Thursday, February 2, 2012

Another Bite at the Apple




Changes are coming.

In the next couple weeks, I'll be entering the uncertain world of independent publishing. I've been talking about and around the subject for a good long while. The tools are available. The time is right. The rights for both of my novels, Isabella Moon and Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts, have reverted back to me. (North American and audio, anyway. I've yet to hear about foreign rights.) I have Devil's Oven, another novel, ready to go. I've got a wonderful life partner who thinks it's a great idea. So, it's a plan!

I'll let you know release dates as soon as they're available. At first, the books will be ebooks only. If things go very well, I'll do print versions.

Does this mean I'll never again pursue publishing with a major commercial publisher? Probably not. It's a heck of a lot of responsibility to shepherd a book into the market, and commercial publishers can get my books into bookstores--chain and independents--in ways that I'll never be able to. Plus, it's fun to have someone write you a nice check at the end of the long writing process. We'll see. Up to this point, I'm having a really great time getting these books ready for sale. We have a lot of time and money invested in them, and there's much to be said for being able to steer the craft oneself. It's quite liberating. I'll let you know how it's going six months from now.

Here's one crazy-fun privilege of having a second chance to put my first book out there. (I wonder if this will shock you...) I changed it. Yes, I made a fairly significant change to the text of Isabella Moon.

I talked to many people about Isabella Moon over the past four years. There are lots of reader reviews, as well as reviews from critics. They were pretty well split down the middle--either people liked it, or they hated it. No one was lukewarm about it. I think this is a good thing. Better to raise passions than to bore people, don't you think?

I read those reviews, paying particularly close attention to the reader reviews. You, reader, are the one I write for. We share a unique relationship, and, gosh, do I love that. I've learned that I want the reader to be able to trust me. A lot of readers of Isabella Moon had a problem with one thing that I never made clear for them. Well, it's clear now. (Hey, I can't tell you what it is because I would spoil it!)

It freaks me out that I changed the text of a published novel. It's like saying, "Hey, I want to do this over!" I mean, who does that?

I guess that would be me. Because I can. Because I agreed with all those readers. In the scope of an entire novel, it's a very small thing. Only a few hundred words. But I feel good about it. It puts something positive in the story that I hadn't made clear before. Clarity. I've come to love clarity.

Chapter 52 is where the change happens. Right near the end.

Another crazy-fun privilege?

Getting a brand new cover! I'm delighted with it. The wonderful JT Lindroos put it together. He also did one for Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts. Can't wait to show you that one, too.

So, what do you think about a writer going back and changing something in a new version of a book of fiction? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Whatever you think, thanks for being here.

2 comments:

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Love, love, love that new cover. You sure work with some talented artists.

I think it's a good thing you're updating MOON to make it clearer for readers. I've worked with two authors who updated their books after the rights reverted to them so they could re-release them as ebooks. Their novels came out a while back (1980s and '90s) so they wanted to include more modern details (cell phones, DNA technology, etc.) to make the stories more contemporary. I didn't see anything wrong with that at all.

carmar76 said...

well, i just started reading IM, so i am far away from the chapter in question. i feel that it's YOUR work and if there's something you feel will improve it or make it clearer, you have every right to change it. i have the hardest time w/ that - i can edit others' work, but changing even a little of my own is so hard! because i write what i'm thinking at the time, and once it's written, that's it! LOL

so, kudos to you, my friend! can't wait to read it through & get the scoop on the change!! : )