Re-Publishing Your Self-Published Work

With the ease of self-publishing (and I mean it’s physically easy to publish, not be successful at it), self-publishing companies have made it simple for authors to maintain complete control over their work–including making changes to it after publishing.

As far as I know–and please feel free to correct me–with traditional publishing, once a book is published, that’s it. There’s no going back and making changes or fixing something an editor may have missed. It’s out there for everyone until a new edition is printed. And even then that’s up to the publisher, not the author.

However, when it comes to self-publishing, the author can go back in and fix a typo or add a chapter or re-release a book with new or different content. Perhaps even a different ending, which is interesting. It’s a rather large change in the world of books, in that readers can read the same book but experience it differently. Perhaps you might give a book you didn’t like another chance because the ending is different, or they made significant changes to make it read faster, or they introduced a new character.

Personally, I think this is an interesting change to the book world. But, as someone who rarely ever reads a book twice, I don’t know if I’d go for reading something again if it had a different ending. I don’t think this happens all that often anyway. It will be interesting to see if things like this grow in the self-publishing world, and if traditional publishing will change up there tactics.

What do you think? Would you re-read a book if it had different content? Would you give a book you didn’t like another shot? Would you re-publish the same book with a different ending, or another significant change?


5 thoughts on “Re-Publishing Your Self-Published Work

  1. I do reread books. Not every book. But books that grab me for whatever reason. It is like watching a movie again. There are subtle things that jump out from time to time. That being said if I did not like a book I probably would not go back and reread it, new content or not. I would have to think long and hard before republishing a work with significant changes. Let’s take the movie Blade Runner for example. Ridley Scott has modified/updated/changed it I think at least five times. While both an awesome book and stand out movie for its time, I am not picking up more than one copy. So there is an important question: Do I have to buy each revision, or is it pushed automatically by the managing company (Amazon, Smashwords etc..) It would have to be a super awesome book for me to purchase it more than once and I would feel bad putting something out and again and again for people to purchase.

  2. I think the ability to re-upload (and therefore have a second chance at reading a work) is one of the best things about the self-publishing digital age.

    I think that as a reader, if I liked the story enough but it had a couple major issues, I would re-read a book if a new version was put up.

    I put up a new version of The Cerberus Rebellion recently, taking in feedback from readers to cut a lot of overly descriptive text and to add in a couple of chapters of content that really deserved to be in the book but for some reason never got added in.

  3. I think it makes sense from the commercial viewpoint if extra content is added or major corrections made – witness The Lord of the Rings, which had significant differences between the first edition (pirated in the US in the 1960s) and the definitive second.

    For myself, I don’t self-publish – everything I’ve done has been via the trad route with the major established houses. The reality of this industry is that reissues do happen from time to time; but these days they usually have to include new or amended content, a ‘second edition’ in order to be re-marketable. I am about to do this with one of the books I wrote nearly a decade ago.

    Writers are far from alone in this. The music industry has been releasing special mixes, CD’s with extra tracks and so forth for years. So have the movies – and I don’t just mean the 483 different editions of Star Wars.

  4. I think you should aim to have your book in a finished and complete form with all typos/continuity errors etc worked out and done before you e-publish it. I think it’s good if you do spot a mistake you can alter it, but I don’t think the mistake should be there in the first place if you’re planning to release it. You should be committed to appearing professional. Of course, you don’t have to, it’s entirely up to you if you want to get it out there then the minute your done and then edit it if you change your mind or find a mistake, it’s just you stand a better chance of doing well if it’s as good as it can be before you release it. It only takes one person to read your e-book find a mistake or a sub-standard passage and leave a bad review to put a real cramp in your progress. It only hurts yourself because we’re still competing with professionals who have access to professional editors and publishing network connections.

    I do however like the idea of being more fluid with the idea of re-releases, however, with different editions/endings etc. I think this is a very interesting idea and could be the start of a new age for reading.

  5. I am perhaps now eating my words as I have used ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ and wish there was a way to take my comment back and edit it XD

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