Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Title, Substantially Different Book by Cheryl Bolen

 

This week is release week for my new book titled A Proposal of Marriage (Nov. 30), though technically the books isn’t exactly new. But it is entirely new. It’s a case of turning a Christian book to a sexy book with a total rewrite. Allow me to explain. 


Almost ten years ago the senior editor of a large publisher that specialized in Christian romances contacted me and asked if I’d like to write for them. At the time, I was about a third of the way into an uncontracted book that was to be in my Brazen Brides series, the first two books of which had been published by Kensington Books in 2005.

That book was going to be a moderately sexy novel featuring a character who’d been in the first two Brazen Brides books. I figured I’d accept the contract (and nice advance) from the Christian publisher, but I’d make it easy on myself by going with the book I’d been working on, take out all the sensuous stuff, and add a little religion. I don’t mean to make light of the Christian aspects of the book. They were heartfelt and I think I succeeded in making them integral to the story.

I ended up throwing out everything in my original version but the characters and the set-up, and the Christian version was published nine years ago. My lovely editor there even sent me a letter saying how much she loved the finished book.

Later, it bothered me that book was smack in the middle of my Brazen Brides series of sexier books, and it wasn’t very brazen at all.

So this year I decided I would republish it in a sensuous version. I completely rewrote that Christian book (I was able to save a lot from the original, sexy draft) and added not only lots and lots of sexual tension building up to the ultimate consummation between my marriage-of-convenience hero and heroine, but I also added back into this lighthearted novel my hero’s nudist uncle who was nixed by my Christian editor. Here’s a short excerpt:

I even had to renumber the books in the series because this one falls at number 3, and a newly issued one would have slotted in at number 6. So I had to move the previous number 3 to 4 and the previous 4 to 5 and the previous 5 to 6!

Though basically I’m happy over the process, there are glitches. Even though the book has been totally rewritten, has a new title and new cover in line with those in my Brazen Brides line (created by Killion) Goodreads lists it along with the original Christian version and keeps all those nine-year old reviews of it—which have nothing to do with the new novel.

For example, a reviewer of the Christian version complains that there’s no heat in the book as there are in the first two books in which my heroine makes appearances. I suppose I’ve just got to hope readers can figure it all out. I’ll try to set the record straight in my release-day newsletter to my fans.—Cheryl Bolen is the award-winning, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than three dozen romances set in Regency England. Look for her at these sites:

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12 comments:

  1. A nudist uncle! What a great idea. I love it. Happy Holiday and books to you, Cheryl.

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  2. What a journey this book has had. Kudos to you for reworking it more times than I can count! I’m sure your readers will love it!

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  3. I'm glad you can have a bit more control over the book now. I'll check it out. Good luck with it and all your books. I love your writing!

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    1. Yes, Keri, controlling your books is good. Love indie publishing.

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  4. I love that the story has its new renditions. I wish Goodreads would take down old versions and covers
    I'm sure it confuses the readers.

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    1. Right you are, Kathleen. One of the first reviews you see voices the reviewer's frustration that the religious book doesn't go with the rest of the series. New readers are apt to think it's a religious book, though it certainly isn't!

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  5. For a while, Merry Farmer published a sweet and a sexy version of the same book and released them at the same time with slightly different covers. A lot of work, but I thought it was clever. I have changed from sensual to sweet in two series and know that is not what fans expect. Best wishes to you for this release.

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    1. You know, Caroline, in many of series that started life with NY publishers, I've continued the series with much sweeter stories, and readers haven't noticed. I typically keep the bedroom door closed now, but I have a lot of sexual tension.

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  6. All that moving, shuffling, and "remodeling" sounds exhausting, but I know what you mean. Loved the excerpt, and the cover is so pretty.

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    1. It wasn't as hard as writing a totally new books, but it take several weeks. Thanks, Joan, for your lovely comments.

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