I’ve been working on something for a while, but haven’t shared what aside from dropping hints here and there on social media. Now that I finally know for sure how and when it’s gonna be, I think you should have a proper update.
In case you’re wondering why I didn’t release SG2 this spring like I planned, here’s why:
The first book in the series was released in Dec 2014, so it’s been almost five years. It didn’t do very well for a huge number of reasons, and Amazon tends to punish books that don’t sell consistently by pushing them down on various pages. The most important thing for sales is getting on Amazon’s algorithms’ good side.
I knew that SG1 could do a lot better if I did the marketing part right, and then book 2 would get a lot more love as well. Publishing book 2 right now, as it is, would’ve been a waste of hard work and money, and basically a waste of a whole series, because book 1 sales define it all.
Then an author friend of mine suggested I republish the series once I have 4 books, and I found out you can actually do that without losing your reviews, so I said, heck yeah, I’m gonna do this! After some debating, I realized that there was no reason to publish and then wait until I had more books, it would’ve been a waste of money to advertise the same book twice, and also, there was the matter of covers.
In case some of you don’t know, a book cover is the most important part of marketing. Its purpose is to tell a potential reader that this is a book they want, in a genre they like, with an MC they’re interested in, and also, it’s professional, beautiful, and not some amateur’s creation (just like the book inside).
I wanted to ensure that book 2 cover didn’t have the same problems as book 1, and after tons, TONS of discussions, I accepted that there was no way to do that without making a totally new cover for book 1 as well. I’ve put a lot of effort into that old cover, 60 hrs of work over 2 weeks back when I was still working a day job, and many people said it was beautiful and eye-catchy, and maybe it is. But it’s just not right for my series. The tone is totally different than the books themselves (day vs night), it has an epic motif (not UF), the wings make people think there will be actual wings or that it’s about angels (was supposed to be symbolic, hence the red). I didn’t like the typography anymore and wanted it to be more professional. This is only the tip of the iceberg, really.
I might still use that old cover for the short story, if I manage to redesign it somehow. For SG1 re-launch, I had to ensure the cover was top-notch, fit in with the rest of the crowd, and that the message was clear. One thing I wanted to keep was the red color scheme so I could redesign the other two covers and still use them, and I’ve managed to do that which makes me really freaking happy.
Of course, now I have to make a few more similar covers, and don’t ask me how I’m gonna do that ’cause I have seriously no idea. Like the first one, I guess, slow and painful.
But that’s not all. Another huge problem was the book itself.
I was going to give SG1 a quick re-edit and revision to fix and tweak some things before re-launch, since it’s gonna have a fresh start and everything. But I’ve learned so much lately about structure and good writing that when I opened those first chapters, instead of just making them more exciting I basically rewrote the whole thing. Then more chapters. Then changed some parts altogether because they were horrid. Then moved some bits around to make it better overall.
Now, it’s still the same book with the same plot and 80% of the scenes—it’s just the way those scenes were written that needed improvement. But of course, once I started, there was no dialing it down, and I found a lot of problems and weak links, and it’s been a very interesting challenge to fix it all in a way that makes it into a much better book overall, instead of patching up holes like before.
It’s difficult, but I’m getting there, and adding new scenes has been fun.
It’s going to take much more time than I initially planned, and because I’m a workaholic and don’t know when to stop, I’ve been suffering from various health issues for the past 6 months. So I decided not to do a summer release, and pushed it to September. It’s taken some time to figure it all out, but Amazon has confirmed that I can keep the reviews even if I take down the paperback. So I’m looking at a mid-September release for book 1, SGM 10 days later, SG2 a month after that, and SG 2.5 in another month.
Plus 4 covers =) Shoot me.
I’ll be hunting for new reviews for book 1 when it’s done, but even if you’ve already reviewed it, I’ll send you all a copy of the new edition, in case you ever feel like re-reading it. It’ll be a different book, honestly, you won’t recognize most of the scenes.
In the meantime, expect a lot of cover WIPs over the summer, because that’s what I’ll be working on while I revise, edit, format, and prepare everything for re-launch (including a new website). Patrons will get special updates on book titles and cover reveals long before any of it reaches everyone else ;)