Why Unpublish?

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Writers are all about being published, either by traditional means or doing it themselves. But sometimes, authors unpublish a book.

I can think of a few reasons for this decision:

  1. The author has decided the book is unworthy or even embarrassing. Maybe it was rushed into publication and has attracted mainly negative reviews
  2. The book has attracted other forms of unwelcome attention, such as accusations of plagiarism or threats of lawsuit
  3. The book contains obsolete or inaccurate information. (This would apply mainly to nonfiction)
  4. Sales of the book have been disappointing
  5. The author has issues with the sales platform(s)

In my opinion, only numbers 2 and 3 are really good reasons to unpublish. Number 1 may be as well, but it depends. Like the decision to publish, the decision to unpublish should be made after careful consideration and asking for opinions from writing partners or trusted readers (“omega readers?”).

And…

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5 thoughts on “Why Unpublish?

  1. We (authors) strive to not publish until it has been vigorously edited, beta read, and carefully checked. But independent publishing and over confidence, can result in sub-par versions being released to customers. This is why main stream publishing has the better press (pardon the pun). On the whole, I think ‘We’ are more likely to sit on our work and not publish at all, rather than print too soon. But as Authors, we have a responsibility to our customers, to get it right first, before publishing. Flooding the e market with flawed work ruins the reputation of all independantly published writers, as in one bad apple rots all the fruit in the bowl. In my oppinion it is better to unpublish if you know it is inferior. Until mainstream publishing becomes more accessible.

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