How hard is it to revive interest in a book published several years ago?
Can you tie your topic into current events and trends? Or is your topic sooooo 2004?
So here’s my list of when to either update (or forget about) your book if it was published several years ago.
1. Was it written about a really current political topic? Say goodby to any books about what’s wrong with the government (or the left or the right) if it was published during the previous administration. Write about the newest complaints coming out of Washington instead. And consider doing the book print on demand so you don’t get stuck with a big inventory.
2. Is it a how-to on how to sell stuff on the internet? If it was published more than a year ago, update it or forget it. And consider republishing as an ebook as internet stuff changes daily. Your update will be practically old news as soon as it’s printed.
3. Is it a book on how to make a killing in real estate? The rules have totally changed. Just write a new book.
4. Is it about an evergreen topic that lends itself to an update? Relationship books, general business books, how-tos could be updated. New material can be added, the rest updated. Change more than 10% to justify changing the ISBN number – it’s less confusing for everybody.
5. Is it a novel? Will anyone want to read more about your characters? Consider writing a sequal if the first one did well and you still want to write about the characters.
6. Is the book self help or a diet book? Trends change really fast and there’s a ton of competition. Find a new spin and write a new book.