There’s a trend these days for authors to take older books, revise them slightly and put a new cover on them and release them again. I know this practice has gone on for years but lately it is even more prevalent as more and more authors jump into the self-published game. Frankly, as a reader, I hate this practice.
It is extremely frustrating for any reader to purchase a book that sounded promising, only to find after reading the first ten pages or so that it is extremely familiar. A few more pages, and its confirmed that not only did you already read that book, now you paid for it twice. I know I feel duped and I get extremely annoyed at the author for being dishonest.
As a fellow author, I have to wonder, why not just write something new? Obviously, you know how to write. You’ve proven that by all the books you already have done. Every author in the world will tell you they have more ideas for stories then they could have write in a lifetime. Why not get them out there? Why go back in time and recreate something that was done and finished? Is it laziness? Or is it simply doing what everyone else is doing?
When an author writes something new, generally readers who haven’t read that author before, will go looking for his/her older titles. The best promotion in the world, the best way to increase sales is always to write something new and release it. Our best-selling authors have several stories out there all the time. We see a nice uptick in sales for an author whenever she releases a new product if she has several titles with us. To me, that makes sense.
Older isn’t always better and everything old sometimes shouldn’t be new again. Remember things like orange shag carpet and parachute pants? Do we really want to go back and bring those out again? Your older books were written when you might have been a new author, you didn’t know what you do now. Why revisit them? Move on. They did what they were intended to do at the time. Leave them in the past and write something fresh and new. The bonus is if you pick up a new reader, he/she will go back and buy that old title anyway. It makes good marketing sense and good career sense. Stretch yourself as a writer, don’t fall back on what you’ve already accomplished.
You don’t want to fool your readers. Trust me, they won’t take a chance on you again if they’ve paid for the same book twice. So next time you are thinking you’ll just slap on a new cover and re-release something, why not think about your readers and what that means to them and give them what they really want, a brand new exciting story.
Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief
“To garden is to believe in the future”