I'm sure you all know I spent most of August preparing my first three published books for re-release. Harvest of Dreams was originally published in 2010, and A Man Like That followed in 2011. Both were substantially written in the early-to-mid 90's and were only lightly edited by the original small press. My novella The Treasure of Como Bluff was written and published in 2012, so it was much more current. However, all had languished at the bottom of the sales charts for several years. The publisher never did much to promote them, and after I moved on to writing contemporary suspense, I didn't either. I hoped if I spruced them up a bit, enrolled them in KU, and did a little advertising, I might be able to introduce them to a new cadre of readers.
First came the covers. I always loved the original cover for Harvest of Dreams, but the other two left me cold. I decided to stick to the same concepts and color schemes--I didn't want anyone who had already read the books to feel tricked into thinking these were new titles. I'm please with all three covers now.
Next, I re-edited and formatted the books for Kindle simultaneously. This was more of a challenge than I'd expected. I had saved files of each manuscript, but not in the most useful format. For Harvest of Dreams, I had a Word document (very old version) with the final edits, but it was also formatted for print instead of ebook. The final version of A Man Like That existed only in PDF. I had to convert it to Word, then find and correct all the formatting errors. Unless you've done that before, you have no idea. The Treasure of Como Bluff was easier, which was a good thing, because I'd nearly lost my mind by that point.
The most interesting part of the process was re-reading the books after so many years. I was surprised and delighted to discover how much I still loved the stories and characters. Maybe because they were historicals, they stood the test of time remarkably well. As is true of most writers, my writing style has changed over the years. I did some updating in terms of removing semi-colons and dialogue tags and toning down the sex scenes so as not to shock any of my current readers who might pick these up, but I didn't have to make any substantive changes.
The biggest problem with re-issuing old titles is all the previous reviews disappear. I put both Harvest of Dreams and A Man Like That up free during Labor Day weekend in hopes of stirring up a few reviews. We'll see how that works out.
As for me, I'm glad to have accomplished my goal for the summer and ready to move on to new projects. First up: my ROP Christmas short story. I've written the first section, and I think it's going to be a cute one. My next project is going to be a new series about three artist sisters living in the Carmel area. I'm still working on the overall concept and tone for that.
Onward and upward!