Sunday, February 10, 2013

Getting Mileage Out of Your Older Books

copyright 2013, Aaron P. Lazar

We writers have to start out somewhere. Our first books, whether published or not, typically give us shivers when we go back years later to re-read them. Some writers don’t like to look at that early stuff, it just destroys their egos. I know how I felt when I did that seven years after writing my first novel. Oh God, how could I have been that bad?

It’s a natural phenomenon and quite common, to tell the truth.

So, what do you do?

Many writers are getting the rights back to their early books, some which were back-listed or abandoned by traditional publishers, and they’re rewriting and re-releasing them in various venues. Many are releasing their word as eBooks when they were originally just in print format, and lots of writers are jumping on the self publishing bandwagon which has almost overnight become less of a dirty word and distinctly cooler and unquestionably much more “acceptable” in the publishing industry today.

Are you in that boat?

I’m still writing new mysteries in my three series (, but I had a chance recently to take two of my earlier books back from the original publisher and have them re-released through my current publisher (Twilight Times Books) as “author’s preferred editions.”

Original 2004 cover     New 2012 Cover 
                                       by Ardy Scott

Original 2006 cover    New 2013 Cover 
                                      by Ardy Scott

I had the freedom to rewrite these stories with refined writing skills (compared to those awful first books) as well as to change some plot lines or add new chapters. You can read about the “do-over” here.

Something really cool happened with the second book in the LeGarde Mystery series, UPSTAGED. When my audio book narrator went through the manuscript, he came back to me with a very important observation. He said, “Aaron! There is SINGING in this book! What am I supposed to do with that?”

He referred to all the musical theater lyrics I wrote for my characters to sing in the musical within the mystery entitled “Spirit Me Away,” that Gus LeGarde wrote back in the sixties when he was a student at the Boston Conservatory of Music. I’d forgotten about all those songs embedded in the text.

I decided to ask my daughter Melanie Carbonneau, an unemployed singer with seven years of voice training and two masters degrees, to write some songs to go with the lyrics, record them, and issue them as a CD to go with the book(s).

Isn’t that the coolest thing? So now the songs (you won’t believe how gorgeous they are!) are embedded within the audio book narration, will be offered as an accompanying CD, and are good enough that we are considering making this fake musical into a REAL musical!

I know, I told you it was cool.

We do need to write the script based on the story within a story in UPSTAGED, get a good composer friend to write an overture, etc. for it, get the music transcribed, etc. and figure out how the hell you submit a musical to Broadway bigwigs, but we plan to forge ahead.

And all of this is because I wanted a do-over. Neat, huh?

You can get a taste of Melanie’s singing and songwriting here, and pre-order the CD if you like the sound of her voice. 

Audio Book Cover Art

 CD Cover Art

Please take a listen to some of Melanie's songs here and let us know what you think? Can't you picture a bunch of young singers dressed in sixties attire, singing their hearts out with this?

Feel free to add your comments about how YOU are taking advantage of new options with your older books. We'd love to hear from you.

Remember, take pleasure in the little things and write like the wind!

Aaron Lazar

Twilight Times Books by multi-award winning, Kindle bestselling author, Aaron Lazar:

DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (coming 2013 author’s preferred edition, print, eBook, and audio book)  
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)

HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)

FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook)


WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (2012, audio books coming 2013)

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (2013), author’s preferred edition of UPSTAGED (2013), and SANCTUARY (2013).

FINALIST 2013 EPIC Book Awards * WINNER 2011 EPIC Book Awards, BEST Paranormal * FINALIST 2011 FOREWORD BOOK AWARDS * WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top 10 Books of 2012 * Winner of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 * Finalist Allbooks Editor’s Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist  * Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books 2008  * MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008  * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012

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