Why did I (re)edit The Knights Dawning?

on January 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

After much deliberation, my publisher, my editor, and I decided that we needed to revise The Knights Dawning (“TKD”) and give it the thorough editing that it never got the first time around. Below I have endeavored to answer a few of the most common questions that I have been asked regarding the changes:

1. Why did you re-edit The Knights Dawning?
2. So, what has changed?
3. What if I already liked TKD the way it was?
4. Do I have to reread the new version of TKD to understand what is happening in the rest of the books?
5. If I have already bought an old version do I have to buy the new version again?
6. How do I know if I have the latest version?
7. Will a new print version be released?

1. Q: Why did you re-edit The Knights Dawning?
A: The Knights Dawning was my first book. At the time it was released I was new to the editing/publishing world and unsure of myself. Even as my manuscript was going to press I was not comfortable with the product. I could not identify anything specifically, but I just felt that there had been too many changes and too many revisions over the three years it had taken me to get it to this point, and no one person—including me—truly had a handle on it. But I eased my reservations with the thought, maybe this sort of doubt comes with the territory. So TKD went to print and out into the world.

Well, it was not long before it came to my attention that there were problems with the editing. Every time I turned around, friends and family were pointing out new flaws. Some were minor proofreading issues, and others were more serious editing problems. For a while I tried to dismiss this with a shrug and a quip like “that’s what first editions are all about,” but then the reviews started to come in. Most were fairly positive, but even those people that had really liked the book made some mention of the editing issues, and a few of the reviewers were entirely turned off because of it.

It was a nightmare, not only because of the terrible blow I took from all the criticism, but also—and more importantly—because I knew the critics were right. By then I had flipped through the book enough to have that grim, inescapable reality shoved in my face. I could hardly open to any page without seeing some embarrassing mistake.

There was no question that the editing needed to be addressed, but now the question became, “how do we address it?” Thousands of these flawed versions had already gone out the door in print and electronic form, and despite the editing, TKD was already gaining a following. If people already like it as is, I thought, I cannot go back and change it, right?

The deciding factor came after finishing the first draft of The Knights Mourning (“TKM”). I had changed editors at this point, (one of the reasons why TKM took so long to be released.) and after going through a very intense collaborative process with this new editor in which we reviewed every page line by line, the feeling I had about TKM as a product was night and day when compared with TKD. With TKD, I felt I always had to explain, or qualify it to people, “before you buy it, you should be aware that some editing issues crept in. If that kind of thing does not bother you, then go for it.” With TKM, on the other hand, I was perfectly content to let it stand on its own. Love it or hate it, at least people would be judging the story on its own merits, rather than getting hung up on the editing.

But TKM was the second book in a trilogy. It became clear that in order to market TKM effectively, we needed a new and improved version of TKD, thus the decision was made to revise and re-edit TKD in preparation for a new printing.

2. Q: So, what has changed?
A: A lot has changed: I have streamlined the story, smoothed out the prose, and tightened up the plot significantly. The overall length (word count) is roughly the same, but it is now 103 chapters instead of 105. Nevertheless, it was important to me to cause as little confusion as possible to fans who have read an early version of TKD and are moving on to TKM. For those fans there are only two points of potential confusion of which they should be aware: 1) Richard’s opening battle that was originally a generic battle on the Iberian peninsula is now the Battle of Adrianople, a true historical battle from the crusades. 2) Henry’s first battle, which originally took place in Persia, is now overlaid with the Battle of Cresson, near Nazareth, in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Though the outcomes and relevant plot points of these battles remain unchanged, TKM refers to these new names rather than the old ones.

3. Q: What if I already liked TKD the way it was?
A: If you are already a fan, there is no need to worry. The essential characters, story, battles, and romances are all the same. I have simply streamlined the reading experience. I would be surprised if even one single reader enjoyed the book less with these new revisions.

4. Q: Do I have to reread the new version of TKD to understand what is happening in the rest of the books?
A: Absolutely not. The only changes of which you need be aware are the names of the two significant battles that are noted above: Richard’s opening battle is now at Adrianople instead of the Iberian Peninsula, and Henry’s first battle is now at Cresson in the Kingdom of Jerusalem instead of Persia.

5. Q: If I have already bought an old version do I have to buy the new version again?
A: No. Some e-readers automatically update any purchased books when new versions are uploaded. For Kindle users, however, Amazon should have sent you an email notifying you of the availability of the new version and explaining how to update to it from within your amazon account.

6. Q: How Do I know if I have the correct, updated version?
A: On the verso page (the page just after the title page) it says “E-reader version 3.0.” any number below this number means you have an outdated version.

7. Q: Will a new print version be released?
A: Yes. With this step behind us, a matching print version of TKM and TKD will be available within the next few months.

For any additional questions, please email info@pendantbooks.com and your questions will be answered as quickly as possible.

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