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NoirSuede
07-06-2018, 05:28 AM
While this sort of thing hasn't really been attempted before to my knowledge, is it legal to request the publisher to publish an updated version of your novel with a different title than the original? (something like Super "insert title here")

cornflake
07-06-2018, 05:31 AM
While this sort of thing hasn't really been attempted before to my knowledge, is it legal to request the publisher to publish an updated version of your novel with a different title than the original? (something like Super "insert title here")

It's legal to request whatever you want -- well, except to request that someone like, kill someone else for money.

Can I have a million dollars, please?

See?

frimble3
07-06-2018, 06:12 AM
If the book is incredibly successful, and you have more material, you might suggest something like a 'director's cut', but I don't think they'd be required to take you up on the offer.
As a reader, I don't like the idea -unless the new info is really stunning, you're asking me to pay twice for the same story, or making me wonder why this stuff wasn't in the original story, especially if it changes the story.

It's like selling an e-book, then editing it, then expecting me to re-download. If it's not ready, don't sell it.

J.K. Rowling got around this by selling supplemental stuff: books of monsters, or spells, etc., that you didn't need to read to enjoy the original books.

*And I would never buy a first edition of your work again. Why bother, I'll just wait until you finally finish.

Old Hack
07-06-2018, 10:22 AM
I've seen established authors rework and then republish their earlier works, but they've always made it clear the books were published before, and I don't recall them changing the titles.

As an editor, I'd be somewhat taken aback if an author I'd worked with made this request. A book that has been published can't be unpublished and redone.

What would you hope to achieve by doing this?

mafiaking1936
07-06-2018, 03:51 PM
There are times when historical fiction authors have changed details they found out they'd gotten wrong, or new research has contradicted. Never heard of titles though, except maybe when it's part of a series and the series title overshadows the entry title.

NoirSuede
07-07-2018, 03:59 AM
I've seen established authors rework and then republish their earlier works, but they've always made it clear the books were published before, and I don't recall them changing the titles.

As an editor, I'd be somewhat taken aback if an author I'd worked with made this request. A book that has been published can't be unpublished and redone.

What would you hope to achieve by doing this?
Aside from being a cutesy Street Fighter 2 reference(https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CapcomSequelStagnation), it's also useful when there's backlash against something in the novel that's not too fundamental (like accidentally having the entire cast be white and straight in a story with no romance), so that the fandom doesn't get too sour and give the novel a bad name.

lizmonster
07-07-2018, 05:14 AM
Aside from being a cutesy Street Fighter 2 reference(https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CapcomSequelStagnation), it's also useful when there's backlash against something in the novel that's not too fundamental (like accidentally having the entire cast be white and straight in a story with no romance), so that the fandom doesn't get too sour and give the novel a bad name.

Interesting. I had no idea this was a thing that happened.

The only book I've read that I know was a rework of a different title was a Bradley that came out back in 1981.

cornflake
07-07-2018, 05:24 AM
I know this is done in genre romance -- re-releasing back catalog stuff of popular authors with different titles and an interior note saying like 'this was originally released as X in Y year,' but I think it's just to release back catalog for authors who sell well but have a lot out of print from 20 years ago. Don't think they're changing the work.

Treehouseman
07-08-2018, 04:34 PM
I know "A Dragonfly In Amber" was changed to "Outlander" to fit the branding of the (then new) TV series.

Sometimes you might get a pass at fixing some issues in a second edition printing (famously in Little House On The Prairie changing some more overtly racist tropes)

But given that titles represent a brand and a way for people to find a publishers catalogue of works, there has to be some huge financial incentive to go though all the trouble of re-linking and re-branding a work that has already been published under a name.

Also when you sign a contract with the publisher, you will sign under the name of the work so legally, no, you will not be able to change the work name by TELLING the publisher, although you could suggest it as a way to make money or avoid bad publicity.

Though for the latter, people have been known to be dropped from their contract altogether, so there's that.

RolandWrites
07-08-2018, 04:43 PM
One of my favorite authors not that long ago added a paragraph or two in one of of his ebook novellas recently and then provided the updated version as a free update for people who had already purchased it, so I know things like that are done, I've just never heard of the title changing outside of the already listed examples. I suppose you can request anything you want, though.

Old Hack
07-08-2018, 10:26 PM
Also when you sign a contract with the publisher, you will sign under the name of the work so legally, no, you will not be able to change the work name by TELLING the publisher, although you could suggest it as a way to make money or avoid bad publicity.

Though for the latter, people have been known to be dropped from their contract altogether, so there's that.

Books have their titles changed all the time between signing and publication--it's not a big deal. Changing a title after publication is, however. And I doubt a publisher would drop a book because its author told them to change the name--not if it had already been published. They'd just ignore the author. That's all.

cornflake
07-08-2018, 10:32 PM
I know "A Dragonfly In Amber" was changed to "Outlander" to fit the branding of the (then new) TV series.

Sometimes you might get a pass at fixing some issues in a second edition printing (famously in Little House On The Prairie changing some more overtly racist tropes)

But given that titles represent a brand and a way for people to find a publishers catalogue of works, there has to be some huge financial incentive to go though all the trouble of re-linking and re-branding a work that has already been published under a name.

Also when you sign a contract with the publisher, you will sign under the name of the work so legally, no, you will not be able to change the work name by TELLING the publisher, although you could suggest it as a way to make money or avoid bad publicity.

Though for the latter, people have been known to be dropped from their contract altogether, so there's that.

Huh? Outlander is the first book in the series. It's always been called Outlander. A Dragonfly... is the second book in the series. As far as I know, the original title is still the title. I'd make no sense to change the title of book two to be the same title as book one.

lizmonster
07-08-2018, 11:02 PM
Outlander is the first book in the series.

This. My copy of it is circa 2002 (aka "way before the TV series").

cornflake
07-09-2018, 01:13 AM
This. My copy of it is circa 2002 (aka "way before the TV series").

Yeah, a friend loves them and loaned me Outlander yeeears ago, which was called Outlander, heh.

As to the Little House thing -- is that correct? There's controversy about them TODAY because of racist stuff; I can't imagine they were changed in a second edition to remove stuff (seems odd for the period), and that it'd still be so problematic now if it had been altered.

Marissa D
07-09-2018, 06:22 AM
Yeah, I don't think that the Little House books have been altered. I believe Dr. Doolittle was, however.

lizmonster
07-09-2018, 08:26 AM
Yeah, I don't think that the Little House books have been altered. I believe Dr. Doolittle was, however.

I think Nancy Drew as well?

Thomas Vail
07-12-2018, 11:38 PM
Yeah, I don't think that the Little House books have been altered. I believe Dr. Doolittle was, however.
The first thing that springs to mind is the time Pa Ingalls did a performance at a festival in blackface, and that was well past the second edition.