Join 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…
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>