The Self Publishing Second Chance

Self-publishing always gives you a second chance

Some books sell well, or at least reasonably well for a while, and then sales gradually fall away. For traditionally published authors, whose books failed to sell, there was no alternative other than to write another book, as their publisher held the rights, so if the book was a flop it would become out of print after the first edition and that would be that. The End.

Self-publishing though is a totally different story.

As authors hold the rights to their books they are free to firstly, keep the book in print or available as an e-book for as long as they wish, and secondly and most importantly, they are free to make changes to a book to give it a second chance at success.

There are many reasons why a book fails. While the story may be great, it could be that the cover was unexciting or even boring or the book title, particularly if it was too long, didn’t grab book buyers’ attention. Perhaps the first chapter was lacking enough pace to grab attention quickly in a preview read or the book blurb was written poorly. With book sales so dependent on online availability and preview reading, it could have been simply that a long chapter listing and book credits took up too much space in the preview (Look Inside on Amazon) that too little of the main content was available to read.

Whatever the reason or reasons for a book’s failure, self-publishing has the distinct advantage of allowing it a second chance at success. From changing the cover and title through to a complete re-write of the book.

Tip!! While it is possible to completely change the title of an e-book and retain the same ASIN on Kindle Direct Publishing, or the free ISBN on Smashwords and keep the book’s reviews and ratings, with a paperback version this is not possible. For paperbacks, you must retain the same title exactly in the book’s publishing details to keep the book’s listing and therefore reviews. The workaround for this is to change the title on the cover text only. For instance, if your original book title was ‘How The Killing Of Vampires At Night Is Easy With Plenty Of Garlic’, highlight only a few words from the original title, and use the original in small text as a subtitle. So your new bold title may now be, ‘Killing Vampires’ or ‘Vampire Killing’ with the original title as a subtitle in small text somewhere else on the cover.

If you have a book that has been languishing with a ranking in the mid-millions, why not do some work on it and try again, in between writing your new books.

Even if the second chance fails, there is nothing to stop a third or fourth attempt. Fail better?

This page was last updated on March 12th, 2017

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