we have is this traditional arm and the distribution and the engine to be able to get the book out into the world. And so if you're not going to put any publicity dollars behind your book, that engine can't really run, you know, I mean, the engine can get the books out into the marketplace. But if you have a zero publicity behind your book, then the books land in the market place. And then there's no publicity to drive people to buy the book or to know about the book. So what people don't realize often, anyway, is that distribution is this really great asset that we have? And we can push books out into the marketplace, and we're very effective at that. The BookScan go to Barnes and Noble and Baker and Taylor and Amazon and independent bookstores. Then, if nothing is happening, publicity wise and no one knows about the book, those accounts can return the books and they dio and they will. And so it doesn't really make sense for us to do this massive distribution push if there's no publicity attached to the book, because the books were just all going to come back, so it's their very distribution and publicity or more connected than people tend to realize, and so that's what we tell our authors is that the more publicity you have behind your book than the more we can push the distribution
[00:15:43] spk_0: That actually leads me to another Really good question, I think because I think that when people, um, published their book on Create Space or even as an independent author through Ingram Spark and it says that the books are distributed, they automatically assume that that means their book is getting in tow. All of those places. What does it really mean to be distributed? And on what level are you actually getting as an independent author, if you can speak from that from the Ingram Spark side, at least when you just publish your book through Ingram Spark, what exactly is happening without any additional press or publicity or
[00:16:21] spk_1: right? I mean, they call that distribution, and sometimes they call it extended distribution. What that means truly is that your book is available. You know, it's like so, whereas a active distribution arrangement like the one that we have with Ingram Publisher Services, which is a division of Ingram, there's a salesforce. The salesforce goes out. They sell the book into the marketplace. They get buys, you know. So we have to provide those inventory. There's pre orders. There's all this. All of these sorts systems in place, right? And the books are actively going out into the marketplace. The minute the pub date happens, we're with self published authors who are using Create Space or Ingram Spark. I mean, these air great services, right? I'm not disparaging them in any way, but I think authors think that they're getting what I just talked about. And that is not what you're getting. You know what is happening is your book will be available on Amazon and other channels, you know, for people to purchase. Um, but like if a bookstore wants your book, someone would have to go in and say, I want this title and the bookstore would look, And as long as you publish on Ingram Spark, it will be available in their system toe order, and then they can place in order for a single book. But if you haven't set the right discounts if you haven't made it returnable, you know all these other things the bookstore may well be like, Well, we're just not gonna order that book on DSO mostly if you're self publishing the your book is not getting into Certainly not into bookstores, um, and beyond that, then not into libraries, which is a major market for she writes on DE. So where it's available is basically online retailers.
[00:18:01] spk_0: Yeah, I think that's a huge distinction to be made as well, especially when people say, Well, why would I, you know, pay to publish or go through a publisher house like this when I can just put it out the same places all by myself. But in reality, you're not, especially if you're not out there doing the sales of traveling around and getting into places like that. So that's a great distinction. So we're gonna switch gears just a little bit here because I would really like to talk to you. You are also an author, coach and a writing coach and Annette expert in memoirs. Um, I get the question a lot from people, or they say they're going to write their memoir, and then it's more like a self help book where they're kind of coaching people or something. What what makes a great memoir and, um, to follow that up and I can remind you, if you forget by the time you answer, this is the distinction between, like a nonfiction self help versus and
[00:18:59] spk_1: no more. Well, yeah, to start with the first question, uh, what makes a great memoirs story, Right? So a memoir is really a story, and it's also a slice of life. It's not your whole life. It's not your autobiography. Eso Oftentimes I have students all the time who are, in essence, writing autobiographies without realizing that they're doing so. It's not to say that memoir can't cover a long period of time, you know, even 40 50 years. But in that case it should be thematic. And so what memoir offers for the reader is what I teach is take away. You know, something that lands with you is the reader something that is meaningful for you, that you're reading someone's story and you might see something about the human condition in that story that resonates with you? Because otherwise why would you keep reading? You know, we're really not just reading because we're peeping Toms into other people's lives. Unless you're reading celebrity memoir, right, because a celebrity memoir, you might be like, Oh, I want to just see what happens because these people are famous. But for people who aren't famous, it's really about connection. It's about heart connection. So that's what a memoir aspires to do. And it tells a good story, and it sheds light on something interesting. Um, and it leaves you feeling like you know, you've been touched, maybe, or you see the world a little bit differently as a result. Or maybe it truly helps you, you know, like it's lots of memoirs are about surviving sexual abuse or domestic abuse or, you know, growing up in a dysfunctional family. Then as a reader, if you experience those things, you might really feel like, sort of, Ah, symbiotic, you know, healing process going on just from the act of reading those books. So that's what I think memoir does and its purpose. Um, one of the reasons I think that people are getting confused about self help and memoir these days is because of the publishing industry. You know, like the publishing industry wants these memoirs toe have takeaways and increasing. We're seeing people doing these hybrid versions of memoirs because I think because the publishers air saying you have to have self help elements in your memoir so that it's more prescriptive, you know, so that that there's a reason for the book that is helpful to the reader. Um, as I was just saying, I mean, I think that should just happen, you know, because the memoir is a good story, but that said, it's more salable. Self help books are more assailable, and so publishers want that self help component. And so you know, a self help book is prescriptive. It's like Do this. This is what you know. Here's some ideas here some, you know, regimens and steps that you can follow on. A memoir, of course, is really story. But there is an intersection, you know. And a lot of people felt like Love Warrior, for instance, which is sort of the latest bestselling memoir with self help elements to it. You know that that's like maybe a good example, because she is offering a lot of, you know, ways to be ways to be a warrior, basically, you know, ways toe not take any shit and you know, like her process through that. So it's very much a memoir, but it has these very prescriptive elements on DSO a true self help book could have story in it, but it wouldn't be story driven, you know, it would be more sort of self help driven on. Then a true memoir is gonna be more story driven, but I think increasingly we're going to see overlap between these two genres.
[00:22:33] spk_0: Yeah, that's that's interesting. I know a lot of women who are writing these. They start out to be self help books, and then as they go through it, they're like, Well, I really feel like I need to include more of my story so that I can connect with people and I think it makes a better self help book to. But I sure do love a good a good one, like the Glass Castle or Wild or something like that, where it's nothing, but it's almost like reading a fiction book. It's so well done
[00:23:00] spk_1: exactly. And I love those kinds of books, too. And I think that women who are starting to write a self help book and then they start to add themselves in is awesome because really, what that does is it establishes you as, ah, voice of reason. Uh, voice of expertise and then the more that you can trust your reader with your own story, the more they trust you to be like. Okay, this is why you know your stuff. So I think that's why you're seeing also a lot more personal stories showing up in self help.
[00:23:29] spk_0: Uh huh. So everybody wants to write a book. What are some of the things that you think will help people distinguish themselves so that they do write a book that people will actually buy? Is it through author coaching? Is it through taking classes and running classes? Or what? What can people do? I suppose the question is, Thio write a great book.
[00:23:53] spk_1: Well, there's writing a great book, and then there's distinguishing yourself, which, you know, E. I think they are separate because you can really hunker down and write a great book, you know, like and you should you should learn your craft. You should take classes. You shouldn't let a lot of people read it and get feedback, you know, And like, really follow this process of, you know, your first draft is not going to be the book that you published. So there's all of these things that need to happen, and writing a book is a journey. Eso then distinguishing yourselves a whole other ball of wax just because it is getting increasingly the case. Like you said, You know, everybody wants to publish a book. They're probably more people writing books than reading books. Um, and that is a problem. So I think, to distinguish yourself, that's where the author platform stuff comes in. And it's why publishers air so obsessed with it. You know, you really do have to hang your shingle. You have to talk about your issues and what you care about and engage conversation. And where does that happen? It happens online, you know? Yeah, you can go and, like, definitely, you know, talk to your local library in or, you know, whatever it is. But you can't get those gigs at a library or ah, community event or a bigger stage. Thio, you know, spread your message if you don't have a book. So it's this crazy thing. I often call it the Catch 22 of publishing that to build a platform, you kind of have to have a book and and then, you know, toe get a book. The publisher is saying, Well, you have to have a platform. And so I think that's where self publishing and hybrid publishing are really offering these massive opportunities to people and then Thio, you know, to keep engaging these conversations and remember that it's not about you. You know, it's it's about your readership and what they care about. And if you're engaged in stuff, you know, conversation and then you're being a thought leader about it rather than I just want to talk about myself, you're gonna have a following
[00:25:45] spk_0: right. And I think it's kind of funny because I think a lot of times people write the book that they think people want, and in reality it's something completely different,
[00:25:55] spk_1: right? It can be for sure. Yeah, and I think it's That's why it's important to have coaches and editors and classes. I think sometimes when people are writing in such a bubble, and especially because I do memoir, I see this happening a lot. You know that. It's like what is in what is for the reader in all of this, you know, and it's okay to write for yourself, You know, that is a good and important exercise. But at some point, you have to turn that lens outward because I've read these, you know, really self indulgent projects that I'm just like I don't You know, I I don't think that this is gonna find its readership. And if the writer can hunker down and be like, OK, I want to make some changes and figure this out, they can have that same story. It just has a broader lens.
[00:26:43] spk_0: Yeah, that's exactly right. And, writers, you need to have thick enough skin to be able to accept these kind of this kind of feedback to, uh and Brooke is great at giving. Very good. Very good feedback. Okay, so I guess, um, you know, everybody's all always about Okay. I'm going to write this book, and I'm going to become a best seller, and I'm gonna be on the New York Times list and all of those kinds of things. What? What? What does it take to get there? What is the New York? What does that
[00:27:14] spk_1: New York
[00:27:15] spk_0: Times bestseller? What does that translate to? Is it a number of books sold? Is it? How do you get
[00:27:20] spk_1: a number of books sold? Actually I mean, it's a number of books reported through certain outlets. E think its's. I'm not sure anymore who all those outlets are, but their traditional outlets, you know, they're sold through the register kinds of books. I think Amazon may well be included in that, but their traditional outlets like Barnes and Noble, Amazon and independent bookstores So you obviously have to be pushing made massive amounts of physical copies through bookstores, which you essentially can't do is a self published author on DSO, their most authors who experience any kind of, you know, best seller dumb. If we can call it that, get you know, at some point they've gotten traditional distribution, and I've seen that happen. You know where it's this one single, self published author whose books is whose book is just going gangbusters and they don't know what to do, and they realize it's time to get a print run. And then, in order to get a print run, they wanna have distribution and they wanna have warehousing. And so they're absolutely stories of people who have been able to do that that have kind of hit a nerve, and then usually what you see is people like that getting a NAWF for from a traditional house, you know, someone swooping in and saying, Oh, my gosh, because they realize that this book is selling well and then someone will swoop in and take it and essentially repackage it so that kind of thing definitely happens. You know, there are people who springboard like that. Um, but yeah, I mean it. Books take off for all kinds of different reasons. And, you know, if it were ah, formula, then the Big Five would have that nail down in every book would be a seller, but it's just not on. It is, you know, definitely about the number of sales, but it's also about these publicity campaigns, and it's about word of mouth. And it's about, um, you know, often it's also about these reps that I was talking about the reps that sell books into the marketplace when they truly champion a book. It's pretty amazing what can happen, you know, And that's all behind the scenes. You know, authors don't see that they don't know what's going on, but I see that kind of stuff all the time because I go to sales conferences and you know there will be buzz around certain books. And then if those books get great reviews and then they're being championed by the reps and then they win awards and you're seeing everywhere, you know, that's the kind of, like snowball effect that can really results not only in tremendous sales, but eventually that cellar eso
[00:29:44] spk_0: Is it possible for someone? I mean, you just mentioned. Like how if a book really takes off just kind of organically, But is it possible for someone who self publishes a book, Thio get that kind of book by distributors without having gone through a distributor? How I guess the question I'm asking is, How would someone who self published get that kind of buzz going?
[00:30:08] spk_1: Yeah, I mean, that's a good question. I mean, it made me think that, you know, there are people who are who game the system. You know, there are people who, basically, by their way to the best seller list, who by so many copies of their own books through traditional channels like Amazon and elsewhere, which is like, really a shady practice. But people do that s o, and you also have the money to wanna like by all of your books that really you know, it just doesn't really make sense financially, but that's not what they're after clearly, but yeah, I mean, a self published author, What you really need is is reviews, you know? I mean, this is where there's such a stigma in the traditional space because self published authors don't qualify for traditional reviews and traditional reviews really do sell books. And so what I'm talking about is Kirkus Publishers Weekly, Booklist Library Journal. And so all of those places that they're saying to self published authors We don't accept you, but you can go ahead and get a review through our, you know, our paid review system. So that's fine. Those things exist, but it's very difficult to really have a breakout book if you don't have the kinds of reviews. And library sales are the result of the like getting a good review results in library sales. And so there's all this mo mentum. I mean, when I'm talking about that snowballing. If you're a self published author and you don't have any library sales and you don't have, you know the kind of capacity to push your books out in a massive way. It's it's pretty freaking difficulty, you know, like that. It happens like there is. It's not that it's unprecedented. It's just you're kind of like, you know, cut off at the knees a little bit as a self published author, because you just don't have that engine on your side.
[00:31:55] spk_0: Yeah, that makes a big difference. Um oh, wow. There's a lot to take in on all of that stuff. So I guess I would just say that if you're self published author, go find yourself a really good publicist or get in with get in with even a small house,
[00:32:11] spk_1: right? Crazy about self publishing, though, is like, oftentimes what self publishing is is a springboard. You know, I'm a huge advocate of self publishing because you have to start somewhere. The likelihood that your first book is going to be that best selling book is basically like ridiculous, you know, don't think of that. Think of that first book doing it right, getting yourself out there being really happy. If you sell like 1000 copies, you know, and then once you have that experience, then you take your second book and you go OK, Am I going to self publish again? You know, where do I want to consider press that has distribution options? Or now that I have had a successfully self published first book? Do I want to try for a small press or a traditional press? So I think one thing is just about setting expectations, because self publishing is awesome and there's so many great things about it. But if you're doing it because you want to be a New York Times bestseller, then you have to like, seriously, take a giant step back and reevaluate this industry because it's It's the long game right and you can become a best selling author. But most best sellers that I know like New York Times bestselling authors. They hit that with their 6th 7th 8th books, not with their first book.
[00:33:30] spk_0: Well, thank you for that, because I think that that's, um, people come into it with such high expectations. And then I think that you get so disappointed and you give up way before you should, so that XYZ really good to hear that. All right, so you do not have to have a New York Times bestseller. Your First Time Out the Gate. Andi Also with with sales, You know I mean 1000 books doesn't seem like a lot, but it's it's a huge amount, especially for a self published author.
[00:33:57] spk_1: It would be a real coup. Absolutely. I sold under 1000 copies of my first book, What's your book? And I'm happy with those results, you know, just thinking about Okay, so it's like something like 850 sales, but we didn't have distribution at the time, and for me, I really took it as a platform building opportunity. And that book, you know, is almost five years old now. And it still sells, you know, like you'll get a little royalty check for it every quarter, and that makes me happy. You know, it's just these and then I have published since then. So you you know, if you really want to make a career at this, you can't just be like Here's my one masterpiece and now I'm out. You know, it's like it's it's got, and that's where you know, it takes a shift in mentality a little bit, But most people they're looking at writing a lot of books you know, in continuing to publish and learning along the way. And then you know, by the time you hit your seventh or eighth book, you're going to know a lot about this industry.
[00:34:55] spk_0: So because you look at so many manuscript that are put in through, she writes press, and you work with so many different kind of authors, you know, obviously there are a lot of people publishing inthe e. It's self help. There's a lot of people publishing like the mom bloggers, those types of books things. So it getting back to the topic of distinguishing yourself like if you're if you're going into publishing into a very saturated market, like parenting or, you know something like that, what would be your advice for the first time author in trying to have a great maybe not a bestseller but toe have a great first book,
[00:35:38] spk_1: really just doing the work, you know, making sure that the book is not only soundly written, that it's been vetted, maybe by a coach. It's certainly been well edited, uh, making it as flawless as it can be, right? Not cutting corners, not rushing it. All of those things and then to make sure that it has a great cover, a great interior. You know, all of these things, Like I'm on the board, Um, you mentioned of the Independent Book Publishers Association, and we have this checklist. You know, this standards checklist now that anyone can download on I B. P. A s website and it lists all the things that make a professionally published book. And so what I always like to see with self published authors is that they've knocked it out of the park. You know that the book is indistinguishable from their traditional counterparts. Unfortunately, most self published books I see are not that, you know, and I look at it and I go, Oh, it's self published and the whole industry can do that. And so the best thing that you can do is hire people that know the industry so that your anyone like a bookseller library in, um, you know, industry people look at your book and they go, Oh, my gosh, this is beautiful. You know who published it? Not like, Oh God, it's riddled with flaws And I can tell itself published. So, like, I'm such an advocate for self published authors on this front. And sadly, you know, all the time people contact me and say, Well, you know Well, you look at my cover. Will you do this when you do that? You know, and I look at these books all the time, and it's amazing the things that people do to sabotage themselves, and they don't know, you know, and I'll just I write about that in both my books, like you don't know what you don't know. And unfortunately, in book publishing, not knowing what you don't know really has a detrimental effect on your book and your future sales and really, your whole career?
[00:37:36] spk_0: Yeah, exactly. Take it from book, Brooke. She knows this stuff. Okay, So are you still doing individual author coaching?
[00:37:45] spk_1: I am. Yeah. I mean, I I kind of get em cyclical with it, you know, obviously get a lot of a lot of, uh, queries, and so I can only take on so many clients, but I am, and I do and I really enjoy the personal coaching, but because I'm also running a press, I don't do it a lot, but I always and welcoming. I welcome people I'd love to hear from you. Andi. I also have, like a little stable of coaches, and so some I could make referrals.
[00:38:10] spk_0: That's great. Okay, so you can find Brooke. What is your your website?
[00:38:15] spk_1: It's Brooke Warner dot com. Very easy
[00:38:18] spk_0: on. If you're looking for a great place to publish through a hybrid publisher, it's she writes press and they have a ton of resource is on their site. Yes, for you to go through. Thank you so much for sharing all of that information. It's a lot. I always learn so much from you. And I appreciate you taking the time.
[00:38:38] spk_1: Yeah, thanks for having me, Alexa. And one other resource I just want to mention since we talked about memoir is my I have a White a website called Write your memoir in six months dot com on. I just wanna encourage people there because regardless of whether you're interested in taking memoir classes, we have a ton of resource is on memoir including, you know, articles and a lot of free webinars.
[00:39:00] spk_0: Yeah, and I would on that note just encourage anybody to take at least a basic writing course or something. If nothing else. It will make your editing process a lot easier and cheaper.
[00:39:09] spk_1: Absolutely. There's there's and it's fun, you know? I mean, it's exciting to learn that stuff and then see your own writing improve.
[00:39:16] spk_0: Exactly. All right. Thank you so very much.
[00:39:20] spk_1: Thanks for having me. Thank you
[00:39:33] spk_0: for joining us on the publisher podcast. We hope to see you back for the next episode. Great. Huge thanks. Goes to jasmine commerce for the use of her song. You confined Jasmine on Soundcloud. Go check out all of her music. We'll see you next time.