Women are under-represented in African publishing at top management levels, and African publishing infrastructure is weak. Ten African women who head their own publishing houses or organisations relate their personal experiences of how and why they got into publishing, their successes and failures. They represent state, commercial, n- profit and community publishing, a women writers' group, and a bookseller. The eleventh contribution is an overview of women publishing in South Africa. Few of the contributors, if any, had encountered direct discrimination on the grounds of their gender; the barriers for women are lack of education, and cultural factors. As a whole the contributions give an overview of the sobering realities of African publishers, and in particular for women. They celebrate what these women have achieved, and show the courage needed to start and run cultural institutions in Africa. These women are an inspiration for others to play their part in the cultural development of the continent.