Why My Old Books Get An Overhaul
When I get an older book back from a publisher or in the case of Christmas Wishes, out of an anthology, I tend to not release it back into the wild blue yonder of the book world without a few tweaks.
I often go back and add words. Most of the time, double what it was originally, or more. Different writers have different philosophies about revisions on older books, but here’s mine, or at least, here’s one of mine… There’s more to the story than was previously told.
Take, for instance, The Swing. It is a re-release from Ellora’s Cave. It was part of a line of theirs that limited word count to a certain number. No more than 13K or maybe it was 15K. I told the very basics of the story to meet those requirements. I did that a lot. I could write a fairly completely story in 15K words or less. I didn’t write a lot of extraneous words. I didn’t use a lot of backstory. I simply told what needed to be told right then and there.
Other things that were considered when writing for publishers, was price points. The longer the book, the higher the price and a lot of readers balked at paying $5 for a 20,000 word ebook.
With many of my older books, my first books, they were short for those specific reasons. But now that I self publish most of my writing, I can play with price and I can add length, give more story to the readers.
I don’t write long winded epics. I don’t write sagas. I don’t write 300 books in a series. I don’t write 400 page novels.
I write novellas. It’s where I’ve been most comfortable and happiest. I’ve been experimenting with length and series or on-going tales and I’ve enjoyed it and will begin incorporating more of those things in my work. But I primarily write novellas. 40K max for most.
My books don’t change the world, but for a couple of hours in someone’s day, they can change a mood, a moment, provide an escape from reality. Some readers don’t want to spend 3 days reading the same book. I don’t. I like all in one sitting books.
I have added new scenes and extended scenes and changed scenes in The Swing. I have added a bit more emotion. A lot more tears. The sex is still there and is still hot. But I am leaving the time frame of a few years after 9/11. It works for the book. It works for the story. It works for the characters. I’ve freshened things up some. And I think that’s important with books coming back from publishers. As indie authors, we have the freedom to make those decisions now and I like that.
And I’m glad that you, my readers, have enjoyed the books that I’ve re-released, re-worked, and made new again.