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Old 08-07-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Question Input requested on a revision to Verdant Skies

Some of you may be familiar with my book Verdant Skies, in which the orbiting city-satellite Verdant must deal with a potential crush of refugees when the Yellowstone Caldera blows. I'm considering adding something to the book, but not a direct change to the narrative. I'm curious as to anyone's thoughts.

The existing story makes occasional reference to a show called Brane Boy,

Quote:
a popular entertainment program about a boy who, with his friends, used a pseudo-scientific device of his own making to travel to different realities, or “branes,” where they experienced incredible adventures every episode.
No, I'm not immediately thinking about penning a few Brane Boy stories! What I am thinking about is creating a few "quotes," ostensibly from the program, to be inserted at the beginning of each chapter of Verdant Skies as a "foreshadowing quote" (meaning the substance of the quote hints at or is similar to something that will happen in that chapter).

It would be a very minor revision, but it might add an interesting new dimension to the story, and heighten the illusion that Brane Boy is the Star Trek of their future culture, as familiar to them as the phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" is to us. It could also be added to the sequel, Verdant Pioneers, as well as any future books.

So: Does it sound like it would be worth the trouble? Would it add to the books? Detract from them? Let's discuss.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Brane from "'Brane Theory," right? I like it, but the reference might be lost to people who don't follow quantum physics.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Brane from "'Brane Theory," right? I like it, but the reference might be lost to people who don't follow quantum physics.
Good point, and one I could address using one or more of the quotes. The Branes don't actually figure into the Verdant narrative, though, so I wouldn't have to go into serious detail.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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Eh, if you were starting fresh maybe... but the book has been out there a while now right? I personally have not found those kinds of quotes in other books to add anything to the story, hardly worth a revision.

Last edited by VydorScope; 08-09-2012 at 07:07 AM. Reason: fix glaring typo
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:03 AM   #5
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Would you be making the updated copies free to all those who already had purchased copies? Do you have the distribution facilities to do that (i.e. I think Amazon has a facility to allow authors to do that but don't know about other sites)?

I personally think you shouldn't tamper with already published works UNLESS it is a major formatting/SPAG issue, and in that case you have to make sure anyone who has brought the book has access to the updated version.

Published books, whilst not perfect, are complete and should be left that way.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:23 AM   #6
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What was it Heinlein said?

Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tome Keeper View Post
Would you be making the updated copies free to all those who already had purchased copies? Do you have the distribution facilities to do that (i.e. I think Amazon has a facility to allow authors to do that but don't know about other sites)?
I have done that with older books that were purchased through my site. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to do that with books purchased through retailers like Amazon... but OTOH, I've sold so few books through those retailers that it might not make much difference.

Still, the point is taken: Maybe too much hassle to be worth it; and the book is a finished product, with or without it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
Lloyd Tackitt
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It sounds like a great idea. With only a small amount of change you will add a ton of color and texture to the story. Have you worked out the quotes yet? Would love to read them.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd Tackitt View Post
It sounds like a great idea. With only a small amount of change you will add a ton of color and texture to the story. Have you worked out the quotes yet? Would love to read them.
I've written some of them, mostly random lines, nothing specifically designed to fit each chapter. They've got a ways to go before they're ready to use.

Alternately, I might either:
  • Create a revision with the quotes that will be available at a steep discount with the purchase of a third (as yet unwritten) book; or
  • Add the quotes to the third (as yet unwritten) book, and leave the first two books alone.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
Lloyd Tackitt
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That first idea of packaging it with the third book is interesting. It might help sales if a person can buy them that way, and reward the previous purchaser as well.

I talked with an avid reader at work, one that doesn't know I wrote a book, mine's not in his genre. I think his way of buying is typical. He looks for newly published books, then he looks to see if they are part of a series. If they are part of a series he buys the first book and if he likes it then he buys the rest of the books all at the same time.

I bring that up because you may have an idea with packaging books. If my friend found your new book he might just take the chance and buy the whole series if it was offered in a discounted package. Well, it's a thought, and probably not a new one to most people, but it is to me.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #11
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I've had mixed success with packages in the past, with books of similar levels of SF (hard SF, sci-fi, adventure); though I suspect the only real draw to them was the "steep discount." I haven't tried selling packages of my series books yet (I have 3 in the Kestral series and 2 in the Verdant series), but it's a good way to add "bonus material" to sweeten a package deal.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
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IIRC, didn't Stephen King or someone do this, add epigraphs to a later edition of some novel?

Anyway, I would say do it if you want to. It's not like your doing something stupid, like making Greedo Shoot first. But only do it if the quotes are actually clever and memorable.

My favorite epigraph so far is at the beginning of the movie "Talladega Nights":

“America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.”
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
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