Do Authors Read Their Own Stuff?

I’ve been working on a project that involves writing short stories based on my published books. Some were completed years ago, and I needed to read them again to reacquaint myself with the plot and characters.

Now, I’ve reread my books many times—correcting, editing, and making other changes. What I haven’t really done was approach them as a reader, and not the author. While I couldn’t help noticing things that need attention for the next edition, I found the process quite enjoyable. In fact, I’ve been surprised by things I’d forgotten and by how much fun I’ve had reading!

Does that mean I’m self-absorbed, shallow, or off-kilter? Do other authors experience the same thing when they read their own stuff? It makes sense that I wouldn’t write something I found distasteful or boring. And, if I enjoyed writing the story, why wouldn’t I also enjoy reading it?

I suppose it’s logical that I’m comfortable with the content and characters of my own books. They usher me into a safe space where I can relax, enjoy myself, and even know from the start how the story turns out. What’s not to like?

If any of this sounds remotely familiar, I would love to hear your thoughts!






9 responses to “Do Authors Read Their Own Stuff?”

  1. K.M. Allan Avatar

    I’m trying to convince myself to re-read my first 3 books as I finalise the 4th. I haven’t read them since they were published, and the thought terrifies me 🤣. I’m so worried I’ll find too much wrong with them to enjoy them. Glad to hear your re-read was a good one. I think if you can look at your work like a reader, that’s a good thing.

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      Honestly, Kate, I would wait until the series is done and you have moved on to the next project. That way, the pressure is off and you can enjoy the stories as a reader. It doesn’t mean you won’t find find things to fix, but then it’s simply a matter of noting the needed corrections and uploading the revised MS. I like to tackle this on my eReader by highlighting the boo-boo’s with notes as I read. Later, I’ll go back and scroll through it with the MS open on my computer and fix everything. One the great things about eBooks is that you can correct and update to your heart’s content, and every new reader gets the best version. What would really terrify me is only having a print version of the book, with no way to go back and change anything!

      1. K.M. Allan Avatar

        Very true, and great tips. I was considering reading them again simply to make sure I wasn’t contradicting anything from the first 3 books in the 4th 🤣. It’s sometimes hard to remember what’s in the published books vs. what I remember writing and cutting out. You must upload directly through Amazon, which allows you to edit ebooks. I publish through IngramSpark, and you can’t change files without paying, even ebooks.

      2. Alexander Elliott Avatar
        Alexander Elliott

        Now I get it! Considering IngramSpark’s policy, I would do the same thing. Yeah, I ran into the same issue when rereading my stuff, finding things that I didn’t remember writing at all. I wish you could find a more flexible distributor, though. In the new year my intention is to go wide and work through D2D/Smashwords. Their terms are very generous and they have a lot to offer. Check them out if you haven’t already!

      3. K.M. Allan Avatar

        Thanks! I originally looked at Draft2Digital. At the time, they didn’t do print books. I know they do now. The reason I went with Ingram is because they have a facility in Australia, so I can get print books and proofs easily. I also heard the quality of Amazon’s print books weren’t as good. Since I’ve printed book 1 with Ingram, I figured I’d stick with them for all 4 in the series so the quality is the same. I will look into other options for whatever is next, though 😀. Ingram have also just introduced a policy where you can amend typos for free within a certain amount of time after a book is published. I certainly would have loved that feature 3 years ago 😆.

      4. Alexander Elliott Avatar
        Alexander Elliott

        Well, I’m glad you found a system that works (at least for now). Seems like every time we turn around, someone else is throwing a spanner in the works! I’m wondering how long it will be before paper books are slapped with heavy carbon taxes or some such. They won’t need to ban books if no one can afford to print or buy them. Scary…

      5. K.M. Allan Avatar

        My latest is the longest MS I’ve written and I’m already looking at ways to cut it because I know the print version will cost too much and people won’t/can’t afford to buy it if the paperback is too big. It’s sad that that’s what we have to think about now when publishing now.

      6. Alexander Elliott Avatar
        Alexander Elliott

        Very sad! I hate to think of you shrinking your wonderful story simple because of paper cost. Will the eBook version be the entire book as you intended? At least those readers will get the whole thing…

      7. K.M. Allan Avatar

        The story will still be as as I intend it to be, I’m just being mindful of how long it goes for. One part is because I know a high paperback cost turns readers off. The other is that I do tend to waffle on 🤣. I just received my Alpha feedback this week, and there are cuts I can make so the pace of the story isn’t too slow or boring when it should be moving quickly. It’ll still end up being the longest book I’ve written/released, it just won’t be a bloated mess.

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