Roses and Readers, please welcome Jacqueline Diamond as our guest blogger. In addition to a fun post to read, Jacqueline is giving away five ebook copies of her zany romantic comedy Designer Genes, in your choice of formats. Just email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and put Contest Entry in the subject line. If you’ve read Designer Genes & want a different one of her books, please specify the title in your email. And if you’d like to be added to her mailing list, please mention that. It is not required and won’t affect your chances of winning.
Now for the post!
Those of us who’ve been writing books for many years face a challenge that, historically, authors never had to consider. When our publishers return the rights to us, what do we do with them?
A word of explanation: as a rule, authors don’t sell manuscripts to publishers; we lease them. Depending on the contract terms, at some point, we can reclaim the books.
In the past, most novels simply went out of print. Ever visit a dusty old used bookstore? That was the only place to find them.
The new field of digital publishing (ebooks) gives us an exciting option. Which brings me to my point.
While I’d love to have a magic wand, my older books (and I’ve had rights reverted for about 50 so far) don’t simply transform themselves into ebooks. They need new covers, new blurbs, updated material such as introductions, and so on.
This takes a lot of time that I’d rather spend writing. On the plus side, I get to fix mistakes that sneaked past (or in a few cases were introduced by) an editor. I can also revise out-of-date references that might annoy readers. Remember the Soviet Union? Pay phones? Getting film developed?
What else do authors do with our new-old books? I’m a better writer than I was thirty years ago, so I appreciate the chance to polish creaky prose. It’s also been fun designing my own covers (except for my Regencies, which were created by customgraphics.etsy.com). There’s been a steep learning curve, but thanks to Photoshop and stock photo sites that sell images, I’ve created bright up-to-date covers. I hope you’ll check these out on my website, www.jacquelinediamond.com.
On rereading my earliest books, I became concerned that some fell short of my current standards. Either the premise was too dated or the characters weren’t strong enough. I’d hate for a first-time reader to pick up one of those moldies and assume that’s what all my books are like. Regaining the rights has allowed me to retire half a dozen tales that couldn’t be whipped into shape.
What’s the best part of reissuing old gold? I love reaching new readers who missed those novels the first time around. I also enjoy hearing from longtime fans who delight in re-discovering a story.
At times, I’m rediscovering them myself. Some of the zanier tales make me laugh out loud, because I’d forgotten the humorous twists. These include romantic comedies like The Bride Wore Gym Shoes, Kidnapped? and Designer Genes. I hope you’ll enjoy the excerpt!
Title: Designer Genes
Blurb: There was a shocking mix-up at the sperm bank. Now blonde L.A. sophisticate Buffy Arden arrives in Nowhere Junction, Texas, to introduce her cute little girl to the infant’s unprepared father, auto mechanic Carter Murchison. As for Carter, he’s not sure how to deal with this smart-mouthed lady who happens to have the same name as his cat and who quickly turns his life upside-down. “A comical tale with witty dialogue, humorous scenes and fun characters.”—Romantic Times.
Buffy decided to take a sharper tone. “What is your problem?” she demanded of the car. “You’re being unreasonable.” How unfair that it should die now, after making it through the Snoring Desert, which was kind of like an endless beach with neither an ocean nor good-looking surfers.
It wasn’t actually named Snoring, although it deserved to be; it was the Sonoran, whatever that meant. Thank goodness for GPS, since geography had never been Buffy’s strong point. Having grown up in Los Angeles, she viewed the United States as consisting of three major coastlines dominated by L.A., New York and New Orleans. Anything in between had a squishy name that started with a vowel, such as Omaha, Ohio or Utah.
Jacqueline Diamond, who received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times, has sold more than a hundred novels. She is best known for romantic comedies and her Safe Harbor Medical romance series. A former Associated Press reporter, she currently writes the spin-off Safe Harbor Medical mystery series.