Can I please/has/do a remix?

So. I’m sure you already guessed this is about my 54k self-published Coldness of Marek. When I pushed it into print in a short run of 200 copies, I really wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with it. I thought this was a little bitty story to hand to my friends who had been patiently waiting for NINE YEARS for me to have something I considered “good enough” to send to a publisher. This seemed like the happy medium. Not “good enough” to query with, but good enough for my buddies to read.

The response I got was, truly, a surprise. Four and five star reviews, and one three star (for which I am very grateful. I need that three star review as much as I needed the five and four). But the resounding refrain was that I needed a sequel. Seriously?

I guess I didn’t end the book as well as I thought I did. And my world-building was just getting started. The whole idea of Coldness of Marek turned into a springboard for a series. And as such, the original little story of a naive, passionate single mother who learns how to grow up and be responsible for herself felt way too small. I always said I might be embarrassed by Coldness of Marek someday and that I wouldn’t mind, but the more I learn about the publishing world and the more I write of this world and these characters, the more Coldness just doesn’t fit anymore.

And I find myself wanting to rewrite it to jive with the revamped story I find in the 90k NA sequel manuscript.


But I can’t do that! It’s already published! It’s available in eBook form! It’s copyrighted and it has an ISBN and the thousands of hours put into designing and formatting cannot be in vain!

I don’t know what to say. Except that I am so sorely tempted to try to start this journey all over again, from the top. *big sigh* What to do? I’m ready for any and all advice right about now.

10 thoughts on “Can I please/has/do a remix?

  1. Michelle Roberts says:

    Hmm. Tough question. Mostly I’m wondering if there are any glaring inconsistencies between Coldness and what’s in the sequel. (Ah! Must read! *scrounges in couch for change*) I suppose you could always rewrite and release an “updated” version. Is it possible to tell the story from a different POV? That would make it a completely different story, I suppose.

    And now I’m out of ideas.

    1. Rachel O'Laughlin says:

      THANK YOU!!! There aren’t any inconsistencies, thankfully. I went through Coldness with a fine tooth comb to make sure they lined up. When I did that, though, it was like I began downloading world-building idea after idea into my brain. I wished I had more of it formulated back when I wrote it. I had so many epiphanies of things I should ADD to the first book…

      And that’s why I want to re-write. Theoretically speaking, I only have 200 copies. So if I took the eBook down, the first edition could sell out and vanish, and most people wouldn’t even know it existed. But I feel like that would be somewhat disrespectful to the readers who enjoyed it in its original form…?

      I think I should definitely mess with the POVs. That’s a great idea.

      P.S. Don’t scrounge for change! Send me your address and I’ll ship you a book. :)

  2. Grace Lucille says:

    Well, you know how I’m a perfectionist. I would cry my eyes out if I wanted to rewrite it, and well, I probably would rewrite it. My words probably have little weight in this arena, but I figure since it’s your first book you can easily rewrite/republish it. When you write some blockbuster novels and get really famous, think how everyone would be paying through the nose to get one of the few copies of the original Coldness of Marek…. lololol

    1. Rachel O'Laughlin says:

      Very good point. They’ll be worth so much money. Hahahaha, I LOVE YOU!!!

      I have been crying my eyes out, and I do so desperately want to rewrite it. I had someone on Twitter tell me that I could definitely rewrite it, and that it was one of the perks of self-publishing. So yes, I am very seriously considering this. I need to be much braver with letting people read my drafts, and letting them stomp all over them. Probably not parents and siblings, because I know I will take their opinions way too seriously, but I definitely need to build a group of writers who are willing to offer advice. (Of whom Michelle, my amazing critique partner who commented above, is the first! *waves*)

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