Can you believe it’s November??? And how about those Christmas commercials and the decorations going up at your friendly neighborhood stores BEFORE Halloween? I’ve been busy not only with sick kids (school starting and it’s that time of year), but also rewriting, yes REWRITING, two of my older books. I wanted to share my experience with that process as well as the process of pulling my books from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited book subscription program and putting them into wide distribution. Let’s tackle this in bite size pieces.
Rewriting and Republishing an Old Book
First off, I didn’t plan on rewriting my older books or changing the series name, but I did intend on updating covers that I thought looked outdated compared to the current market. I’ll post the before and after. This journey, which started at the end of September, began from me “cover surfing.” It’s kind of like channel surfing, looking for something to watch as you flip from channel to channel. I went to my go-to eBook premade cover site, The Cover Collection, and instantly fell in love with a cover that would be the cover for Love, Actually (Red Meets Blue). For a series, it’s important that the covers convey that the books are a part of a series. So… I decided I would update the covers for the first and second book in my Willowbrook Series. My go-to sites for stock images are DepositPhoto and Adobe Stock. I found images that I like, made note of the image number, then sent those to a cover designer I’ve worked with in the past. I also sent her the cover for Love, Actually so that she can match the typography of If Only and What If to the cover.
While the covers were being mocked up, I contacted my go-to editor, Claudette, to get an idea of her schedule for copyedits. Once I had her response, I began to rewrite If Only and What If from third person POV, past tense (Beneath her umbrella, Asa kept her head lowered) to first person POV, present tense (Under my umbrella, I keep my head lowered). If Only took longer to rewrite than What If, and I think that had to do with taking certain parts out that didn’t move the story while shifting and adding other elements such as more sex scenes, lol.
After I was happy with the final rewrite, I thought over what to rename the series. I finally decided onReckless. Once I had everything ready, I contacted Amazon to figure out what to do, republish under the original publication from 2012 or publish as a new book. They advised I publish as a new book. Below are the step-by-steps I took to publish a NEW edition of an older book.
- Unpublish the eBook from all platforms.
- Rebrand the covers in the series to be similar, showing readers the books are a part of a series.
- Rewrite the books.
- Send off to editor.
- Choose a series name.
- Publish using aggregators. I publish direct to Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Google Play, but use Draft2Digital (D2D) to distribute to libraries, B&N, Apple Books, and other retailers.
- On the aggregator or direct sites, I specify that the books are a part of the Reckless Series and include what number each book is in the series. I also include in the book blurb that the first edition was published in (year), second edition, revised published 2019 so that readers are informed that this book has been previously published. For Amazon, I go to my Amazon Author Central Log-In and include the disclaimer in the “From the Author” section.
To celebrate my books going wide distribution, I decided to make If Only FREE and What If 0.99 cents. I hope you’ll pick up the updated copies!
From Amazon’s KU to Wide Distribution
Now on to wide distribution. I go back and forth between going exclusive with Amazon as part of their Kindle Unlimited subscription program and going wide distribution. Kindle Unlimited is great for authors with series. Voracious readers will read through an entire series. I know I have though I tend to buy the books, rather than subscribe to KU just because I know how much authors make. In KU, authors are making about 0.004USD per page read. So, for a 300 page book, that’s $1.20. If a reader buys that book for listed price of $3.99, the author gets 70% of list price at Amazon, so that is $2.79 minus Amazon’s delivery charge. $1.20 vs $2.79. It makes sense to go wide. But choosing KU or choosing wide is a personal choice for an author and has been greatly debated on several platforms. FOR NOW, I’m deciding to go wide distribution again. The process is slow as many of my books were put into KU at various times. Below is an example of when my books will come off KU. What I’ve learned from putting If Only and What If to wide distribution is:
- Going direct with B&N is a PITA. Their book description is in HTML and if you don’t use the right formatting/rules, the text is jumbled and looks like crap. Lots of hair-pulling later and waiting for If Only to go live, I decided to use D2D to distribute books to B&N. Unfortunate. I was hoping to use their BOGO 50% as a promotion for my readers. Hopefully, B&N will make it easier and user-friendly for authors to go direct with them.
- Going direct with KOBO was easy, but there was no option to make If Only FREE on their price page. So… I went with D2D again for the option of making a book FREE. When going through D2D, the price changes take effect fairly quickly and their online support is awesome.
- I was thinking of putting the books that were due to come off KU exclusivity as PREORDERS on D2D to be distributed after the books’ time in KU was over, but apparently that is a big no-no and in violation of Amazon’s term of service. So… I will have to bind my time and upload the books as they finish their run in KU.
- I was thinking of buying an Apple MacBook in order to use Vellum for formatting and to be able to upload direct to Apple Books (can only be done using MacBook or Macincloud). I’m a voracious reader of romance and I love the fancy formatting I’m seeing in my fellow authors’ books. But, I’ve decided I’m sticking with Jutoh for formatting. I love Jutoh for its ease of use. So for now, readers will have to put up with my basic, boring book formatting, lol.
Here’s an example of when my books come off KU:
Pieces of Me: November 8th, can go wide November 9th.
Before You, Kissing Game, and Nora Ever After: November 30th
BUT UNFORTUNATELY, the box set that includes all three books is in KU so the books in the Kiss Starter Series can’t go wide distribution until the box set runs its KU time December 4th.
Hate to Want You: December 1st.
Secrets and Lies: December 13th.
And now for the before and after covers to the Reckless Series. Enjoy everyone! And feel free to leave comments!