One of the challenges with publishing at Amazon is that the portal doesn’t always deliver the newest edition of any given digital book to readers. In the past year or so, they’ve posted rules about the how and why of updating books that readers have already acquired—a 20% change in the content is one guideline, which is a LOT of corrected typos—but it’s also become clear that sometimes when a book is updated, the previous version continues to be delivered even to new customers.
As you might imagine, this is somewhat vexing to authors. It’s impossible to know what version of a book any given reader has on his or her Kindle.
Today, however, I have a nifty solution for you. You may have heard last month about an issue with the location of the table of contents (the TOC) in Kindle book files. It’s a long story, but the end result is that Amazon decided it was not appropriate for the TOC to be at the end of the digital book. Many (many MANY) formatters, however, choose to put the TOC at the back, because the Kindle finds it no matter where it is, and because having it at the back means that it isn’t part of the Look Inside feature on the Amazon store. Readers get to preview more of the actual book if the TOC is at the back of the file. (This could also be corrected by allowing publishers to create sample files, as can be done at iBooks, instead of having them automatically generated, but that’s another issue.) My formatter has always put the TOC at the back. Even though Amazon later rescinded the necessity of the TOC being at the front, my formatter and I chose to go ahead with the revision of all of my book files.
It was a lot of work and not a job either of us were counting on, but there is a silver lining: the Look Inside feature on these books in the Kindle store now shows the TOC at the beginning. I hope this means that this newest edition is being delivered to new customers. The other perk is that if you have one of my books on your Kindle (or many of them) you can easily tell whether you have the latest and best version: look for the TOC. If it’s at the beginning, after the copyright page and the reader letter but before the opening of the book, then you have the current version. If not, you can ask Amazon customer service to update your edition with the current one.
The Amazon edition of all future releases will have the TOC at the front.
Note that we didn’t bother with the short stories and novellas, and also that you must have the current version (without DRM) in order to request the update. We still have a few more to do.
The updated books, as of today, are:
Third Time Lucky
One More Time
All or Nothing
The Dragon Legion Collection
The Rogues of Ravensmuir Boxed Set
The Beauty Bride
The Rose Red Bride
The Snow White Bride
The Jewels of Kinfairlie Boxed Set
The Renegade’s Heart
The Highlander’s Curse
The Frost Maiden’s Kiss
The Warrior’s Prize
The Crusader’s Bride
The Crusader’s Heart
The Crusader’s Kiss