Sunday, July 5, 2020

Book Title Dilemma

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you may know that a few years ago, I began reclaiming the rights to many of my books that had been published by Harlequin Books. At the moment, all the rights or partial rights to 25 of my books have reverted to me with the remaining 20 still entirely with Harlequin (two of those 20 were marketing novellas, and I don't really count them).

I've enjoyed being a Harlequin author, and I also love being able to republish the ones where the rights have reverted to me (13 are up so far, with 12 to go). I re-edit them for errors or language I think I can improve on, I change the covers, and then I upload them, some only as ebooks, others as both ebooks and paperbacks.

My dilemma occurs when I have most of the rights, but Harlequin retains the comic book/manga rights. When that happens, my new covers don't show up on Amazon. Rather, when a reader does a search for the book, the cover that appears is always the comic/manga cover. The new cover for the ebook is only visible when the reader locates the comic book/manga version and then proceeds to click through to the other versions. But as a reader, it's the cover that often convinces me to click on a book, so I might never even get to those other version links if I'm not looking for a comic/manga book. I assume that other readers feel the same.

Don't get me wrong. Those comic book/manga covers are fun, but the tone isn't the same as non-manga books. So my solution has been to rename any book where Harlequin retains the comic/manga rights. That way, the book gets its own listing. In the book description, I always include a notice that the book was previously published under a different title. It's, at best, an imperfect solution. I certainly don't want to confuse or cheat readers, but I also don't want anyone to miss out on a book by thinking that it is a comic book when that's merely an abridged/graphic version of the original novel. 

Here's an example. I'm getting ready to republish what once was The Maid and the Millionaire. Here's the original cover. I've also shown the comic/manga cover, which is what people see on a search for the book.


Here's the new cover with the title change. I would love to keep the old title, if only for the sake of readers, but not under the circumstances explained above. title and a note to readers in the description.

My dilemma, of course, is that I keep wondering if the note about the book's previous title is enough to prevent people from purchasing a book they've already read. Sigh.

At any rate, if you ever buy a book by me and, despite my note about the title, it proves to be one you have already read, please go to your order page, tell the bookseller that you accidentally bought the book, and get your money back. 

Thank you for listening, and if you have any thoughts/complaints/concerns, please let me know.

Best Wishes,


Laney4 said...

There is SO MUCH MORE to being a writer than just writing stories/books. I don't envy you this process. Good luck!

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Yes, I've often wished that I could just write. When I see how much time other writers spend marketing themselves, I want to hide under the covers. But over the years I've just decided that I'll do as much as I feel comfortable doing and try not to make myself crazy trying to overextend.

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. That helps! (And really, I have been very lucky just to be able to write and publish. I'm eternally grateful for that, especially since I know that not all writers have had the opportunities that I have).

Take care! Stay safe!