When the first book in my Loyalist trilogy was published, I was ecstatic. The cover was fabulous, the paper quality excellent, and everything else seemed just what this perfectionist wanted. The bubble floated along with me in it until, little by little, snippets of doubt crept into my mind. Oh, my readers mentioned over and over their excitement, their sleepless nights, their need for the next book just as soon as I could get it written. In fact, readers have been all that I could expect and much more.
Still, a few things bothered me. I’d missed checking the chapter headings and numbered them incorrectly. That was a relatively simple fix and that’s why the printer sends a proof copy. Then, as I did numerous public readings, I found the odd error. Horrors! The worst one was using the wrong name for one of my characters, an error which I discovered right in the middle of a public reading. Luckily my performance genes took over and my audience never knew. But I did. The worst was finding sections where the writing was just not what I am capable of and I hated those bits. Did I mention I’m a perfectionist?
This past spring and summer, I upped my author game by recording this first book for an audio book and that led to a perfect opportunity to go back and fix all those things which bugged me, and more. As I prepared each chapter for the recording sessions, I made changes in the text. Then when I was reading for the two hour recording sessions I always had a pen in hand. A large squiggly black thing in the margin was quick to put in as I was reading and, once home, I made the correction needed. This was a fabulous way to check my own work. Reading aloud makes me notice every little word and if it doesn’t read well, it’s probably not written well. Now I’m a convert for proofreading aloud. This is particularly good for dialogue bits and the dialogue tags with them.
At the same time as I was recording and editing the 2nd edition of The Loyalist’s Wife, my third in the trilogy, The Loyalist Legacy, was in the review process and I had cover decisions to make. Even though I loved the first cover for Wife, the thought of a trilogy sold as a set made me think about making the books similar. The second book, The Loyalist’s Luck, had such a striking cover I directed my cover artist to use it as a model for the third. While she was at it, she suggested the artwork above for the first one. I loved the idea and what you see above is the updated cover for the second edition. It cost me a bit of money but not nearly so much as you might think. Well worth it.
Here’s the full updated cover for The Loyalist’s Luck. I’ve added the other two covers on the back as well as extra words on the front for all three. (The second book of The Loyalist Trilogy on this one.)
Notice the number at the top of the spine. I love that! My three books will look great sitting together on my wonderful readers’ bookshelves, don’t you think? Because I made significant changes to the interior and to the cover of the first book, I chose to give it the second edition label on the inside title page. You’ll still be able to buy the first one online for a while but for my speaking and signing engagements, once those are gone I won’t order more. Get ’em while they last!
I have used the cover for the third book here. It will be launching in November with a three-week blog tour weekdays Nov. 7-25. More about all of that later. For today I just wanted to suggest to other authors that doing a second edition is not as difficult as you might imagine and when I received my print copies a couple of days ago, they pleased and excited me just as much as the first one did about three and a half years ago.
I’ll be looking for new editions from other authors from now on!
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Tags: audio books, cover artwork, second editions, The Loyalist's Wife
Thanks, Brian. You’re always my number one cheering section!
I would like to know more about the audio book sessions. How did you find a studio? How much did it cost you? Did you have any qualms about reading it yourself or did you think about hiring a voice actor instead? These are questions I have not been able to find answers to.
Congratulations again on what has to be a major personal accomplishment.
I happen to know someone right here in my home town who does this. We used his recording studio, he had the software and knew how to proceed. It took a couple of months of sessions, I think, before we were finished.
As far as doing it myself, people tell me I have a great voice for it and they love my readings when I present at events. One group told me they could listen to me read the whole book. Nice, eh?
Email me and I can help you privately with the rest of your questions. elainecougler (at) rogers (dot) com
Elaine, the book looks great and I love your enthusiasm for the spine! Great you’re planning for all three to be lined up on readers’ book shelves! Very interesting to read your experience about reading your book aloud for recording – sage advice indeed. I always did this for my short stories but haven’t bothered with my book will definitely try this now. Best of luck with your book and look forward to the launch.