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!
“Elaine, I enjoyed reading your story about growing up in Oxford County. (My Story, My Song) As I read along I kept saying to myself …yes, I remember that. I knew/ know some of the people you mentioned as well. Your river story reminded me of our three season farm ponds which were so massive we felt sorry for the poor kids in town who had to skate in a circle and could only change direction when the whistle blew. I was not impressed with that when I first skated in an arena and yes I also started out with second hand black skates.” Bernice
“Elaine, I just finished your book, The Loyalist’s Daughter. It was a great read and is hard to imagine how someone can put together such a book. Well done!”
Terry and Sally
“We both loved The Loyalist’s Daughter. So happy we have a ‘signed’ copy. Thanks for doing that.” Carol and Dennis.
“What a remarkable book! I just finished yesterday….It is one of those books that, at the end of each chapter, the urge is to ‘just read one more chapter’ before turning out the light….I had no idea what is involved in organizing such a fund raising venture and ventures across Canada and you explained it so well….[This] book that you wrote on his life and huge contributions needed to be written….Thanks for putting your writing skills to work into the life of Ron Calhoun.” John Snoddy
“Just finished your first book in your Loyalist trilogy – really, really enjoyed it. Those folks sure were hardy types in those days – I don’t think I could even survive a walk to the outhouse – hahaha. Looking forward to reading the next one.” Lisa Hutchison
“I loved the book. [The Man Behind the Marathons] So glad for the way you set it up. It kept me reading. And then the section on Ron came just as I was about headed to Google to see what led Ron to be the guy he was. The quality of the paper was a real asset. Top quality for a top quality story about a top quality guy. Congratulations. I felt your heart in every page. Thanks for letting me have an early look at the book. Very cherished.” Sue Hilborn
“Just finished your book. [The Man Behind the Marathons] It is great – so many interesting things about Terry and Steve (whom I had forgotten about). Ron’s story is, if possible, even more interesting. I can see why you were drawn into his life as a suitable subject for your first nonfiction. I did wonder how Ron’s one set of clothes washed by his mother every night were dry for school the next morning . . . and which race your ‘young daughter’ beat you in.” Wayne C.
“Just finished all three and enjoyed the stories as they were woven into the history of that area. Congratulations!” Lorrie Miller on Facebook, reacting to The Loyalist Legacy‘s Chill With a Book Award.
“It was a pleasure to be at the LWS meeting last night. Great information shared. Love your books and writing style. I will give them as gifts. They bring this time in history to life in a way that one will never forget. Thank you!” Rosemary
“Elaine Cougler has written a page-turning novel of the American Revolution through the eyes of a conflicted loyalist soldier and his indomitable wife. You’ll feel the hardship of homesteading, the fear of the enemy, the blows of battle, and the pain of separation. You’ll be transported through history. This is not just a novel written about another time, it seems written in another time.” Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans, Stephen Leacock medal winner
“I bought all three books at Probus club meeting in London. I loved the stories. I am now a student reading more about the war of 1812. Thank you for your stories. Love your writing style.” Gwen Moore
“I was delighted with the way you handled the Norwich Rebellion in the last Loyalist book, Elaine, and have heard many positive comments about it.” Marie A.
“I’m an impatient reader. If my interest isn’t piqued right from the get-go, I simply don’t continue reading the book. Both of the Loyalist books drew me in immediately!” Elaine B
“The Loyalist’s Luck is one of the best sequels I’ve read in a long time. It picks up right where The Loyalist’s Wife left off and takes the reader to Canada with a group of Loyalists escaping the American Revolution.” Denise F