Ebook Version Control

From long before I worked in a book store or in book production and manufacturing, from the time my library consisted of nothing but cheap mass-market paperbacks, I have always been drawn to the historical nature of copyright pages.

Before publishers began playing with the coded line of digits at the foot of copyright pages to indicate the printinEbook Version Controlg number, it was not unusual to see a long list of printings that told an actual story: “First UK publication, 1950 / First US hardcover edition, May 1951 / Second printing, June 1952 / Paperback published June 1956 / reprinted July 1956 / etc. etc.”  I remember being so proud that my blue mass-market Catch-22 was a 6th printing when all my friends had 24th or 26th printings. Unfortunately, with digital printings, print-on-demand, and ebooks, this level of information has become rare.  It’s not unusual to look for information on the copyright page of an ebook and find nothing but a scan of a print book’s history.

Obviously the number of printings is a meaningless number for an unprinted ebook, but with Fire Answers Fire, I promise to update the comments on the copyright page whenever any version changes are made.  The file that is ready to go live on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, and elsewhere includes the line “First Electronic Edition Published May 2014” as pictured here. At any point after publication on May 1 when I upload a version change, whether that’s for a few typos or more serious reasons, I’m committed to adding a dated explanatory note below this initial line.

If, in your reading of the book, you find an error you feel requires a version change, please let me know with the following comment form (and if you’re reading this before 5/5/2014, don’t forget the 50% off pre-publication offer for readers of this blog).


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