Friday, July 19, 2013

An Update on Updates

It took me a while to come around to the idea of updating published works. When I gave up the idea of having my books traditionally published, I had no idea that there was anything more to Ebook self-publishing than 1. write a book; 2. make a cover; 3. publish! With the exception of Stephen King's The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition, publishing meant finality: like it or no, the words were set, and weren't going to ever change.

But then after becoming part of the self-publishing community, particularly through Smashwords, and following founder Mark Coker's blogs, posts, and guides, I found that clicking the little publish button didn't have to be the end of any story. So when I started getting feedback from readers I respected on my novel, I found that there were things I should change, and things I wanted to change.

As a part of the self-publishing community, I found an editor who volunteered her proofreading skills to find the unintentional grammatical & mechanical errors (& more), and solicited feedback from willing readers - something I probably should have done before publishing I know, but didn't know how to before becoming part of the Goodreads community, and discovering "beta-reading."

The outcome of that proofreading, and beta-reading, is the 2013 edition of my novel Alexander Murphy's Home for Wayward Celebrities, which features a draft significantly more free of unintentional grammatical/mechanical/spelling errors (some were intentional), a revised chapter system, and over 17,000 words of new content - including a new character, and an new ending. I even threw some color on the cover.

I was happy returning to the world of the novel, finding that there was more going on there than I had first imagined. So then, is it finished? All I can say is that it is finished for now, but if there is something I find later that belongs in the book, Ebook self-publishing means that my story will remain an open world that I can return to to play in.

My second update was to my story collection, My Governor's House & other stories. Now, though I have embraced self-publishing for my books, I still like having my short stories traditionally published through literary magazines before I compile them into my own collection, and some of the stories I want to include in My Governor's House are still looking for that lit zine first home. After they are published in zines, and the rights have reverted back to me, they'll get added to this collection, or the next collection. EBook self-publishing gave me the opportunity to publish a small collection of my previously published stories, and watch it grow to full as my orphan stories get placed. So this update was to include the story "The D. C. S. G. Meeting," which had been published last year in the fall 2012 issue of Menacing Hedge; audiobook fans can also find a reading of the story by the author there as well.

New readers will get the updated editions automatically; previous readers can update their files at any time to get the new edition - there is no extra charge for this: once you've bought the book, you have access to every future incarnation of the book.

Happy reading!

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