Episode 58: Reviving a Dead Book (Case Study #4)

e58 reviving a dead book 4


We’ve talk in the past about reviving dead books, but how do you know if your book is worth reviving?

And how far are you willing to go to revive it?

Our guest, Stuart Thaman, started his writing career writing a novel for NaNoWriMo and having it published by what he later found out to be a vanity press. They didn’t do much for his book in terms of packaging it and marketing it. That was up to Stuart.

Reviving a second book

After writing more, learning more about the world of authors and book marketing, he looked at his previous books he had written and decided to revive his second book, as opposed to that first one he wrote for NaNoWriMo.

His first book, Stuart realized, would need to have a new cover designed, and resize it. This was in addition to adding another 25,000 words and re-editing it.

He also decided to switch from writing in the thriller genre to fantasy, which he found he had more success with.

And re-doing it again

Killstreak Book 1: RespawnBy the time his third book in a series was out, he had learned so much. Stuart ended up redoing the first two books in the series with all new covers and re-writing and re-editing. In the case of the series he was working on, it was worth it to pursue redoing the books, but it didn’t make sense to do the same with the first book he had written.

Stuart realized while rewriting the first few books that he was trying to tell the reader what he was trying to do instead of just doing it, which he now says he sees a lot from new writers who don’t know better.

[Rewriting the books] helped tremendously because — especially in the beginning of a series — you have to start strong or you're never going to get them in books two and three.

Stuart took the time to learn new skills that would help him in marketing, including ads. This helped make himself valuable to publishing companies, who now pay him to do their ads for them.

This didn’t come easily at first, and he talks about the importance of “failing forward,” meaning learning from your mistakes — in his case, losing $350 on that first Facebook ad campaign. But he does credit KDP Rocket with making his AMS ad campaigns much easier for him.

Bio of the Author in the Case Study:

profile pic Stuart ThamanStuart Thaman is a fantasy writer, known for his Goblin Wars series and Fantasy RPG books. He is also Acquisition Manager for Hydra Publications.

He lives in Kentucky with his wife, a rambunctious Boston terrier named Yoda, and four cats who probably hate him. When not writing, he enjoys smoking cigars, acquiring bruises in mosh pits, and preparing for the end of the world.


Resources Referred to in this Episode:


  1. James Castellano on June 14, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Great show. The whole reviving a dead book concept hits home for me since I ‘m doing the same thingThanks

    • Dave Chesson on June 18, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      Nice and glad you liked it – Yeah, I know there are a lot of great books out there that just did not get the marketing justice it needed. Doesn’t mean it should be dead forever.

  2. Christina M. Eder on May 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    This podcast should be a requirement for every writer, whether they have written a book or written one article! So much value, so genuine! Best use of a lunch break in months! Thank you!

    • Dave Chesson on May 13, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks. That means a lot to hear. I wanted to make sure i had a podcast that cut the fluff and was worth the time.

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Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.


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