That is the question you should of thee. Being a self-published author has many advantages. One of them is having full control over your work. This means you can upload revised copies of your book as often as you need.
Those pesky errors in your manuscript can be quite distracting to many readers. They’ll be looking for your grammar, punctuation, spelling and the correct use of your words. I call these folks the ‘grammar police’ and they’re relentless and some can be darn right mean and hurtful. Keep in mind, Amazon does have a review policy and if they are attacking you on a personal level, you can ask Amazon to remove those.
Being able to upload fixed copies of your book will erase those issues
If you’ve made mistakes and republish, those low star ratings and reviews can still plague authors. There is a trick you can use at Amazon KDP to erase all those negative reviews. There are pros and cons to this and in this article, I’ll be explaining what those are.
First off, it’s important to get your manuscript as cleanly edited as you can before publishing the book. I know from personal experience that with even the best editing service, there can be mistakes missed. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a cashe of beta readers to read your work after it’s gone through your editing phase. Even doing this, there are still risks of missing glaring errors. So, when it’s time to upload a new copy of your book after making those corrections, you have to do something that will erase those reviews.
That’s called creating a second edition. When you’re in the Amazon KDP book publishing page, all you simply have to do is change the edition field to ‘2’ and then continue with the normal process.
This does two things at Amazon. First, it publishes your book as a second edition which erases all the reviews and star ratings. The second thing is Amazon treats your published book as a new release and gives it preferential treatment over other books for a time. This can boost sales of your book, gaining new interest with prospective readers.
There are some downsides to this, that is, all your positive ratings and reviews vanish as well. It’s like starting over, but maybe that’s not a bad idea if the negative ratings are many, which will hurt you with new readers looking for a great read.
There is a way to publish a second, third or forth edition and keep all of your reviews. You would want to do this if you have a great number of positive ratings. This is something that the author must decide for themselves. How many positives over the negatives? How bad are the reviews? How many positive ratings are there and are there reviews you simply cannot ignore and face losing forever?
Once you decide you really need to republish a new edition, they all vanish. However, there is a way to try and recover them. It’s not a hundred percent full-proof and it’s up to Amazon to decide to bring them all back.
You do this by submitting a support ticket to Amazon. You have to provide them with the new ASIN along with the old number and if there are any changes to your ISBN. Amazon doesn’t require an ISBN number, but they assign new ASIN numbers which you have no control over.
After requestion via Amazon’s help desk, there is a good chance that those reviews will get moved to your new edition. Again, there is a risk that Amazon will not do it and there isn’t anything you can say or do, more than the support ticket, to make them.
So, this is why it’s very important to understand the republishing of your work. You must carefully choose making a new edition.
With Amazon, you can upload new copies of your book and not make changes to the editions. Leaving it blank or if you used the number ‘1’ when submitting it, it will not erase your reviews and ratings. However, as I mentioned above, if you have glaring negativity, if will be a huge benefit to creating that second edition.
Perhaps there are no errors or negative reviews, but you make a significant change to your manuscript that changes the outcome of the book or it changes the plot. Maybe you decided to add a twist that wasn’t included in the original publication.
For this type of upgrade to your book, you really should discard all those reviews anyway and publish it a new edition. In fact, Amazon requires a new edition if there were changes to the story and you can be in hot water with them if they discover you haven’t created a second or third edition.
One last thing to discuss on this topic, is once you’ve decided to republish a new edition or simply upload corrected copy of your manuscript, you can ask Amazon to make available a new download for anyone who’s purchased or ordered your eBook in the past. Again, you have to explain to Amazon why there were changes made and they will decide to send a push notification of your readers. They will scold you in their reply, stating that you should have ensured your manuscript was fully edited prior to publishing.
To republish or not to republish, that is the question that you must ask of yourself.
Thanks for joining me this week.
Until next time, this is Author Brian K. Larson, sparking imaginations, one book at a time.