Re-released? | Fun Questions

October 25, 2014 Fun Questions 33

Fun Questions LogoJoin me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

Re-released?

Recently I’ve read quite a few books that are re-released and it got me thinking – how do we know if the packaging is just different or if we’re reading a substantially different book?

I know there are a lot of reasons to re-release a book – the cover art needs to be updated to attract readers, picked up a new publisher/went indie, or perhaps the story has been substantially edited. With my academic works the books are clearly marked as second (or third, etc) editions and there’s typically a new introduction that indicates the reason for the new edition. But that’s not the case with fiction books.

Heck – if I weren’t so involved with the book community, I probably wouldn’t have known that half the re-released books I’ve read lately weren’t actually new releases. In the case of one of the books, I have a Twitter relationship with the author so I was able to ask how much it changed. But with others, I haven’t a clue.

Does it actually matter? Well, I guess not a whole lot, since the old versions probably are no longer available for sale – at least not new. But couldn’t someone potentially pick up the old version at Half-Price Books? Or maybe have it sitting on their shelves? So now I’m reading and reviewing a book that is potentially VERY different from the book they have – and we could both be really unaware of how different our books are.

So when I know a book is re-released I feel like I have to make a point of saying so in my review. I just wish I knew how much that fact actually mattered.

Do you know how to tell if a book is re-published? How to tell if it’s substantial different? Do you think it matters?/h3>
Follow on Bloglovin

Berls

Photo of Berls
About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

33 Responses to “Re-released? | Fun Questions”

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It’s something that hadn’t even occurred to me until hitting these couple books! I think you’re right though – traditionally published books (when both first and rerelease are traditionally published) the changes are probably only in covers or minor edits. So it probably makes the most sense to keep an eye on those indie books, especially if they’re picked up by a publishing house or vice versa.
      Berls recently posted…A Month of Giving Thanks Day 6My Profile

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    I hadnt ever really thought about it, Berls. I mean i know when the cover is changed for a movie tie-in but otherwise, unless they tell me that a new version is available, I don’t know. And that’s with indies. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Great post!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Brandee- that’s where I’m at too. If they don’t tell me, I don’t know. And it seems like that should matter. Like they should be screaming it from the rooftops or something. Maybe I’m just anal LOL
      Berls recently posted…Pinching Pennies | October 2014My Profile

  2. Lola
    Twitter:

    I’ve seen more books being re-released lately as well. I think when the old version is no longer available, it would prevent most readers from getting those. But indeed there are always a few old copies circling around or someone who has read the old copy. And if I read the old version, does it add anything to read the re-released version as well?

    I have read a few ARC’s or beta reads were the final version did differ, but I am not sure if that’s the case for all books and also for re-released books. I recently came across a book that was re-released were the author explicetly stated it was re-released, I think it would be nice if more authors did that, so at least you are aware of it.

    Although in most cases I think the changes are minimal and it doesn’t really matter of you read the old or re-released version. For books were the changes are big it would be nice to know though.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Specter by Susan Kaye QuinnMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It’s the not knowing that worries me. But I guess I don’t stress out about ARCs… in fact, I have no idea how much they change. Did you reread the books you got as ARCs and saw changes or were you notified? Because I don’t do a lot of rereading, so I typically don’t know.
      Berls recently posted…Pinching Pennies | October 2014My Profile

  3. Julie
    Twitter:

    I don’t know that I’ve noticed many re-published books, interesting topic. This is different than a cover change for a different version of the book, right? Plus, when you review an ARC, it can be significantly different than the final published version too – so it falls into the same issue as reading an older published version of a re-released book. Interesting topic. Also, yay for your Halloween theme. I just noticed that 🙂
    Julie recently posted…Spin Off Novels and YA Paranormal Romance, Guest Post by C.C. Hunter – Eternal blog tourMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Well some re-releases are just that, a cover change. But some, as I’m recently learning, actually have significant changes – and they don’t always tell you that they do. You’re so right – ARCs are another area where we have to be careful. I don’t get many of them, but I think I tend to assume that they are basically the same, which may not always be the case.

      Thanks about the Halloween theme, I owe Michelle for it (as I do for the new Thanksgiving one).
      Berls recently posted…Pinching Pennies | October 2014My Profile

  4. Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl
    Twitter:

    It doesn’t bother me too much when a book is re-released, but then again, I haven’t known whether the story has changed drastically. There have been several instances where the cover has changed, and the original cover was what drew me to the book and I liked that cover. I didn’t want it to change. Those instances make me kinda sad, lol. But if an author and/or publisher thinks changing it will bring in more readers, then I understand why they do it.

    I wouldn’t like it if scenes were removed – if scenes were added I don’t think that would be too bad. It would kind of be like when you watch a movie on DVD and at the end there are scenes that didn’t make it in. BTW, I’ve now watched EVERY SINGLE version of Anchorman 2, and yes, there are MULTIPLE versions of it. All hilarious but I couldn’t believe how many versions there were when we bought the DVD.

    And definitely editing is always a plus – I like it when I get those updates from Amazon that a “story has made significant editorial changes” and I need to update the eBook.

    Aren’t first editions by some authors collector items? Say an Ernest Hemingway? I think I’ve either seen this sort of thing in a movie or read it in a book.
    Jennifer recently posted…When Life’s Kicking Your Butt, How About a Theme Song? #2 #ACLFestMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m with you on the editing and bonus scenes – it seems like that only improves/adds to the book. When I hear that books have had scenes deleted that worries me though – I’d hate to miss scenes, even if they weren’t that good, it makes me feel like I’ve missed a lot of the book. I’m a cover addict, so I can get really sad about new covers, or – if it’s an improvement- seriously excited.

      You’re so right, first editions are collector’s items. But first editions don’t always indicate a major difference from later editions and are really just about the print run. It can be really hard to tell some editions apart actually – which is fine with me, I’d rather not miss out just because I don’t have the first edition. I’m LMAO about Anchorman 2 – I need to check out the other versions now, I’m so curious!
      Berls recently posted…Pinching Pennies | October 2014My Profile

  5. Glass

    I know about books where only cover was changed because authors or publisher wanted to draw attention to the book again. If you think about it, it’s a great marketing campaign.

    As for story being different, I know only about published fanfics.

    Great post!
    Glass recently posted…The Sunday Post (#30)My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I really hadn’t either until discovering a few recently and it really shocked me that at least one had considerable changes and there were no notes anywhere! I can understand something like what happened to Melanie happening if an indie is picked up by a publisher or vice versa – but it will still be frustrating. At the very least, I’d want to be able to access the older version AND have a clear note that it’s been changed!
      Berls recently posted…Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis | Book ReviewMy Profile

        • Berls
          Twitter:

          Oh wow! Was it a case of lots of editing to do, but no real story changes? Or are we talking two really different books? I’d be so curious to get an author’s take on this! Especially how they feel about how the new book is presented to the public.
          Berls recently posted…A Month of Giving Thanks Day 6My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL it wouldn’t matter to me, except now I know that they don’t always tell us when substantial changes have been made. And that worries me. What if I hate a book that has good reviews and it turns out it’s because I read an old version? Haha I’m paranoid.
      Berls recently posted…Scratch by Rhonda Helms | #KLover Book ReviewMy Profile

  6. Tanja

    Honestly I am like you, if I weren’t this involved with this whole sphere I wouldn’t even know when a book is re-released. I mean I totally see point in that but I also think that it should be noted somewhere that it’s another edition or something. Great post, Berls 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Ghost Heart by Ripley Patton (Blog Tour)My Profile

  7. Mogsy

    Along with the reasons above, sometimes older books just go out of print and for whatever reason they will re-print it. From what I gather, they don’t usually make too many changes, though from edition to edition they might fix minor issues like typos and stuff. One time I saw an author asking his twitter followers if they spotted any mistakes like that in the hardcover edition of his book, so that he could take them to his editor in preparation for his book coming out in paperback soon.

    On the other hand, huge changes would probably be noted on cover of the new edition somewhere. Special releases like “uncut” versions (e.g. Stephen King’s The Stand) and anniversary editions (e.g. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods) for example.
    Mogsy recently posted…Lootz: Mogsy’s Book HaulMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      that makes perfect since Mogsy. Why republish and leave errors when you have the opportunity to fix them, right? I just wish I knew all publishers would indicate that a book has significant changes. they should, but I know of one instance at least where they didn’t so now I’m not so confident. :/
      Berls recently posted…Scratch by Rhonda Helms | #KLover Book ReviewMy Profile

  8. A Voracious Reader

    I think the most popular reasons for rerelease are:

    1. older books being released in digital format
    2. change of publisher, going indie or indie gets publisher
    3. author has gotten rights back to book
    4. update cover

    If a book has substantial changes from an older version then I would expect something to be said to that effect. Otherwise, I don’t care. lol
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Red Adept Tour ~ FirstMy Profile

  9. Stormi
    Twitter:

    Most re-releases that I have read lately are romances that are older (pre-ebook) and so they are re-releasing them in digital format and giving them a bit of a newer look.

    If I know it’s a re-release I state it in my review just as a heads up. I also let people know when a short story has came out on it’s own but use to be part of an anthology.

    It doesn’t really bug me much unless they keep changing the cover all the time but that is mostly with self pubs or indies.

    Most of the time if I read a blurb I can in the back of my mind remember it so I know it’s a re-release and not a new one and if it’s by authors I keep up with then I would know that also. 🙂 The book blogging community has helped a lot with keeping things straight. 🙂

    So I am okay with it as long as they are not changing the story. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…The Week In Review #8My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I hadn’t thought about having to re-release for ebook, but that makes sense! Maybe that’s part of what’s been going on with some of the books I’ve been reading lately. The cover changing kind of bugs me, because I like to own cohesive collections and if they change a lot it can be harder to do. But yeah, changing the story a lot bugs me – unless they make it clear. But if they don’t, I guess I won’t know, unless I read the original.
      Berls recently posted…Scratch by Rhonda Helms | #KLover Book ReviewMy Profile

  10. Melanie Simmons
    Twitter:

    I read a book earlier this year (I can’t remember which one, but it was an erotica), where when I read reviews there was a scene that many had complained about in their review. The version that I read didn’t contain this scene. At first, I was confused and I read a few more reviews and saw it had been removed. It was a little frustrating because I’m not curious if the scene was that bad. It is an ebook, so I don’t see how I will get the old version.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Hunger Untamed Audiobook by Pamela Palmer (review)My Profile

  11. kimbacaffeinate

    It depends, for example a book that is self-published and than picked up by publisher, professionally edited and a new cover could be different. Most of the time if a publisher re-issues a book they will make note if it is different..for example “never before read scenes, updated etc. Nora Roberts makes me crazy with new releases with updated covers. They now put a symbol on her books to let you know it is a New Release/first time in print..LOL Unless the book has been completely revamped, I don’t feel the need to mention it.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Flawed and Damaged by Emily KratMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I wonder if the books I’ve read recently were picked up after being self-published, since I know that they had major rewrites but there was no way for me to know, except that I asked. I didn’t know that about Nora Roberts though, it’s good to know for when I do finally start reading her books.
      Berls recently posted…Top Off Tuesday | Riding HomeMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 0 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 9)