I'm Releasing a 2nd Edition. Here's Why:

In August 2012 (about 20 months ago), I self-published my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream, first book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Since then, I've written book two of the series; Mirrors & Mist. Because Crimson & Cream was originally edited in the late 1990s, I needed a new editor for Mirrors & Mist. Since it's the second book of the series, I asked my new editor (the talented +R.J. Blain) to read Crimson & Cream in preparation for the second book. Not surprisingly, she had plenty of great suggestions for Crimson & Cream, which I decided to incorporate into a new edition of the novel.

Although the core plot of Crimson & Cream remains the same, the way the story is told changed in many subtle, but significant ways. With the guidance of my editor, I addressed the following major weaknesses:
  • Replaced the abundant 'head-hopping' with consistent point-of-view (POV) scenes. 
  • Removed a large amount of information dumps.
  • Improved immersion by replacing much of the 'telling' with 'showing.'
  • Removed the purple prose.
  • Developed the secondary characters more fully.
  • Increased the conflict and tension, primarily in the first half of the book.
I also solicited several beta reviewers and have incorporated their feedback. In addition to the editorial improvements, a new cover, glossary, and world and regional maps are included. The maps and cover improvements were also prompted by reader suggestions.

I honestly believe what was a pretty well-received novel in 2012 (by the few who read it) is now a significantly better read. Crimson & Cream is still a classic swords and sorcery coming-of-age adventure set in a traditional fantasy setting. However, the second edition is less cliche and derivative. Even though the world still contains familiar creatures like trolls and goblins, Crimson & Cream is a character-driven novel, and the characters--not the monsters, setting, or magic system--are the story's focus.

When I released Crimson & Cream almost two years ago, I was a newbie and novice in every sense of the word. I had tried traditional publishing around the turn of the century and even had an agent for about a year, but nothing ever materialized. So when I decided to self-publish, I was not only low on self-confidence, but also very uneducated in self-promotion. I was too worried about failing and not prepared enough for success. 

I had no idea how to market a book (and I'm not sure I do now, but I have tons more things to try). My first release launch consisted of me telling my wife "Hey, I just self-published an e-book." Even with the non-existent launch and marketing plan, I sold a few books and received several decent (or better) reviews.

So in conjunction with the upcoming release of Mirrors & Mist, I'm going to re-release the new and improved version of Crimson & Cream, and launch and market it like I should have done the first time (cover reveal, ARC reviews, blog hops, and more). My plan is to be as transparent as possible (hence this post) and not try to 'trick' anyone into thinking Crimson & Cream is a brand new book (just new-to you!). Anyone who purchased the first edition of Crimson & Cream can receive the new version for free just by asking (although it's not necessary to re-read Crimson & Cream, as the plot resolution and character outcomes are unchanged).

My schedule is to release the second edition in mid-July 2014, and follow up by releasing Mirrors & Mist later in the year, with the intent of finishing the third book, Warlock & Wyrm, in 2015. If you're interested in reviewing the ARC or getting involved as a beta reader for Mirrors & Mist, please let me know, as I appreciate all the help I receive. I'm grateful all the support I've received from the indie community and look forward to learning and sharing into the future.