This week I ran out of print copies of my book Easy Preserving, which actually couldn’t have happened at a better time. Let me explain…
First, I finished the dictation of my rough draft of The Voyage: Book Two of The Osteria Chronicles. Thanks to the Dragon Dictation app, turning my handwritten first draft into a typed first draft involved no back pain, eye strain, or carpal tunnel agony and took only about two weeks (typing out a draft normally takes me over a month of complete misery). I was able to print out the draft on Tuesday and gave myself a week off from it to ponder over some issues that need resolved. In other words, I didn’t have any book work to do this week.
Second, in one of the self-publishing advice books I read recently, it was recommended that writers set up a revision schedule for their books and update the books regularly. This definitely sounded like something I needed to do.
And hey, since I’m out of books and have a week of not much to do…
6 Reasons Every Writer Should Revise
- Fixing errors. No matter how many eyes proofread your book, it’s always possible to miss something. Typos, missed punctuation, and similar annoying creatures love to hide in your books. Each revision should root any lingering creatures out.
- Changing facts and information. This is probably a more critical issue for non-fiction than fiction. With non-fiction, facts may have changed or need updated to match new research. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read over your fiction now and then – you never know when you might have had a character’s eyes be blue in one scene and green in a later scene.
- Updating your information. The first books you published won’t have an Also By The Author section (or it will be very thin) and may not have your current website or social media info. Plus, it’s always a good idea to update your bio now and then. Revision gives you a chance to keep all this up to date.
- Checking your links. If you provide web links within your e-books (or give web addresses in your print books), you need to check them and update them if the links have died. Nothing is more frustrating than hoping to click on some great info only to be told the linked web page no longer exists.
- Revising your words. After reading over an old version of a book, you may find you simply don’t like how you worded things. Revisions keep your work current with your “voice” and style.
- Creating a new cover. Nothing wrong with a new jacket now and then.
Revising Easy Preserving
Easy Preserving was the first book I ever put out. It came about from an article I tried to sell to various magazines, but never could (however, since the book’s publication I have sold articles based on chapters within the book).
As a freshman self-publishing/book-writing effort, Easy Preserving was a learning experience. The book turned out okay and has sold well. But reading over it, I found I didn’t like the way some of the information was presented. I’ve also learned so much more about how to format books (for both print and electronic formats) and Easy Preserving desperately needed some re-formatting based on that new knowledge.
In addition to rewriting certain portions of the book and updating some of the phrasing in the book, I also wanted to add some new recipes and to revise some of the old recipes to address a certain negative review that said the recipes require too much sugar. (I still have yet to comprehend this review because only a small number of recipes use any sugar – and a small amount of sugar at that. Also, the book makes no claim to be a sugar-free guide.)
In other words, the book is going to contain some wonderful new information and will be much more entertaining to read.
As mentioned in the list above, other changes involve some technicalities like updating links, changing my bio, and adding in my list of published works.
And, of course, the book deserves a new jacket to go along with its makeover. I did love the picture I had for the old cover. It was a World War I poster, but the overall look of the cover was a bit dull…
The new cover is not. In fact, I worry it will look so good, people might try to eat it….