Can't build without publish, but publishing will break existing clients

I can’t be the first one to have this issue, but here goes.
I’ve recently added some new modules to my expokit project, and they required using react-native link and hence I need to build a new APK which I can release to my clients. The problem I’m having, is before I can build, I need to publish, but publishing would break my existing clients. Has anybody found a work-aound for this?

Make a new release channel.