Clean Up Your Old Messes! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA @nonniejules #RRBC #RWISA
I recently read a review of a book written by one of my favorite authors. The review was written on one of the first books they published years ago, in 2009, and there were references made in the review of many editing issues. If the review was honest and accurate, the writing in that book is not at all indicative of the author’s writing as I know it today.
A few years ago, I opened up a copy of the second book I ever published, to read a bit of it, and was mortified! Not because the writing was that bad, but, let me tell you, in my opinion, it wasn’t all that great, either. In some areas, the writing was so extremely passive, I couldn’t help but cringe with every paragraph I read. I wrote that book as a newbie author without any support in 2013, and today in 2021, the differences in my writing then and now, could lead you to believe you’re reading from two different authors – a newbie one and a more experienced one. I am one who cares greatly about what I offer my readers, so it should come as no surprise to any of my new followers, that I removed that older book from purchase over 4 years ago. (I only recently realized the paperback copy is still up so I’ll get to removing it soon). Once I’ve had the time to give it the proper attention in the editing department, it will be returned to Amazon, but only when it has been clearly polished and perfected.
As authors, especially those of us who are proud Indie authors, we have the ability to take our books down, especially the old ones we published years ago, and make them new again. We can change the book cover, have the book professionally edited (because back then when we edited it our self, or had our sister to edit for us the first time we published it), we didn’t realize the importance of professional editing and proofing – how crucial it was back then and how dire it is today. We can even update the story with new material, if we want; but the greatest thing of all, is we can make those old books better! We can clean up the messes of our past with the simple stroke of a pen and some hard learned lessons behind us. We can do these things anytime we want and without anyone’s approval.
Because of the freedom, the beauty of Indie publishing is without the restrictions and loss of power you have over your creative works as you would be under as a traditionally published author. And, if you are one who values honest reviews, especially the ones that are often times difficult to hear, you are always in the best position to present another first impression of your writing skill. There aren’t many areas in life where you can get that kind of second chance, but, lucky for us, writing is one of them. (I have also begun the process of cleaning up and rewriting some of my old blog posts, too. This is how important my writing reputation is to me.)
Although I had to distinguish between the two for the clarity of my message here, this post is not about Indie vs Traditional publishing. It’s about caring enough about the writing you put out, to take the time to pull your old books down and improve upon them. There are so many things that I know today that clearly went over my head back when I first began my writing journey. I didn’t have the skills, nor did I have the support of any who cared enough, to tell me the truth, or point me in the right direction, so I wouldn’t make the mistakes I did back then as a first-time published author. This is the reason I advocate so strongly for supporting others, honesty in reviews, and caring enough to give only your very best to the world.
Your messes don’t have to remain messes. Turn those messes into the best messages ever written!
Have you taken down some of your old books to have them re-edited, the cover improved upon, or the blurb touched up? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on how you feel about the importance of spending time cleaning up your old published messes. Do you value your writing reputation enough to put in the work it takes to ensure that your writing, no matter how far in the past it was, is at its absolute very best?