Taking my hits, I decided that once my contract with the publisher expired, I would re-publish on my own. So back I went to addressing all those questions that had overwhelmed me the first time around. The changing seasons inbetween times had done nothing to lessen the difficulty I had in facing and resolving those issues. Indeed, in some ways, I ended up with even more questions and issues to resolve.
The first thing I had to decide was whether I would make any “substantive” changes to the work or simply re-publish it in the same form. To make the most of my efforts, I decided to do another edit. This would allow me to address any issues that readers had mentioned to date and in that way, improve upon the work. I should say here that my work best fits in the category of “epic” fantasy. An epic fantasy includes the creation of a new world and a system of magic. It takes time to create such a world. Thus, epic fantasy works tend to be on the “longer” side. For my part, I can say that I do not read epic fantasies just to finish the stories—I read them to get lost in new worlds for as long as possible. Accordingly, as a reader, I am fine with a book of any length. (I am always first drawn to those in the 600+ range. No doubt I’ve missed many a great work that just wasn’t long enough to capture my attention at the outset . . . .) Even so, for my own work, I set out to cut whatever I could, wherever I could, without changing the story that others had enjoyed and without removing those bits upon which future stories in the series will rely. (It is amazing, how long it takes to get the words down and how fast they can disappear . . . .)
About that time, two things happened that saved me. First, several prior readers contacted me to inquire when part two would be ready, as they are anxiously awaiting it. Second, another author reminded me: “we cannot write by committee.” My beta readers had only gone through the early scenes. I took from their comments what I could, applied those principles throughout, then wrapped up my own editing.
Finally, as I neared completing my edits, I looked forward to the next major issue: what to do for my cover. Next time I will tell about who I worked with for my cover. I’ll take you on the photo shoot and even introduce you to the model. Until then!