Wednesday Pop-Up: Taking a poll

A few months ago, I ran out of the hazelnut coffee that I like. The grocery store didn’t have the brand I usually buy. Looking around at the other coffees, I spotted one called Mackinac Island Fudge. Since the Island is one of my favorite vacation spots, and I love the fudge from there, I purchased the coffee and tried it.

The fudge-flavored coffee tastes so good, but it’s expensive. To make it more special and to justify the expense, I treat myself to a package of it as a reward whenever I met a writing deadline. I’m about to run out of it, and I don’t have any current deadlines to meet.

It’s time to set a new goal, but I don’t know what to work on next.

I have so many manuscripts in various stages of writing, but I always come back to the Legacy of Courage series. As many of you know, I wrote and self-published the Courage books, beginning in 2007 with spiral bound copies. Do you remember how tiny the print was in the originals? A friend of mine had to read it with two pair of reading glasses in order to see the print.

In 2012, I published the book again in a regular binding. I went on to publish books 2-6. I didn’t sell a lot of them, but I have a good and faithful following.

Last weekend I reread the Courage series. Working with a professional editor through the publishing process on another book, I’ve learned a lot about writing styles and point of view. When I compare my Courage books with what I’ve learned, they need a lot of editing before I can pursue looking for an agent and/or publisher.

The first book, Courage to Hope, has already undergone several revisions. Each time I ordered reprints, I modified the story, changing some things to fit the historical time frame more accurately. I’m sure if I looked at it again, there would be more things I could change.

However, I’m not sure I want to make any more changes. A lot of you love the Courage series as is, even though there were many mistakes in the original. I don’t want to mess with a good thing. I’m debating whether to edit and update it in an effort to find a home for the series, or to leave them as is, and continue selling them myself.

In 2019, I had a new cover designed. The reason for the change is because in the original cover, the barn is too modern-looking and in too good shape to depict the one in the story. Both the old cover and new cover are pictured below:

Original cover on Left, New one on Right

My poll today is twofold:

1. Should I rewrite and update Courage to Hope and try to find an agent and/or publisher for it, or leave it as is and continue to sell the books myself?
2. If I continue to self-publish, which cover do you suggest I use for reprints?

With either option, the biggest cost is marketing. Finding a publisher might mean more exposure and sales, but self-publishing means I can keep the story intact and move forward. Book 7 is already underway, and there is an outline for future books with the same characters.

If you’ve read the Courage series and have an opinion on either point, please leave a comment below, or on my personal or author Facebook pages. Your opinions are very important to me.

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