Monday, 13 February 2012

What do you do when you publish before you're ready?

Thomas from Leeds sent in a question that raised all sorts of issues. As he explained: I self published a novel two months ago on both Smashwords and Kindle. It’s doing okay-ish, but I woke up this morning and realised I could have done it not only differently but better. It would mean a major rewrite and a major restructuring of the book (two months, tops) same tale, but a different approach. It would also mean that the people who already bought it have an inferior product. What do I do? Leave it alone and put it down to bitter experience, or rewrite and offer those who have already bought a fresh copy for free? I wouldn’t know how to get in touch with most of them. Any advice gratefully accepted.

The main question to ask yourself is whether you want to leave what you see to be an inferior product on sale. If the answer to that is no, then you have no option but to write the new version.

Why not remove it from sale now until you have done the rewriting and editing? If anyone contacts you to ask why, you can explain what you’re doing. If it’s someone who has bought the original version, say you’ll give them a free copy when you re-launch.

If you have a blog and/or use a variety of social media, you could make a big announcement when the new version is released.

An alternative is to leave the book on sale, but rewrite and restructure and then put the new version on sale under a different title. If the approach is that different, it’s going to be a different book anyway.

So, as far as I can see, these are your only options:
  •  Leave it and put it down to experience
  •  Remove from sale, rewrite and re-launch
  • Leave on sale and rewrite, but launch the revised version under a different title (assuming the story is sufficiently altered to make it a new book)
 I hope that helps and doesn’t simply confuse you even more.

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