Every writer, without exception, hates looking at their earlier work. (“Earlier work” can be as late as the last book or the pages written yesterday, but in general I mean books with a good span of years since their original appearance.)
I understand this.
But the book is what it was.
When it’s brought back into print years later, leave it alone. Don’t go inserting cellphones and post-1980s political correctness (agh!) into something originally published in the 1960s or 1970s.
The thought occurred to me tonight that writers who are eager to muck about with their earlier works can do what is done with TV and movies.
When Batman was made into movies three times (West, Keaton, Bale), the older versions weren’t taken out and shot. People can still go back to Keaton and even West to see them again.
But this is sometimes not possible with a book that never had a large print run. When it’s brought back different from what it was, people have to settle for that, period.
Why not adopt the way they do things with TV and movies?
Bring back the original in print — as it was — and then go off and re-do it as a new book too?
This sort of thing wasn’t possible in the days or print. You couldn’t issue the old and the revised.
But this is the age of the eBook.
I keep bugging Christopher Fowler that I want Roofworld back in print. He keeps insisting he’s appalled by the book. Too bad. Don’t ruin my memory of it! Go on to write it as Roofworld: A Remake or Roofworld: Redefined.
The original Roofworld could be re-issued in e. That’d set up the audience for the “remake” of it, which could appear as a conventional book, starting in print.
Why not a Roofworld: 1988 and a Roofworld: 2012?
Two income streams from one book idea. Why not?
I tell you, as a Fowler fan, I’d buy both!
And I think fans of other writers would do the same too.