Rae Wilder Revisions

My Rae Wilder series is undergoing a makeover. Inside (re-edited and a few minor story adjustments), and outside (new covers and titles).

For revision I'm working with Kim over at Another View Editing who is frustratingly good at pointing out my mistakes :)

The digital art was done by Renu Sharma who was a joy to work with. It was the first time I had comissioned art work, and I was pleased by how smooth and painless the process was from start to finish

The first Rae Wilder cover seemed to strike a cord and held me in good stead. I'm fond of it, but it's always good to keep things fresh.

I've had grumbles about the change of covers (some quite poetic and fervent). A title change is a substantial risk to take since a significant body of people have already bought the books, but that is the beauty of eBooks. iBooks, Nook and Kindle readers (if the right settings are switched on) will update automatically. I don't really have to worry about people double buying, because it's not possible on those platforms (unless you delete the title).

The branding is stronger on this second set. The changes were not done on a whim, as I explain later on in this post.

Demon Girl is now Glamour. Demon Day is now Compel. Demon Dark is now Enchant. Demon boy will now be called Summon. You can read the blurb for book four (I am aiming for a late summer 2012 release) HERE.

For fellow authors who might be considering large scale revisions like this, the cost is coming to just over £2300 (roughly 3600 USD). This was profit reinvested from previous sales. It has taken over five months to complete (I'm working on other projects – with focus it would have taken about a two months). There were several aspects which influenced my decision;

Target Readership
My current average readership is off what I expected and aimed for when reviewing the data available to me (data from social media). Older than expected by 6-10 years. Not a bad thing (a significant number of adults read YA fiction), but it means I'm not quite striking the cord I want with the younger end of the YA scale (13-22 year olds).

The other covers were not easy to connect at a glance when separated by other titles in recommendations, and when generally browsing in any of the eStores.

I needed them cleaner and more relevant to the overall themes in the books.

I wanted to capture the different kinds of supernaturals in the series, as they progressively become more prominent.

Defining Genre
Don't judge a book by it's cover is a good saying. It has become a saying for a reason. Most people do exactly what it advises against. That two second look at a cover can tell a reader your genre, readership, even your writing style at times. The genre of my books needed to be clearer: YA Paranormal/Fantasy Romance.

An eBook's shelf life is infinite. People can become desensitized to your cover – their eyes glancing over it because either; a) they've seen it so much they think they've read it; b) they have already crossed the book of their list of possibilities becasue the cover is not appealing to them. Backlist eBook covers will need changing every 2 - 3 years or so for new generations who have new tastes.

Cross Continental Appeal
My books tracked well on a European level (because I am European), and did okay internationally (US, AU & CA in particular), but they could be doing better. I had to find somewhere in the middle of these tastes (which is why I enjoyed working with Renu, she picked up on my preferred style quickly, and added a twist that could comfortably cross the North Atlantic and Pacific without losing any of the triggers). My books remain BrE (if another American tells me Glamour is spelt wrong I am going to scream).

Initial Results (no doubt I'll write this and things will change).
My books weren't suffering, but in the Nook store I've already seen a small jump from averaging in the 2000's to the 1000 -1500's. Amazon US, I was averaging in 10,000's, but now in the 7,000's. In UK, I was averaging 4,000's, but now 3,000's). There has been a measurable uptick in sales in the stores that have updated with the new artwork, considering books 1 to 3 are 17, 11 and 6 months old respectively, this is positive. iTunes has not updated yet. Sony, WH Smiths, Diesel and Kobo have all part updated.

My worry was they would all plummet into the abyss (might still happen), but so far so good. The primary future complication is the promotion of book four.  It has been shown under the old branding. However, the series name Rae Wilder is what people seem to search for (example; rae wilder book three) or just an author search solves that problem (and the "more books by" details in the backs of Nook's, Kindles, iBooks, etc).

So you see, not a decision made on a whim. It was expensive and time consuming, and I'll probably have to revise the cover art in a few years, though the names will stay the same.


  1. I really love your series, and I hope these revisions really boost your sales! :) I shared a link to this post on my blog today as well, feel free to stop by! http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/03/trip-around-thursday-hot-topics-and.html

  2. I really like it.It is such a good blog share here not only good informative and impressive thank you.
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  3. Anonymous21.3.12

    OMG!!! I just started reading your books. I started Glamour a couple days ago and I cannot put it down! It's gotten to the point where my parents are taking my Kindle away for punishement because I forget to do something because I'm reading. My kindle doesn't tell me what page I'm on, but I'm like 45% done with it. And I started the day before yesterday. :) I cannot wait 'til I get to the other books and then "Summon" will come out! You're an awesome author/writer. LOVE THE BOOKS!

  4. Anonymous30.3.12

    I absolutely love the Rae Wilder series. I got so into them that I finished all 3 in 3 days! lol. I cannot wait for Summons to come out! Your a great writer with a talent for fantasy. I very much enjoy reading your books and am looking forward to reading more.

  5. I must say I had not read any of this and was very confused searching for my demon boy book. I am happy the sales are up and understand the reasoning, but cant help but feel sad about the change. In my mind Rae was based on those golden wings and blonde messy hair. I still look forward to the next book, because I love this series and your writing. Hope the chnges are for the best :)

  6. This was a good follow up book to Demon Girl. It's about twice as long as Demon Girl so there's lots more action and story development and it also introduces many more characters giving the book a lot more back stories.

  7. Anonymous3.6.12

    I too love your books! I have to say I agree with meg but i understand you reasoning, i hope the best for you and look forward to seeing more from you

  8. Anonymous28.6.12

    I simply LOVED all 3 books. Rae and Breandan remind me of my relationship with my fianceƩ. We have a bond like theirs. These books had me crying and miss him so much. I cant wait to see what's in store for Summon!

  9. Laura Mcdermaid6.7.12

    I am all for whatever is good for you Penelope BUT I decided to search for your name via smashwords since I recently became a member and bought a book called enchanted because it said it was a wilder book not paying attention to the number due to excitement. Guess what. I ALREADY HAD IT BY THE OTHER NAME THRU BARNES AND NOBLE! Ugh really frustrating!

  10. Anonymous20.9.12

    do you have any idea when itunes will have book 4 ? im really looking forward to it.

  11. Anonymous12.11.12

    I LOVE the rae wilder series, cant wait until summon comes out and when does it come to the US??? Im sooooo excited for it to come out been waiting 3 months now bleh. But seriously forth is spelled FOURTH and "my nature" is used a but too often, try to stretch your vocab but not too much if you want to continue appealing to the YA's (myself included). Just some helpful critisism:)!!

  12. I love this series read all three in a day and a half. This is one of the best series iv,e read sense lord of the rings,and twilight. I could see the story unfold in my mind,feel the pain and hope,and cried when i thought my favorite was gone. That is the writing of a good author when you see and feel a story. I think this could be a movie series as good as twilight and i think the young would eat this up. Smart thing to do give some books to lid teachers at schools it sell like wild fire.

  13. Anonymous2.12.12

    So snotty sounding to Americans! I looked past the horrible grammatical and writing errors because the story was somewhat interesting. I won't bother to purchase any future books from this author.

  14. Anonymous12.1.13

    i'm still not keen on the changes i don't like the cover art but will still read the books. I have purposely not updated my book copies so I can keep the old names.. the cover art gives me the willies.


  15. Anonymous19.1.13

    not a huge fan of the new names or covers but still love the books and would highly suggest them, cant wait for the last book :)