I noticed the other day that there are longer, special edition releases of the Lord of the Rings films doing the rounds and that got me to thinking.


It’s quite often the case with successful films, especially in the sci-fi and fantasy arenas, that at some point a new, longer version gets released, usually with reference being made to it being the director’s cut. It’s hard not to suspect this isn’t really just a cynical ploy on the part of the studios to squeeze some more money out of us and also prompts the inevitable question, ‘Why couldn’t the director get it right the first time?’

I suppose it gives fans an excuse to sit there in front of a screen for even longer watching one of their favourite films and, who knows, maybe sometimes they are in some respect better. Maybe.

But what I started asking myself is would this work with books? Perhaps I ought to take one of my books that has reached some momentous moment, like it’s fifth birthday since release, pack it with a few thousand more words, then pump it out there for ravenous fans to snap up. I might be on to a winner!

However, if you’ve ever worked with an editor you might just have noticed how one thing they’re very good at is getting rid of words from your manuscript. I hand over a 65,000 word doc and when I get it back find it has slimmed down to a more trim 60,000. And there is, of course, a good reason for this; they’re removing the fat, the verbiage the reader won’t want taking up their time.

In which case, perhaps the idea of adding a load more words to one of my books then releasing it as ‘the author’s cut’ might not be such a hot idea after all. A nice thought, perhaps, but one I think is doomed to failure.









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