Republishing Versus Updating Your Book – What’s the Best Option?

Republishing Versus Updating Your Book – What’s the Best Option

Republishing Versus Updating Your Book – What’s the Best Option?

Is republishing your book better than updating it?


If you have found your way to this article, there’s a good chance that you’ve had an issue with your book and you’re now considering republishing or updating it. However, which option is best for you and your book?

Luckily, self-publishing gives you a lot of freedom to correct any mistakes in your book. Your two options are to republish it or update it.

With a little work and some strategic changes, you can quickly and easily fix any mistakes that you’ve made along the way. However, what’s the difference between republishing your book and simply updating the existing content?

In the following article, you’ll learn:

  1. What’s the difference between republishing and updating your book?
  2. When should you update your book?
  3. When should you republish your book?


what's the difference between republishing and updating your book

What’s the Difference Between Republishing and Updating Your Book?

To put it in the simplest way possible, when you update your book, it will allow you to make changes to the current listing without losing your ASIN, ISBN, or landing page. It will also allow you to keep all your current reviews and ratings.

If you want to learn more about ISBNs and ASINs, check out our article Do I Need An ISBN In Australia?

On the other hand, republishing your book will create a new book, which will require a new ISBN, ASIN, and also a new landing page. In most cases, you’ll also lose any reviews or ratings that you have on all editions of your book.

Before you jump in and start making changes, there are some small nuances to each process that you should know, including the benefits of either updating or republishing your books.


updating your book on amazon kdp

Updating Your Book On Amazon KDP

Below you’ll find out everything you need to know about updating your book on Amazon KDP.

Luckily, updating a book on Amazon KDP couldn’t get easier.

Amazon KDP will allow you to update your book with a new interior manuscript and book cover, and they’ll also let you change and adjust some of your metadata.

Also, updating your book on Amazon KDP won’t remove your reviews and ratings. You’ll keep the same book landing page, and your ISBN and ASIN will remain the same. Why is this important? Because if someone has a link to your book, that link will still work.

Updating your book on Amazon KDP will allow you to correct small mistakes like typos and grammar mistakes and even allows you to change and update your cover. Below we’ll cover some of the different scenarios behind why you might be considering updating your book.


When’s the Right Time to Update Your Book?

Below are some of the common scenarios for why you may be considering updating your book:

  • Small or minor changes – Include any ‘small changes’ such as edits, typos, or grammar mistakes. They’re all easy to fix with an update to your book.
  • You have a lot of reviews and ratings – If you have a lot of reviews or ratings, then updating your book instead of republishing is a good idea. The last thing any self-published author wants is to have to start again from zero.
  • You want to update your book cover – Your cover is on the front line doing the hard work of selling your book, so it makes sense that if it’s not 100% perfect, you might be considering updating it. As long as you’re not changing the title or sub-title, then you should be okay to update your book cover anytime you like.
  • Changing categories and keywords – You can’t change all of your book’s metadata, but categories and keywords can be changed in an update. Did you know you can request Amazon KDP to put your book in up to 10 different browse paths? Find out how in our article How To Add Your Book to Multiple Browse Paths on Amazon!
  • Editing front and back matter – Things like your next book, new release, author bio, social media information, and contact details all change over time, and a book update is a great way to keep this information up to date.


How Does Amazon KDP Handle Book Updates?

When you update your book, Amazon doesn’t give you anything special. In fact, apart from the details you update, your book and its listing will remain exactly the same. However, that doesn’t mean that updating your book won’t help improve its visibility on Amazon. It could also lead to an increase in sales. Of course, you never know how much a new cover will improve sales until you try it.


How to Update Your Book On Amazon KDP?

It’s easy to update your book on Amazon KDP by following these simple steps:

  1. Head over to your Amazon KDP Dashboard.
  2. Find the book you want to update, hover over the three small dots, and hit ‘edit ebook details’ or ‘edit paperback details.
  3. Make any of the metadata changes you need to make, including keywords, categories, or descriptions, then hit ‘save and continue.
  4. If you’re updating your interior or cover, you can upload them now and then hit ‘save and continue.
  5. If you have any pricing or marketplace changes, make them now.
  6. That’s it. Now all that’s left to do is hit the publish button.

That’s all there is to it. Just like when you publish a new book, there will be a small waiting period while Amazon approves and publishes your updates. They typically take between 12 and 24 hours to push through any book updates.


republishing your book on amazon kdpRepublishing Your Book On Amazon KDP

In this section, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about republishing your book on Amazon KDP.


What Does Republishing Your Book Involve?

As far as Amazon is concerned, republishing your book is almost the same as publishing a new book. A lot of authors republish a book because they’re publishing a new edition of the original, rewriting the original, or rebranding their book on a large scale.


When’s the Right Time to Republish Your Book?

Firstly, there are advantages and disadvantages to republishing your book.

Below are some of the scenarios where republishing your book might make sense:

  • If you’re making any large changes – Republishing may work. If you want to make significant changes to your book, it’s probably better to republish instead of update. In fact, Amazon KDP may not even allow significant changes to be made if they’re too big.
  • Changing print specifications – If you have a published print book and you want to change the trim size, paper color, color interior, or black-and-white, then you’ll need to republish. Again, this just applies to print books.
  • If you want to change the title, subtitle, or author name – The ebook has a little flexibility with these. However, it’s never great to change them, regardless of whether you can or not. If you want to change the title, subtitle, or author name, then republishing is the best option.
  • You hate your reviews or ratings – We all make mistakes. If you rushed to publish and got smashed on your ratings and reviews, republishing could remove them and give your book a fresh start.
  • The rights to your book were just returned to you – Now your book is yours again! If you accepted a traditional publishing deal or hybrid publishing deal, and it’s finished, you get your rights to your book back. Then republishing under your own imprint is the only way to move forward.
  • Rebranding and relaunching – You may not know this, but when you republish your book on Amazon KDP, you get that fantastic welcome period where your book gets a little love and preferential treatment.


How Will Amazon KDP Treat Your Book Republishing?

The way that Amazon treats republishing is very different from updating.

If you republish your book, it’ll be just like publishing a new book. You’ll get a new ASIN or ISBN (if you don’t use your own ISBN) and a new landing page for your book. As well as a new landing page, your book also gets dropped into the New Release category.

If you’ve learned a little since the first time you published your book, then now is a great time to put all of that marketing into practice when you republish it.


How To Republish Your Book On Amazon KDP

It’s easy to republish your book on Amazon KDP by following these simple steps:

  1. Make sure that you have all your new files ready.
  2. Follow the standard Amazon KDP uploading process.
  3. If your book is a new edition of an old version, specify this in the book details section.
  4. Hit the publish now button and wait for Amazon KDP to approve your book.
  5. Once your new book has been published, approved, and is live on Amazon KDP, find your old book in your dashboard, hover over the three dots, and hit unpublish.

Please note that even though you can unpublish an ebook, you can never 100% remove a paperback or all traces of it. So while people won’t be able to buy new copies of your old book, they can still buy and sell old copies of the book.


Bonus Tip: How to Keep Your Book Ratings and Reviews When You Republish Your Book

While this isn’t 100% guaranteed, it is possible. Sometimes you’ll be able to keep your reviews and ratings when you republish your book on Amazon. However, be prepared to lose your reviews, and if you manage to keep them, then it’s a real bonus.

Follow the steps below to request Amazon to transfer your reviews and ratings to your new book:

  1. Visit the Amazon KDP Support page.
  2. Hit the Amazon Store & Product Detail page, and link both your print and ebook editions of the book in question.
  3. In the space below, give them the ASINs and ISBNs of the old books and the new books, including ebooks, paperback, and hardcover formats.
  4. Now, ask them to link the old ratings and reviews to the new book. Explain to them clearly that this is a new edition of the old book.

Now, in order for this to have any chance of working, your book title, subtitle, and author name must be exactly the same. However, as we mentioned above, this isn’t a 100% guarantee.


republishing versus updating your bookRepublishing Verses Updating Your Book  – Conclusion

Of course, there are pros and cons to both updating and republishing your book.

For most authors, a simple update is enough to get the changes they need made. It’s also easy and won’t affect your reviews or ratings.

However, if you’re looking to make significant changes, including rebranding or relaunching, then republishing your book makes a lot of sense.

Got any questions about whether or not you should update or republish your book? Then don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at Author Services Australia. Our friendly and professional team will only be so happy to help you out!

Comments (2)

  1. Matt D

    This article suggests that re-publishing might be a good choice to get rid of negative reviews, to rebrand the book, to in a way start over with it. This makes sense to me. However, from the viewpoint of KDP, is that acceptable?

    In order to justify re-publishing doesn’t the book need to have at least some changes? What would be the minimal amount of changes needed to ensure I’m following best practices? Should I add material to the book? Does it need to be substantially rewritten?

    I mean, in some genres, books will sell well for about two to three months then drop off a cliff. I think a *bad* strategy would be to attempt to just keep republishing the book over and over again—maybe to keep up a rotation of books. I think Amazon would catch onto this and the person’s account might get suspended. It’s a terrible idea. It’s about making money without really providing a service.

    So in what cases though is it acceptable to re-publish? I understand in part this is about the final product and the honest intent of the self-publisher to provide a quality product. But from KDP’s side, what would they be looking for in terms of best practices? From their viewpoint when is it perfectly acceptable to re-publish a book?

    1. Clayton Hobbs

      Hi Matt, I think republishing continually to avoid bad reviews or getting that new book spike from Amazon wouldn’t ultimately be worth the hassle. Also, it would start to leave a long trail of the previously published books under your name unless you’re going with a new author name, and then you couldn’t republish any of the same content without it pinging as plagiarism.
      Once you publish a book and link it to an ISBN, especially on platforms like Amazon, that book will be there forever. It may not be for sale, but people can still see it when they search, and also if there are secondhand copies floating around, they can also still be sold under the original title.
      The industry standard, for what that’s worth, is that if less than 10% of the content is changed, just update the original. More than 10%, you would republish as a second edition. If you want to make a title change, you will need to republish under a new ISBN.
      I think republishing is more commonly used by self-published authors to regain control of their books when they get the rights back, companies go broke, and they want to republish their books and collect the royalties or as a way to correct issues with the original book and get a fresh start so to speak, but not necessarily to gain any real advantage or game the system if that makes sense.

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