I’ve Got No Problem With It

How would you feel if Readers Digest abridged one of your novels? What reservations (if any) might you have? 

My mother was a big reader. She used to get those Readers Digest abridged books. I wasn’t interested in all of them, but I found that the ones I did read I liked just fine. There was one in particular that I especially liked. It was titled Aimee Come Home, and it was by Barbara Michaels. I was a teenager when I read it, and I thought it was the scariest book I’d ever read. At that age I didn’t mind a good scare, but I wouldn’t want to read it for the first time now. Years later I saw the complete book in the library and checked it out to compare the two versions. As far as I’m concerned, the condensed book was better.

If my book was being abridged I might not totally agree with how it was done. As an author I’d probably have some favorite scenes that got cut, and I’d wonder why. I imagine I might not be too happy about that. I’d fuss that those people working on the book didn’t know what they were doing. In short, I might get defensive about my book baby.

Really, though, I would be pleased if my book were selected. It would be nice to know that someone thought the book was good enough to be chosen for Readers Digest. It would also be nice to know that people who didn’t know of my work would be exposed to it. I think that the essence of the work would be maintained even though every detail couldn’t be included. If such a chance ever came my way I’d give my approval.

What do you think? Would you let your book be abridged?

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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6 Responses to I’ve Got No Problem With It

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I totally agree. Frankly, I’m unlikely to check the condensed version to compare, and even if I read it, I doubt that I’d notice the differences. I’d just be happy about the honor, and excited that more people would be reading my story.

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  2. I really would have my concerns, but I have to formulate them for Friday’s post.
    Now I am really curious about “Aimee Come Home”.

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  3. Jeff Salter says:

    I’ve read several of the RD condensed books over the years and — though I can’t recall specific titles right this moment — I’ve enjoyed them all. Of course, I only read stories that I assumed would interest me to begin with… in other words, in the genre that I was reading at that time.
    From what I’ve read about this process, the RD editors are extremely careful to preserve the tone and feel and “voice” of the authors. And I’ve read numerous testimonials from authors who had only good things to say about their own results.

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