Editing Kindle Books: Post-Publishing Modifications for Publishers

If your biggest fear is clicking the “publish” button and then finding a typo, we're here to ease your worries.

Editing Kindle Books: Post-Publishing Modifications for Publishers
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You just hit the “publish” button on your Kindle book. You're feeling pretty great about it, and you’re proud of all the work you put in so far. But as you're flipping through the pages, you spot a couple of things that aren't quite right…

Maybe you notice a few lines in the text that aren't as sharp as they could be. Or maybe some typos and grammatical errors slipped through the cracks. What’s your next step? 

These small oversights, now glaringly obvious, make you start to feel nervous—is it too late to make changes? Can you still edit your book even though it's already out there in the Kindle universe?

Spoiler alert: Yes, you can, and in this article on editing Kindle books, we’ll show you how!

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Options for Editing a Published Kindle Book

Although you can’t edit your manuscript directly using Amazon, the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform does allow you to upload refined and enhanced versions of your books or tweak certain book details even after they've hit the digital shelves. 

Currently, Amazon offers two different ways to modify your books using the KDP platform:

  • Updating
  • Republishing

We’ll cover both in this blog post, but let’s start with a book that needs updating. This option allows you to make small changes to your current book listing while retaining the essential identifiers like the book’s ISBN, ASIN, and sales page. 

When Should You Update Your Book on KDP?

Here are some book details you might consider updating:

  • Pricing and Territories: You can adjust your book's selling price and choose the Amazon marketplaces where your book is available.
  • Pre-order Updates: Got a book on pre-order? You can tweak the manuscript and cover right up until the release date, making sure your book hits the market exactly how you envision it.
  • Book Cover: "Don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't always hold true in the digital space. If you feel that the cover isn't making the right impact or isn’t matching up to the competition, Amazon allows you to create a new book cover and swap it with a new one (without having to republish the entire eBook). 
  • Book Details: This includes updates to your book's description, categories, contributors, and keywords. Changing some of these elements can improve your book's visibility and searchability on Amazon, making it easier for potential readers to find your work.
  • Content Updates: Notice a typo or a small error in your book? Or maybe something you wrote about has changed, and you need to delete a sentence or two without overhauling the whole section? No problem. You can upload a new version of your manuscript to fix these issues. 
  • KDP Select Enrollment: Deciding whether to enroll or unenroll in KDP Select gives you flexibility in your promotional approach. This program can offer additional exposure and benefits, so consider it carefully as part of your marketing strategy.
  • Series Information: If your eBook is part of a series, you can update info like the series title and where your book falls in the sequence. This keeps everything organized and makes it easier for readers to follow your books.
  • Publication Date: Need to shuffle the publication date around? Maybe to sync up with a promotional plan, a special event, or a milestone? That's within your control, too.

Now, these are for the quicker and easier fixes. If you need to overhaul part of your manuscript completely or reformat multiple chapters, that process will look a little different. We’ll tackle it in the later sections!

Pro Tip: Changes might not reflect immediately on the Amazon product page. Certain changes might require a review process by Amazon before they become visible to customers. If you haven’t heard back within the week, don’t be afraid to reach out to their support team!

Steps for Kindle Book Editing and Updating Book Details on KDP

Here’s the rundown for making tiny tweaks: 

  • Access KDP Bookshelf: Log in to your KDP account and go to your bookshelf.
  • Edit Book Details: Find your book, click on the ellipsis button ("…"), and select “Edit e-Book details.”
  • Make Metadata Changes: Update your description, keywords, or categories as needed.
  • Save and Continue: After making the desired changes, click “Save and Continue.”
  • Update Manuscript or Cover: If you have direct changes to the manuscript or the book cover, you can add them in the next section. Once again, after making these changes, click “Save and Continue.”
  • Adjust the Pricing and Marketplaces: Make any changes to the pricing or the regions where the book is available.
  • Publish: Complete the process by clicking “Publish” at the bottom of the Pricing page

When Should You Republish a Kindle Book? 

Amazon treats a republished book like it's a brand-new product. In other words, any re-published or reworked book will require new identification numbers (ISBN and ASIN) and a new page where people find and buy your book.

You’ll need to tweak the manuscript using another platform like Microsoft Word or Reedsy and then upload it in the correct file type to the KDP platform as you did with your original manuscript. You’ll go through all the same steps of entering your book details, like your title, author name, and categories. Then, after you hit “publish,” Amazon will review your book within the normal waiting period before it goes live in the Kindle store. 

With this fresh launch, your book will be re-listed among the new releases. This has the potential to help your book capture the attention of a broader audience, increasing its exposure and visibility (though it’s never a guarantee). 

Let's talk about a few key reasons why republishing might be a better choice than just updating your book’s details:

Major Content Overhauls

Anytime that a change in content affects the layout of the book, you’ll be required to re-publish to stay compliant with Amazon’s terms and conditions. Keep in mind these rules are for both deleting sections AND adding new ones!

Changing the Print Format

When you publish a book on Amazon KDP, you’ll have to explicitly choose whether to print in color or black and white, in addition to picking a specific trim size. You are free to choose different settings, but it will result in an entirely new book product and listing. 

Changing the Title/Subtitle/Author Name

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to re-publish your book anytime you’re messing with the title, subtitle, or author name because Amazon will flag your book as a new product. 

Steps to Republish Your Book on Amazon KDP

Here are the steps for re-publishing your book through KDP: 

  • Prepare the New Edition: Take time to do a final readthrough and proof of your new manuscript.
  • Upload Process: Follow the standard KDP upload process.
  • Specify New Edition Details: During the re-upload, clearly indicate if the book is a new edition of an existing title or a completely unique work.
  • Publish: Submit the book for Amazon's approval and publication.
  • Unpublish the Old Edition: Once the new book is live, unpublish the previous edition from your KDP bookshelf.

When Shouldn’t You Update Your Book on KDP? 

Here are some controversial reasons why some indie authors and publishers might choose to re-publish their books (and why we don’t necessarily recommend them). 

Losing Reviews

Whenever you re-publish a book, you are risking losing all the reviews. In theory, you can ask the Kindle support team to move over your old reviews, but this doesn’t always work. 

This can be tempting for authors and publishers whose launches don’t go as expected and who are purposely looking forward to wiping the slate clean. But while you might get away with it temporarily, Amazon doesn’t like it when people try to skirt around their terms and conditions. 

Besides, negative reviews are meant to be constructive and help you improve the quality of your work. If you just re-publish a book without paying more care and attention to its content or editing, you’re just setting yourself (and your readers) up for another bad experience. 

Ask yourself what your long-term goals are and if it’s worth it!

Small Typos 

There’s no need to completely re-publish a book if the changes you’re making aren’t going to affect the overall content of the book. That’s what updating is for! 

How Does Amazon Handle eBook Updates?

Changing things up won't automatically get you an extra spotlight from Amazon’s side—this means there won’t be any automatic boosts to your book sales and royalties. But don’t let that discourage you. 

Even though the platform won't nudge your book up the rankings, the ripple effects of your updates can be significant. For example, if your new cover leads to more readers adding your book to their cart, Amazon WILL take notice. Its algorithm favors eBooks that show higher engagement and sales activity. If they sense your book could be successful, they might start running a promotion on it that reduces the list price without affecting your royalties. 

At the end of the day, all that Amazon cares about is making its customers happy. In this case, it’s all about the readers. If you're refining content, fixing errors, or updating information, you're also improving the reader's experience. And happy readers? They're more likely to recommend your book to others and leave positive reviews. (A win-win-win scenario for you, them, and Amazon.)

Know When to Say “Enough” to Edits

Before we sign off on this blog post, there’s one last point we need to talk about—overediting. 

We’re talking to all the perfectionists here. Does any of this sound familiar? 

  • You find yourself in the common trap of endlessly revising and tweaking your work.
  • There's always that one little change you want to make. 
  • Even after you hit “publish,” you want to keep reading and re-reading your book in case you missed something. 
  • The little voice in your head just won’t stop! 

Here’s the thing, though: Constantly dwelling over past works can be a roadblock in your path as a publisher. It's natural to want your book to be perfect, but at some point, you need to let go. One missed comma or an extra letter won’t take away from a high-quality book packed with stellar content. 

Moving forward is the best way to get out of your comfort zone, diversify your income, and GROW! So, set limits. Give yourself permission to make necessary updates but within reason. Decide what needs revising, make those changes, and then commit to looking forward instead of looking back.

Here’s how one perfectionist found success with publishing (and how you can, too): 

Your Self-Publishing Mentorship and Success Blueprint

In our free webinar, we lay it all out for you—how to start your publishing journey without any of the guesswork or trial and error. You'll meet some of the most successful self-publishers in our community who started out just like you. You'll get an insider's look at their strategies and learn how they're making a steady income from anywhere in the world (whether that’s Bali or their own cozy living room). 

We cover everything from brainstorming a killer book idea to launching it into the market and watching the income roll in. And if you're swamped with other commitments, no worries—we'll show you how to outsource the bulk of the work without sacrificing quality. 

Still not sure if this is right for you? Take a look at our Student Success Hub. It’s filled with stories from hundreds of people who took the plunge and never looked back, from retired teachers, farmers, and dating coaches to college students.

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