The First Time We Met
When Yours Truly was rejected by publishers in 2012 I decided to self publish. I was very proud and excited to publish my own book, and when it hit the UK top 10 over Christmas I couldn’t have been more thrilled. But a small part of me still felt sad that my lovely little story wouldn’t have its moment on the shelves of a shop – something I’d dreamt of since I was a nerdy, book-obsessed teenager.
Yours Truly surprised us all and sold over 100,000 copies. My literary agent, Hannah, thought it would be a smart idea to submit again to a couple of traditional publishers who had recently shown interest. It was an excellent move because soon after that conversation I signed a three book deal with the wonderful Pan Macmillan!
Getting a traditional publishing deal doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your book will be available in lots of book shops, but luckily for me, clever Pan Macmillan had managed to get me into WH Smiths, Waterstones and the Tesco New Talent Promotion, which meant that my book would be prominently displayed in lots of Tesco stores across the country. This was super exciting. Everyone I knew went to Tesco. Yours Truly being in a supermarket meant it was a Real Thing.
On the morning of publication I phoned all of the Tescos in my local area to see if they had it in stock – and every single one of them did. So I chose the biggest store and along with my mum and partner Edd, went to see it. As I walked into the shop my heart was pounding. Although I’d been told it would be there, it occurred to me that this might have all been some huge trick and there was no way my actual book would be in actual Tesco. But it was. Blue and pink and shiny and smelling so, so good in the way that freshly printed books do. And it was displayed over two whole shelves alongside novels by some of my favourite authors. I laughed out loud when I saw it. My boyfriend starting snapping pictures from every available angle (here is what the book looks like in Tesco from 1 metre away, here is what the book looks like in Tesco with a customer is walking past, etc.) and my mum took it upon herself to inform everyone in the near vicinity that this book was written by her daughter. They weren’t quite as excited as we were, though, more mildly interested and keen to get on with their big shop.
I bought myself a copy of Yours Truly and a vanilla pastry and when I went to the till I told the checkout assistant that I was the author.
“Ooh, it’s been selling loads!” she said, which made me very giddy indeed. “Tell everyone it’s awesome,” I said, to which she happily agreed.
Let me tell you, it was worth the wait.
Kirsty Greenwood is the author of Yours Truly and the upcoming The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance (20th November 2014). She is editor in chief at Novelicious.com. Follow her on twitter @KirstyBooks or on Facebook at KirstyGreenwoodBooks.
Thanks to Kirsty, we are giving away a SIGNED copy of Yours Truly to one lucky reader living in the UK! Just comment below on why you want to read it and we’ll pick a winner on the last day of the International Chick Lit Month! Good luck!