Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Friday 23 October 2015

“Fifty Shades of Grey” and the Self-Publishing Saga

I’ve been talking about self-publishing for a long time. I’ve written about it often on this blog. You can find posts about it here, here and here, if you’re still interested in my views on the subject.

You know that I’m not going to self-publish… Right?

I did talk about doing it, once, because of a conversation with my brother. I fear I’ve let him down because we had a kind of agreement, a wager of sorts. I just can’t let go of my principles on this one, though.
A mock-up of a cover for Addled Kat.
The reference to the Grey covers is, of course, deliberate.

“Addled Kat” is a novel that I wrote a long time ago… years ago, in fact.

Something like four years have passed since “Fifty Shades of Grey” was picked up from the self-published slush pile and put into print. I didn’t plan to read it, because those I trusted had read it before me and hadn’t liked it very much, for all sorts of very good reasons. I did, in the end, and very reluctantly, read the first volume. As I suspected, I didn’t like it either. At that point, I was invited to write an erotic novel; the problem was, I wanted to do it my way.

My way didn’t sell.

I wasn’t surprised. Much of what I write doesn’t sell.

Much of what I write doesn’t sell for the very simple reason that it’s hard to label. Kat isn’t very much like “Fifty Shades of Grey”. It isn’t very much like it, because I didn’t buy into E L James’s vision. I didn’t buy into the characters, the relationship or the sex. The writing didn’t appeal to me either. 

I was never going to write a book like that. I wasn’t even going to try.

I wrote something else. I call it Clit-Lit.

When Kat didn’t sell, my brother wanted me to self-publish it, and I almost… very almost agreed to do it, but I couldn’t.

Last week the husband celebrated his 50th birthday, and, for the first time ever, he and I took a week off. We went away to Oxford. It was lovely. While we were away, we had dinner with Dan’s old college tutor. Actually, she isn’t old, her birth pre-dates ours by only a handful of years. She’s lovely, funny, clever, thoughtful, and all kinds of good. We happened to talk about writing quite a bit; Lucy’s a poet, and she’s very interested in the process of writing. I’d love her to write a novel, and I talked freely about some of the things I’ve done, including Kat.

It was Lucy who suggested I give the book a readership. Very wisely, she didn’t mention self-publishing, but she did get me thinking.

I don’t have to self-publish Kat to give it an audience. I could, say, just give it away. I could just post it on-line, and let whoever wants to read it have at it.

Why don’t I just do that?

I might just do that.

Here’s where you lot come in.

First of all, if you’re interested in reading this story, perhaps you could let me know in the comments below.

I plan to offer it several chapters at a time on this site. I’ll blog as usual, but every few days, probably at regular intervals so that people know when to expect the next instalment, I’ll post an excerpt as a blog and then a link to the next few chapters. All previous chapters will also be available for a period of time, yet to be determined.

I don’t know whether I will ever put the whole manuscript up at any given time, because: COPYRIGHT, but I realise that’s not a failsafe. Not utterly stupid, obviously. Smiles.

What do people think?

Here’s a bit of a synopsis:

Kat Adler is a twenty-nine year old fashion journalist and blogger with a string of appropriate, lovely boyfriends in her past, who, frankly bored her. When Barista Bob makes her a cup of good coffee at a family wedding, dances with her and then ignores her, her hackles rise, but her juices also start to flow.

Two more disastrous liaisons lead to a stinging slap that changes Kat’s perception of herself and of sex. The couple play cat and mouse in her blog for all the World to see, and have an opinion about, and yet, somehow, the relationship rolls on.

When secrets emerge about Barista Bob’s real identity, his past and his work, Kat is devastated by the obvious betrayal and has to make some hard choices.

Did I mention this book has sex in it? I was asked to write an erotic novel, after all. In the end, this book turned out to be all kinds of things, but it does contain graphic, explicit sex scenes, so, if that isn’t your thing, please don’t read it, because if you’re offended by that stuff you will want to avoid exposing yourself to this. If you read it and you’re offended that’s on you. Is that sufficient warning?


  1. I wouldn't be adverse to reading more after the teaser you put up a while ago.

  2. I'd like to read it, to be honest... The problem is that my English isn't good enough to understand a complete book... I'll try to read it but... I just hope I can understand mostly of it.

  3. People want to read don't they..?

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