With New Adult sweeping the literary world, Australia is catching onto the crazy too. One of the novels that lead the NA charge, Losing it by Cora Carmack, has just been released in Australia. Today Sharon is talking to Cora about self publishing, New Adult and why Aussie sometimes have to wait for books.
Hi Cora – thanks for joining us today.
Hi Sharon! Thanks for having me. I’m so excited.
Would you tell us a bit about Losing It.
Gladly! LOSING IT follows college senior Bliss Edwards. She’s not your typical heroine. She awkward, suffers from frequent verbal diarrhea, and did I mention awkward? She’s also the last virgin among her college friends. So, she goes out with her friend Kelsey, planning to take her life into her own hands, and to lose her virginity in a one-night stand. No strings. No complications. She meets a heart-stoppingly gorgeous British guy named Garrick who seems like the perfect man from the job. But as the opportunity to lose her virginity draws near, she begins to panic. And by panic, I mean she freaks out big time. She ends up leaving him alone and naked in her bed with the most ridiculous excuse ever heard by man. It’s mortifying, but he’s a stranger she’ll never have to see again. Or that’s what she thinks until she shows up for class the next morning. J
When YA was on such a roll why did you go for a college story?
You know, in many ways, I wrote this book by accident. I’ve been writing YA (unpublished) for about five years. For FIVE years, I’ve been devoted to YA, and I still am. But around June of this past year, I was stuck in a dark YA Fantasy WIP I was working on. I was frustrated and just needed a break. The idea for LOSING IT had been swirling around in my head as this hilarious thing that I wanted someone else to write (so that I could read it). There were a few other New Adult books already on the market, but they were all heavy and angsty and not what I was looking for in a read at that moment. So, just to entertain myself, I wrote the first chapter to LOSING IT. I didn’t plan anything. I just started writing. I used whatever names popped into my head. I didn’t even know Garrick was British until I was writing, and Bliss started freaking out over his accent. I wrote just for me and just for fun. I had expected only to write the first chapter just to get it out of my system. But the first chapter became two chapters, then fifty pages, then a hundred, and I just couldn’t stop. And so, LOSING IT was born.
You made what some would consider a risky decision, what made you decide to go down that path?
It was risky to self-publish LOSING IT, yes. Especially since I had a full out with a small publisher and the opportunity to submit to more publishers. I could have gone that direction and very nearly did.
But I’ve been plugged in to the publishing community since I started writing YA five years ago, and I’m familiar with the trends and the state of the market. I knew that while a few small publishers were looking at New Adult (just FYI… a year ago NO ONE would look at New Adult), but I loved LOSING IT so much that I wanted more for it than that. I knew that a few of the larger traditional publishers were taking on New Adult books that had done well as self-published books first. I could also feel that the genre as a whole was almost to that point where people were about to have to sit up and pay attention because readers (by spending their money) were making it quite clear that they wanted these kinds of books on the market. More than that, in looking at the popular New Adult books already on the market like BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, I knew there was a hole in the market for a book like mine… a book that was light and funny and more like what my own college experience had been like. Heather Self, a self-published author and good friend, was the first to really push me toward self-publishing. I thought about it for a day or two, then something in me just clicked and I knew, positively, that it was the right thing to do. I withdrew the book from the one publisher who had it already, and started making preparations to publish it one month later. The rest is history. 😉
Aussies had to wait to get Losing It. Would you explain why that is?
Absolutely. LOSING IT was actually available worldwide for the first week and a half when it published back in October. So, a few Aussies might have gotten the chance to read it then. But LOSING IT did so well so quickly. For example, it hit #1 on the Barnes and Noble Best-seller list by the second day it was on sale and also landed on the New York Times Bestseller list that first week. So, by day three I was getting interest from agents and publishers. By day ten, I had spoken with multiple agents and signed with All-star Suzie Townsend. At that point, we took down sales for LOSING IT in foreign countries because my agency began immediately trying to sell the foreign rights to different publishers around the world. We stood a better chance of getting an offer (and thus the opportunity to get LOSING IT into bookstores in hardcopy) if we took it down. So we did. We sold rights to the UK Publisher E-bury for Worldwide English rights (which includes the right to distribute in Australia), about a month after that. Which seems like a long time, but is LIGHTNING speed in publishing. In fact, we put the UK and Australian e-book up for sale almost immediately as soon as we got everything squared away. We were sending emails back and forth like crazy on the 16th of January, squaring things away, and then it was up on the 17th. So, I know it felt like a monstrously long wait for those of you who knew about the book, but in terms of publishing, it could have been much longer. Spain, for example, is another country where we’ve sold the rights to LOSING IT, and readers there have an even longer wait as the publisher translates the novel. And in the long run, by making you wait, we insured that you would not only have the chance to buy the e-book, but you’ll be able to get your very own print copy in June!
Rapid Fire Questions:
Koalas or kangaroos Kangaroos!
ebook, hard cover or paperback Hardcover, but I love them all!
Beaches or rainforest Let’s go rainforest (because I’ve never been to one and am all about new
Platypus or Echidnas Platypus. Because it’s awkward. J
Purple or orange Purple.
Coffee or Milkshakes Milkshake