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Second Editions: Are They Worth The Work?


A Conversation with Genovino Ferri, PhD

By Nancy Eichhorn, PhD

I focus my reviews on prepublication manuscripts and “hot-off-the-press” texts. Because I’m a small niche publication, I try to offer readers material they cannot get elsewhere.

But I started to wonder about revised and second editions. All things considered, it can take years for people to write and publish their work. The time, the turmoil, the tears. It takes a toll. Combine joy, release, and celebration to that mix? You just might create a tsunami of emotional and/or physical impact on one’s body and soul.

The question nudging my brain awake at 2 am was: Why do authors go through that ordeal with the same material? Isn’t once done, good enough?

I can see writing a new book. It’s like parents having another child. Each birth (and the resultant person) is a totally miraculous event. But to rework the same stuff? It’s not a breeze.

The decision alone causes many stalwart authors to pause and ponder the enormity of what they are about to consider. First and foremost, they have to evaluate the ramifications of going at it again.

Two prime questions must be addressed: Will the new material significantly benefit readers who bought the first edition? And is the central theme still viable at its core existence?

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