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Thursday, April 13, 2017

How much to Meddle (or re-edit)

by Cindy Spencer Pape

Like many other authors who had books with a couple of no-longer-operating publishers, I am in the process of revamping and republishing a lot of my older stories. I had roughly twenty works with Ellora's Cave, as well as the rights back to a few from other publishers, so I do have my work cut out for me. One issue is paying for all-new covers, which is a considerable chunk, especially when a good amount of your income has suddenly vanished, but another issue to consider is the re-editing of all those books.

Fortunately, all three of my editors at Ellora's Cave were good when it came to both content and line-edits, so although I have found a few typos to fix, they've been a minor concern. Content, on the other hand, has led me to some interesting dilemmas.

While going over two of my earliest works, Dragon in the System and Djinni and the Geek, I had to decide if I was going to leave this closely linked pair in 2007 & 2008, or bring them up to the present. Both have computer science professors as heroes, so it matters. The technology has changed a lot in 10 years. After a long think, I decided to put dates at the beginning and leave them alone. They are correct to the time when they were written, and I didn't want to make them entirely different books.

Another problem with this pair, (Books 1 & 2 in my Geek Love series) was that the first was released by Ellora's old Cerridwen Press, or non-erotic imprint, while the second was technically erotic romance. I made the decision to strip some of what I considered gratuitous sex and make them both equally sensual romances--still quite sexy, but with a few naughty words and a couple of scenes removed. I actually like it better that way. When those come out, again, they'll both be full length sensual romance novels.

But I can't do that with all of my books and stories. Some of my erotic romance is really erotic. In fact, one trilogy, my only vampire stories, came out under EC's Exotika imprint, which means sex is genuinely the focus of the novellas. After a ponder, I came to a different decision for those. I restored the HEAs I'd originally wanted to put on them, but which weren't allowed in Exotika, and left the sex alone. They are clearly labled in the blurbs on Amazon, but I didn't sanitize them in the slightest. For a mid-level story, I chose the word explicit instead. The sex is there, and in fairly clear detail, but it isn't the heart of the story.

So going forward, I'll have sensual, explicit, various levels of erotic, and even one gay romance, all under my own name. Hopefully, since they will all be labeled, my readers won't mind.

What do you think? I'd love reader input on this situation.

Out now from Cindy Spencer Pape (Rook and Rose Publishing):

Marry Me, Marietta, an explicit Victorian romance

Exploring Ari: Immortal Cravings book 1, an erotic romance

Dani's Demons: Immortal Cravings book 2, an erotic romance

Coming Next Monday:

Just for Jess: Immortal Cravings book 3, an erotic romance

All new covers by Carey Abbott of Safari Heat Designs


Ashlyn Chase said...

I found that making a relaunch plan helped.
I kept going over and over in my mind what I could/should/would do with each title, and later I'd decide to do something else. Finally putting a plan in writing, making a commitment to stick to those decisions and begin the process of rewriting, combining, and relabeling, got the ball rolling without feeling like it was rolling over me!
Like you, I had good editors and trusted my own skills enough to make a few minor changes. We even had the same editor for quite a few books! Helen was great, wasn't she?
I used to be an artist, so designing covers would be fun, yet I still have a professional do some of these projects with me. I'm not familiar with the technology of cover creation. Like what is a dpi and how do I get 300 of them? Lol

Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, blogger at Handbags, Books...Whatever said...

Congratulations on your revamped books. Lots to do, but worth it.

Cara Marsi said...

I love your new covers, Cindy. I like the ideas you came up with to revamp the books. It's always a challenge to do that. I've done minor changes in the books whose rights I got back. Best of luck to you.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Thanks, everyone. Ash, I love the idea of a relaunch plan. I think I may have actually formulated one without calling it that in my head. Basically it was to leave time frame alone, leave the heat level alone if warranted by the story, and fix anything I just didn't like.

Melissa Keir said...

I usually leave them alone since they are older books. I know that sometimes things like technology have changed and then need the dates. I wish you much success in your revamping!

Paris said...

I love the new covers! Congratulations on releasing the books on your own:)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to hear the behind the scene stuff. Lol I'd read both of your Geek books 'back in the day' and had enjoyed what you're calling the sensual one so much more than the erotic. The sexy times can get in the way of the story telling sometimes at least IMO. Good to understand why you had a different heat level in them ;-)


Sasha Tomas said...

Going through the same process right now. It is a dilemma but I too decided to modicum tweeks and updates. It is hard to do a full revamp without messing up the original feel and storyline. I give you a lot of credit for going with your gut instinct!

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