Book changes #SFR #SandalPress folding, but wait…!

I usually try to blog about non-SFR things at the TGE blog, but Something’s Come Up, as they say. So this one is going to have a self-publishing focus, with a bit of SFR thrown in.

The rotten thing about self-publishing is what a monumental time pit it is. So much time and energy is spent formatting, updating websites, updating social media, marketing, overseeing covers, wrangling with technology, etc. that writing time itself becomes rare. It’s like writing while working, except your work is also part of the writing business and there’s no second source of income. However, for me, that is all balanced by one thing. Control. Self-publishing gives me the kind of flexibility and control that would be impossible with a book published by the typical, multi-author press. Which is a nice lead-in to something that I consider to be quite important.

Sandal Press is no more. It will take another twelve months to disappear completely, but J and I are phasing it out. At the same time, we’re phasing in something new: Challis Tower. The last two months have seen some massive work as we switched over a dozen books. The rest will move over on their publishing anniversary, because it’s just more convenient for us that way. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the titles of most of my SFRs have also been reworked. And here comes the flexibility and control that I was talking about. Because I self-publish, I can change the title and cover in quick time. So what’s changing, you may ask? I’ll put the before and after pictures here so you can see them at a glance. (Clicking on each image will take you to the new book page at Challis Tower.)

Restoration becomes Her Scandalous Affair:

Balance of Terror becomes Escape From Enemy Hands:


The Pirate’s Grand Plan becomes Seducing the Reluctant Heiress:


On Bliss becomes Shapeshifter’s Saviour:


and Prime Suspect becomes Hunted Hermaphrodite Lover:


Space opera is not excused from this wholesale retitling. We decided to move to a more representative look for the series, so Quinten’s Story becomes Perdition:


Quinten’s Revenge becomes Gilgan:


Quinten’s Choice┬ábecomes Jaguar IV:


And, lastly, my contemporary romance, Singapore Sizzle, becomes Her Young, Millionaire Lover:


In addition to the retooling, I also gave every single book another quick edit, to tighten the prose (that’s the problem with writing, you can always fiddle!) and put a list of unfamiliar terms up-front because I’d heard that Amazon is going through some spellcheck frenzy and I didn’t want my SF terms to be caught up in their net as errors.

Why have we done this? It’s an experiment. We’re testing the new titles to see if it grabs reader attention more than the old titles did. J thought the old ones were a little on the dry side and, to be honest, with so many books out there in the digital marketplace, we’re willing to take a punt and see whether we can improve our visibility. It certainly can’t hurt. If anything happens, I’ll report back. In the meantime, the new books are slowly rolling out (it’s never ever fast enough) and we’ll be sitting on our hands and crunching monthly numbers at the same time (we’re super-talented that way). We figure we’ll give it a year and reassess closer to the next anniversary. Wish us luck.

POSTSCRIPT: It would be graceless of me not to mention my thanks on winning an SFR Galaxy Award for HER SCANDALOUS AFFAIR (previously RESTORATION). SFR is a small genre, I always feel the authors are fighting an uphill battle, but events like the Galaxies give us all motivation to go on. The first 2016 edition of SFRQ will be featuring Galaxy Award winners, so I hope you check back with us closer to the end of the month and prepare yourselves for some awesome books!

Author: Kaz Augustin

Writer, Linux geek, cook, homeschooling mum and middling soap-maker

4 thoughts on “Book changes #SFR #SandalPress folding, but wait…!”

  1. Congratulations on the new venture! I’ve heard many anecdotes about what a positive difference titles/covers can make (as well as the advantages of switching them up), so fingers crossed your work finds more readers as a result!

    I read once about how Linnea Sinclair’s cover change for Games of Command gained her at least one new romance reader, who left a comment (at a Smart Bitches post, IIRC) saying she would never have given the book a chance with its original cover (which even had both the hero and heroine on it). The irony is, IMHO both cover versions work equally well for the story. Well, at least with epublishing you have the control to make the change, if it’s called for. These are interesting publishing times, to say the least!

  2. Good luck with the changes! I like the originals for all the covers…but the new titles/covers does link it more directly with a romance style. Hope it works well for you.

    1. It’s all crass capitalism, of course ­čÖé , but with SFR still such a niche genre, authors have to pull out all the stops. I think I was just too complacent up till now.

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