Christine & Deborah Are Bringing More Women And Cultural Inclusivity To Publishing
Christine Bronstein is a graduate of the Columbia/UC-Berkeley executive MBA program, a member of the honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, and also a graduate of Emerge California. She was the CEO of one of the few women-run venture-backed health and fitness companies in the nation for eight years and was president of a child-welfare foundation for three years. She is founder of Nothing But the Truth, LLC.
Editor, co-publisher of All the Women in My Family Sing, Deborah Santana has a master’s degree in philosophy and religion with a concentration in women’s spirituality. She is founder of Do A Little, a nonprofit that serves women and girls in the areas of health, education and happiness. In 2005, she published a memoir, “Space Between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart.”
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
It started with one anthology five years ago. We were not super happy with how publishers wanted to market the anthology that was about positive female connection, so we decided to publish it ourselves. Since then we have made over two hundred women into published authors through our anthologies, memoirs, self-help, and children’s books as well as publishing many well-known names.
Our latest anthology All the Women in My Family Sing, inspired us to refocus the mission of Nothing But The Truth Publishing. Our evolving mission has provided great inspiration not only in business, but in our personal lives as well.
Tell us about your business.
Nothing But The Truth Publishing is an independent publishing house focused on diverse female authors and invested in creating cultural inclusion in all aspects of the publishing process. We publish non-fiction and children’s books, with a focus this year on inclusive publishing processes and promoting voices that are too often marginalized.
Our latest anthology All the Women in My Family Sing is the only book we know of that was created entirely by women of color, including the writing, editing, cover art, cover design and promotions. This anthology has been widely read and extremely well reviewed.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Follow us on Instagram to not miss out on any giveaways!
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Step one was research and step two was executing what we had learned. We created an LLC in tandem with our first title and had our first book launch party in October of 2012.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
We have several pillars to our marketing strategy including events, advertising, influencer outreach and partnerships, social media, and PR. I think the most successful of these are our events where we can connect with readers in person and our influencer partnerships where we connect online with like-minded book reviewers/bloggers and create relationships.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Deadlines! Not many people realize that books take a very long time to create and promote, and there are so many deadlines to be completed by many different people throughout the process.
There are editing deadlines, layout deadlines, distribution deadlines and marketing deadlines (just to name a few) that are all dependent on independent contractors in our case. If just one of these contractors does not meet a deadline, it throws off the whole production schedule. Trying to manage different people’s work styles without getting too reactive is an ongoing challenge.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Breathing, trusting and being solution oriented. It often means that we have to take on the work ourselves and extend our work days. We are currently building a reliable and deeper team of consultants to help in these situations.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
By grounding into the great work we have done and by focusing on the bigger picture of what we are trying to achieve. There are not many executives in publishing who have an intention to include the voices of women or women of color, so we push through challenges by remembering our higher goal.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Publishing is a very large and competitive industry. It is bigger than the movie industry and the music industry, both in the U.S. and abroad. It is dominated by 5 big players. There are thousands of smaller independent publishers like us cropping up, but the big 5 run the majority of the publishing world.
We distinguish ourselves by being mission driven. We are working hard to shine a light on the fact that over 80% of those working in publishing identify as white. We need cultural inclusivity throughout the publishing process, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is better for business. We are working to prove this one story and one book at a time.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
To submit a proposal to attend the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in March 2019 to further promote the idea of inclusion of the voices of women of color in publishing and educational institutions.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
To have a stringent business plan that includes your dreams and goals for the enlightenment of all beings, not just for personal gain.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Dropbox, Google docs, and email – we would not be able to work remotely with all of our contractors, authors, and distributors without these communication tools.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The article “Where is the Diversity in Publishing” by Lee & Low Books which gave us the foundation for our expanded mission.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Our goals are to determine the most effective avenues to expand the reach of our books and to draw attention to women of color authors.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.