Kindle eBook Updates & You

Did you know you’re book won’t update to your customers unless you inform Amazon you’ve made an update?

Stack of Books Strapped TogetherIf you’re like me, you reread your book after it’s published. Sense of pride or glutton for punishment, either way, you want to make sure it looks and reads the way you wanted it to…

And then you see it… A glaring typo that got past both you and your editor. And people have already bought and downloaded the book. What do you do now?

Well, the first thing you should do is go over your baby, line by line, looking for any other mistakes you might have missed. Fix them all, and upload your corrected file to Amazon. It will take several hours, perhaps an entire day, and then your corrected book will be live, ready for all your future customers.

But what about the people who’ve already downloaded your book, before you fixed it? How do they get the updated version? Well, they don’t. Not unless you take steps to make it happen. Don’t be fooled by the “Automatic Updates” option customers can select. It only works automatically if Amazon flags the book for an update.

So how do you get Amazon to flag it as updated? According to their help page, “Notifying Customers of Book Updates,” you must “contact our support team by clicking the ‘Contact Us’ link at the bottom left hand or right hand corner of the page to request your customers receive the updated version.”

I couldn’t find the link on either page of the “Edit Book Details” form, so I’m guessing they mean the link at the bottom of your Bookshelf and Report pages. It’s a generic help/contact form, without an option for requesting the update. So you just have to wing it, based on the information in the above linked “Notifying Customers of Book Updates” page.

After that, you only have to wait for about four weeks before readers who bought your book will be able to get the updates. Oy!

But seriously, in spite of this being a cumbersome process, it’s really important that you do it if you’ve already sold or given away numerous copies. Readers can give up on a book if there are too many mistakes. Don’t let that happen to you.

About Anita Cross

is the host of The Writers Chat and a newly-minted Indie Author writing under the pen name of Lorraine Adair. Before embarking on her own writer's journey, Anita could be found proofreading and editing manuscripts for other Indie Authors.

Comments

  1. Is gluten / glutton one of those typos, or just a US spelling?!

    Just letting you know I went through the informing Amazon process, waited, heard nothing. No sign of an update in Manage My Kindle account.

    I would consider an increase in content of 30% substantial enough to notify previous purchasers, but no. But they didn’t even follow what they say for minor changes:

    1. If the changes made to your content are considered critical, we’ll email all customers who own the book to notify them of the update and improvements made. These customers will be able to choose to opt in to receive the update through the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage

    2. If the changes made to your content are considered minor, we won’t be able to notify all customers by email, but we will activate their ability to update the content through the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com.

    When I’ve done minor updates without going through this process, I just ask them to send the update to my Kindle, and that happens the same day.

    • Well, that’s embarrassing. It’s glutton. And thank you, I’ve corrected it. :)

      I’ve made a couple of updates to Ambient Light without going through this process. When I go to Manage Your Kindle, I do not see a link to update the book. My options, under the Actions button, are: Read Now, Deliver to my…, Clear furthest page read…, Delete from library, and Loan this title.

      I’ve tried selecting “Deliver to my…” sending it to my Kindle for PC app again. In the app, the book downloads again. But the updates are not there.

      I’ve tried with other books I know have updated and get the same results.

      This is on Amazon.com. I don’t know about the other Amazon sites.

      Is anyone else able to get updates on their books without jumping through the hoops?

  2. For simple updates, as you describe, you have to contact Amazon, and ask them to send the update directly to your Kindle. Use their contact form through Author Central, as trying to explain it on the phone is next to impossible!

    As I said before, even with all the hoop jumping, I still have to do this to receive the update.

    • Okay. But do you have to do that for books you purchased from other authors? Or just for your own books?

      My concern, and the reason I wrote the post, is whether or not customers who’ve already purchased and downloaded the book receive the updated version. According to the Amazon website, the customer only receives the updates if the author contacts Amazon and requests it.

      In any event, it sounds like one is better off making sure the manuscript is as close to perfect as possible before publishing. If the book doesn’t need updates, the author has nothing to worry about.

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