Updating Published eBooks

eBook UpdatesTime ages things: bread, people…eBooks. Every now and again, we must spruce things up, get a make-over or update information. Although I’ve tinkered with my eBooks a few times since originally publishing them, I haven’t done major renovations.

I’ve decided January is a good month to perform the task. I think I might even turn this into an annual event.

When I speak of renovations, I’m not talking about editing the story. I’m talking only about updating the actual file and the information that completes the remaining space in that file.

In the past twenty months, I’ve learned a lot about what an eBook should contain. My writing material has also expanded, much of it still ignored by eBooks published more than a year ago.

In the next few weeks, I’ll renovate each publication to date (all nine of them). Although updating files and ‘republishing’ them may take only minutes at some vendors (Smashwords) and twelve hours at others (Amazon), it will take much longer for other outlets (such as iTunes, Sony, Barnes & Noble) to receive them from Smashwords. These slow reaction times will mean the whole process will take a few months to complete even if my part of the job is done in one week.

eBooks are different than print books. Different information goes in the front and the back. After much research and consideration, here is what I’ve decided to put as front matter in my eBooks this time around:

Title

Author Name

Published by Quarter Castle Publishing (ADD at Smashwords for that particular outlet)

Copyright Date by Diane Lynn Tibert

Summary

This is the back cover blurb for print books.

Please Note: This book was written using Canadian spelling.

Table of Contents

I place the Summary of the book at the front because I’ve read that in many cases, people download books but sometimes do not read them until a few weeks or months later. During this time they may have forgotten what the book was about, so the summary reminds them of why they were interested in the first place.

I add the note about Canadian spelling to alert readers from other countries that words many not be spelt the way they spell them (colour, neighbourhood, spilt). My hope is that they won’t think I can’t spell and the book needs editing.

The Table of Contents allows readers to quickly navigate through the file using the inserted bookmarks. Readers know immediately where to find pertinent information. I’ve also learned how to send readers back to the Table of Contents if they want to go there.

The clickable Table of Contents usually includes:

  • Title of Book: takes readers to the start of the story
  • About the Author: takes readers to information about the author. More on what information to include is below.
  • Copyright Information: This goes beneath all the other stuff because it’s probably the least interesting part of an eBook. It must be there, but it doesn’t have to be in a prominent position.
  • Sample Chapter: One chapter (not necessarily the first) of a novel inserted at the end of a short story is a good way to entice readers who enjoyed your story to read another.

My new back matter format looks like this.

Immediately after I write “The End”, I insert the following line: If you enjoyed Destiny Governed their Lives, please consider leaving a review to tell others. Thank you.

Some readers automatically think about writing reviews; others need reminding, so I’m hoping this simple line will generate a review from someone who might not have initially considered to write one. Not everyone who reads likes to write reviews. I quite understand.

About the Author

Every few months I like to tweak my author by-line. Here’s my most recent one:

Diane Lynn McGyver grew up along the wild shores of Nova Scotia, Canada, where she spent her summers running barefoot through the forest and sailing on the sea, and her winters building snow forts and skating. She began writing at an early age, filling Campfire Notebooks with tales based on her imagination and her adventures.

She currently dwells on a small homestead where she raises children, Toggenburg goats and heritage-breed chickens. Her work has appeared in more than a hundred publications since 1998.

My About the Author section used to give a brief list of publications. That was easy when there were only one or two more, but now that I have several I’ve decided to list them in this format:

Other titles written by Diane Lynn McGyver

Shadows in the Stone

Scattered Stones (Coming Soon)

Pockets of Wildflowers

Twistmas – The Season for Love

Nova Scotia – Life Near Water

Other Castle Keeper Tales

Blade of Truth

Connecting with me was much simpler twenty months ago as well; I had only one link. Like my publications, I’ve decided to list them to make it easier:

Connect with Diane Lynn McGyver

Diane McGyver’s Blog

Facebook

Quarter Castle Publishing Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Smashwords Interview

Next comes the copyright information. Its heading goes like this: Copyright for (fill in the title)

Then I add the technical stuff

  • This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of Diane Lynn McGyver.
  • Published by Quarter Castle Publishing
  • Month and Year of publication
  • ISBN
  • Cover Design: Name of Cover Designer
  • Editor: Name of Editor
  • Text and Illustrations Copyright@Diane Tibert

If this is a full-length novel, this is where the eBook file ends. If it is a short story, this is where I insert a sample chapter of an already published novel. Since I’m working towards publishing the second book in the Castle Keepers Series this spring, I’m promoting Shadows in the Stone, the first book.

Sample Chapter from Shadows in the Stone

the first book in the Castle Keepers Series

And that’s it. These are the renovations I’m completing on my eBook files in January. This is the most up-to-date information on me, my books and the links connected to me.

Do you up-date your eBooks from time to time? How often do you do it? Is there something that you add that I don’t?

Coming Soon

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6 thoughts on “Updating Published eBooks

    • Smashwords is what it is. I have no issues with it. It’s quite simple to use after you’ve done it once, and your work is distributed to several outlets, ones that I can’t access directly here in Canada. Payment is made directly to PayPal. The bare minimum is $10. I’ve had several payouts from Smashwords and it always runs smoothly.

      I’ve heard people complain about the slow processing time of payment and other things, but…I guess I’m in this for the long haul. If it takes two months for something to get done, then plan for it. I know when I release a new book it takes six to eight weeks for it to get to all vendors. So if I want to release a Christmas-theme book, I’ll upload it in October. Even if I upload on December 15th, it will still be available on Smashwords in all its forms.

      I upload to Kindle myself, and that’s done within 12 hours.

      I’ve only had a few issues with formatting, and I believe I’ve worked them all out. I’m updating my files on Kindle, too. When I posted my first book, the Table of Contents links wouldn’t work after their ‘processing’. Now they do. I’m happy about that.

      If you look hard enough every system has issues. If not for Smashwords and Kindle, my books would still be on my computer, so I like them eve if they have flaws.

      Thanks for visiting my site, Ernesto, and leaving a comment.

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