Back in April I wrote a blog post about self-publishing. Well, it wasn't quite a post about me self-publishing, but rather me thinking about it. After all I've sent out dozens of query letters to publishers and most don't even bother to respond. If they do it's with an automatic template of 'thanks' and 'if we like your work (If your writing is good enough or if you are worthy) we'll get back to you'. I'll be honest - I give up. This feeling of waiting, hoping, disappointment everyday when I check my email and nothing is there, this isn't how I want to proceed in my writing life. I know Heartshire High is good enough, I know that teens will love it and it will resonate with them, and I don't want to wait for someone else to decide on if it gets published or not.
I am taking matters into my own hands: I'm going to self-publish!
Maybe it won't make the NY Times bestseller week, or be distributed to every bookstore in the States (or worldwide), but these days even publishers can't promise that. What I really want is feedback, communication, dialogue with the readers and to hear their thoughts. As a fan of Alice in Wonderland, I want to connect with like-minded readers who understand the subtle references to the original in the book. I'm not so focused on sales or making money, rather getting the book to people who want to read it. Therefore, after extensive reading around the subject (and a big thanks to Joanna Penn who has scores of self-publishing information on her website), I will publish Heartshire High independently.
Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and even Barnes and Noble all support indie publishers and authors, and the more I'm digging, the more interesting information I am finding. Also there are lots of groups to support and help self-publishing authors, and even though I've only reached out to one facebook group - the alliance of YA authors - the people there have been so friendly, welcoming and open with information, that they are giving me the confidence to publish!
So stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled for Heartshrie High with a bright pink cover!
Bookshops, kindles and kobos.... I'm coming soon!
Whenever I have explained Heartshire High to my friends one of the first things I tell them is that the book is a modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland. However, more and more people have been asking me if they should read it even if they haven’t read the classic.
Of course, my first thought was yes! Heartshire High is based off of Alice in Wonderland, but the story still has its own plot. As I thought about it, I wondered if not having read the classic would affect people’s experiences with reading the book. It is true that a big part of what makes Heartshire High special, I hope, is the constant references and Easter eggs that are planted throughout it relating to the classic.
(If you’re looking for these, here are a few to get you started. Did you notice “Celia” is an anagram for “Alice”? Did you notice that the book titles and chapters directly correspond to the chapters in Alice in Wonderland? I think you’ll notice each character, if you look deeply, has a mirror character in Alice. Take Pilar, whose name certainly sounds a lot like “caterpillar”, and who Celia meets in the woods, asking frustrating questions and peddling little bites that can make a girl grow bigger and smaller. Or Red, the queen of the school, who once knocked the head right off a statue of a boy she didn’t like—kind of makes you think of the Queen of Hearts, doesn’t it?)
However, in the end, not having read Alice in Wonderland should not be a reason for not picking up the book; it is still its own story. And for the people who have, I hope you enjoy seeing Alice’s story come alive again, in a modern setting, and you enjoy finding all the inside jokes and references I’ve thrown in for Alice-lovers.
I'm a high school senior who loves to read, write, read about writing, and write about reading. My first novel, Heartshire High, is out now!