When I was in the final stages of releasing my first book, I wanted it to be 100% perfect. I read it through countless times and had a few different beta readers, plus my editor check it all out. Got sign off, people seemed happy, I was happy, BOOM published.
That’s the end of it. My revisions were finally over.
Until they weren’t.
For the release of my second novel, I enlisted the aid of a new editor and to my surprise, she caught something in my first novel (which she was reading as research material). Something pretty big. Hesitantly she brought it to my attention, not knowing if I wanted to dive back into revisions in Book 1, but once she showed me the impact of the “whoops” I had no doubts. I had to revise.
So after several months of the book being “done” and in fact being out for sale, I am once again neck deep in revisions for a novel I thought I had washed my hands of. It’s a mixed feeling for me. As I read through it, I have to battle myself not to just rewrite the entire thing, but instead I’m adding some scenes, changing the timing of some other events, and just trying to make it flow a little better. There were apparently some issues with different timelines and events not happening when they logically should, issues that, for whatever reason, neither I nor my beta readers caught the first time around.
Is it too late to go back and revise after the book is “out there”? If you’d asked me that six months ago, I would have said yes, absolutely. Once it’s done, it’s done. There’s no going back. Now, I’ve changed my tune.
I do think once the book has been published, any revisions you make have to be significant. You can’t be tweaking minor dialogue points or slightly altering the trajectory of a character’s path. There has to be a significant reason to do it, especially considering there are many people out there who already paid for book 1. How can you consider revising your novel and expecting people to want to buy the book a second time?
I think I have a way to address that, but that’s a story for a different time.
Until then, get ready for The Fog of Dreams 2nd Edition, hopefully being released around the same time as Loose Strands, Book 2 in the Operation: Harvest series.
They’re on the way!