Vanilla Heart Publishing’s Kimberlee Williams on the Changing Face of Publishing

In the final day of the Independent & Small Press Month Celebration, Kimberlee Williams of Vanilla Heart Publishing wanted to discuss the changing face of the industry.  Her publishing firm is based in Washington state and has a full title lineup of books for publication through the Summer 2011.

In addition to the ebook catalog and the Kindle lineup of books, the publisher Website also lists events with its authors.  Please do take some time to explore the events and check them out if you are in the area.  Without further ado, please welcome Kimberlee.

Happy Small Press and Independent’s Month! My name is Kimberlee Williams, Managing Editor/Chief Cook and Bottle Washer at Vanilla Heart Publishing, and I would like to talk to you today about the changing face of publishing and why small and independent presses are so much a part of those changes.

I’m certain that you have all heard the amazing story of Amanda Hocking, about Borders not paying their vendor/suppliers and filing bankruptcy, (Borders UK went bust last year), bookstores closing right and left, on and on ad nauseum . . . well, at least it makes many of my colleagues and publishing friends nauseous. What is the good news?

The good news is that ebook sales are skyrocketing, more and more fabulous venues for book sales and book promotion are springing up each day, and the big one – authors are writing beautiful books, engaging books, in record numbers. Even better news is that if a publisher can hang in through the rough economic times, grow and develop even during the rough times, we are able to see amazing changes and progression into the new age of publishing.

How does a small publisher thrive in times like these? By taking risks. By persevering. By adapting. By learning new technology, software, and techniques. By promoting and developing great authors and great novels. By expanding their publishing house. Yes, all those things are what make for a delightful adventure, instead of a frightening future.

A few of my publisher cohorts aren’t able to adapt, or aren’t willing to accept that “the times they are a changin’”. Most are more than willing and capable of doing whatever it takes to get through the rough patch and make it work for both themselves and their authors. That is the way to go, if you ask me!

Thanks, Kimberlee, for participating in the celebration!

About the Publisher:

Vanilla Heart Publishing is an independent publisher, providing traditional publishing services to the authors we select. Vanilla Heart Publishing will never charge a fee to any author.

Since our beginnings in late 2006, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a select group of authors, growing our title list from the initial three books to over 80 by late 2010, and expecting an even hundred fabulous novels in our catalog by mid-summer 2011.

Vanilla Heart Publishing does not accept all manuscripts we receive, in fact, we publish only a small percentage of submitted manuscripts to maintain a title list of the highest caliber, but we will respond to all queries and all requested manuscript submissions.

All Vanilla Heart Publishing’s books are professionally edited, proofed, and formatted to both electronic formats and print, and provided with a professional and attractive color cover.

We contract with independent contractors for some of our ‘pieces of the puzzle’, but staying on the small side has allowed Kimberlee Williams, Managing Editor and CFO of VHP, to maintain intimate contact with and provide support to our core group of amazing authors, as well as pursue further education and training in graphic design, industry changes, and new technology, the things that make Vanilla Heart Publishing a long-term player in the industry, even with so many changes happening every day.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the month of celebrating small and indie presses from poetry to ebook publishers.

In celebrating these publishers, I’ve learned a great deal about the various opportunities for writers to get their work in the hands of readers, but also the publishers that I haven’t been introduced to and how they struggle against the big publishing houses in a labor of love.

If we can all show them a little love and support them online and in our book purchases, I think we can expose ourselves and other readers to new voices and unique stories.

Thanks everyone for participating, celebrating, and commenting.

Next month, beginning April 1, is the National Poetry Month Blog Tour event, so do expect a plethora of poetry, poets, and fun.


  1. Kimberlee Williams, Managing Editor says:

    What a fun and amazing month of celebration, Serena! Thank you for hosting this enlightening group of authors and publishers! And, thank you, VHP authors for being the amazing talents and people you are… you rock!

  2. Wow, what a juggling act-continuing printed media and keeping up with all of the electronic formats. Take it from someone who has dipped their toe into the publishing world; my hat’s off to you!

  3. Robert Hays says:

    As a member of the Vanilla Heart authors family, I’m grateful to Kimberlee for staying the course. VHP has survived and grown primarily through her hard work and determination and her seemingly endless talents. We need more like her.

  4. Thanks for your hard work, Serena, and great job, Kimberlee!
    Melinda´s last blog post ..What a week!

  5. Thank you so much for hosting this event this month! It’s been GREAT to read what other small presses are up to, and see how authors interact with small presses.

    • Kate, thanks for following all of the posts this month. It was so much fun to put together. I hope to host this again next year with more guest posts and interviews. Let’s see where these presses are in 12 months. I think that would be a great project.

  6. Wow, I can’t believe the month is over already. I’ve enjoyed all the posts.

    It seems that it’s an exciting time for the publishing industry with small presses able to become more competitive, but I can see how hard it is to accept the changes. Even I haven’t yet accepted that fact that I will have to break down and buy an e-reader at some point. LOL
    Anna´s last blog post ..Review- The Matchmaker of Kenmare by Frank Delaney

    • I’m with you on the ereader thing. Not sure I want to go down that road, though I’m beginning to realize that would mean less moving boxes for me.