The blog of author Harper Alexander

To Unpublish or Not to Unpublish

1 Comment

I’m considering un-publishing one of my earlier works, Whisper.

This is a decision I’ve been stewing over for quite some time. I’ve felt from the beginning it needs rewriting, but whenever I edit it, I can’t wrap my head around what I want to change. There are things I like and things I don’t like, but if I change the things I don’t like, I’ll pretty much have to redo the whole thing anyway.

This is doable, of course, and in fact if I do un-publish it I definitely want to re-publish it one day, because the idea is one I’d always wanted to do, and the subject matter has a special place in my heart. It’s just such a daunting task to consider when you have other pressing projects and deadlines. Namely, finishing up TWO series and getting some new ideas down that are in all respects ‘better’ than Whisper.

The only reason I really hesitate is because this is one of the books that got inquired about by a fan, as far as a sequel goes. I had planned a sequel, so I told her ‘yes, I’m working on a sequel, and am going to try to have it out by such-and-such’. So now I’m obligated. I would feel forever guilty for un-publishing the first book rather than writing its sequel as promised. It will be a complete betrayal of my fans. Or perhaps ‘fan’, singular. I believe it was the same fan who gave the book its single 5* review (thank you!!). In total, the book has received one 5* review, and one 1* review. As you can imagine, this has done nothing to help me decide the book’s fate. Is it great, or is it terrible? Does the 1* review confirm my own suspicions and reinforce that I need to take it down and redo it, or does the 5* review mean it’s actually better than I think and I should leave it be, and write the sequel for the fan(s) who do want to read it?

Another quirky factor is that this book actually sells quite often. Maybe more often than my other titles (I haven’t crunched numbers to be sure, but I sure do see it pop up on my sales report a lot more than expected). It sells and sells and sells, and yet it sits there with its one 5* review and one 1* review. And I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF THE THING.

The debate continues…


One thought on “To Unpublish or Not to Unpublish

  1. Worry not. Why not upload an except from this un-published work, and share it on WordPress, as well as share the link on Twitter or Facebook. Maybe have others read through samples for lots of feedback, that way, you’ll be able to analyse the views and opinions. Hope this helps! 😊👍 Wish you all the very best!

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