1 What's your company called?
2 What do you publish?
Life-changing, paradigm-shifting non-fiction books by women, for women. We are a revolutionary imprint dedicated to finding and sharing exciting new voices and powerful messages that are being overlooked, silenced or sanitized in traditional publishing. Womancraft books are for women who are questioning the current culture and are looking for ideas, support, insight and ways to co-create a vibrant new culture, which honours the female and feminine alongside the male and masculine.
3 What's the story of the company?
We set up Womancraft in 2014, after I [Lucy Pearce] had experienced sustained success as a self-published author, and not enjoyed the experience of my long-held dream of being published by an established publisher.
As a reader I was fed up with seeing incredible writers online, writing from female experience with verve and passion, whose books were bland, pappy and watered down by traditional publishers: all sales guff and no soul. As an author I wanted creative control over my own books and a fairer share of the profits, as well as an editor who was really invested in my work. I wanted authors to get a fair share of the money.
Having been a magazine editor for six years, as well as a freelance writer, professional book reviewer and blogger, I had an insight into publishing and our potential niche. I wanted to combine the great royalties, creative control, low costs and 21st century marketing models of self-publishing with high-tech ways of working and project management and all the benefits of traditional publishing at its best: a strong editor, quality layout and cover design, a marketing team and extensive contacts, as well as the practical and emotional support that first-time authors need.
We now have authors in the US, Ireland, Australia, France, Switzerland and Portugal as well as the UK. We have built up a tremendously loyal customer base worldwide through years on social media, and have established ourselves as a respected go-to press in our genre.
4 How's business?
We started on less than a shoestring, with no capital and a young family, using our wits, experience, contacts and skills to establish ourselves. We have at least 20 times the number of manuscripts coming our way than we could ever publish. Our sales impress other more-established folk in the business.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
We make our own rules. We are doing work that we love and believe really matters: building networks of women change-makers around the globe and resourcing, empowering and connecting them. We are a human-based, not capital-based business. We are walking our talk—giving to women’s reforestation charities, women’s libraries and education projects around the world, and making our books available in developing countries via Worldreader.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Bookshops expecting to receive 50% of the sale price of a book, and totally overlooking the fact that authors and independent publishers also deserve fair payment for their work.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Know your niche well. And hone your Instagram skills!
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
We get a resource bank, which we don’t have nearly enough time to tap into as deeply as we hoped, and the reassurance that we are not on our own. We loved the IngramSpark discount too.