What’s an author to do when he or she gets back the rights to a number of previously published books? There are several choices, one of which involves diving headfirst into the world of self-publishing. Another is to seek out another publisher, but that’s not necessarily a slam-dunk if you haven’t developed a relationship with that publisher by having a record of publishing original material there. A third option is to utilize a self-publishing service such as the one that several agents offer alongside the material they actually represent to publishing houses.
When I got rights reverted on thirty-four of my oldest Ellora’s Cave titles a few weeks ago, my first impulse was to self publish them myself. So far I’ve managed to put out three novels, which leaves me with twenty-nine to go. It’s not as simple as it sounds at first!
The simplest thing was to give the books new titles, and engage my favorite cover artist to give each book a fantastic, new cover that reflects it and gives it the “look” I envisioned. Here are the results.
Next, I had to do revisions—A Very Special Favor needed to be toned down a little from its original bestselling version, and to have characters incorporated that will become additional stories in a new, original western contemporary series tied into “Rand”, a novella I wrote for the bundled set, Men of Calder County. This took a few days—and required finding a great formatter, because formatting anything longer than a short story was beyond my supply of patience.
I decided to put out the twice-reverted Bliss House as the updated, sensual but not erotic iteration that didn’t involve a lot of revision, complete with its gorgeous, new cover art by Syneca and formatting by Wizards in Publishing. That went a little smoother, so I decided to put together an EC series as one book, Roped, Hitched & Lassoed, since the novellas were closely tied together. Making them into one novel took a little doing.
Because I’m moving away from the erotic romance toward highly sensual, contemporary romance featuring one man and one woman, I plan to do two boxed sets of an EC series, led off by a new novella that will be perma-free and introduce the characters in the boxed sets. This will be my last major revision and self-publishing venture of the older books, and they may include another original or two, to come out early next year.
The rest? I’m going to give them to one of the self-publishing services so I can go on with my current work. That will include my historicals, fantasies, vampires and other miscellaneous books that outlived their usefulness at Ellora’s Cave. I considered coming up with a new pseudonym for my nonerotic stuff, but decided that it’s all I can do to maintain one name—so I’ll be Ann Jacobs erotic, and Ann Jacobs light, for my fiction, and Ann Jacobs craft for the nonfiction book I’m getting ready to publish on self-editing. 🙂
This is new, exciting and a little mind-boggling. The vision can be modest, or it can be lengthy, in the case of erotic romances specifically written as erotic. Language that was frankly sexual may need cleaning up, particularly when the presentation will be “EC light”. Some books that were three or more novellas may be compressed into a single longer novel, which I’ve done with one of my EC series so far, in order to reinvent them as a longer, still erotic novel that involves the same BDSM theme that carried through the series originally.
Cats, orchids and kids, not necessarily in that order–these are things I like other than writing about lusty Alpha heroes and happy endings.
I started writing back in the early ’90s after I’d retired from my first career as a CPA/hospital financial manager. For a while my life revolved around my family, but by the time the kids had all started school, I found time to fantasize and to start putting the conversations my characters kept whispering in my ear down in writing. (It helped, obviously, to have discovered by that time that the personal computer did wonders toward mitigating my incompetent, error-riddled typing skills.) By the millennium I had sold five books and an erotic novella before I hit a snag.
You see, my muse screamed at me to write hotter, forget the euphemisms and pry open the bedroom doors. My characters wanted to get uninhibited <gulp> outside where they might be spied upon. Come to think of it, I didn’t even slam the bedroom doors closed in any of the five Berkley and Kensington releases although I did tone down the realism as far as language went, and I refrained from letting my hero and heroine have sex in semi-public places. I wanted to write Romantica (TM), though I didn’t even know what it was at the time. New York wasn’t ready for the ways my characters wanted to misbehave.
Then, in 2002, along came Ellora’s Cave. I was in heaven! Twelve years and eighty-seven books later, I’m writing what I love: erotic romance, a perfect combination of sex, sensuality, deep emotional involvement and lifelong commitment—the elusive fantasy women often dream about but seldom achieve.
Learn more about Ann and her books at her website: http://annjacobs.mobi/