Revision and Re-Publishing

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I self-published my book, Receive Me Falling, in the hopes of getting good sales, good reviews, and using that information to query agents.  I’ve gotten good sales and reviews, and I’ve queried agents.  The response has been quite favorable so far.  Specifically, two agents have read the full manuscript and have asked me if I’d be willing to make some changes and re-submit.  Others have asked for the full manuscript, but I’m waiting to hear their feedback. 

In discussing this recently with a book club, many of its members were shocked that I would agree to make changes.  I was shocked, myself, to discover that I love to make changes.  I love focused revision.  I love deadlines.  I wouldn’t make changes if I thought they undermined the integrity or message I was trying to send through the book, but embarking on these revisions has sent me in exciting new directions. 

Few of the changes are sweeping.  Most of the new scenes go a little deeper into the scenes which are already there.  I’ve played up the supernatural elements of the book, and woven the current (dismal) economic climate into the storyline.  I’ve made one major change to the mystery.

My favorite overall change is the combination of several minor characters into one major character.  I’ve taken several male slave characters and built one man more integral to the story, and more layered than he started.  It has given the narrative stronger impact since the reader can now devote more time to the understanding of one man versus many men.  I think it connects the reader more deeply to the story and the message it sends.

I often wonder if writers are ever content with their work.  At some point we must say “Enough!” but until that point, it’s exciting to see the organic growth of the book and the characters.  Self-publishing prior to traditional publishing has given me a unique opportunity to test my book on an audience.  It has been very well received, and for that I am grateful, but it will be interesting to see what those who’ve read the self-published version of the book think about the book when it’s traditionally published.  (Do you like my optimism, there, with the “when it’s published” line?)

Here are some examples of self-published authors who’ve gone to traditional publishers, and the prices their original books are selling for on AbeBooks.com.  I don’t know the extent of the revisions they made, if any.  If you have a copy of Receive Me Falling right now, hold onto it.  Perhaps it will be worth something someday. 🙂

Still Alice, Lisa Genova, $75

The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry, $300

The Celestine Prophesy, James Redfield (signed) $2,500

Eragon, Christopher Paolini, (signed) $12,000

Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D H Lawrence $33,000

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman $175,000

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7 thoughts on “Revision and Re-Publishing

  1. Kelly says:

    Ahhhh, this made my soul just release a great deep breath and a smile….

    Hooray!

  2. Don Harold says:

    Congratulations on your book! I think all writers are always passionate about their work so it’s no question if revisions become endless. But revisions are logical points for improvement. Revisions may be taxing but something good always comes out of it. I salute your dedication and passion on finishing your books. Keep on writing, we believe in you–always. Keep on!

    Sincerely,
    BookWhirl.com | You have the book…We have the Marketing Resources.

    Get more interesting tips and articles from Bookwhirl.com Facebook Fan Page, and learn more about the dynamics of marketing self-published books, Author Marketing Services, and Book Marketing Services.

  3. JodyHedlund says:

    Oh wow! Sounds like you’ve had a very interesting writing journey with self-publishing and now seeking traditional publication. I know it can be done, have seen others go on to have great success!

    And I think you’re right. I don’t know if we’ll ever be completely satisfied with our work. I’m sure in 10 years when we go back and read the first books we publish, we’ll have grown in our writing ability and see things we could have done differently! Thankfully that’s mostly a writer’s curse. I don’t think most average readers pick up on the “mistakes” the same way writers do! Thank goodness! 🙂

  4. Alipet813 says:

    I feel like I am going to have to read it all over again! The question is will it be like watching a movie when they stray from the book? Will I be too devoted to the original? I’m actually excited to see the new aspects. I will have to keep watching your blog to see when it is newly released.

  5. WOW! This post makes me wanna self-pub. immediately! I’m not kidding. You’re so positive about it, and that is so awesome and refreshing. Although I am open to it as well, I heard many negative things about it recently by some agents. However, I’ve always been an independent thinker, and it’s just nice to hear someone be so positive about it–SO THANX!!!!

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