Monday, 28 January 2013

Do You Ever Look At Early Writing and Think ?!!!

More e-books were read over the weekend...

It actually got me thinking whether it is good or bad for authors (who have been published for a long time) to re-release their backlists as e-books.

Obviously they have their older published titles from pre-digital days, which are sitting there not earning them any money, so they will have the freedom to re-issue them as e-books now, and I can see why they would do it- writers need to eat and pay bills too.

We probably all have favourite authors, so when their latest book is released we're likely to buy it fairly quickly- we know we can be guaranteed a satisfying read.

But will that always apply to back-list books written much earlier in a writing career?

Or will we be slightly disappointed because they aren't what we've come to expect from our favourite author?

And of course the style of the time may no longer work now, or elements of the story be as morally, or socially acceptable ...

The heroes of 1980's historical romances were out and out Alpha males, and seduction with a little force thrown in was part of the character... Easy to see why the horrible term 'bodice rippers' became associated with historical romances.

I gave up on reading one download at the weekend because I was mentally red-penning it as I was reading, and if I'm doing that in the first chapter then I'm never going to finish the story...

Now I'm going to try and remember that it was written in an earlier stage, and it can actually be interesting to notice subtle changes as the story develops.

I know that looking back at my writing- even from five years ago I would write very differently now, so it's likely that published writers continue to develop their writing style too...

The advantages of old books being re-released?

Stories you always wanted to read, but couldn't because the book was out of print and you couldn't find a second-hand copy- I may just find that elusive third book that makes up a trilogy I enjoyed, but couldn't finish because no one had the one I needed anymore...

Lots more stories to enjoy...

And when it comes to the basics, enjoying the read is important...

Any thoughts on the subject? Then do leave a comment, I'd like to hear your views...


  1. If the author's writing has improved since the book was first out then they could re edit as well as re publish.

  2. I think they have re-edited it, Patsy.

    But as I found when I looked at the novel I started in 1999- completed the first 40,000 words- my writing had developed so much that the only way to make it useable was to completely rewrite it from the start.

  3. I think we constantly improve and change as writers, Carol. One of my colleagues is putting all her previously published novels on kindle now but she edits the originals first as they were written many years ago.

  4. It's reassuring that we do improve, Rosemary.

    It's very time- consuming to edit previously published work, but must be emotionally rewarding to get those earlier works to a new audience.


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