Label a Reissue or Not

Here's a quandary that faces authors who want to republish a book for whatever reason.

Should you indicate on the cover that the book is a Reissue?

Many authors want to label a book as a reissue if they've significantly edited a book that has been up for sale for a length of time.

Generally speaking, denoting the book as a reissue indicates there were problems with the previous publication.

Let's look at some reasons for and against putting Reissue on a book cover and in the description.


The main reason authors want to do this is if they've given the book a complete overhaul, not just corrected a few typos.

Authors want to let readers know by labeling the book as a reissue that any problems with the book have been corrected. All authors should know that those who have purchased the older version of the book can sync their Kindle to get the updated version IF they have Automatic Book Updates turned on. More on this below.

Another "for" is that if a book is labeled reissued, a reader who already purchased it probably won't
buy it again.

Many voracious readers consume ebooks by the dozen every week. They may not remember that they already purchased your ebook.

If your reissue doesn't have the same ASIN, then it won't show the reader that they bought the book already.

The result is that irritated reader will ask for a refund, and irritating readers is a great way to make sure they don't buy your books again.

The solution is easy. Even if you want to label your book as a reissue, just don't unpublish or delete the current flawed version and upload a new file so it will have the same ASIN.

Turning On Automatic Book Updates

The easy way for a purchaser to get the newest version of an ebook is to go to the Amazon page, Manage Your Content and Devices where all your purchases and devices are listed.

On that pages menu, click the Preferences tab. Scroll down until you find Automatic Book Updates. Click it to make sure the button is turned on. Once turned on,  any updates to an ebook previously purchased will automatically download to your Kindle the next time you sync it. Easy peasy.

If you don't want to turn Automatic Book Update on, you can update manually by scrolling through your purchases and look for the Update Available button on the right side. Click it and you replace the original book with the new version.

Many read ebooks on their cell phones. A new ebook version can be updated there too. Rather than tell you how, I'll send you to a website that explains How to Update Kindle Books on Your iPhone.


The biggest problem with labeling a book cover as a Reissue is that it may create a problem with Amazon.

A reader who already has the book but reads on a device other than a Kindle may ask for a refund from Amazon so they can get the reissued book because they may think there's extra content added.

If a lot of readers do that, Amazon might send an email to all buyers and tell them they can return the older book for a full refund.

Guess where that money comes from? Your royalty account of course.

What To Do?

To avoid problems with Readers, as I said above, upload the new file to the book listing, keeping the same ASIN so readers will see immediately that they already bought the book.

If you feel it necessary—entirely optional—to indicate to the world that the book has been altered, do not label it as a revision because that's not really what it is.

It's a new edition. So to avoid problems with Amazon, properly label a new version of a book as the Edition number. You've seen this on print books.

Take a well-known print book and look at the Copyright page. Usually the last sentence of the Copyright notice says something like this: "First Edition." Or it might say "Second Edition" or whatever number edition it may be.

Takeaway Truth

This may seem nitpicky, but self-published indie authors must address issues like this so they know and adhere to publishing protocols.

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