Why go Indie? Joanna Maitland’s answers

This post on Going Indie was originally a guest piece on Sue Moorcroft’s blog. Many thanks to her for letting us repost it here, complete with new thoughts, several months on…

Back in November 2015, I wrote:

Why go indie? At the risk of stating the obvious, I’d say the answer is freedom.

indie has freedom

Freedom to ride off into the sunset. What’s not to like?

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.

going indie let a thousand birds fly free

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


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!


Cover of His Silken Seduction by Joanna MaitlandFreedom 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 was published as an Amazon ebook on 7th December, 2015. It is available from your local Amazon store.

Reposting this here in April 2016, I’d add:

Going indie is hard work.

You have to do everything for yourself, including marketing your books (via social media, website material, book signings and the like) and you have to do all the book formatting stuff as well. That’s an awful lot of non-writing tasks, even when you use professional helpers, as I do, for editing and cover design.

indie businesswoman goes shackle freeSomewhere in the middle of all that, you still have to find the time to write!

But in spite of everything, I’m very glad I made the jump to indie. And I still say that Freedom is the answer.

If you’ll excuse a groanworthy pun, I’d even add that it’s all about Libertà!

Joanna the shacklefree