Many writers have written books and e-books, but aren’t sure when, why, or how to write a second or revised edition. I’ve written two mainstream trade paperback books and 2 of my own e-books, and between them I’ve done both new editions and revised editions. So let’s examine…
4 Reasons to Write A Second/Revised Edition of Your Book/E-Book
1. The New Book Edition Will Contain Important New Information
This is usually the best reason to release a new edition of any book. For example, I recently released a second edition of my first e-book, Writing College Textbook Supplements: The Definitive Guide to Winning High-Paying Assignments in the College Textbook Publishing Market, which details how to succeed in my main freelance writing niche.
The first edition came out in 2009. However, ways in which freelance writers can market themselves to textbook publishers changed in following two years, plus I’d learned a few new tricks. Here’s what I added or expanded in the 2011 second edition:
- Best ways to find jobs on the Internet
- Using LinkedIn as a way to connect with editors
- Working for other companies and nonprofits besides textbook publishing companies
- The pros and cons of having your own website, and what to include if you do decide to have your own website
- Increased information on how to please editors and increase the likelihood you’ll be hired again
- More tips on how to get the actual work done well and quickly
- Discussion of Bloom’s taxonomy for test questions, along with an extensive list of resources
- More Internet resources, along with updated URLs
Overall the e-book expanded from 107 8.5″ x 11″ pages to 139 8.5″ x 11″ pages; that’s a lot of new info.
2. The New Book Edition Will Correct Outdated Information
My mainstream trade paperback 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California (The Mountaineers Books) first came out in 1994 and is now in its third edition (2008) because my publisher and I agreed that we needed to update much of the information about the trails covered: some trails had new regulations about permits; a couple had been affected by wildfires; and we had to change some of the website addresses.
3. You Can Sell More Copies of the New Book Edition
It’s much easier to market and sell a new edition of book, especially a book that is a how-to or contains important information that can go out of date. I’ve had a substantial increase in overall sales of Writing College Textbook Supplements: The Definitive Guide to Winning High-Paying Assignments in the College Textbook Publishing Market and I’ve had a higher conversion rate for the sales page.
The sales page now states that:
- The entire e-book is updated
- I’ve added important new info that helps freelance writers do better in this niche
- The copyright is 2011, which reinforces that the e-book is up to date
And, of couse, I put “Second Edition” on the book cover. (See the cover in the right-hand column.)
(Note: I promise all purchasers of my e-books a free copy of new editions and I made good on that promise. It took some time, but it definitely created good will (I got many thank-you emails), and some of those people may have then gone on to recommend the new edition to other writers.)
4. The New Book Edition Will Make You Feel Better
I always want my published work to be of the highest quality. It’s easy for me to update my blog posts, and it’s relatively easy to add information to my e-books. Something that’s in print, like my paperbacks, requires a lot more effort, along with the cooperation of my publisher.
However, I just feel better knowing that I’m putting forth my best efforts.
The Difference Between a New Edition and a Revised Edition
Whether to say “second edition” or “revised edition” for a book or e-book is subjective. For me it depends on how much new information is included, and also whether or not repagination was necessary.
For example, my above-mentioned 100 Classic Hikes in Northern California third edition in 2008 contained a lot of new information and many new photos. It was entirely reformatted and it has a new cover shot.
By contrast, my 75 Hikes in California’s Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park Regions came out in a revised edition in 2006. The difference? Although we added the few necessary corrections and updates as needed, repagination was not done, although there was a new cover picture.
When would you consider a second edition of one of your books or e-books? What’s been your experience with new editions of books, either your own or those by other writers?