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.
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.
This 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!
Freedom 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 libertabooks.com.
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 http://LibertaBooks.com/joanna
Some news hot of the press! With fellow author Sophie Weston, Joanna has just set up http://LibertaBooks.com 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: http://Author.to/joanna
Amazon buy links for HSS: http://myBook.to/HSS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/libertabooks @LibertaBooks