Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Can You Relaunch an Old Book?

A year ago, I published my best book yet, The Art of Work, and it immediately hit several best sellers lists: The Washington Post, Publisher’s Weekly (two weeks in a row), and USATODAY. But the most gratifying part of writing this book has been the countless stories from readers whose lives have been changed by it.

Can You Relaunch an Old Book?

Like Rachel, who told me the message of the book gave her the courage to continue working in the nonprofit she started. In fact, it helped her to understand why some things weren’t working and how to respond to failure, which is an important theme of the book.

Or Dan, who said: “Your book, The Art of Work, is the catalyst that is helping me transform here and now. Thank you for the courage you took to decide to write full-time. Thank you for the courage to build that book. Thank you to the many people who shared their story and inspired you to build content and meaning behind their life story thus far.”

The book continues to sell well and reach new readers. But I want to help more people discover the work they were meant to do. So for the next month, I am focusing fully on relaunching this book.

Can you relaunch a book?

I’m often asked by writers if you can relaunch a book and sell a significant number of copies to new readers. I believe it’s never too late for someone to discover a good book. Books, when we find them, are new to us, no matter how old they may be. Besides, many of your readers may have no idea about your book. This is why I’m going to relaunch The Art of Work.

But this begs the question, “Can you relaunch a book?” Well, that’s what we’re going to find out!

If you’d like to follow along, here’s what we’re going to do:

  1. In the next month, I am going to do everything I can to try to sell 10,000 new copies of my not-so-new book, The Art of Work. I’ll take every guest post, interview, and promo opportunity I can.
  2. I’ll update you throughout the process (if you want) for free with occasional email updates and videos, sharing what I’m learning along the way.
  3. At the end, I’ll share a detailed post-mortem of what went right, what went wrong, and what I learned. And in the end, we’ll get to see if you actually can relaunch something.
  4. This Wednesday, I’m going to start a free eight-week book study on The Art of Work you don’t want to miss.

If you’d like to join me in this process, click here to sign up for occasional email updates.

I’ll notify you once a week of the progress in my weekly newsletter and may occasionally invite you to something else I think would be helpful, like a webinar.

Maybe this will inspire you to consider relaunching an old project you thought was lost or beyond hope. Or maybe it’ll just be fun to follow along. And of course, if you’d like to support me by picking up a copy of the book for yourself or a friend, that is, of course, much appreciated. You can do that here.

Have you ever tried to relaunch an old, and possibly even failed, project? What were the results? Share in the comments

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Can’t wait for You to share the process, Jeff! I plan on doing something similiar with my first fiction-book, where everything failed due to dramatically wrong choice of publisher (my bad, I know). But I still have full rights to the book and I intend to re-launch it using self-publishing. Let’s see how The Art of Work will do, then I’ll decide what to do with mine 😉

  • Thank you for sharing this with me, as I’ve had it pretty rough with sales, since I believe that my first literary masterpiece, from nine years ago, is still,as amazing as ever. Perhaps it’s time for me, to relaunch my first literary masterpiece, and resurge an much stronger interest in the title, and what it displays as well.

  • This should be interesting to follow, Jeff. I would think continued exposure and promotion would lead to increased sales. Thanks for sharing the experience with us, so we can learn from it!

  • @GreyDynasty

    Excellent!!! #TheArtOfWorkBook is timeless it should be launched forever. It should hit the bestseller list over and over again well into the next generation, like those old timer books of Dale Carnegie, etc. I’m living my best life right now thanks to that book. Yes, launch it again and again -it should be a bestseller-list staple and a timeless read. Thanks for choosing to share the process.

  • N K

    Wow Excellent Jeff !! This is such an exciting experiment to follow. All the best 🙂 !!

  • Maggie

    Interesting that I should come across this article now, as I’m about to attend a course in London on Life Writing. One of things we’ve been asked to do before joining is to look at stories we have written in the past, and revamp it. We are then to read it on the first lesson, with a view of re-writing the whole thing again. I was a little dubious – especially as I’m going to use a story, I wrote more than twenty years ago – as to if anything more or new, can be added to an already ‘told’ story. I’m keen to see what will happen.

  • Jacqueline

    Well, I’m about to do that now. I just started reading your book. I just received it from my local library. I am a stay-at-home-mom in great need of income. While I know that starting a blog and expecting it to generate a liveable income quickly is insane, I need this because I am also about to go through a divorce and my only hope is this blog that I started some time ago. I half committed to it due to not wanting to not utilize talents that I naturally have – cooking. Because I have felt that there was more to my life than what it is and that I am meant to do great things, I am just not quite sure what.

    I have only begun your book, however I am extremely excited to begin anew again. I am terrified, yet everything in me says move forward. So I must. See cooking isn’t the only problem, it is my writing ability that I am most unsure of. I love books, reading them, touching them, the smell of them (new ones) and would really love to write them. Yet, the teacher in on both shoulders, smashing me down jumping up and down on my head. That is how stiff with fear I am at this moment. Plus, I have multiple interest that I would love to incorporate into my site as well. I am unclear as to how to make that happen and so I am afraid. Still I am moving forward.

    I am grateful that you are releasing this book again. I am going to do everything I am able to hunt down any loose change that I can find to purchase your book. It is a definite must have for every person’s bookshelf, night table, desk, coffee table, college dorm room, supermarket find and beyond. Thank you so much for your existence on this Earth.

  • I consult authors on marketing strategies and the first thing I always tell them is this: your books are a long-term strategy. As long as you stick with it, they’ll make you more money 20 years from now than they do when you launch them.

    It is absolutely possible to relaunch and book and we see it all the time. 7 Habits of Highly Effective [Insert Noun]. This is the same book over and over again for different people.

    It’s why we see so many new versions of Alice in Wonderland.

    It’s why, after books are made into movies, they get a fancy new cover and are pushed into book stores like there’s no tomorrow.

    Like you said, every book – no matter how old – is new to new readers. Why shouldn’t we relaunch them? Good luck on yours!