The first 100 percent women-owned book publishing house in Monaco, Carob Tree Publishing, has been founded by Lacey Da Costa, film producer, and Nancy Heslin, veteran journalist and former editor-in-chief of Forbes Monaco

Named after Monaco’s national tree, the company will go live on April 23, 2024. NEWS.MC readers can access the Carob Tree Publishing website right here.

As Monaco’s first English-language maison d’édition, Carob Tree Publishing will largely support women authors and women-focused projects that share empowering and inclusive stories connected to Monaco. 

It was when Lacey Da Costa and Nancy Heslin became keen to get involved in a non-profit book that will champion young girls in the world of motorsport – everything from driving to engineering – that the initial motivation behind Carob Tree Publishing’s creation blossomed into a wider cultural field.

“Starting up a book publishing company with my talented close friend Lacey Da Costa seemed a natural extension of my passion project, Good News Monaco, and my belief that empathy fuels connection. With Carob Tree Publishing, powerful stories of Monaco will become powerful stories by Monaco. I am bursting with pride to be part of an inclusive company that is run by women and will strongly support women, and excited to help build Monaco’s bookshelf,” says Nancy.

Carob Tree Publishing wants to contribute to Monaco’s bookshelf with readings, discussions and book dating*, and by engaging next generation readers with local writers and interactive workshops. Anything to get people of all ages off their screens.

Carob Tree Publishing will reflect the co-founders’ values and combine the art of storytelling with advocating inclusivity and community. The made-in-Monaco books seek to create a publishing eco-system – supporting, as much as possible, local writers, local designers, local photographers, local artists, local businesses and local printers in the Principality – with the goal of getting your stories out there to the global market. 

Book launches will spotlight locations around the Principality and in collaboration with Monaco-based businesses and services who equally embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. Books will be published predominantly in English but French editions that help develop Monaco’s cultural identity will also make up Carob Tree’s catalogue. “Yes, we print paper books in Monaco but Carob Tree is dedicated to making the company as sustainable as possible. For example, the Re.Tree page on our website raises awareness about recycling (tri), climate and biodiversity initiatives in Monaco.”

Committed to bringing out one not-for-profit book every year, thus highlighting a cause or timely subject relevant to Monaco, the new publishing house already has two charity books in the pipeline for 2024.

Carob Tree will accept submissions. However, the founders are adamant that this is not a platform for vanity publishing. The 2024 catalogue is scheduled from September 2024 and all titles will be available via the company’s secure website – – as well as retailers such as FNAC and bookshops.

For any new and old publishing house, the times may seem daunting, yet in December 2023, Duncan Stewart, a consumer forecasting analyst for Deloitte said that “for an industry that many people thought was dying…print book sales are up 10‒14 percent over three years in most major English-speaking markets. Fiction is growing four times faster than the overall book market, and young adult fiction is growing five times faster.” 

And if you, dear reader, read this article all the way here and still may be wondering what book dating is, here is an explanation: 

*Book dating: Create a new way to talk about books we are reading. Group is paired off in twos to discuss a book or a favourite passage for five minutes, before changing partners, rather than a large group all talking together.  

PHOTOS: Lacey Da Costa and Nancy Heslin Ed Wright Images