When I first put The Night Watchman up as an ebook, I was clueless. CLUELESS. With my publisher's help, the book appeared as a complete trilogy - all three volumes (and nary an edit in sight, except those I did myself.)
My publisher created a cute cover for me - an eerie little blue train with my name and the title of the book. The image seemed to garner a lot of attention; the edition sold well and my publisher and I were both happy.
But print trembled on the horizon. I knew we would have to go to the next level and put the book in paperback. Here is the thing:
YOU CANNOT PUT ALL THREE PORTIONS OF A TRILOGY IN ONE VOLUME OF A PAPERBACK.
Well, that's not quite true. You can do it if you're Steven King - Hello, The Stand?! Over 400K words? - but when you are shipping the book yourself, not so much.
So, my publisher and I decided to split the book after the second volume of the piece. A new cover was created - the one that is currently up, with the cool, steampunk train. (This cover, by the way, was done by my very talented sister.)
The first portion of the book - the one that will now be The Night Watchman Express - was sent in for copious edits and a thorough revamping. The manuscript was formatted by my best friend, who is also a cover artist.
And I got a new cover. This new one was designed by J. J. Makins, the author of The King of Egypt, and she did a terrific job. My friend who did the script format then realized the concept with graphics.
I hope to reveal the cover to you when my book does go up as a paperback (any day now.) I'm really, really happy with the way the script and the cover turned out.
So what have we learned here?
1. Most importantly: Write in printable chunks.
2. Also very important: It really does take a village to print a book. Thank you to J. Darroll Hall, Lesley West, Lisa Daly, Pame Albacete, J.J. Makins, and all involved.
3. The Night Watchman Express is no longer going to be all three volumes. The ebook will switch to two halves in a few days. If you want to get the entire trilogy - buy it now!
4. The second half of the book, Devil's Kitchen, will go up as an ebook as soon as I get another of those cover thingies.
5. I'm also rolling out a third volume, The Lamplighter's Special - and, ditto on the cover thingy.
The final cover for TNWE will be revealed shortly - watch this space!