Reviving an old book

Meredith Bond
4 min readFeb 11, 2024

If you’ve been publishing for a while, it’s possible that you’ve got some old, backlist books that could use an update. But how do you go about doing it and what should you consider when you face this task?

I’ve recently been re-reading one of the first books I published. It was originally published with a New York publisher (do remember those old Zebra Regency Romances? This was one of them). Seven years after it was published, I received the rights back to it (and the three other books in the series also published at the same time).

When I got the rights back, the first thing I did was read the book. Ugh! That was a horrible shock. After seven years, my writing had gotten so much better! I could easily see mistakes I made in my character development, my story structure, even in the characters themselves, and descriptions? Nope. Hardly any there.

I set to work making a list of all the scenes and plotted the story structure. The characters, as they stood had to go. Honestly! I hated these characters. They were unlikeable and the heroine was just plain nasty. I don’t know how I ever sold any copies of this book!

The overall concept, however, I really liked. So I created entirely new characters with the same physical characteristics and the same plot. I kept their goals, but as they were entirely new people, they did go about…

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Meredith Bond

Award winning author, Meredith Bond's books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. Merry is also a writing coach and formatter.