Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Can't Wait for That New Novel... Or Is it New? Reprints, Reissues & Rewrites

New or Not So New, That is the Question...

Have you ever picked up a book by an author, thinking that it was new, and find out later that you owned the book, but the cover was changed? So many wonderful authors have humble beginnings  that publishers bring back the earlier novels so new fans can appreciate them. An author's new publishing house might want to also reissue older titles to attract new readers to their imprint. I appreciate this, especially when a book is OOP, or Out of Print. Anniversaries are a good time to update a books cover too, such as when Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird's turned 50. I also understand the great marketing strategy of releasing books with nicer, fresh and updated covers. A good example of updated covers is Penguin's classic novel covers redesigned by some of today's best graphic artists (Hmmm, sounds like another topic we should chat about another time). What I find interesting though, is an old novel coming back as a new novel.

When is a old novel "new"? When there are rewrites. New authors are familiar with the term as they ready their novel for the final draft, but rewrites spell opportunity for older books, whose well established authors may have wanted tweaks to the original work after the fact. All this came to mind when I read a blurb about Nelson DeMille's new book, The Quest. The premise sounds great...

While the Ethiopian Civil War rages, a Catholic priest languishes in prison. Forty years have passed since he last saw daylight. His crime? Claiming to know the true location of Christ's cup from the Last Supper. Then the miraculous happens - a mortar strikes the prison and he is free! 
 Adventure, a "quest", romance (of course a beautiful woman between the pages),  a foreign land rich in history. What more can you ask for? I'm excited to read it, I was just surprised it was a reissue, but not a reissue. Not touted as a reissue because of what must be extensive rewrites, I am curious as to how the story has changed, or been updated. Nelson DeMille has had a wonderful writing career spanning almost 40 years. The Quest was one of his earlier works, and with the popularity of anything to do with  The Holy Grail, it's a perfect time to bring this novel back. Reissue, rewrite, reprint; I love reading and I look forward to picking up The Quest and devouring it!

What do you think? Would you rather have a bit more disclosure when a book has been published before? And do you like the idea of rewrites on a book previous published years before? Anyone ever thinking of rewriting War and Peace?

Happy reading... Suzanne

1 comment:

Bookworm1858 said...

Yes, I hate these reissues especially because it's not always clear. If you're a new fan coming to an author, you could very easily become confused (a long-time fan might be pissed about the confusing marketing, duping them in to buying something they've already bought!)

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