So I've done it. I've decided to self-publish. My debut novel, SINGLE IN THE CITY, is available as an eBook through Amazon and Barnes and Noble in the US. So far so good.
But wait. Why I’m doing this, when Single in the City was published by Penguin in the UK and many other countries? Well grab a cup of coffee and I’ll explain.
First you might like to know why I haven’t chosen to self-publish.
I haven’t chosen to self-publish because I have a beef with publishers. My experience with Penguin UK was nothing but positive. My editor Lydia quickly became a friend (still is), listened to my suggestions and made sure the publication went smoothly. The sales team were stellar, selling into distributors both large and small. My PR Helen was superb, getting us widespread publicity (and winning a Publisher Publicity Circle award in the process).
Nor am I self-publishing because I lack industry representation. My agent Caroline is, in my view, the best agent on the planet. She’s a pint-sized dynamo, tireless in her pursuit of book deals for me.
I’m publishing Single in the City in the US myself because sometimes publishers have less faith in the books, and the readers, than we, the writers, do. I believe in this book. And I have faith in American chick lit lovers.
You see, when Caroline and I sold book rights to Penguin (UK), we held back the US rights. We did this because I wanted a US-based publisher for Single in the City’s American launch. After all the main character, Hannah, is American. There’s a strong theme about seeing London through rather baffled American eyes. Caroline and I thought that surely it was a great fit for the US market.
The handful of US publishers we approached had a different point of view. They were all very nice about it but said that the book isn’t right for the American chick lit market. Readers won’t understand the humour of a book set outside the US, they concluded.
I disagree. Single in the City is about taking a chance and establishing a new life. It’s a fish-out-of-water story. And it’s about finding your feet in life and love. These are universal themes. I think those US publishers sold chick lit fans short.
And that’s why I’m self-publishing. I believe it’s the right decision for this book in this market.
So I hope you’ll stay in touch, on Twitter, Facebook or by email, and follow the launch as I, like Hannah, take a leap of faith.