Publishing, Re-Publishing, Re-Issue, and New Covers

To satisfy a little bit of ego, here I am with the
first book in the Jonas Watcher series.
It might be the first of April when this will appear, but it is not about April fools, it's about learning from others mistakes, so I am sharing my mistakes so that others might learn. As I have said before I am a self-published author. Although I may be considered a pariah in some literary circles, I continue to write and publish what I write. This is not to say there aren't problems with the traditional publishing process but self-publishing has its problems.

This is not about the writing process, but how you choose to actually get published. I am a truly a DIY kind of writer/publisher. There are a lot of services out there to help you get your work published, and this is about my choice and my mistakes or rather my ignorance. I chose to use CreateSpace as my means to get published. From the outset, I believe this was my best option, and I still do. However, I have put myself in the position of having to do some extra work because I didn't quite understand how part of the publishing process in CreateSpace works. It may be I still don't, but I have adjusted my path because it works for me. I am about to publish my third book in the Jonas Watcher series. A third book is a bit of a milestone, and I decided that I wanted to re-issue the first two books, second editions, with new covers. I also realized that I hadn't named the books properly.

When setting up a title in CreateSpace there are a number of fields to fill out. One is a title, a sub-title, and a series name. When I was looking into various publishing options at the time, the title I was thinking of was "Jonas Watcher: The Case of the Running Bag". When I started I hadn't thought I would be writing a number of books that would fall into a series. When I filled out the fields for CreateSpace I didn't really understand what to put in, and in time, I discovered it was wrong. I filled out the title as "Jonas Watcher", I filled out sub-title as "The Case of the Running Bag" I hadn't started out with a series name, but eventually, I filled in Jonas Watcher. Later this bit me in the ass.

Once an ISBN number is assigned to a title, it cannot be issued under a different title. Of course, you can have multiple ISBN numbers assigned to a title. For me, this was an oops. When the "The Case of the Running bag" goes to press it will be a second edition with appropriate corrections in grammar, spelling, and typos. There is a new cover, and here are the two covers. The one on the left is the latest cover for the first edition or first printing, the cover on the left is the cover for the second edition or printing.

Since the series started out as a single book, I was unfamiliar with how to set things up for the series. I may still be wrong. I don't know how many books there will be in the series, it is six and counting. I finish a book and ideas for more come to me. A blessing or a curse? While I do not consider myself in the league with Conan Doyle, I still like my detective and I like writing about him. At this point, there are two titles for the same book. I thought I might be unique, but I discovered that this isn't that uncommon. However, mine was through ignorance on my part, I am not sure that was the case with other author's titles.

The first book in the series is now "The Case of the Running Bag" and the subtitle or tagline is
"A Jonas Watcher Detective Adventure". I created a new cover and this is being identified as a second edition noting fixes to the previous edition. Since I haven't sold thousands of books I doubt there would be much of an outcry from fans. Second editions have been fixes of first editions for hundreds of years, so this is probably much ado about nothing except for my own desire to get it right in my own eyes.

The third book in the series has no issue at this time since it is now going through the publication process for the first time and I now have a better direction in how I want to release my volumes. That is another change, the books will be identified as volumes one, two, three, etc. So far the books have been published in a time sequence that is relevant to the Jonas Watcher cases. We;'ll see how long I can keep that up.

Each novel is stand-alone. Volumes one and two are more closely related to each other than later novels will be, maybe. I do my own cover design. My wife assists in this because she has a better sense of art than I do. Covers are a big deal, but only on a couple of levels. If you have name recognition than an author's name predominantly on the cover is a must. I suspect Stephen King and James Patterson sell more books than any title they create. I have heard people say they look for authors because they'll buy almost anything they write. If a series is popular that will also sell well. The image comes in strong for a lot of people. Fantasy and romance readers will look at a cover and pick up a book if they are attracted to the cover. I have seen some very successful writers with some pretty ugly covers, but an author's name does sell. Still, an intriguing cover is just another marketing tool to use to sell a book and shouldn't be discounted, especially by an unknown.

The third book in a series is a milestone. Everyone has, at least, one book in them, it has been said. Maybe. In the genre, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times, according to Ian Flemming, is enemy action. What does it mean when there are more on the horizon. "The Case of the Looking Glass Mirror" and "The Case of Marie Laveau's Curse" both are A Jonas Watcher Detective Adventure in the works.

If it is a book in a series decide immediately. Don't use the Series name in the title. Have a subtitle or tagline and put them all in the right place. There will be second editions because there will be mistakes. Fifty thousand plus words don't get written without mistakes, typos, and grammar issues. It doesn't matter how many eyes look at the work, an error will sneak by, they are tricky little buggers that way.

Good writing, good luck, and if you want to self-publish, look at CreateSpace, it still works for me.

Since writing this I have shifted to Draft2Digital. CreateSpace is still a very viable option, but because of changes with Amazon I was creating multiple sources and it was becoming complicated for me. Draft2Digital is now just a better option.

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