First, my story about how I got rid of $80,000 in student debt has been accepted for publication by the Kindle Singles program. I found out about a month ago, and I have been working on the piece with my editor (!) since then. In addition to editing, the Kindle Singles program provides proofreading, cover design, and formatting, and they work very fast. Soon, I'll have a cover to show you. PAY OFF will be available on Amazon in May, just in time for graduation. Thank you so much to everyone who shared stories about their struggles with student loans with me!
Second, I've found a wonderful publisher for my travel memoir about my first year in Hong Kong. As you guys know, I followed my long distance boyfriend to Hong Kong in 2010. A month later his company sent him to London. Part love story, part coming-of-age, the memoir is a wide-eyed newcomer's account of Hong Kong that I hope will resonate with anyone who loves this city. After trying it out in the US market, receiving my fair share of rejection letters, and getting advice from a few key people, I tried it directly in the HK market. Blacksmith Books, the premier publisher of HK-focused non-fiction, has decided to publish the book. I'll have more information about release dates, events, blurbs, covers, etc. in the future. For now, I'm so grateful that the first manuscript I started working on (which looks almost nothing like the current version) has finally found a home.
It has been interesting so far to experience these two different publishing models. For the Kindle Single, I wrote the piece primarily during a coffee-fueled Christmas break. The time from when I typed the first words to when the Single will be for sale is about five months. My editor and team are located in New York City and we communicate entirely by email. PAY OFF will be an e-book-exclusive available only on Amazon.
The Hong Kong memoir has been more than three years in the making and it is the book in which I learned how to write. Although I spent a lot of time waiting to hear back from non-responsive agents in New York, ultimately the time has allowed me to make this a much better book than it was the first time I declared it "finished". Fortunately, Blacksmith moves a lot faster than a typical New York publisher, so the book will still be available a year earlier than it would have been if I signed a deal with Random Penguin et al today. The Blacksmith office, where I signed my book deal on April 22nd, is located across the street from where I lived during the events of the book, and it's actually closer to where I live now than all of my favorite coffee shops. I have the opportunity to enjoy direct, in-person communication with my publisher and, hopefully, to do all kinds of local publicity events. The book will be available on all major online retailers as a paperback and e-book and in bookstores in HK and abroad.
So far, I've had fun celebrating these developments by opening a bottle of red wine and going to my usual Tuesday night writers' group. I'm excited to share more news as it develops. If you would like to be notified when these books are out, you can sign up for my email list at shannonyoungwriter.com.
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