Five years ago this week, I was getting ready to release my second book ever, Purpose. Although it feels like yesterday, I can’t believe how much has happened in that time. Life is all about change, and sometimes those changes are huge and unavoidable, and other changes we barely notice until we look back. And then there are some things that remain the same as time slips by, whether for good or not.
Certain relationships stand the tests of time, and there are people in our lives we know will always be there for us as we will be there for them. We have habits and routines formed long ago that keep life moving smoothly. We rely on certain landmarks, whether literal and physical or figurative, for always being there to guide our way, a solid part of our foundation.
Then there are those things that should change, whether because they’re outdated or have become obsolete. Grandma’s brown and gold couch, for example, or Uncle George’s leisure suit. Styles evolve. Technology progresses. People grow. That last one is really important – if we’re not, as humans, growing and changing individually, then we are not truly living. We’re only existing. We do, we learn, we improve, we do again but better, we grow … and then we do it all over again. If you can look back at yourself 10 years ago and say you are exactly the same, you’re doing it wrong.
This idea also translates into the business world, including writing and publishing. Obviously, my writing has improved since my first story written in elementary school, but in the last 7 years, since I began this path of becoming a published novelist, it’s evolved tremendously. Any writer will tell you, even the greatest, that they still have much to learn about the craft. There is always room for improvement, and when you start believing you can’t possibly be any better, you may as well put away the pen (or the keyboard) for good, because you’re done. You’re already a has-been.
Not only has my writing and storytelling evolved, though. The industry has been through (and continues to go through) an era of volatile shifts, altering the landscape on an almost daily basis. I look back on the last five years with amazement at the transformation and applaud those of us who have survived and thrived. Yet, there is still so much to come, and we must continue to adapt.
All of these changes and shifts and alterations have been heavy on my mind for months. Actually, for about a year, as I prepared to release the last two books of the Soul Savers series. I knew those two books would be the end of an era for my readers and also for myself. Except…they really weren’t. There are still millions of readers to reach, so many to discover the story for the first time. There is much potential for the series in various formats. My brain, my heart, my soul wouldn’t let me just put the series up on the shelf and forget about it while I moved on to new and supposedly better. I couldn’t leave the series as it was, forever unchanging as life marched on. The story is too much a part of me, and as I learn and grow, I know it can, too.
So for many months now, I’ve been investing much time and money into Alexis and Tristan’s story. The current covers of the first couple of books have been out for over 4 years now. They were beautiful then, and although I still love them, they’re outdated. What catches readers’ eyes has changed, and these covers were no longer serving their purpose. I knew the covers would need to be updated a long time ago, but out of respect for those readers who like to collect a full series with matching covers, I wanted to finish out the series with the same look. They’ve had nearly a year now to complete their collections.
I’ve also learned over time a lot about publishing and book marketing and came to realize that my titles weren’t necessarily the best they could be. Each one was painstakingly chosen for the book, and some even changed a few times before publication to be the best they could be for the story. But you have to read the story to get them, and until then, they’re not necessarily meaningful. They do little in piquing a potential reader’s interest. Readers of certain genres, including urban fantasy, have expectations, whether they realize it or not, for covers and titles, and mine did not meet those expectations.
All of this to say that the Soul Savers series is getting freshened up. It’s being rebranded with new covers and new titles. And while I was at it, I’ve made some new revisions. Some of the books, like One and Seven, have more extensive changes (Book One has a whole new chapter), while others have simply been cleaned up. Please don’t worry if you are a fan of the existing story – it was very important to me that the original story and everything you love about the characters remained intact. Early readers of the new versions say it’s the same story they fell in love with, only better.
“The story hasn’t changed, there are a few tweaks, but nothing that will change how you feel about them! Honestly, I fell in love all over again! And Faith? Absolute perfection!! I was nervous to start, but now I’m more excited than ever!” ~ Christina
“This story is still the same one we fell in love with. I was scared, too, but I read and remembered why I feel so hard and deep for this series.” ~ Stacey
“I was lucky enough to have been a part of reading the new changes and was ashamed of myself for doubting the señorita badass that we know as Kristie Cook. I have never loved characters in a book as much as I do these. They stay with you long after the last page has been turned. I get it! The changes are NOT taking anything away from the story. So I say wait with greedy anticipation for the rerelease of Tristan and Alexis.” ~ Heather
In other words, the Soul Savers series is still everything you love, but hopefully less of what you don’t.
Now here’s the fun part! We’ll be revealing and re-releasing the new versions starting this Friday, Dec. 4, through next Thursday, Dec. 10 with a special Soul Savers World Tour. It’s a virtual tour that includes stops with six amazing authors, one per day. Then, on Friday, Dec. 11, I have an exciting announcement to share. So pack your virtual bags and be sure to join us every day as we reveal each jaw-dropping cover and give away some awesome prizes. Be ready to be wowed.