I’ve acquired the rights to one of my out-of-print MG novels and am going to release it as an e-book. I’ve revised the book to update and improve it and am developing a cover and getting the required new ISBN. Since the book is substantially different, should I give it a new title so it doesn’t get confused with the previous version? I like the old title, but don’t want it to limit possible sales if people think it’s the same book, even though there’s a new generation of readers out there who’ve likely never heard of the original.
Give it a new title. Your personal affection for the old title isn’t enough to risk confusion—or any stigma there might be in republishing a title that most likely went OP because it wasn’t selling anymore. We insiders know that the shelf life of the average novel is surprisingly short (2 to 3 years, although with ebooks the definition of “shelf life” is shifting), but the general public doesn’t know this. New content + new cover + new title + new pub year + new isbn = new book for a new audience. Embrace that and run with it.