In the biz, authors and publishers do their absolute best to come up with a title and a cover that both capture a story and attract new readers. Sometimes, no matter what’s inside the book or how much it means to the people who have found it, the title and cover aren’t working the way everyone involved had hoped.
Once Was Lost has always trailed far behind my other books in terms of how many readers it has found and have found it. My publisher and I have been discussing for some time a cover change, and a title change. I was always on board with a cover change. I waffled on changing the title. I know what it means to the people to whom it means something, and I know what it means to me. But ultimately I want the story to have every chance in the world to be read. There are people unfamiliar with the hymn who don’t get the syntax of “once was lost”, and there are people plenty familiar with the hymn for whom “once was lost” broadcasts a religious topic which–as you know if you’re read it–is only a part of the story, though it is certainly about faith of all kinds. We came up with What We Lost, which we all agree retains the mood of the story and opens the invitation to read a bit wider.
Soon I’ll be able to reveal the new cover to you. I love it, and I think really goes nicely with all my other covers and is a bit more energetic and human-feeling. After that I’ll be updating everything across my web site to show the new title and cover while still making it clear this is not a new book.
If you already have Once Was Lost, there’s no need to buy it again! (Unless you are a collector personality and want every version of of everything.) It’s the exact same book inside, I promise you. It’s just getting a makeover, and a lovely one at that, if you ask me. Cover to come soon!