What is an Author’s Cut, you ask? Well, at the time I sat down to write this post, I had thought it was my own creative term, representing a concept no publisher would’ve come up with in a billion years. Then, realizing there a few original ideas, I Googled “Author’s Cut” and found that “Author’s Cut Special Edition” versions already exist for many popular novels and book series.
The “Author’s Cut” concept is very much like a Director’s Cut of a DVD. The original vision or text of the author is restored to the book, just like the original vision or film of a director is restored to a DVD or Blu-ray. And a Special Edition of either medium is a version that contains extras. On a DVD, it’s typically behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes, alternate endings, and gag reels. And I would imagine that a book would contain similar features, like what inspired story, deleted scenes or chapters, alternate endings, etc. I’m not sure what the equivalent of a gag reel would be though…maybe early rough drafts? Harsh critiques from other writers or editors? Brainstorming doodles??
There are other variations on the Author’s Cut format as well. Last year, Chuck Palahniuk‘s publisher re-released the first novel he’d written (but published third in order,) Invisible Monsters. But this time it had a “Remix” label attached to it. The Remix version is in a form that Chuck had initially envisioned, where the story bounces around like a glamor magazine, where you need to jump all around the book to continue reading the story in chronological order. But his concept was prior to the Fight Club clout he earned largely due to David Fincher‘s movie version that came out years later. So at the time, his Choose Your Own Adventure vision had been nixed by the publisher.
Now that I’ve explained the concept, I’d like to announced that I’ve created an Author’s Cut version of my award-winning short story, The American Scream. It’s a satirical look at today’s struggle to balance family and work in a fast-paced and stressful society. It’s a long short story; in fact, it probably qualifies as a short novella. My Author’s Cut is probably more of a Special Edition, since the story itself is the same that I published last year. But I feel that the “Author’s Cut” subtitle (if you will) is more fitting for a story like The American Scream. Also because I had to do plenty of Cutting to get it where it is! Plus the additional content makes it feel more “complete” to me.
The main reason for this new edition; however, is that I wanted to share with people, on a small scale, what all goes into a book project; from inception to final publication. The decisions that we make and the sacrifices too, before it’s ready to be shared with the world. And even after publication, more changes may be necessary.
The American Scream – The Author’s Cut will be available next Friday, November 1st, on Amazon Kindle for $2.99. It will contain a little about what inspired the story in the first place and how it was shaped by others. I will include two completely different alternate endings and the alternate cover designs, as well as explanations about why some where selected over others. I’ll also be including a bonus short story, Excursion, which has a very similar feel to The American Scream. I had channeled a similar angst when writing the short story. Excursion was a springboard for my writing. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have been able to write The American Scream in the first place.
If you want to learn a little more about what goes on in a writer’s mind (specifically mine,) please consider picking it up on Friday. I hope you enjoy the read, if you do.