It’s one thing to dump a publisher, but UK author Polly Courtney did it with style–she dumped publisher HarperCollins at the launch party of her latest book, It’s a Man’s World.
Courtney becomes the latest author in a long string of those defecting to the world of indie publishing. She originally indie published her first novel, Golden Handcuffs, and the success of the book is what got her the contract with HarperCollins.
But Courtney says, it was all downhill from there. In an interview with theGuardian.com, she said, “My writing has been shoehorned into a place that’s not right for it,” she said this morning. “It is commercial fiction, it is not literary, but the real issue I have is that it has been completely defined as women’s fiction. Yes it is page turning, no it’s not War and Peace. But it shouldn’t be portrayed as chick lit.”
“I’m not averse to the term chick lit, but I don’t think that’s what my book is. The implication with chick lit is that it’s about a girl wanting to meet the man of her dreams. [My books] are about social issues – this time about a woman in a lads’ mag environment and the impact of media on society, and feminism.”
Courtney said that she was asked by editors to scrap office scenes and replace them with “handbags”. The author believes that publishers are making a mistake in not listening to authors or readers. “They don’t want to be patronised, and told all they want is girl meets guy. I genuinely think readers want something more meaty, something to get their teeth into. And if I’m writing that, which I am, then I want them to know that, and for there to be no pink, fluffy packaging,” she said.
When asked about her decision to return as an indie author, she said, “For me, it’s about getting the right readers to notice my work. With my first novel, I was writing about the City, so I targeted the people, venues, media and organisations that were centred around the square mile. It became a cult read for junior bankers and wannabe bankers. With Poles Apart, I wanted to appeal to the Polish community, other expats and anyone associated with the world I was writing about. Once you hit the target, word will spread to a wider audience – it’s a halo effect.”
It’s a Man’s World is not scheduled for release in the US at this time, but you can find Polly Courtney’s other books, Golden Handcuffs, Defying Gravity, and Poles Apart, through all online booksellers, as well as locally from Joseph-Beth Booksellers in the Lexington Green Mall on Nicholasville Road or Barnes & Noble in the Hamburg Pavilion Shopping Center on Man o’ War Blvd.
**If you enjoyed this article, make sure you click on the “Like” button above, and subscribe to the column to have notices emailed to you; so you don’t miss an article.**