The cover to the left is the newest for my novel Rising Tides, originally released in 1997 and scheduled to be re-released in this lovely edition in November of 2010.
Reissues can present both problems and possibilities for authors. On the possibility side, reissues give new readers a chance to enjoy novels we wrote before they knew they wanted them.
At the Virginia Festival of the Book this past weekend, I was asked repeatedly when Prospect Street would be reissued, and of course, what about my Shenandoah Album novels, the first three of which have gone out of print. Readers have resorted to used copies (a problem for authors who get no royalties and prefer eating three meals a day) or eBooks, which are not a problem since eBooks will probably never go out of print and do come with royalties attached. But not all our backlist is in eBook form, and not all of you have eReaders.
So reissues, with one caveat, are good for authors. But the caveat? Unhappy readers who didn’t know they were getting a novel they’d already read, because the cover–and sometimes the title–have changed. In a moment I’ll tell you how to avoid that with my books and everyone else’s, too. Read on.
Has Rising Tides been languishing all this time? Not at all. My publisher has been particularly supportive of both Rising Tides and Iron Lace, the first in the two book series. The cover to the right is the original, which was released in mass market paperback.
Below are some other versions. The first, on the left, is the next US edition, a limited edition mass market paperback. And in conclusion, some of the many, many “foreign” editions, including two you’ll see in English, one for the UK market and the other for the Australian and New Zealand market.
I think some of these covers are more successful than others. I like the newest one, which continues the “beach” theme of my Happiness Key novels, but with a more serious look to it. The new Iron Lace cover (coming in September 2010) is equally striking. (By the way, today I saw a “new” version of my “old” Iron Lace selling for $114 on Amazon. Get it while it’s hot.)
How about you? Do you have a favorite of these Rising Tides covers? Between now and May 1st, comment on this blog and tell us yours. Three winners of a random “drawing” (using random.org) from all appropriate comments, will receive copies of both Iron Lace and Rising Tides, in the most recent mass market editions. To comment, click on “comments” under the title of this blog and enter your own on the form.
And remember my promise to help you distinguish reissues from new releases? It’s not as hard as it seems. Always check the copyright date in the front, which is usually several pages into the novel. This is the date the novel first went into print, or at least, most of the time. Occasionally a novel has been changed or updated enough to get a new copyright date–although not mine, at least not so far. If you buy a novel and find you have read it? You loved it once, and it’s still a good read. Wrap it up and give it to your best friend for Christmas with one of my signed bookplates. Neither of you will regret it.