re: New Title for Revised MG?

in Publishing Biz by

Dear Editor…

I’ve acquired the rights to one of my out-of-print MG novels and am going to release it as an e-book. I’ve revised the book to update and improve it and am developing a cover and getting the required new ISBN. Since the book is substantially different, should I give it a new title so it doesn’t get confused with the previous version? I like the old title, but don’t want it to limit possible sales if people think it’s the same book, even though there’s a new generation of readers out there who’ve likely never heard of the original.

Sincerely,
K.

Dear K…

Give it a new title. Your personal affection for the old title isn’t enough to risk confusion—or any stigma there might be in republishing a title that most likely went OP because it wasn’t selling anymore. We insiders know that the shelf life of the average novel is surprisingly short (2 to 3 years, although with ebooks the definition of “shelf life” is shifting), but the general public doesn’t know this. New content + new cover + new title + new pub year + new isbn = new book for a new audience. Embrace that and run with it.

Happy writing!
The Editor

2 Comments

  1. Wow, great info. I didn’t know an author could acquire the rights back nor that ‘shelf life’ is 2-3 years. That’s rather frightening considering it might take 1-2 years to get word of mouth going. Thanks for the great info!

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