Valerie Brandes, Founder and Publisher at Jacaranda Books

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Valerie Brandes is an editor and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in book trade and an MA in Publishing.

Born in London, Valerie started her career as a book seller for Barnes and Noble in the United States after completing a degree in American and Commonwealth Arts. Passionate about inclusivity, diversity and social justice, she founded Jacaranda Books in 2012 — an independent publication house with the purpose of bringing diverse voices to the publishing industry, that has to date, published over 24 titles.

Discover more about Valerie in her own words, through the following statements. 

I take responsibility for my choices.
— Valerie Brandes

I am a mother, a wife, the ever humble daughter of a razor sharp nonagenarian, lover of James Baldwin’s literature and politics, proud “Hackney Girl” and unapologetically ambitious for and passionate about my beloved Jacaranda Books.

I revel in the written word, especially if the words are James Baldwin’s or Toni Morrison’s, or Annie Proulx’s or Thomas Hardy’s; and in the editorial process especially if the author is receptive.

My work / creativity enables me to take calculated risks, to be adventurous and not dwell in fear, to be joyful about my work and my workplace.

I nurture and protect my state of mind / way of being by surrounding myself with truly positive, kind, people, and I remove myself into the natural world as often as I can. Being surrounded by trees is restorative like nothing else.

Self expression is (in these days of social media saturation) is living an authentic life, being joyful, spontaneous, imaginative and original, without pandering to an ever-present “audience”!

Creativity is essential, affirming, both a learned attribute and God given.

I aspire to be better, as a person and a business owner.

I am grateful for EVERYTHING. The good, bad, and indifferent. I am grateful for it all.

An affirmation I embrace the opportunity to be better today than I was yesterday. I take responsibility for my choices always.


Check out Jacaranda Books and connect with Valerie on Twitter.