Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Changing a Book After Its Published

Some authors, based on reviews and suggestions, change a book after it has been published. I'm not talking about fixing punctuation, grammar, typos, etc. Those are changes that should be made. I'm talking about plot changes, rearranging paragraphs, even deleting entire characters.

To me, that just seems wrong. It's like when George Lucas started messing with Star Wars in his "Special Editions". Adding deleted scenes is one thing. I think it would be cool to see a section in the back of a book of those scenes, maybe with little notes throughout the book telling us what page the scene is on. But changing plot lines, deleting/adding sentences throughout the book, stuff like that, it makes me uneasy.

So what do you guys think? Should a book be reworked to that extent once it's been published?


  1. I will only do necessary punctuation and basic grammar/typo changes. If I did a major change I think I would release it as a new edition - the directors cut. lol.

  2. That was kind of my thought, too. And I think I would want to note the changes made, so people could compare them.

  3. Have to admit, any changes that were not corrections would bother me.

    The idea of a "special edition", "new", "expanded", has its appeal - but it should be clearly noted that this is the case.

    As Tim says, a "Director's Cut".

  4. Interesting. I wonder what would happen if people who had read different versions got together. That would be an interesting book club meeting!

  5. I always enjoy reading my favorite authors' first books and seeing how much they've grown in their ability. Constantly changing the book would ruin that, too.

    Karen, that would be interesting. I suspect it might be like reading different translations of non-English books on some level.

  6. Punctuation & grammar corrections are fine, in my opinion, but reworking a story after it's first been published? Certainly not!

  7. I don't really have a problem if an author redoes a book.

    It is much more common in movies than most people think - the IMDb even has a section for alternate versions. Apparently there were 7 versons of Blade Runner shown in public.

    The first time I heard about it with an author was Arthur C. Clarke's Against the Fall of Night which he rewrote as The City and the Stars.


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