Why I’m Releasing a Revised Saving the Dragon

Posted on February 1st 2021 ⋄ By Sara Cleveland ⋄ Category: Cover Reveal, News, Release Announcements, Self-Publishing Woes

***At the time of this writing, the updated eBook should be available on Kindle, Nook, iBook, and Google Play. I am currently waiting on a proof copy of the updated paperback before I put it back on sale.  ***

Saving the Dragon Cover

About the Cover

I didn’t necessarily need to re-cover Saving the Dragon, but I felt that it was the right thing to do ahead of Courting the Dragon‘s release. There were a few reasons for this. The biggest two were: 1) I wanted a cover that would be a cohesive piece of the series. 2) I wanted a cover that I felt better reflected the Fantasy Romance genre.

Getcovers.com delivered on both these fronts. They absolutely nailed this one, and I can’t wait to see the cover for Courting the Dragon.

Why a Re-Release?

When I published Saving the Dragon back in 2015 (yeah, it’s been 6 years folks) I had zero clue what I was doing. I made a lot of mistakes. Many of them are forever immortalized in the print copies already in existence. The publishing platforms back then were not what they are now. Y’all Google Play has really stepped up because their site sucked. At that point in time, I also didn’t have some of the tools and resources available to me now. Like Scrivener 3. That app is a godsend. I’m sorry Windows users that you’re still on version 2. #NotSponsored.

Anyway, just to give you an idea of the sorts of things I’m talking about:

  • Creating the ePub file I needed for Google Play was a straight-up horror-show in 2015. I had to use an eBook management application called Calibre to MANUALLY EDIT THE MARKUP when Google rejected it fifty bajillion times.
  • My author name was screwed up on iBooks for years and I couldn’t fix it till I purchased a Mac. iTunes Producer was, at the time, a dumpster fire that their own customer service had no idea how to use.
  • I was trying to manage various drafts and revisions of a 50k+ word novel (or novella depending on who you ask) in Google Docs. Please note, Google Docs is a wonderful tool, but it is not, I repeat, not the tool for text documents over 25k words with formatting. I’ve since discovered that Pages in iCloud manages slightly better with documents of this size, but only slightly.
  • I did all of my print layout in LibreOffice because that’s what I could afford. If that doesn’t make you cringe, it should. In retrospect, there’s a pretty great open source desktop publishing app called Scribus that I probably could have used to get a more InDesign-esque experience. But as with many other great open-source programs (*cough* GIMP *cough*) Scribus has a UX that I don’t find particularly intuitive. (I love GIMP, by the way, no shade).
  • Professional editing is expensive. That actually hasn’t changed. But grammar tools like Grammarly have gotten infinitely better so at least what you’re sending to the editor is less of a hot mess.

So, as you can see… It. Was. Chaos. I don’t even have a copy of the final manuscript anymore. When I started this revitalization project, I had to download the ePub from my publisher account with Barnes&Noble and use good ol’ Calibre again to convert it to rich text. Which, predictably, made a bit of a mess. And then I discovered something utterly horrifying: I don’t think I uploaded the document I got back from the editor. I think I uploaded my revised draft. Needless to say, this atrocity could not stand.

So.

Although for the purposes of Amazon and printing I created a new “edition”… this is not a new edition of the book. You don’t need to buy a new paperback copy. (Unless you want to, I mean, I like money.) I did not make significant changes to the text. I cleared up one mortifying mistake that my audio narrator pointed out and fixed some commas and typos. I fixed/updated my photo in About the Author. That’s about it. It was not my intent to make Saving the Dragon a better story. The goal was to make it a little more professional and polished as a product. (Which is the opposite of this blog, by the way. This is pretty raw, I don’t even run these posts through a grammar-checker half the time. Enjoy my comma splices, suckers!)

The only “addition” to the book is the preview of Courting the Dragon that’s been available for free on my blog for years.

What I really did change was the over-all look-and-feel of the print edition and modernize the eBook. There have been some advances in the format since this book was originally published. The reason for this is two-fold. Again, I wanted to bring a little more polish, but I also wanted to set Saving the Dragon up to be consistent with the releases I have planned for later this year and on into 202X (you aren’t getting me to commit to even a release year for Finding the Dragon after the purgatory that was finishing Courting. You get a decade). And yes, you read that right. I have releases planned for later this year. I even have the pre-order dates configured in Amazon so I’m contractually obligated to upload the final text by a certain date.

As for the audio edition, the only change to that is the updated cover, because 1) Hilary fixed my big goof when she read it anyway and 2) you can’t actually hear the other changes I made, or they are so small that you would have to be physically reading along with the audio to notice. This may however have the effect of killing Whispersync on the book, and if so I apologize.

There is a silver lining in all of this. Doing the edits and reformatting on Saving the Dragon gave me some major pay-offs. First, since I did it right before jumping into the first draft revision for Courting the Dragon, I found all sorts of threads from the first book that I need to weave back into the second. It gives me an opportunity to bring some additional continuity. Second, I will be able to reuse the print and ebook compilation profiles I created in Scrivener when I go to publish both Courting the Dragon and Finding the Dragon. This will keep the whole series feeling cohesive from a design perspective.

Thank you

So that’s it for the explainer portion of this post. Now I just want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has come on this wild ride with me. Everyone who bought a copy of my freshman attempt at self-publishing (I’m so, so sorry about the editing. Truly). Everyone who has nagged me (for years) about the sequel. And everyone who at least pretended to be interested when I went off on a writer rant. I appreciate you all. I hope you love the updates.

How to Get the Updates

You can follow these links to learn how to get the eBook updates for your platform of choice:

  • Kindle
  • Nook
  • iBook (this one isn’t directly from Apple, but it was the best I could find)

I couldn’t find a link for Google Play. From what I can tell, it seems like the content updates immediately in the web reader (there does not seem to be a 24 to 72 hr processing period as with the other platforms). I assume that re-downloading it to your preferred device should have the effect of fetching the updated files.


Fun Bonus Fact: I *actually* wrote most of this blog post before I’d even commissioned the new cover(s). That’s how excited I am (was?) about this release and what’s coming up next. I am (was?) also super sleep-deprived from working weird hours and pushing myself on wrapping up CtD’s revisions, so if I came across a little manic, now you know why.

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