So there I was last October, in a packed room with treasured colleagues, authors I love, authors I’ve admired, and newish authors with infectious enthusiasm for this crazy career of ours. And in the front on the panels? Some of the most powerful people in publishing.
Novelists, Inc., an international group of multi-published authors, is the only writer’s group I belong to since the computer snafu that ate my Romance Writers of America dues payment–a fact I didn’t discover for five months of non-membership. The fact that I hadn’t missed RWA was something of a clue. The fact they insisted I pay a reinstatement fee was another clue I’m just not an organization kinda gal. RWA’s a great one, but sometimes vacations are nice.
But NINC? Between information on the eloop and NINC’s fabulous conferences, I couldn’t be without it, even temporarily. So there I was in that crowded room expecting the same-old, same-old advice. “Write the best book you can.” (Umm. . . does anyone in NY really believe we’d submit schlock on purpose?) “Write the book of your heart.” (And if it happens to be a novel about the Little-Engine-Who-Could locked in a torrid love affair with Dracula’s daughter, I should submit this to you?)
No one was more surprised than I was, when the panels turned to epublishing, the fabulous opportunities out there for ebooks, and the way that some of my most esteemed colleagues were putting their backlist up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other places, too. Unashamedly. Greedily. Joyfully.
Fast forward to February 2011. No one can say I don’t listen. I had all the rights back to two novels I published for Avon in the mid-nineties. Despite the daunting task of developing covers, getting a clean, edited copy of the text, and putting the books up in three different formats so they could be read on different styles of ereaders, I decided to give this a try.
Once More With Feeling and Twice Upon A Time were “special” to me. A case could be made that all books are special to their authors, but there was always something about these two that set them apart. The premise was “different,” “unusual,” but the stories were about two women examining their lives in intimate detail, figuring out who they were (!) and who they wanted to be. They were romantic, funny, thoughtful, poignant. Quite simply (and remember the source) I adored them both.
Sometimes the books I’ve loved when writing them have not stood the test of time. Quite honestly I wish some of them were not only out of print, but out of existence. I was young. The market was different. I was learning. But the moment I began to re-read Once More and Twice Upon, I was hooked. I laughed. I got appropriately teary-eyed. I felt for these two women. Yes, indeed, they deserved a new life. No, the books aren’t exactly what I write today. But yes, they are clearly my novels. A bit more profane. A bit more sensual and romantic. And yes, the premise has a fantasy twist. But they are mine, with the same issues that continue to fascinate me. The same kinds of characters I still want to write about. The same belief that happy endings are possible.
In future blogs I’ll be sharing the complex process of turning novels in print into ebooks. Covers, edits, formats, pricing, decisions. For now, though, let me introduce my newest babies, reborn and likely to be around for a very long time.
Although I’ve linked both to Amazon and B&N in this blog, look for copies everywhere ebooks are sold.