Hilary Thayer Hamann earned a cult following after she self-published her debut novel, Anthropology of an American Girl, in 2003. The book did so well that she submitted it to editors in the mainstream publishing world four years later. Speigel & Grau significantly edited and re-published the 600-page book this spring and the book has been getting rave reviews ever since.
Hamman's editor, Cindy Speigel, says she would have published the book back in 2003. She hopes that other writers won't take such a "heroic approach" to getting their work in print. She'd rather authors let publishers and editors do their jobs, so that writers can concentrate on writing.
Hamman and Speigel both say that the newly edited version makes a better book, and makes the story of an teenage American girl worthy of high literary praise rather than just another addition to already bursting chick-lit shelves at the bookseller.