Revise, or live and let live?
I have a fair number of books that I would call Naturist Fiction:
- A Small Company of Pilgrims
- It’s Complicated
- Adventure on the Portuguese Camino
- Deja Vu
- Aliens Among Us
In addition to these stories I have a couple of novellas and parts of my autobiography that could be considered to be naturist.
There is a book which Paul has taken on the role as my editor. The book is called Nightshade Publishing Company. Over the past six months I have been publishing the book a chapter at a time at both Substack and Medium. In the process, I have managed to clean up a few typos that escaped both of us. This has made the story that much better.
Later this spring, I will self-publish using the pseudonym of René Beauchemin. Then, I will begin the process of working each of my already published books to make them better. How? Well, at Medium I have begun to use a serial publication with an editor checking over each chapter of 1500 words or less. Typos are caught and if there are any questions about the content, they need to be answered before a chapter gets published.
The work has already begun on A Small Company of Pilgrims which is being published using my second account at Medium with René Beauchemin as author. Nightshade Publishing Company, and now Aliens Among Us is being published with my first account Robert G. Longpré.
When it comes time to re-publish the older stories, I will first archive the older versions as I don’t want to have them remain on the Bookshelf and Amazon. They will have a new author, a new ISBN, new covers, and a vastly improved story.
Why would I do this? This is being done for me, not for those who will eventually read my books. I am 73 years old and I want my books that will still be available following my eventual death to be the best that I can make them.
I began this writing adventure putting out as many stories as I could while balancing family life and travel. The result was okay if I listened to the reviews. However, those same reviews spoke about the typos, and even about third-person versus first-person story lines. I heard those voices and I admit that they are basically telling me something important. It is good to have one’s ego stroked, but this isn’t about ego, it’s about a legacy of literature.
Literature – Naturist Fiction as literature. This is something that Will, Paul and I agree is vital for a new genre to survive and perhaps even flourish in the years and decades to come. This is especially true today as ChatGPT enters the writers’ arena. Work that isn’t polished would be easily replaced with Artificial Intelligence, AI.
OpenAI which offers the use of Chat GPT for free, has this to say about what the program can do:
“We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”
I have seen the results of how the program handles language and user questions with follow-up questions to clarify. Are authors in jeopardy? Yes. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and accept “good enough” rather than “the best we can do.”
I will be back in two weeks with more about ChatGPT, examples of what is possible.
4 thoughts on “Editing and Publishing Older Books”
I am facing a similar situation … Book 1 in a series of 12 “The Uncovered Policeman” was very much a learning experience. If I were to write it now, it would be very different.
However, it means that the introduction to a series either stays comparatively weak or will offer a very different introduction to the one many readers have enjoyed … and what would that mean for the subsequent books?
If only I had known then what I know now …
We all know how this goes, Ted and also Robert.
We start somewhere and we keep going. We keep growing. We can look back and wish we’d done it differently. Better. But that is not how I want to do this. I look back to where I come from, and then I see where I am. From ‘here’ I can only hope to get better.
I do understand Robert’s motivation to leave behind what’s the best that’s possible.
Since I have a small number of works to consider, the task I am setting myself isn’t onerous. Once done, I will have learned even more of this craft of writing. With luck, my future stories will become much better for this work. Thanks, Paul for your response.
Yes, we have come a long way as authors. Thanks for the response, Ted.