Treat eBooks like Websites and Update them Regularly

eBook UpdatesEach January, I take a few weeks and update my eBooks – all of them.

This doesn’t mean I edit the stories. It means I update the file with new information and refresh what might have gone stale in the past twelve months. I also add details on things to come, such as the release of a book.

How long will it take?

Updating eBooks take less than an hour per book across all venues. It will take longer if you have not gathered the necessary pieces of information or you are unfamiliar with formatting.

The Original Update Post

I’ve written on this topic before and much of it is the same, so in this post, I’ll add only the changes in formatting from my original post two years ago. So first check out Updating Published eBooks and then come back to see the differences.

How I Tweaked the 2014 Updating Plan to 2016 Standards

Front Matter

  • My front matter appears in this order.
  • Title
  • Author Name
  • Published by Quarter Castle Publishing (ADD at Smashwords for that outlet)
  • Copyright Date by Diane Lynn Tibert
  • Summary (back cover blurb)
  • Snippet of an exciting scene
  • Notes
  • Table of Contents

The only addition to this line up is the “Snippet of an exciting scene”. This snippet includes two or three short paragraphs (100 words or less) of a scene that is meant to hook the reader into reading the book.

Here’s how this looks in an actual book, Destiny Governed their Lives published on Smashwords.

Destiny Governed their Lives

Diane Lynn McGyver

Published by Quarter Castle Publishing at Smashwords

Copyright2012@Diane Tibert


McGyver-SS-Destiny Governed their Lives2016Although forbidden to read scrolls without permission, Catriona couldn’t help herself and approached the table. She glanced at the open door to the outside, looking for any sign of Sari. There was none.

A Loss too Much to Endure. Magic wielded by experienced hands can sometimes lead to disappointment; in the hands of a novice, it can be devastating.

Destiny Governed their Lives is a short story that ties into the Castle Keepers series. Many of the characters who appear in it also appear in Shadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones.

Follow Diane Lynn McGyver into the Land of Ath-o’Lea and live the fantasy.

Please note

This book was written using Canadian spelling.

Everyone has something…

“Luvly. A beautiful woman with something I want.” The dwarf who held her was barely tall enough to hold the dagger to her throat. His unkempt beard covered most of his face but could not hide the gaping hole created by two missing front teeth.

Panic stricken, Catriona stared at the man. She felt the cold steel against her skin and tried to stay as still as possible. “Wh—what do you want?” she stammered.


Destiny Governed their Lives

About Diane Lynn McGyver

Sight Visitation Spell


Scattered Stones – Chapter 01

One Important Change

Diane Tibert 01 2012One other change I made with the front matter is instead of listing About the Author in the contents, I used About Diane Lynn McGyver. Why has it been recommended to use the generic ‘about the author’ when if the author’s name is used, it gives us one more opportunity to burn our name into the memory of readers?

Alert Readers to Upcoming Releases and Provide a Teaser

For the past two years, the sample chapter at the end of my short stories has been Shadows in the Stone. On May 6th, the second book in the fantasy series will be released, so I added the first chapter to Scattered Stones instead.

Sneak Peek

If you want to read the first chapter of Scattered Stones, you can for free by downloading Castle Keepers Vignettes – Volume 01. It’s free at Smashwords. Castle Keepers Vignettes is a collection of twelve vignettes I’ve posted on my McGyver author page.

Tweaking the Back Matter

The basic layout for the back matter in my eBooks looks like this.

  • Ask for a review
  • About Diane Lynn McGyver
  • Other titles by Diane Lynn McGyver
  • Connect with Diane Lynn McGyver
  • Copyright
  • Sample Chapter

The Exact Layout

Here’s what this looks like in an actual eBook. With regard to connecting with me, I note the Smashwords author page and interview only in books published on Smashwords. Amazon won’t like it, and may reject it. However, you can link to your Amazon author page when you publish to Kindle.

If you enjoyed Destiny Governed their Lives, please leave a review to tell others. Thank you.

About Diane Lynn McGyver

Scattered Stones 03Diane Lynn McGyver grew up along the wild shores of Nova Scotia, Canada. She spent her summers running barefoot through the forest and sailing on the sea, and her winters building snow forts, skating and playing hockey. 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 thousand publications since 1997.

She is the author of Shadows in the Stone (traditional adult fantasy), Pockets of Wildflowers, Twistmas – The Season for Love (both adult romance), Fowl Summer Nights (humour) and Nova Scotia – Life Near Water (anthology). The second book in the fantasy Castle Keepers series Scattered Stones will be launched May 6, 2016.

Other titles written by Diane Lynn McGyver

Shadows in the Stone

Scattered Stones (Coming May 6, 2016)

Pockets of Wildflowers

Twistmas – The Season for Love

Nova Scotia – Life Near Water

Other Castle Keeper Tales

Blade of Truth

Connect with Diane Lynn McGyver

Diane McGyver’s Blog



Quarter Castle Publishing Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Smashwords Interview

Copyright for Destiny Governed their Lives

alchemistsISBN: 978-0-9880624-8-1

Published by Quarter Castle Publishing

October 2012

Cover Design: Diane Tibert

Text and Illustrations Copyright@Diane Tibert

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.

Scattered Stones – Chapter 01 Approach to the Dungeon

Second Book in the Castle Keepers Series

Bronwyn Darrow wriggled beneath the stone wall. Twigs, dry leaves, spider webs and dirt collected on his clothing. As he snaked forward, the hilt of his sword snagged on a tree root. He retreated far enough to jerk it free, then continued. An average-size human couldn’t fit through the shallow slit, but Bronwyn, a lean dwarf, slithered through easily. The hidden gap was also too dark for human eyes, but the dappled light of the waxing crescent moon shining into the passage at both ends provided enough brightness to guide the dwarf…and the chapter continues.

Sauce Me Some

Time Frames

As mentioned in my original post, the updates to all books may take only a day, but it will take much longer—in some cases a month or two—for the updates to trickle to all the venues selling your eBooks. For Kindle and Smashwords, the updates will be available to readers within 72 hours.

eBooks are Alive and Act as Billboards

I once thought eBooks were published and left unchanged on the virtual shelf for years. There was no reason to update them. I quickly learned I was wrong. Everyone who reads your eBooks should be provided with the most up-to-date information to encourage them to learn more about you.

Personally, I have three books—short stories and vignettes—I offer readers for free. My goal with these publications is to entice readers to pick up one of my other books. If I did not update these three books with additional information and links, the marketing technique would fail.

How about you? Do you update your eBooks regularly? What do you include that I don’t?

13 thoughts on “Treat eBooks like Websites and Update them Regularly

  1. I recently started to do this with my older ebooks. There were some broken links and outdated information. It was a bit tedious but I felt that updating my bio, website, and social links was worth the effort. I really like your idea of doing this at least once a year.


    • Hello, Tonya. It can be tedious, especially if you have a few to do and you haven’t done it for a while, but I believe it is definitely worth it. You just never know what the added and corrected information will do. Doing it each January makes the task easier. This year, I changed the sample chapter at the end but last year, I didn’t. I probably won’t change it again until January 2018.

      Sometimes, it is only a review of the content, and if everything is correct, then there is no need to change anything or upload a new file. The book I just published in November didn’t need updating, but all the others needed a little bit.

      Thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment.


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