What’s your opinion on Reprints?
By that I refer to a book previously published, but now is released again under a new cover, new title, new edition, writing under a new name, or new publisher.
Short answer, I’m alright with it.
Lots of reasons for the need to do it. I don’t want to get into a discussion on the why so much as the result- the shiny new reprint.
I don’t know when I first noticed reprinted books though I’m pretty sure it was one of those occasions when I got a book and started to have that déjà vu feeling and realized I’d read it before. Yeah, I was not originally a fan of reprint books because I was mostly exposed to the negative from it. I had a book with a new title and new cover, but it was an already released story. Not cool!
And then, I got curious when an author re-released a new edition of a favorite book. I was nervous that favorite bits about the book were what hit the scrap heap and wasn’t sure new scenes or expanded old ones would compensate. No worries in that case, but there have been other times that the new edition was a let down for me. This is still an iffy one for me, but I can at least see more pros than cons for doing it.
So it was years before I saw a solid good reason for reprints. I have Sourcebooks to thank for my change of heart. They were reprinting books that had gone out of print and were hard to find (and thankfully still bore the same titles and authors writing under the same names so I could tell if I’d already read it). Have you seen all the wonderful Georgette Heyer books available to us now? Rosanne Bittner? Carolyn Brown? Leigh Greenwood? Linda Broday? Yeah, I didn’t know about any of these authors and their wonderful writing until Sourcebooks started re-releasing.
The discussion on reprints invariably crosses over with cover changes which is a whole ‘nuther discussion. Just as author’s reprinting because they decided to go under a different writing name. Another related discussion might also be when a story is no longer part of one anthology and either gets printed separate or shows up in yet another anthology (I’ve actually noticed the same novella in THREE different anthologies which is not cool- write a fresh one here, yeah!).
I guess the bottom line for the con side to me is a big ‘pay attention’ and ‘buyer beware’ on my end when picking up a potential read so I don’t end up with a duplicate. But at the same time, publishers and authors can help us out by notes with the blurbs, putting the former title in small print on the cover, announcing the details in newsletters and press releases.
I’ve learned to see there are not just negatives, but good from doing a reprint/re-release. Yet more opportunities to enjoy good books.
Now, what are your thoughts about this? Like it? Hate it? Indifferent? Have you discovered a favorite author through a reprint? Do Tell!
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