Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG: Book Life after Life?

IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!




person stepping on garbabe
Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash.com


So, your rights revert back to you and you want to breathe new life into the old book. Maybe a new cover and a rewrite since you published it some odd years ago and it has a cringy feel.

How do you go about doing this without losing all the many existing reviews?

I know some update the book and save it as a minor change so as to keep the same ISBN and reviews. Others republish altogether but lose the preexisting reviews.

three pupas
Photo by Suzanne D. Williams @ Unsplash.com

Yes, I have a book I published a while back and I'm not happy with the cover any longer. I've rewritten the book, too. Made it tighter. Cleaner. Improved characterization. I've yet to format it. I'm still mulling over the new cover.

Have you encountered this dilemma? Is it best to put out a second edition with a different ISBN? Any thoughts? Suggestions? Help!




14 comments:

  1. My first book's 7-year commitment with the audiobook narrator is up this year, and I'm looking at updating it, adding back in a deleted scene, and redoing all the covers in the series. Losing those reviews on the first book is not something I want to do. I plan to check with Amazon to find out if the changes will make me lose those.

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    1. That's something I'm interested in as well. I'd love to hear of your journey with this if you wouldn't mind blogging about it! ;)

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  2. A few years ago I took a sabbatical from writing and at my request my boutique publisher pulled all my works and reverted the rights to me. They've since closed and I'm in the process of self-publishing my back list while subbing out new works. While it was disappointing that I lost all those reviews that were posted, I still use snippets with permission of the reviewers as promotional tools, like on teasers memes, etc. It's a way I found to retain some of my credibility even though the reviews are no longer "publicly" posted somewhere.

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    1. That's really smart. I'm sorry those reviews were lost--if only there was a way to keep those because they rightly belong to your books!!! *sigh*

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  3. I know several people who did that and they kept their reviews! If you don't get an answer here, post your question in the Facebook group. Someone will know.

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    1. That's hopeful to hear and a great idea. Thanks!

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  4. I've wondered about this...if there was a way to keep the reviews, because I wouldn't want to lose mine. I think I'd do the first option and save it as a minor change, but only if the reviews are favorable. If the reviews aren't and talk about things that need to be improved, republishing it would be a better route.

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    1. That's true. I promise to write about my experience if I ever do figure it out when the time comes!

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  5. My middle grade publisher closed their doors last year, and I was blessed to have another publisher pick up the book and the upcoming book II. They published the book as a second edition with a new ISBN, but had to show my Right's Reversal letter first and I got to keep those reviews. At least, this is how the publisher explained it to me.

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  6. I haven't published anything besides short stories in ezines and anthologies. I think all my rights returned to me within 2 years. So I can't speak to your publishing delimma.

    However, I'm a reader, and book collector. The one thing I like about ebooks is that authors can update without having to purchase the book all over again. But when it comes to paper books, its not so easy. AS a reader, if an author wants to update/republish a book, I think they should have that clearly printed on the cover, or spine. Unlike the ebook update, I would think a printed book needs a new ISBN, with the old one going out of print

    I don't really know how that works though.

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    1. Delorah, thank you for your wisdom and thoughts! It makes perfect sense. :)

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  7. I have zero idea how it's done. I have a series I would like to change the covers on and don't even know where to start. There is so much more to this writing business than just words.

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    1. Hi, Elizabeth! Joyce DiPastena is doing just that and she's waaay nice! She redid the interior as well as the covers to her Loyalty's Web: Poitevin Hearts. You can find her on Facebook! I have a book out there that needs the *entire* thing redone. ugh...

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