The thought of having to republish a book as a brand new edition isn’t anything bizarre in the nonfiction space.
Well, it makes sense to republish a book when the information in the book is no longer relevant and up-to-date.
Or it could be that the way you do things has changed over the years.
So, it’s best to publish the updated version of the book to reflect your current processes.
Whatever the reason is, you’re doing it because the book needs the updates it deserves.
While it makes more sense to publish a brand new edition of a nonfiction book, it can feel a little odd for fiction due to its nature.
Unless you need to fill in the loopholes in the plot, there’s no reason for you to publish a new edition of a fiction book.
But I beg to differ on that.
Regardless of what book you write, republishing a brand new edition of the book can do wonders for the book in the long run.
To republish a book or not
Let’s be real here. Republishing a book whether it’s fiction or nonfiction requires a lot of work.
Sure, you can still reuse some of the chapters from the previous edition and add them to the new edition.
But in many cases, you may have to rewrite the book from scratch especially when the whole book itself is already outdated and needs a major update.
Even if you plan to reuse the same chapters from the previous edition, you still need to do a little bit of rewriting so then each chapter will connect.
You don’t want the chapters to feel disconnected, as if you piece the chapters from many different books and call it a new edition, do you?
So, when you should consider republishing the book as a brand-new edition then? Should you do the same for fiction as well?
Here are some reasons why you should consider republishing the book as a brand-new edition.
And yes, that includes fiction, in case you’re wondering.
The series is your bread and butter, fiction and nonfiction alike
If you write in a series, you probably think that the first few books that you published back then were already good.
Try coming back to the first few books that you publish years later and you’ll notice how amateurish your writing was back then.
Those grammar issues that slipped under the radar even with Grammarly enabled?
Try running the same chapter on Grammarly again and you’ll notice that it picks up more errors than you can chew.
That was what happened to me when I decided to fix the errors in the first book of my Trigger Locked series, The Mind Control Assassins.
Lo and behold, the errors that Grammarly picked up are way more than what I expected.
And let’s not forget that many parts of the book lack show-don’t-tell kind of descriptions too.
Rather than saying the character is blushing, I should say the character’s cheeks turn pink instead.
It sounds more engaging and interesting that way, right?
I can choose to leave the book as it is. But considering that it’s the first entry of the series and it’s also my main series right now, I need to be sure that the book is good.
The last thing that I want is for the readers to think that the second book onwards in the series have the same subpar quality as the first one.
And that leads me to my second point.
You want the quality of your backlist to be consistent with your latest releases
I’m sure that you heard gazillion times that the more you write, the better you become.
While that’s a great milestone to have as an author, it can also cause a huge gaping hole in terms of quality between your old and new work.
Remember that your new readers won’t care that the books that they came across were published ten years ago.
If the book that they come across happened to be the ones that you published eons ago and they weren’t that good, they would assume that your latest books would have similar quality.
That’s not the kind of impression that you want to have, right?
While it can be impossible to republish your old books when you have so many of them, do what you can to ensure that the quality between your old and the new work doesn’t differ much.
And if you manage to make the quality between your old and new work consistent?
Good for you then.
The time when it’s okay to let the book have a slow death
It’s fine to let the book have a slow death if the book is no longer deemed important to you.
I’m sure that you have that sort of book in your body of work.
Maybe you used to write in a different genre before. But for some reason, you don’t want to be known as the author in that genre anymore.
Or maybe you used to cater to an audience in a specific industry but you already pivot your business into something else.
If you no longer deem the book to be important to you, then it’s fine not to publish a brand new edition of the book.
You can let it die and never let it resurface ever again.
How do you go about republishing the book as a brand-new edition?
Believe it or not, republishing a book can be a lot harder than writing it from scratch.
The reason for that is simple. You’re way too attached to the previous version of the book, especially in fiction.
It can be hard to rewrite the book from a fresh perspective when you’re so attached to the previous version of the book.
So, the best way to go about it is to pretend that the previous version of the book doesn’t exist, as far as the rewriting is concerned.
You’ll have an easier time writing the new version of the book when the old one doesn’t get in your way.
Sure, you can always come back to the previous edition of the book if you need some kind of refresher or a reference.
But just don’t get attached to it.
Another thing you need to do is to republish the book with a brand new cover and book description. You want it to be distinctive from the previous edition.
Should you upload your book like you would for a new book? Or should you just update the existing page with a new file instead?
I will say that you should upload your book instead of updating the existing page with a new file.
You already make major changes to the content of the book, anyway. So, it’s technically a new book.
Don’t worry so much about losing reviews. You can always ask Amazon to transfer those reviews to the new version of the book.
Is it worth your time republishing the book once again?
If it can help with taking the sales of your latest releases to another level and sparking interest in the old, completed series, then it sure is worth your time.
Yes, publishing a new book is important.
But taking good care of your backlist is just as important as publishing a new book.
After all, most of the sales tend to come from the backlist.
Ask any authors or publishers who have a huge backlist and they will tell you that’s where most of their money is coming from.
Take good care of your backlist and it will keep on bringing you money for the years to come.
P.S. I’m sure that many of you will let your readers know about the brand-new edition of your book on social media.
While you can use social media to talk about your book, it shouldn’t be the only thing you talk about in your social media profile.
Are you using Twitter but not sure how you can use it effectively to connect with your readers without taking too much of your time?
If that’s you, then you may want to have a look at my Twitter Marketing for Business guide.
You can learn more about the guide right here:
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