Saying Goodbye to an Underperforming Book

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.” Octavia E. Butler

This week, I made the difficult decision to pull the plug on one of my books – Second Chance Earth. For months I wavered back and forth, wondering if I should keep it, change it, or take it off the market. As my very first novel, it holds a special place in my heart and yet deep down I knew there were serious issues I could no longer ignore.

So what really happened? Since the book was written, I have experienced a steep learning curve as an author and came to realize Second Chance Earth was fundamentally flawed. I still love the basic story line and characters, but the POV is skewed, there’s more tell than show, and it needs significant editing. To put it simply – it’s not my best work and has become a liability. To protect my brand, it had to go.

Honestly, I do not know if the story will ever reappear. If it does, it will most likely be unrecognizable! It needs a complete makeover, including a new cover and title, and I don’t have the time or money to invest in it right now. There are so many other books I want to write, and with limited time and resources, I have to be really picky about which projects get the green light.

I want to express my thanks to those who loved the book despite its many faults. You were able to understand and appreciate the story, and I am grateful for your kind words and support. Perhaps someday, Second Chance Earth will get a second chance!


Author: Alexander Elliott

Alexander grew up in the Midwest, was compelled to attend private school, and ended up with an eclectic career. He’s still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. When not working to pay the bills, he loves to read, watch Star Trek, and laugh at Calvin and Hobbs cartoons. He also enjoys long baths, country music, nature photography, cooking and keeping up with his large family. Until recently, his writing included unpublished stories, music, poetry and drama scripts. Writing his first novel in 2016 changed everything, and he struggles to balance a boatload of ideas with very little time. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and romance. The author strives to create imaginative, generally upbeat stories with happy endings, making sure the bad guys get their comeuppance. He considers reading a chance to get away from it all and invites you to join him. If you enjoy Alexander’s work, he would love to hear from you.

8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to an Underperforming Book”

  1. I am one who really liked “Second Chance Earth”! The premise was great & I really liked the characters. I know it’s hard to go back & re-read them with more experienced eyes. You probably made the right choice, but maybe someday you’ll get a month or so to re-edit & get it back to your fans. I know I’d buy it again!
    I look forward to more Draman stories, too.

    1. Always good to hear from a fan! Have to see how things pan out in the future, but the book will always have a special place in my heart.
      The second Draman book will begin appearing next week!

  2. A hard choice, but you got to make these kinds of decisions!

    Even if the story doesn’t come back with the plot or characters as they are now, you never know where you might decide to cannibalize a version and do something new!

    1. I’ve known for a long time, but couldn’t make myself do it.

      You make an excellent point about salvaging the best part(s) of the book to use in something else. I’m guessing that scenario is more likely, as a re-release would require a LOT of work, and I’m not sure it’s worth it. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Perhaps. It would take a great deal of time, and right now I want to focus on new material. It was a tough call and made me sad! I’m not sure if readers understand the deep feelings authors have for their work.

      1. It had to be done. I want to give my readers the best product possible, and as I grow, my writing improves. I didn’t want to cripple my brand (me), with a book which no longer represents me accurately.

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