SEETHINGS or Darkness Awakes. What’s The Difference Between These Two Novels Authored by Michael Forman?

Downloaded a copy of Darkness Awakes only to find out it was oddly similar to another book (SEETHINGS) written by the same author? You should. It’s the same book!

Q. Why on earth would a book have two titles?

A. A better title came along after the first edition was published but before the second edition went out. Simple.

Title changing is not unusual. Perhaps a publisher decided that their book’s reader-demographic was older than they’d anticipated and the original title wasn’t as relevant as it could’ve been. After doing further market research, they choose to reset the book’s cover and title and then re-market it. Boom! The new version hits its target market on the second go. One book was written, but it exists under two names.

Self-published authors complicate things, they second-guess their titles all the time. They’ll write a book today, publish it online tomorrow and then change it a week later. (I know of one author who changed her book’s title once a week for the first six weeks and then changed it a couple of more times in the year that followed). It can appear that one independent author has a dozen books listed under their name when, in fact, there’s only two stories and the rest are just repeats under different titles.

SEETHINGS or Darkness Awakes?

SEETHINGS was an original title, one I chose for my very first book way back in 2013. It came after penning several others and trying them out on friends, acquaintances, colleges, and strangers in the street. SEETHINGS went to market in 2016, and it remained as such for years. My second novel was ready to go in 2020, and I needed to think of a title that related to its prequel. Margo and I had many discussions about it. My thoughts were to go with SEETHINGS 2, but she wasn’t keen on it. She believed that SEETHINGS was too obscure. She said that the content was dark and needed that inference in its name. As much of the story is set on a yacht, Waves of Darkness became the preferred choice. I worked up a graphic and printed out a proof with the title in situ. It looked great but, ‘The first book,’ Margo said, ‘looks dated now.’

Did I agree? No, I still think the cover holds up well, but I had issues with the title — it didn’t match the second book in any way whatsoever. Does that matter? Well, to me, it did. I wanted title-connectivity between them and, if I’m to go to the trouble of changing the book’s graphic, I might as well look at the title too and get what I want. Darkness Awakes was created. The new version was uploaded into the AMAZON library at the same time Waves of Darkness went there. At the time, it appeared that Michael Forman had two brand-new book releases at once, when in actual fact, there was only one new one to speak of.

and then SEETHINGS resurfaces again

I did a really dumb thing. Frustrated with Amazon, I went across to Smashwords (in 2020) with my old SEETHINGS cover and then published it over there. I also knocked-up another cover for the second book (Waves of Darkness) and then called it SEETHINGS 2. Both novels were put there only as experiments. I didn’t expect much. I anticipated zero interest.

Wow.

I mean, WOW!

I was so wrong.

Amazon was okay but Smashwords was out of this world. Readers came from everywhere. I couldn’t believe the level of interest shown in both books. It’s a totally different environment at S/W’s. Amazon tends to favour already-established authors. They promote the big names and the smaller, emerging ones get buried in the noise. It’s easy for newbies to be overlooked in an Amazon world.

But Smashwords searches tend to be fairer towards new authors. Similarly, readers tend to be on the lookout for emerging works and are prepared to take chances — then promote the good books via online reviews over at Goodreads. It’s a much more intimate relationship, one that works very well for authors and readers alike.

Titles formula in brief:

  • SEETHINGS = Darkness Awakes
  • SEETHINGS 2 = Waves of Darkness

There you go. That should explain much when it comes to deciding which books by Michael Forman you’ve already read. 🙂

-Michael Forman (Author of Dark, Adult Fiction)