If you don’t know this about me, here it is: In 1992 my first romance novel was published; in 2006 my last romance novel was published. There were 19 novels in total. My first few manuscripts were accepted by a Bantam Books imprint. Then I wrote several for Silhouette Books, which was eventually slurped up by Harlequin, so my last works were for those fine folks. None of this is important, except to say that in those days, self-publishing was not a thing to even think about. On the contrary, we got actual advances (in large-ish sums, depending on our sales) from the publishers who wanted to release our books, and (hopefully) royalties down the line, after we had earned out our advances. In our contracts there was a clause that allowed us to get the rights back to our books ten years or more in the future. I never thought I’d need that clause. Hah.
Fast forward to the totally different world of publishing today, and what an amazing change it has been! I have the rights back on a total of 13 of my old books. That means I can put them up on the internet for sale, after I do a lot of work to make it happen. That means that friends and some loyal fans can read much of my backlist. The mind boggles. As does the fear mechanism that kicks in when something new and especially something technical is next up for me. But I shall persevere. One by one I will be letting you all know which book is available on the usual e-book platforms and maybe a few of you will actually want to read them.
I am of two minds about editing these treasures of mine; books are like our babies, we really don’t want anyone to mess with them. Here’s the dilemma: so many were written before the internet was as big and as powerful (not to mention invasive) as it is now. Oh, and before texting and IM-ing and tweeting. In other words, before everything became digital, not to mention INSTANT. We had (gulp) answering services and then answering machines. You actually had to WAIT sometimes to get messages (the horror!)
So shall I try to update the stories? Will they affect the plot? Will I have to do massive re-writing to make it work? Or shall I simply let the reader know the year of its original publication, leave it as is, and hope that she or he can adjust?
Earth shaking, QUALITY problem, folks. I will adjust and there will be books. Be sure and put your name and email address on my home page, so I can let you know all about release dates. Okay? Sending love your way.
I would let your books be.They were written for a younger audience of that time period; many before the onslaught of the Internet. That adds historical interest. Use your energy instead to write some new books! How about stories of mature romance and love…silver foxes, cougars, lonely widows or widowers, grandmothers and grandfathers, internet dating for seniors…you get the idea. I’m not into romance novels but I might find a book about mature love inspiring. The research could be an interesting adventure and you might find a whole new audience!