Almost two years ago, my agent notified me that the rights to one of my books were due to be returned to me, and all I had to do was formally make the request. While I was at it, I went ahead and asked all my publishers to return the rights to all the work they still controlled — and they did. Within three weeks, I got the rights back to 23 of my 90 books… and then I had a meltdown moment, thinking, “What have I done to myself?”
The good news? With the rights formally reverted to my control, I have total control of my work. I can edit, update, fix, replace covers, change titles, write new blurbs — pretty much decide not only all of the details that publishers control when they publish a book, but all the decisions that the author makes originally.
The bad news? TWENTY-THREE books to edit, update, fix, replace covers, write new blurbs…
It’s been a long stretch, but it’s also been very enjoyable to re-read my work — reacquainting myself with the characters, and occasionally even being surprised by a twist in the story that I’d forgotten!
The last of those books is now available in brand-new e-book formats. A couple of them are shown above — the old covers next to the new ones. You can see all the new covers here.
I tried to eliminate some of the more obvious details that dated the books, but I have chosen not to try to update them to today. There are a couple of reasons for that. First is that sometimes updating requires a whole lot more than just handing the heroine a cell phone — and putting that phone in her hand often sets off ripples through an entire story and makes it a whole different book.
But it also means that in another 10 years, a book that looks current today will be dated again. (What’s going to happen with artificial intelligence, in another decade?) So I’m leaving my stories set in the era in which they were written — mostly before social media and Google.
Some of them are so amusingly dated that I’ve called them “accidental historicals.” Though they were set in the current-day when they were written, the world has moved on so far that they seem quaint now. Yet, those stories are so rooted in the time — complete with floppy drives on computers, for instance — that updating them would be more difficult than writing a new book.
And speaking of new books, now that this big project is behind me, I’m looking ahead to what’s next. I’ll let you know when I decide!