Why and When is it Valid to Update Fiction, Memoir and Other Genre

In our last post by author Brian Kerr we looked at specific reasons why it is good to revise non fiction. Here we look at our wider publications:

To improve an earlier novel to re-release to a new audience

Author Diana Jackson was one of the founding writers in Eventispress, taking back the rights of her debut novel Riduna and rereleasing it under the Eventispress umbrella.

As Diana says, “You learn so much, the more you write, and by the time I wanted to rerelease Riduna, I had already completed the manuscript for its sequel Ancasta and had begun to write a third novel. When I read it afresh I knew I could improve it, making the story line crisper and deleting some of the waffle ~ well written waffle maybe, but nevertheless I felt some of it had to go!”

To give a book that extra polish if it was once self-published, but it is now being released under the arm of a small publisher

Author Roderick Hart is rereleasing his novel The Ears of a Cat with us shortly, having self published it a few years ago.

Rod writes, “Since The Ears of a Cat is now to be published by Eventispress, which makes sense because it is in the same series as Interleaved Lives, I felt I needed to work on parts I just wasn’t 100% happy with, before the Eventispress team read it for the final edit and approval.

To amend chronological details of dates

As Diana Jackson explains,

When I wrote MURDER, Now and Then to be published in 2014 I was predicting a world in 2019, one hundred years after the first murder took place. Once 2019 came along there were two good reasons to rewrite bits:

  1. Some of the chronological happenings were not synchronized with the real world in 2019 and although I had guessed the future pretty well, I’d got some of it wrong too.
  2. Also, the book takes you through WW1 and bringing it up to date before rereleasing it in 2018 was too good a centenary to miss.

To respond to any constructive criticism in reviews

We are grateful for the positive and enthusiastic reviews for our books and we are not advocates of taking negative reviews too seriously. We believe in the quality of our books, but there are times when constructive criticism should be acted upon if possible.

An example could be “I enjoyed the book but found too many names beginning with ‘H’ quite confusing.”

It is a big thing to revise and rerelease a book but if the effort is to be made, then correcting something like this could be really good to ensure optimum pleasure for the reader.

And finally …

If you are doing a new promotion to reach new audiences or releasing the next one in the series and there’s that one thing that niggles you about your book, then we say go for it!

We are flexible enough at Eventispress to work with authors to achieve their goals. That’s partnership for you.


Why and When to Revise Non Fiction by Brian Kerr

AN UNASSUMING COUNTY: The Making of the Bedfordshire Countryside ~ Second Edition

Order out of chaos!

This book was published by Eventispress in 2014, with much of the research and writing completed in the previous two years. Therefore, the book is now almost a decade old and beginning to show its age. It is surprising how quickly any non-fiction publication can become out of date. In fact, the gestation period for this first publication was more like a lifetime of accumulating reports, and maps, and newspaper cuttings with periodic half-hearted attempts to bring order to the chaos.  Writing a book was a novel idea, with the thought that at least the pile of documents would be shuffled into, at most, a dozen chapters.   A somewhat radical classification, during which a lot of stuff could be discarded.

How the world around us has changed?

A decade later the world has changed.  That sounds superficially trite:  how could global events have any impact on what we see over the hedge in Bedfordshire?  However, a moment’s reflection will surely bring to mind the speed and range of the changes and the accelerating trends which are already altering how the public perceive the countryside and how we use a finite area of land. The evidence for climate change is no longer deniable and the rush to plant trees has captured the political class and largely has public backing.  During the pandemic there was a renewal of interest in the ’great outdoors’, backed by solid evidence of the benefits of green space on mental health.  There is a rising demand for greater access beyond the eight percent of land presently accessible to the public from the footpath network.

… And we left the European Union. This has brought to reality the new funding arrangements required for agriculture, which will challenge the previous perceptions that farms were all about food production.  Public Funds for Public Goods, is now a firm policy stance, with payments linked to environmental improvements. More hedges better maintained, tree planting in field corners, and wildflower patches are all to be rewarded.  Add to this the trends away from meat to plant-based diets, with a corresponding reduction in livestock farming. The increased business opportunities in the countryside for leisure provision, such as cycle tracks and fishing lakes. Yes, in Bedfordshire the landscape will and is changing.

The Challenge of How to Revise the Text.

So, the challenge in updating a decade old text is how to reflect all this without overturning the structure of the original book entirely. Can we keep the original Chapters? New photographs perhaps? Do we need a new cover?  And yes, there is the opportunity to correct the odd mistake which, despite a tight editing process, crept into the first edition.

…and Finally

Will this sell more books? Unlikely, I think. However, we are committed, and three months into the process we have reached the penultimate Chapter. It is unlikely this new edition will be such a thrill to me as the first publication, but there will be great satisfaction in getting it right. And that matters! 

Eventispress says:An Unassuming County was a success Brian, for yourself and us. It is one of those books which appeals to a local audience and has been seen for sale in many bookshops in the home counties, but your greatest achievement has been building such a wide network of places to give author talks ~ and yes, this has been an excellent channel to sell more books. Well done!


Savour the moment your book is published

So, you have just published your book: possibly your first – and it looks great.  Congratulations!  It is time to savour the moment. You have in your hand – or on your screen – the output from months, or perhaps years, of hard slog.  Sure, there have been some good moments but it mostly has been about gritted teeth and working at it. You deserve to enjoy the moment, but don’t become lost in the euphoria, and not think about how to sell it.

What next?

No matter how often you tell yourself it is not about the sales, or money, or recognition, it would be nice if someone read it, or better still bought a copy or even better lots of copies. Yes of course you have thought about a launch, and you have set aside a pile to pass on to friends and family and those who pitched in and helped along the way.  They deserve a free copy – but not absolutely free.   Perhaps a review could be encouraged.  A beer and sandwich session in a local pub with a book priced at a small mark down on Amazon, will start the process.  Worth the cost of a few beers?

…but remember, you are a new author to the block and you need to reach out to others but how?

Great Marketing Ideas for reaching out

Would your new readers and friends take a small pile of flyers to leave with other friends, or in the pub?  Are they a member of a book club and this is a good time to ask if book clubs are active in your area? Make sure the organiser of the club is aware that there is a published author on the doorstep.  Book clubs will often give an author a few moments if only to have a new voice in the room.

What’s App and other platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn ~ the list goes on

For some people the business of networking is second nature and dropping in a reference to a new book would not seem intrusive.  For others the idea of self-publicity is cringeworthy.  Many neighbourhoods have shared WhatsApp groups and you can be sure that a reference to a new author with an invitation, ‘to look it up on Amazon’, will be more interesting than a moan about the parking of the need to find a plumber.

The list of useful initiatives worth a try is lengthy and can be exhausting.  Do you have presence on LinkedIn for example? This can be like a ripple in a pond?  Worth a try but be aware this will also attract offers of all types of publicity service, at a price. These may be tempting as you may want to move on to a new book or simply playing more golf

There are lots of ideas out there and it is worth making a list and dipping your toe in the water.  Many ideas will not appeal but you may be surprised at how the doors do open.

One final thought …

Before you finish the champagne a few sobering facts.  In 2020 UK book sales rose to exceed 200 million. The figure for new titles is more difficult to pin down:  in 2018 there were 185,000 new ISBN numbers issued. That would mean that, if my calculator copes with all the zeros, you need sell more than 1000 copies to beat the average unit sales.

Time to go and sell!

Eventispress adds: “It’s hard to begin at ground zero without a huge marketing budget from your publisher, but even those authors published by the large companies have to start at the beginning.

Best of luck!