When I first started writing with intent, I completed my first “real” novel. Being youthful in my journey toward publication and filled with flattering accolades from my writers’ group regarding my writing skills, when a subset of that group formed around the idea of self-publishing our rejected books with a commitment to hawk them at local fairs and events, I did publish the book.
I soon discovered several things:
· Unless I was autographing and shoving the book into the public’s hand, sales were pathetic
· I knew next to nothing about marketing globally (or even nationally) through social media or Amazon (did I already admit to pathetic sales?)
· My writing skills were not as mature as my ego testified they were (thus all the agent rejections)
I do believe in the story (it’s loosely based on an unsolved true crime). The heroin in the original novel is a young woman who is abducted and the trail of terror that follows. I know from more than one agent not to query a self-published work. So my question is, what if I did a complete rewrite, changing the primary POV to an FBI Special Agent who pursues the abductee? Once completed, would this be considered pitching a self-published work?
This is a very interesting question.
At what point during a rewrite does a book cease to be a revision, and become a new book?
A POV change is probably a good benchmark.
Your question though is really more along the lines of "are you cheating if you re-purpose a previous book?"
Obviously you won't call yourself a debut author, and you'll make sure the previous book is no longer for sale from you or any one else (that means you buy up any used copies floating around on Amazon.)
And, what's the worst that could happen? Rejection? Well, you're going to get that no matter what book you write, it's part of the game.
Is someone going to come out of the woodwork, waving the self-published book, clamoring for a refund on this new book? Very very doubtful.
The key of course is to write a much better book this time. And given you've gotten more experience, the chances of that are pretty good!
Your question reminded me of the recent news story about Karen Hall revising her first novel Dark Debts.