Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Several other bloggers have raised the issue of revising already published books and asked other authors, would you do it? My answer is definitely yes, especially after a recent discovery that a book I thought was safely in the can had been altered without my knowledge.

The Dead Sea Codex, my second novel, was published in 2006. It’s the story of a two young archaeologists who find part of a first century AD codex, part of a Gnostic gospel written by a female disciple of Jesus, in the Dead Sea caves of Israel. Scholars compete with Christian fanatics to find the rest of the codex, either to publish it and or to destroy it. I had fun researching and writing the book because of the subject matter and the setting, the places I lived in and visited as a student in the 1970s.

 Both the print and e-book editions were edited and published, and I was happy with the “finished” book. Then the first publisher went out of business and a second one took over. At some point, the electronic files were converted to new formats, and all the quotation marks around my dialogue were removed. No one at the new company gave me a chance to review the new files, so the book was reposted for sale in two formats with the old cover. I had no reason to think my book might have changed during the switch from one publisher to another.
How did I find out? A comment from a friend and then two bad reviews on Amazon.

Yes, I did use the “Look Inside” feature of Amazon, when the book was published the first time in 2006. It never occurred to me to check again, months and years later.

The good news is, I now have my rights back and am reissuing The Dead Sea Codex with Wings e-Press in December. This decision forced me to re-edit the original manuscript, finding several bits that could be improved, and updating the story slightly because it takes place in politically volatile Israel. My new editor is very savvy, finding still more things that need fixing. The result will be a better book.

I also posted a comment on Amazon, thanking the reviewer who found the errors and informing him a new edition is in the works.

The more things change, the more they don’t stay the same…


Maggie Toussaint said...

You are so brave to reissue an older book. Some of my first romances are still with the publisher because I didn't have the time to update my writing in them. Maybe some day I'll take that particular plunge.

Meanwhile, I congratulate you for the undertaking and for placing it with a house so that you get a second set of eyes looking at everything!


Carolyn Mulford said...

A cautionary tale. Thanks for sharing it.


Debra H. Goldstein said...

Hadn't thought about the book changing on reprint from a different publisher. I would have thought the files stayed the same. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

My earlier series mysteries were published electronically, and I had no input then. More recently, the licensing company consulted me on the covers so we were able to improve the images. However, I am sadly aware that these books need revising. It's 15 years later, and my skills have improved. So I have begun this laborious job on the books for which I have rights reversion. It's gratifying to produce a better version and well worth the effort. I'm glad you're able to do so now, too.

Molly MacRae said...

I look forward to reading the new version!

Susan said...

Wow. I hadn't thought about this either. Thanks, Sarah. I have a book I self-published with a company a few years ago, and I have been thinking about buying the files and putting out a new edition. After seeing your situation, maybe it would be a good thing!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Sarah,

I had a reverse situation. Stacy's Song which is a YA novel was published in 2010, Oct. 27th to be exact, by L&LDreamspell. They did a good editing job and published in both print and ebook formats. Unfortunately on the death of the co-publisher the company went out of business and the novel was quickly orphaned. Oct. 27th of this year, Stacy's Song returns, rewritten by me, updated, and meticulously re-edited by Clean Reads. Is it a better book? The original reviews were quite good, but the new publisher did make changes. I like the new cover art, although neither cover was exactly what I had in mind for the book. One can only hope that publishers do justice to our work. But I do value editors even if I don't always agree with them.

cityspideyseo said...

CitySpidey is India's first and definitive platform for hyper local community news, RWA Management Solutions and Account Billing Software for Housing Societies. We also offer residential soceity news of Noida, Dwarka, Indirapuram, Gurgaon and Faridabad. You can place advertisement for your business on city spidey.

Gate Management System
Society Management App
Society Management
rwa Management App
Neighbourhood Management App
Apartment Management App
Apartment Management System
Visitors Management System
Apartment Management Software
Noida News
Gurgaon News
Ghaziabad News
Delhi News
Indirapuram News

srjwebsolutions said...

We are leading responsive website designing and development company in Noida.
We are offering mobile friendly responsive website designing, website development, e-commerce website, seo service and sem services in Noida.

Responsive Website Designing Company in Noida
Website Designing Company in Noida
SEO Services in Noida
SMO Services in Noida

Unknown said...

We are uhe solid first platform for modeling newcomers to achieve there new dreams. The first to train and promote out models at our expense to avoid burden on them. Join the most popular agency if you modelling jobs in Delhi for female freshers, models, students, housewives aiming to start there modeling career. We are top modelling agency in Delhi offering modelling jobs in Delhi for upcoming female freshers or experienced models who want to join lingerie modeling agencies.

modeling agencies in Delhi
modeling agencies
modeling jobs
modeling auditions
model coordinators
modeling jobs in Delhi

Unknown said...

We are specialized in Mechanised cleaning of Underground and Overhead Water Tanks of all sizes. Door Step services across Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad.

Water tank cleaning services in Noida
Water tank cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Water tank cleaning services in Delhi

Drain cleaning services in Noida

Drain cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Drain cleaning services in Delhi
Pipeline Cleaning Service in Noida

Pipeline cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Pipeline cleaning services in Delhi

Tank cleaning services in Noida

Tank cleaning services in Ghaziabad
Tank cleaning services in Delhi