Undeterred by publishers' scepticism, Heppel self-published her rewriting of Dante's Inferno for young adults, and found an audience
Tell us a bit about the book:
Running from her worst enemy, Florence, 12-year-old Ante (Antonia) causes a terrible accident which plunges them both on a journey through the classical underworld, accompanied by Gil – a boy who died 100 years before the story begins. Set upon by Cerberus, Harpies, Minotaur and Furies, battling through rivers of flame and ice, all this is bad enough; worse is the doubt in Ante's heart that strengthens the deeper they go. Which, if any of them, will return?
What are the advantages of self-publishing?:
You have complete freedom! How and when you publish the book is entirely up to you. With Matador, it's six months between signing the contract and publication day; a traditional publisher usually takes much longer than that.
I wanted Ante's Inferno to be a pleasure to look at and hold as well as to read, so I commissioned a dramatic wood engraving by Hilary Paynter for the jacket and worked closely with Pete Lawrence of Oxford Designers & Illustrators on the cover design. I could also make all the decisions over page design, typeface used, production quality, print run etc. Going with Matador (the self-publishing imprint of Troubador) meant that I had professional publishers to handle the whole process, and deal with pre-publication data, publicity, marketing and distribution.