Lightning signs self-publishing superstar

Nicola May’s ninth chick-lit novel has just become the #1 bestselling Kindle book in the UK. Lightning will publish the physical version

Lightning Books has signed World English rights for the print edition of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, which last week became the no 1 bestselling book on Kindle in the UK.

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay is the ninth novel by Nicola May, who has self-published all her titles to date and has the rare distinction for a self-published author of being stocked by Waterstones. Her novels Christmas Spirit and The School Gates won Best Author-Published Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and 2014, while Love Me Tinder was ebook of the week in The Sun. She describes her writing as “chick-lit with a kick”.

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay tells the story of Rosa Larkin, a young woman down on her luck in London who inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village from a mystery benefactor. Her quest to get the shop up and running brings her into contact with a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. The result is an unpredictable journey of self-discovery as Rosa slowly unravels the shadowy secrets of the inheritance and also brings her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

The print edition was acquired by Scott Pack, Lightning’s editor-at-large. He says: “Nicola and I have known each other for some years. We met on Tuesday for a splendid cream tea to celebrate her latest book hitting the top of the Kindle chart. She mentioned she was keen to do more with the print edition but, understandably, didn’t want to relinquish rights to the bestselling ebook, which pretty much ruled out signing with most publishers. By the end of the week we had a agreed a deal for Lightning Books to take over production, sales and distribution of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay. Not a bad week, really.”

Nicola’s work has been championed by broadcaster Anne Diamond and best-selling chick-lit novelist Milly Johnson, and The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay has been a runaway bestseller since it was first published in April 2018. It became the number one UK bestseller on Kindle earlier this week.

Nicola May says: “I’m overjoyed to have signed a deal with Scott Pack, who has been a valuable mentor since I first stepped in to the author spotlight as a self-published author, back in 2011. I have enjoyed the challenge of doing it all myself, but am now very much looking forward to being published by a small but very dynamic publishing house.”

Lightning’s edition will replace the existing print edition and stock will be available to order in early February.

Published on
January 28, 2019