Joanna Maitland asks: ‘Why Go Indie?’

Happy Couple Driving on Country Road into the Sunset in Classic

At the risk of stating the obvious, I’d say the answer is freedom.

Here’s an example of independent author freedom in action. As originally published, in the Harlequin Undone! series of short ebooks, His Silken Seduction was well under 50 pages. That was the length the line required, so that was the length I wrote. Simples!

When I reread it, for the first time in more than five years, I could see that the characters were just begging for more room to tell their story. Some readers had already told me so, in fact, but I hadn’t been able to change anything, first time round.

As I struck off their shackles, the characters gave three excited cheers at the prospect of freedom and simply took charge of the story.

Bird tattoos come to life, freedom concept

They wanted to show me what was missing before – how they were falling in love in the midst of violence, and turmoil, and the threat of war; and how they had to live each day knowing it could be their last. They still wanted me to share their passion, but also their fears, and especially the terrible choices they were being forced to make, between love and duty.

Above all, they wanted time so that their full story could be told.

How could I refuse? And so, like Topsy, the story growed. And it was a joy, for me as the author, to grow with it.

freedom-figure-liberta-blog151126This new, much expanded version of His Silken Seduction now weighs in at well over twice the length of the original. I still call it a novella, but my Libertà partner, Sophie Weston, has reminded me that some authors have published stories of this length and labelled them novels. Barbara Cartland, for one!


His Silken Seduction Cover MEDIUM WEBFreedom has other advantages, too. By publishing the new version of His Silken Seduction myself, I have the final say on the cover design. As a professional, I couldn’t say so in public, but I really hated the original cover. To me, it didn’t look Regency, or sexy, or even very female.

The new cover, designed by Jane Dixon Smith, has everything I wanted. It even shows the streets of old Lyons where most of the story is set. And it’s certainly sexy. I hope you like it as much as I do.


The new, expanded version of His Silken Seduction is published as an Amazon ebook on 7th December, 2015. It is available for pre-order at a discounted price here.

Libertà is the website where readers and authors share.
You can visit it at

Historical novelist Joanna Maitland is going indie after publishing Regencies with Harlequin Mills & Boon for ten years. She is very excited about branching out into new fields: His Silken Seduction, her first indie book, is a Regency, but her second book will be a timeslip, Lady In Lace. Details of all her books are at

Some news hot of the press! With fellow author Sophie Weston, Joanna has just set up where readers and writers can meet and share enthusiasms. Joanna hopes that fans, old and new, will join her there. She promises it will be a welcoming and open-minded place for readers of all kinds of fiction.




Amazon author pages:

Amazon buy links for HSS:


Social media:



Twitter: @LibertaBooks



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12 responses to “Joanna Maitland asks: ‘Why Go Indie?’

  1. Mags Cullingford

    As that old cliche goes, what it is to go indie in a nutshell – Liberty, if not fraternity/sorority, equality also. Great post Joanna., and thanks Sue for sharing Joanna’s experience with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you enjoyed the post, Mags, and we’ll hope to welcome you at http:://

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous post – this is even true when it comes to writing stories for magazines – I think that sometimes we are so busy trying to keep within their restraints that we lose what we are trying to say.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t usually mind writing to a word length – if I think it will sell the story! 😀 It’s keeping out the sex and the swearing that taxes me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did make me laugh, Sue. Actually, since I write historicals, I’ve usually been able to sneak in a modicum of swearing and even (ahem) some sex. And the revised, expanded version of His Silken Seduction — which was already pretty sexy in the short version — now has more of …er… lots of things. 😉
        Glad you liked the post loonyliterature and thanks for stopping by..

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. Interesting that you could expand a short novel into a longer one! I’ve usually got to go the other way.


    • Thanks Rhoda. I’m usually cutting, like you. When M&B reduced the historical word length, I struggled. But the original of this story was more an episode than a story, because of the very short word count. Expanding it was surprisingly easy; the characters just took over.and told the rest of the story. It was fun to do and I really hope readers enjoy it. I don’t usually write blond heroes, but Ben is very fanciable. At least, he is to me 😉


  5. siobhandaiko

    Reblogged this on Siobhan Daiko and commented:
    Joanna Maitland embraces freedom.


  6. Interesting reading. I just read the updated version from Joanna and it makes a lot sense despite the work. The freedom to do whyat you want outweighs so much.


    • Glad you agree, amorinarose. Thanks for stopping by at the updated version. Sue kindly said I could post the original on the @libertabooks website and I couldn’t resist adding an update, all these months on. Freedom is still great.

      Liked by 1 person

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