This week, one of our foxes asked, “Do you read your own books? Why or why not?”
My first response is, “Sort of.” Once I’ve managed to complete, edit, and put a book on the market, I’ll skim it, but I don’t normally read it from cover to cover. The exception to this would be when receive my shipment of print books. It’s difficult to prevent myself from opening the box, tossing the packing materials aside, and forgetting about household chores while I read the story.
This summer, I moved five of my historical romances from one publisher to another. Of course, this publisher has different editing preferences, including use of commas and past perfect tense. So, all of them were re-edited. In reviewing the edits, I was obliged to read carefully from beginning to end, and to my horror I found several errors in continuity that had been missed in previous editions. One book is in its third edition (it had been with two other publishers), and I still found minor things that needed to be adjusted.
Another time I re-read my work is when I plan a sequel or related story. If there are recurring characters, I’ll re-visit them in order to get details right. It would be odd if a character suddenly had a change in eye color or height. A setting used in more than one book would need to be consistent from one book to another.
Authors are always promoting, and I’ve joined a few groups who post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On all of those platforms, a picture is the key to promoting. Twitter is usually associated with text, but if you include a picture IN your tweet you can fit a lot of words ON the picture! I’ve learned to create memes that include either part of a favorable review, or a quote from the book I’m featuring. So, I’ll go back to the book and choose a quote to go with a picture I have. Of course, this means I need to dive into the book and select a quote that tells readers something about the characters or the plot. I’ve been known to open up a book intending to find something specific and end up reading three or four chapters!
I suppose the true answer to this question is a qualified yes. I do re-read my books, but not actually for pleasure, like the ones I read and review. When I read them after publication, there’s usually a purpose, whether it’s checking for details in writing a new project, or finding a suitable quote for marketing.
Do you re-read things you’ve already written and published?