This morning I found myself on the horns of a dilemma.
|We shook hands!|
What's to be done?
I had shaken my brother’s hand, and it was a foolish thing... a very foolish thing to do.
A year ago, I wrote a book called Addled Kat. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. I know... That’s what they all say.
It all came about because I was asked to read 50 Shades of Grey, and you can read all about the consequences of that little misdemeanour in this blog that I wrote in March.
As it turned out, one of my beta-readers was my brother’s girlfriend and my very good friend, Vanessa. She loved the book and has been asking me, ever since I wrote it, when I plan to write the sequel.
She wants to know what happens next.
The fact is, I know exactly what happens; I just haven’t found the time to write it, yet, especially in light of the fact that I haven’t sold the original.
My lovely agent liked Addled Kat too, so she set about selling it. I heard today that she hasn’t had any success.
This is the story of my publishing life.
I’ve been commissioned to write books that have been written and paid for, but not published. I’ve been the runner-up for a book prize for a novel that hasn’t been published, and I’ve written books that have been loved by publishers that have got as far as commissioning meetings and then fallen at the final hurdle.
Addled Kat won’t be published, despite the fact that publishers seem to love it, because no one could decide whether it was Chick-Lit or Erotica. Well... that’s because it’s what I like to call Clit-Lit!
Publishers say they’re looking for something new and original; they say they’re looking for new ideas and original voices, and, who knows maybe they are. On the other hand, give them something new and original, and if it doesn’t fit onto a pre-labeled shelf, they’re just not sure what to do with it, how to sell it, or who will buy it.
If everyone who buys Chick-Lit thought about buying this book, and everyone who buys Erotica thought about buying this book, that’s double the market, surely? And let’s not pretend you can’t double a market... Just look at 50 Shades of bloody Grey!
Anyway, I appear not to be making my point, which was that I shook hands with my brother.
Addled Kat had a false start with my original agent, so when my lovely new agent decided she wanted to sell it my brother offered me a deal.
My brother’s a bit of a self-starter. He owns his own business and he’s been a very good salesman in the past. He’s a hard man to say no to.
Against my better judgement, I let my brother talk me into a deal.
He suggested that if my agent hadn’t sold Addled Kat within six months I should give it to him to self-publish, and if he could sell enough copies on Amazon to make it worth my while, I’d write the sequel for Vanessa.
I’m very fond of Vanessa.
Addled Kat isn’t my usual fare. It never crossed my mind that I’d write Chick-Lit or Erotica, let alone a mash-up of the two genres, and this was a one-off, so I didn’t plan to build an entire writing career out of it. I wasn’t sufficiently invested in it to be terribly concerned whether my agent sold it or not. I didn’t have any expectations of my agent selling it, since I have taken a huge weight of rejection over the years. On the other hand, all of my beta-readers rated this particular book, and that never happens to me... ever! So maybe this was the one.
I trust my brother, so I shook hands with him.
Most of you have read my feelings on self-publishing, but if you need reminding of them, you can take a look at this blog, or this one, or even this. I have been positively vehement on the subject. Many of you do not share my point of view.
It is to all of you that I address this challenge, but I guess that you gainsayers will be my most gleeful responders.
Here’s the thing: Do I honour that handshake? Do I self-publish Addled Kat?
I’m prepared to do it under very special circumstances.
I’m prepared to do it under my pseudonym Adelie High, and I'm quite happy to publicise it on this blog. I will only undertake it with some help, though, so I’ll need volunteers to come to my rescue with editing, proofing, typesetting choices, cover-proofing and so on. If you have publishing skills and you’re prepared to offer them free of charge, I promise not to take undue advantage.
I only have a limited amount of time and energy to spend on this, so the window will close at some point, and, as far as I’m concerned, there’s only a reason to do this at all if I can generate some interest, so, if you read my blog, please comment, even if it’s only Yay or Nay, and please feel free to comment anonymously.