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Archived Author Help > I *hate* my books! Please give me advice.

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message 1: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Ebert (heart77) | 11 comments So... I've published eleven books now. Looking back, I feel like I pulled them together too fast. Some of the writing is sloppy, I feel like there are a lot of plot points I didn't quite pull together well enough, some boring/nonsense dialogue that needs to be fixed... I just can't stand my old books. I don't like that people can access them because I feel they are a bad example of writing. It was the best I could have done at the time, but I'm a better writer now and I don't want my embarrassing past writings out there in the world anymore.

Does anyone else feel this way? I am so close to just deleting my work from the public eye and going back to the editing phase for a couple of years until I'm happy with my work. Would that be too unprofessional? I don't know what else I can do. I just hate my writing and I need to fix it. I didn't give myself enough time to edit before and it really shows.


message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Well, to be honest, there's nothing stopping you from pulling and rewriting your books. Tons of authors have. The only issue would be that if you republish, some people might be upset if they buy twice, so unless you simply update the files, make sure you nite the previous title, ISBN/ASIN, etc.


message 3: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Hiya, Joshua!

*waves happily*

Hmm. You totally have lots of options...

1) Leave your stuff as is and write your next book
2) Pull your stuff, toss it, and write your next book
3) Leave your stuff as is, edit it, and release a 2nd edition whenever you're ready
4) Pull your stuff, edit it, and release a 2nd edition whenever you're ready

Don't worry, though. I published my book super quick too and ended up releasing a 2nd edition one month later with ginormous changes. Like chapters deleted and new content added haha! I didn't remove my book while I edited but I DID get Amazon to push the new edition to readers. And I sent out the new edition to everyone who bought directly from my site too.

So, yeah, I highly doubt you're alone in feeling this way!

*fist bump*

Good luck!!!

Hugs,
Ann


Tara Woods Turner Amazon has a reissue policy that gives readers free copies of books that have been edited although I'm not sure how they notify them of such.


message 5: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments How are your sales? How are your reviews?


message 6: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Tara wrote: "Amazon has a reissue policy that gives readers free copies of books that have been edited although I'm not sure how they notify them of such."

This is actually a tricky one. Amazon will only "push" a new version to Kindles in very rare instances (cuz it ticks off readers) and "never" for a 2nd edition cuz those SHOULD be published with a brand new ISBN/ASIN. With that said, I got them to do it for me anyway cuz I didn't wanna "lose" my reviews...

*smiles wide*

From KDP help:

Some examples of corrections that don't justify sending updates to customers who previously purchased your book are:
~ New Content Added: Chapter(s) or page(s) added, deleted or revised; new images added; bonus chapter added.
~ Book Plot or Character Changes: Character's name changed; book ending changed.
~ Marketing Information: Links or marketing info added, deleted, or modified.

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A...

**muahhh**


message 7: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4284 comments Mod
Congratulations! You've grown as a writer.

I know I am echoing what some have said, but first and foremost think of what Martin is saying. Are the books selling? Do you have a lot of reviews? Are there any positive reviews? If you are getting sales and a good portion of your reviews are positive, I would not remove your stuff. Keep it out there. You may have grown to hate it, but others are enjoying it.

It's not uncommon for authors to be overly harsh on their own work. This can be good during the writing / proofreading and editing process. But, it can hurt later on when you pick up old stories and reread them. What you once thought was a finished product now seems beneath your skills. I go through that. I believe a lot of us do.

Now, should you unpublish, fix your stuff and republish? I have to go with Christina on that. It may not be a good idea. If anything has sold to anyone, you run that risk of them buying the fixed story and leaving a nasty review. So, like Christina, said, if you do this, be sure to update the file and not upload it like a brand new book. In the blurb you may want to make note that you have edited the book since early publication.

What I would do... and this is just me... I would leave the old material up. I would do a heavy edit looking for typos, misspellings, improper punctuation and such (assuming your books have these issues) but leave the plot, the dialogue, the characters and such largely untouched. I would then start working on new projects and forget about the old. I am a big believer in the notion that the more material I have out there, the more likely I'll get some sales. If you take all your existing books away, you lose out on some sales.


message 8: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments I think every writer feels this way. You get better with every book, so you cringe at what you've written before. I think of it as a good sign. We should be learning and growing as writers. If we didn't, if we stagnated, and then what's the point?

I'm sure that traditionally published authors feel the same. Some of them have had 20, 30, 40 year careers. I can't imagine what it would be like to look on your first published book after having written for that long.

However, those books are still in print! And they don't seem to hurt the author's career. In fact, the bigger their backlist, the better they seem to do. So, I wouldn't worry about it. I'd just promote your most recent stuff and let the older stuff languish. Publishing is too fast moving for people to pay much attention to older stuff, unless they like your most recent books and are going back to your earlier work. And in that case, they already like your writing, so you're fine!

Everyone understands that authors get better (or should!) as time goes on. I think you're fine.


message 9: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Esplin | 81 comments that's why I nitpick every sentence as I go...it's frustrating sometimes because I keep going back and changing things. At least you are productive ;)


message 10: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Joshua wrote: "So... I've published eleven books now. Looking back, I feel like I pulled them together too fast. Some of the writing is sloppy, I feel like there are a lot of plot points I didn't quite pull toget..."

You "hate" your work!

Like everyone has said, you have many options. However, I wouldn't pull the existing work unless you feel that it is seriously damaging your brand. I have edited and re-edited my first book. I eventually decided to issue a second edition (all under the same ISBN). I really should not have rushed to publish.

This said, "hate" is such a strong word and I wouldn't act in haste, pulling all your well spent hours. As someone who is not prolific at writing, I envy those who have generated a large catalogue of books. I have ideas in my head, but I struggle with my muse.

Take time and explore your feelings, one book at a time. Do you really hate it? Is the whole book beyond redemption, the whole message? Is it just parts?

Your reaction is so powerful, perhaps you just need a little reassurance.


message 11: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Annie wrote: "Tara wrote: "Amazon has a reissue policy that gives readers free copies of books that have been edited although I'm not sure how they notify them of such."

This is actually a tricky one. Amazon wi..."


How did you get them to do that? As I read the terms they will only update with critical errors.


message 12: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) Here is an example of a changelog I sent to Amazon, as a "contact them" issue:

To: The Kindle Support Team
From: Morris E. Graham
Subject: Warzone: Nemesis, 7th edition
B00EC190BI

From the editor and author, Morris E. Graham: The following changes were incorporated in the seventh edition of this book.

1) In this update, first paragraph, first chapter no indent corrected four times.

2) Alien captain's name changed from Ik-tah to Kai-voleq.

3) Hundreds of changes concerning verb tense disagreement were made.

4) capitalization errors corrected throughout.

5) Missing articles/words added.

6) unneeded words removed.

7) some words mistakenly made compound were corrected; some words that should have been compound were corrected.

8) misspelled words corrected throughout.

9) Some paragraphs and sentence that were repeated had duplications removed.

10) large paragraphs were broken into smaller ones.

11) hundreds of sentences rewritten for clarity.

12) corrected punctuation errors throughout.

13) The first six editions of this novel kept Martian time by the Darian Calender, created by aerospace engineer and political scientist Thomas Gangale in 1985. This edition and all future editions of this series will use a modified version by Thomas Gangale updated in 2002. This calendar combines Gangale's Martiana calendar with the nomenclature of the Utopian/Kepler version of the Darian calendar. The clocks I used to convert Earth times to Martian times were developed by Shaun Moss and Thomas Gangale.

Best regards, Morris E. Graham


My response from them was basically that they were reviewing this, and if my product was messed up, they would pull it until I fixed the errors. About a week later, they said it was approved and the owners of the book would receive and update notice to download the latest version.


message 13: by Nalini (new)

Nalini Warriar | 7 comments Hi
If this is a technical issue I'd suggest putting your ms through Calibre a free software/program that will highlight errors. Even formatting errors! This should give your book a consistent look. It also converts .doc or .docx files into epub. or MOBI.
When I look at my ms with my editorial glasses on, I often don't see things clearly. Let your ms cool for about a week before you look at it again. Might get things into better perspective.
And get someone else to go through it too. This is the toughest part for me. To let someone else other than my anonymous POD people go through my creation.
I do agree that a Kindle book is great because it is paperless however I do print out 1 last, never again to be printed, formatted copy just to see how it would look.
Above all take your time. Take a deep breath, walk away and come back to it.
All my best
Nalini


message 14: by C.L. (last edited Oct 21, 2016 08:13AM) (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Hating your old writing is a sure sign of author growth so congratulations! If your books are selling, leave them up. If they aren't and they embarass you, take them don.


message 15: by C.L. (new)

C.L. Lynch (cllynchauthor) | 316 comments Danielle wrote: "that's why I nitpick every sentence as I go...it's frustrating sometimes because I keep going back and changing things. At least you are productive ;)"
That's why NaNoWriMo is so good for me. The whole point of NaNoWri Mo is just to get it down on paper, no editing, just write. Helps me power through the negative self talk. Then I spend years happily editing and trimming and improving after!


message 16: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Anthony wrote: "How did you get them to do that? As I read the terms they will only update with critical errors."

This sounds super bad but I kinda charmed the dude into doing it. Nothing inappropriate and I'm not really all that charming haha! Seriously, just chatted him up lots. Maybe I annoyed the poor guy enough he finally gave in...

*giggles*

More commonly, Amazon will do what they did for Morris ("the owners of the book would receive and update notice to download the latest version") because when they legit "push" the new version, all the readers lose their bookmarks, highlights, notes, etc. People aren't super thrilled with that LOL


message 17: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Ebert (heart77) | 11 comments Hey, thanks everyone for your advice. I pulled my books, but then realized it was mostly just a bad day / low self-esteem thing and put my books back up. I've started working on some new stuff... I think I was just too stuck on my old material. Better to keep moving forward.


message 18: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Joshua wrote: "Hey, thanks everyone for your advice. I pulled my books, but then realized it was mostly just a bad day / low self-esteem thing and put my books back up. I've started working on some new stuff... I..."

That's how I approach it. If in ten years I feel the same way, I'll go back and redo some things.


message 19: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments Late to the thread.
I woud leave them there but go through one by one and up-issue them.

The great thing about writing is that we are always learning, always improving.

I just edited one of mine as I released it into paperback (having been eboo for 3 years).
Some things made me cringe. But I sat down and went through it. And am now happy and fallen back in love with it.

Good luck.
xx


message 20: by Greg (last edited Oct 23, 2016 05:52PM) (new)

Greg Ryan | 4 comments I understand how it feels when you notice how much better your writing is now and how bad it may have been back at another time. I have greatly noticed that my writing is way better now than it was at another earlier time. And that has made me happy and it should make you happy too.

I would not take down anything you have put up and just keep publishing new books because it's great when people notice how much your writing has improved and they will notice this. I have read books by authors and I could clearly tell when their writing has gotten better throughout the series. It kind of shows how much you've grown and how much better your writing has gotten. It shows your talent has gotten better so I would leave it.


message 21: by Mat (new)

Mat Blackwell | 33 comments My two cents: every time I see a "director's cut" version of a film, it's worse than the original. :P


message 22: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Estime (kevinestime) | 3 comments I like what Dwayne said.


message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna Adler | 38 comments Mat wrote: "My two cents: every time I see a "director's cut" version of a film, it's worse than the original. :P"

So true. XD


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