A Second Life For Your Book
It has already been one year since Carolyn McCray (IBC co-founder) and I shared this conversation and it feels as though it were only yesterday. She had asked me what other stories I had on the horizon, and I mentioned two: the eventual sequel to Excelsior and my 2002 novel From Parts Unknown, which was with iUniverse and should have been formatted as an ebook months ago. She asked me about that 2002 book, and I told her how I accepted an offer from the POD publishers to have my novel turned into an eBook in March of 2010. All I had to do was purchase 25 copies of the paperback, and they would sell them to me at half-price and perform the conversion for free.
Of course, this conversation with iUniverse took place almost a full year before I would join the IBC, so this sounded like a great deal for me. However, months passed and I grew less enchanted with the deal, especially when I discovered that From Parts Unknown would have a $9.99 price tag.
I started re-reading my novel for the first time in years and, much to my chagrin, I didn’t like it anymore. However, I had some ideas on how to make the book much stronger. When I told all of this to Carolyn, she told me something that I would never forget.
I contacted iUniverse and told them that they still have not fulfilled their end of the deal they offered me. Therefore, I would like all rights of From Parts Unknown returned and all forms of my book removed from all catalogs. To their credit, they complied and in less than 30 days, I received the letter severing all of my ties with iUniverse.
Now, little more than a year after that fateful conversation, I am still hard at work with rewriting From Parts Unknown. It turns out this rewrite is more difficult than I originally thought, but I can already tell that it’s going to be worth it in the end.
In closing, I offer this suggestion to all of you who may have some abandoned projects sitting in your desk drawer. Give them another read. Find out what worked and what didn’t work. Maybe it’s a supporting character that would fit better in a different story. Maybe the story itself works, but it wasn’t told effectively the first time around. Whatever the case, the work you have slaved over at your computer should not be cast to the forgotten realms of your desk drawer or your hard drive. Especially during a time when it’s easier than ever to share that work with the rest of the world.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that you just upload whatever you have, regardless of quality. If I were preaching that, then From Parts Unknown would already be up on Amazon and would have maybe a couple of three-star ratings, making no impact whatsoever. Despite the ultimate fate of the paperback version, there are bigger and better things awaiting this story, but only when all of the rewriting is complete.
So I can’t thank Carolyn enough for giving me this valuable advice, and I hope that when this version of my story is finished and uploaded, you’ll see why I felt it was worthy to have a second life.