When I first started writing romance all that time ago – December 2014 marks 30 years since I was first published – the books were only available in bookshops – no internet, no Amazon, definitely no ebook readers. They were also only available for that one month they were on sale – and no more. And not even that if, as the very first book I ever wrote was only available in the hardback version that was known as a ‘library edition.’
So that first book, The Chalk Line, appeared in my hands – arriving in a parcel just before Christmas – but I couldn’t see it on the bookshop shelves. And as not every book ever went to America either, it didn’t have a paperback edition until some years later. Seven years later to be precise, when it was decided to publish the paperback edition in 1991!
And of course on those days, once a book was published and went on sale for a month, then that was it. There was no way of getting hold of a copy later. And the only reprints were rare - they were labelled ‘Bestsellers’ and possibly reprinted a few years later – if the original book sold well enough to merit it. But when you were up against the greats like Charlotte Lamb, Anne Mather, Penny Jordan, you often didn’t get a chance at that.
I was thinking about this when I realise that Harlequin have released a whole bundle of my earlier books in new ebook formats since the start of this year. It’s a thrill to see older books - Wife For A Day (originally published 1998) or The Married Mistress (2003) coming ‘back to life’ so to speak in new Kindle editions so that new readers - or readers who have been looking for these titles for some time – can now get copies of them at the click of a mouse. These books were only
It’s been a thrill to see these ‘resurrected’ books selling too – I discovered The Married Mistress in the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon – not bad for a book that is over 10 years old! But perhaps the best thing has been that the covers are been renewed as well, where they were needed. I always liked to cover of The Married Mistress - but the original artwork for Wife For A Day was - well, strange. . . I mean – look at the heroine’s hair. The new edition is much better, much more like the characters I had in mind.
It’s an amazing feeling, after 30 years writing and being published to find that my older books are now getting this new lease of life – and coming back revitalised and revived. It’s something I could never have imagined all those years ago when The Chalk Line first came out – just goes to show that nothing stands still – particularly not in publishing.
What about you: Do you like the way the older books are being re-issued – are you glad to have a chance to grab at books you never read before – or revisit old
Titles coming up for me are the reprinting of The Good Greek Wife in a 3 in 1 special collection titles Eligible Greeks: Sizzling Affairs.
My next full length novel will be A Question of Honour (or Honor!) published in M&B Modern and Harlequin Presents in June. The idea for that came from my own family history - but I'll tell you more about that nearer to publication time.
You can find out more about me and my books one my website or on my blog where all the latest and most up to date news can be found.