I love the classics: Classic movies, classic books, classic music and dance. I like to look back at where we’ve been. This is one reason why I’m thoroughly enjoying the e-publishing revolution as both a reader and a writer. Because traditional publishing treats books as milk that can spoil or fruit that can rot, many books are put out of print and only discovered in dusty used bookstores or online (after lots of searching). Now they can stay in print for years to come and generate income for their creators. As an author I no longer have to worry about a book disappearing after a few weeks (in the case of category books) or months (in the case of regular fiction) now I can create classics.
I wrote The Sapphire Pendant over ten years ago but didn’t get it published until several years later. It’s about a young woman desperate to reclaim a family heirloom by seducing an eligible bachelor. I decided to publish it through my company and it sold well and won a national award, but I was never able to market it the way I wanted to. And I parted ways with my distributor and The Sapphire was heading to the ‘out of print’ pasture.
Now that’s changed. Through e-publishing it’s back on the market with a new cover and a new lease on life. Soon I’ll have it available as a print on demand. Unlike some authors who are updating their work, I’m releasing it ‘as is’ with a note that says it’s the early 2000s. Why? Because I think stories are timeless. No matter how many times they update A Christmas Carol the original story still resonates. I don’t need to see Cary Grant with a cell phone in Bringing up Baby or Dolly Parton in 9-5 using a computer. But that’s just me. I don’t fault anyone for wanting to make their work more contemporary.
That’s the point. It’s the power of choice given to authors that I love the most. We can add, edit, fix, polish, update or leave be to our hearts content. We have the freedom to complete series that publishers dropped, create stories that ‘don’t fit the mold’ or try new genres. We can be the innovators we were meant to be. And most of all we can create them to last. In 2011 I plan to produce more work some old some new, but one thing is certain, I’ll enjoy visiting with old friends no matter what new outfits they wear.
Dara Girard is the author of fourteen novels and one book of nonfiction The Writer Behind the Words: Steps to Success in the Writing Life. You can find out more about her and her work here: www.daragirard.com or www.facebook.com/DaraGirard