The biggest decision I had to make was not whether to self-publish. It was what kind of cover to use on the US book.
Everything pointed to a photographic cover as the sensible option.
American chick lit generally has photographic covers. Compare Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin’s The Nanny Diaries or Melissa Hill’s Something from Tiffany’s on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
So American women must prefer more realistic covers.
There’s also been much debate (by which I mean judgment) about illustrated pastel covers. Clearly chick lit covers have a lot of critics.
Then I thought, you know what? I don’t care what the critics say. They don’t speak for the readers of the genre, and I don’t write for those critics. I’m proud to write chick lit that stays true to the genre’s light-hearted, humorous roots. A cover that reflects that won’t appeal to everyone, but I’d much rather have a woman sneer as she passes it by than see her buy it because she doesn’t think it’s chick lit. A wise reader once pointed out that if you market cheese as chocolate, all you do is miss the cheese-lovers and disappoint the chocoholics. I’m proud to write chick lit. More than that, I’m proud to write chick lit that stays true to the genre’s light-hearted, humorous roots, and I want my covers to reflect the book’s contents. I’m happy to forgo some sales to make sure that I reach the women I’m writing for.
Stay tuned to see if this was the right decision!