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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Revised Version of Self-Pubber

   
Author Topic: Revised Version of Self-Pubber
enigmaticuser
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If you find you have improved since you wrote something (I hope you would) and self-published it. How do you feel about writing a 2nd edition that improves on the original? Especially, what if improving means adding new material?
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extrinsic
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The principle I see on this matter is substantive revision. I'd also be inclined to revise more than the action, like change the title, character names, time, place, situation, place names, events, voice, perhaps genders and other identity markers, anything that was not substantially intrinsic to the plot.
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Reziac
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Do you mean a second edition for sale to all, or as a free upgrade to previous purchasers?
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MattLeo
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Well, if it's case of line-editing or fixing SPAG problems, by all means revise an already published book. If you're changing the story, then how I feel about it depends. One thing I'd take into account is how many books you've written. I see too many 1 book authors who endlessly tweak the same manuscript for years. Usually it does not get better, because they've learned all they could from just that one story.

I feel strongly that authors ought to write three or four novels before they start revising their first novel. Possibly more.

Writers in the Jack Woodford school say never look back. Personally, I think "never" is a bit much for anyone to say to someone else. As a reader, I don't much care for authors changing a story I've already read, but if it turns a bad story into a good one, or a good one to a great one, then I'd be OK with it.

If you have a good reason to make a major revision to a published book, and you have good reason you're capable of making a much better revision, then I don't see why not. But if you can't deliver, all you're going to do is annoy people who've already read your book.

Revising a book in a sense can't be undone for the readers. Mess it up, and "Han shot first" will haunt you forever.

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Grumpy old guy
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My own opinion is that once you've done the best you can and then self-published the story, move on. It' just a story, and there are plenty more where that one came from.

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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I've read lots of works that were weaker than their original appearances after the writers did some revision for a later release. (A. E. Van Vogt comes to mind.)

Except for the fixing of obvious errors in spelling and grammar and such, just let it lie there.

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History
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
I've read lots of works that were weaker than their original appearances after the writers did some revision for a later release. (A. E. Van Vogt comes to mind.)

Except for the fixing of obvious errors in spelling and grammar and such, just let it lie there.

E.g. For me, "Against the Fall of Night" by Arthur C. Clarke was superior to the revised "The City and the Stars".

Yet, The revised edition of "The Hobbit", after Tolkien had written the LOTR was necessary and better to bring the earlier book in concordance with the later work.

When Christopher Paolini revised and added new content to "Brsinger" in a revised edition, I viewed this adversely--much as I do movie studios putting out gold, platininum, extended editions ad nauseum of DVDs to make completists repurchase them.

However, I might feel differently (a little) for a low-cost e-book. If I felt it necessary to do such a revisiom of an ebook, I'd likely offer buyers of the original edition the update for free--good PR.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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enigmaticuser
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I totally get "Han shot first."

I was thinking I'm much better at characterization (in my own conceit) and *written with shamefacedness* grammar. I thought I was pretty good, got decent feedback, but I just find I have improved.

So I've thought of "fixing" some of that. Not changing a plot point but tying up some loose ends. But I think I agree with Matt. Finish a couple more novels before thinking about going back. The reason I said it was done when I did was to stop the cycle of endless revision.

Of course, if I did further characterize . . . there's the danger I would have to change the plot, and that would be bad.

I was mostly thinking the sequel will be dramatically stronger, and make the original look weak by comparison.

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extrinsic
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I've got a trunk load of narratives I wouldn't show Mom if she were still with us. I just today raveled out the shortcoming of one story that addressing makes the story fly. The story has been on the back burner for a year. I've got quite a few to revisit, that I know their shortcomings and can rework. Others, I'll let alone for some more fermentation. The ales and lagers and meads ripen in their own time. My early works were more summaries and explanations than stories, I now know intimately.
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