It seems that the decision to completely restructure and rewrite the original story that has become Harry Heron; Midshipman's Journey, is paying dividends. It proves to me, if proof was needed, that having a competent editor on board, one who understands publishing and what readers like, is an essential aid to successful writing. Sales have taken off in the two months since it was published, and I'm delighted. Obviously, having invested a lot of time in the book, it is a fantastic boost to know it is a genre and a story readers are enjoying.
The effort to rewrite a story is almost more demanding than crafting the original. For one thing you have to 'rethink' parts - see it from a different perspective - which, as you are wedded to the story you told originally, isn't always easy. It often requires cutting out huge chunks of text you originally crafted and replacing it with a completely new section, often to convey the same information, or the same essential part of the interaction between characters in a new, better, manner. This is where a good editor is a vital part of the effort, precisely because they can stand back and tell you exactly what is wrong with what you've written, and suggest ways to take it from 'good' to 'attention grabbing'. The difficulty is that, as the author, you have often invested so much of yourself into the story, it is difficult to 'cut' passages you have so carefully (as you see it) crafted. It is a challenge, but, if you really want your work to be the best it can be, it has to be done.
Janet Angelo, of Indiego Publishing, has done a great job of guiding me through the process, and the sales reflect her marketing skill and her skill in helping me reshape, and polish the story. It has been a long, sometimes tough, journey, but I think a worthwhile one.