With the imminent re-release of my debut fantasy novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, some people might wonder why I would go to the trouble and expense of publishing a new edition so soon after the original release last year. There were a number of factors that made the publication of a revised second edition a desirable proposition, eventually, but my decision to pursue it sooner rather than later was prompted by necessity.
Looking back to the start of 2017 when I was busy making preparations to publish the first novel I had ever finished writing, all my research into self-publishing had prepared me for the reality that my book would not sell well. I accepted this likelihood because, firstly, my purpose and goal in publishing The Exercise Of Vital Powers was not to have a bestseller on my hands; the aim was to achieve a life ambition of publishing a novel by the time I turned forty. Secondly, I wrote the book intending for it to be a standalone story, one that I wouldn’t feel overly attached to, knowing within myself that it will not be the book I am remembered for decades from now. It was for these reasons that I was initially unconcerned about how few people may read it.
As it happens, despite my low sales expectations, The Exercise Of Vital Powers sold far fewer copies than anticipated. It would be fair to describe it as a sales disaster. Naturally, this was a disappointment, but as I already stated, it wasn’t unexpected. This made it easy to accept that there was nothing I could do to reverse the poor sales, especially while I believed there was no imperative to do so. The Exercise Of Vital Powers was still officially a standalone novel, and while that remained the case it didn’t matter if the book sunk without trace.
By the end of November, when my book’s participation in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off competition had come to an end at the semi-final stage, I was well into the first draft of an unplanned sequel and I knew I had I dilemma to address. It didn’t make sense to pursue a follow-up to a novel that only a handful of people had read. But I was fully committed to writing the book, and had outlined three additional sequels, turning what was initially a standalone story into a five-book series. The solution to the problem was to drastically increase the number of readers to read The Exercise Of Vital Powers by the time I’m ready to publish the second book. The only feasible way to achieve that objective was to publish a revised second edition, addressing all the issues that prevented the first edition from selling―most notably its outward presentation.
Once that decision was made I withdrew the original version of my book from sale on the last day of 2017, just eight months after I published it. All that remained was to complete the revised book and publish it. Unsurprisingly, it proved to be easier said than done. The last few months have, at times, been difficult. I’ve endured a number of delays and setbacks to meet next week’s publication date. But, as of two days ago, the hard work is finally done and The Exercise Of Vital Powers will be re-released on time. Whether all the aggravation will prove to be worthwhile remains to be seen. I have no doubt the second edition will fare better than the first. The only question is whether it can find a large enough readership to ensure I’m not wasting time with a sequel.
If you are interested in reading The Exercise Of Vital Powers, it goes on sale this coming Monday. You can currently pre-order it from Amazon or Kobo, and it will also become available to purchase from Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Smashwords next week.
Thanks for reading,