Rewriting in the Digital Age
No matter how hard you try, your book is never going to be 100% perfect. Hopefully, during the editing process you’re able to fix the plot holes and inconsistencies.
But even after you push the publish button, you’re going to find typos and errors. Maybe a sentence that doesn’t make as much sense as you’d like. You’re going to find something that you want to change.
I’ve spent most of the last week or two cutting back on the overly descriptive prose that I used in The Cerberus Rebellion and adding in a couple of chapters that I really should have included in the first place.
I had a conversation with Harry over at A Way With Worlds that basically went something like:
Me: “Hey, so I’m making some additions to Cerberus”
Him: “Wait, you can do that?
In the past, with traditional paper printing, you’d be pretty much out of luck. Your publisher could print a second run, with the corrections in place, but that’s assuming that your book warranted enough attention and sales to call for a second run.
In the age of digital publishing, the solution is much simpler. Correct the errors, recompile your book, and republish to your selected markets. Amazon, at least, will send an email to anyone that has purchased your book and give them the option to redownload it.
Now, this won’t necessarily turn someone who hated your novel into a fan overnight, but it can definitely improve the experience of future readers.
I know with The Cerberus Rebellion, the overly descriptive text was a consistent theme in the reviews that I received. In the age of digital publishing, the ability to respond to feedback and fix your errors cannot be overlooked as a great tool to gaining readers.