A quick update on The Hale Gunslingers series...
After a few weeks of back and forth with some very generous folks who have far more experience in the self-publishing world, Heroan got a new name. First it was the back cover blurb that needed changing. Then I tackled the chore of a new cover. Then, when I thought I had pulled all the proverbial band-aids off and finished my revamp, the suggestion of a title change trickled into the conversation.
That suggestion was seconded and echoed by many, along with explanations as to why they thought it needed changing. I fought the idea for a while. I rationalized the selfish reasons I didn't want to change it:
1) It's my first book. Of course it won't be perfect. My readers will understand.
2) The meaning is obvious, right? I mean, it's heroine, but spelled like the MC's family ranch (and a play on the names of the three women who established said ranch). If readers just pick it up, they'll get it.
I was wrong.
Not that my lovely readers wouldn't get it. You readers are smart. You're a clever breed. You look for messages and meaning where others might not. I was wrong to assume readers would look past what appeared to be an egregious typo on the front cover of a book and want to learn more about it. Many did and for those patient people, thank you, thank you, thank you!
However, I was wrong to think it was up to the reader to see what I thought they should see. Readers read what we authors write, but then they see what their mind shows them using those words. The words are the building blocks, the framework for an imagined world, but it is the reader who fills in the blanks and runs with the idea, immersing themselves in the fine details of this new adventure. If their mind is telling them that a new author can't figure out how to spell heroine (or heroin, as some people thought it might be about drug running gunslingers), why bother looking beyond it?
When I finally looked at it logically, I realized the industry pros were right. So, after a little cursing and kicking myself in the shins for not opening my eyes earlier, Heroan was pulled from distribution and retitled.
Allow me to (re)introduce Hale Fire! Same book, same tough but troubled gunslinger, just a different look.
The first draft of Book #2 is nearly done (tentatively titled Hale Bent) and Book #3 is in the outline phase. Writing the rough draft of Book #3 is my target project for NaNoWriMo this year and I'm hoping to have both #2 and #3 ready to release within a couple of months of each other.
I'll try to update here more often now that I'm finally finding a rhythm with this writing/publishing thing. Also, I'll be putting together a "street team" for books #2 & #3... more on that soon!
Part of the re-titling process was finding a "theme" for the titles, so #2 & #3 will involve some play on the Hale name. If you have any feedback or title ideas you want to throw out there, I would love to hear from you on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can always send me a message through the contact form on this website.
And if you're participating in NaNoWriMo2020 and you want a writing buddy, my NaNo handle is "casber".
As always, never stop learning. Thanks so much for your love and support! Happy reading.