Christian Writing How many changes to republish?

Jul 14, 2021
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Hi! It's been a while since I've been here; most people explain why they went missing. All I can say is God has been working on something with me; not sure what yet. I know it'll become clear when it's time.

Nevertheless! I wish to ask a question.

At what point is a published book considered a 'new' book? Instead of being re-uploaded, it should be republished under a new ISBN?

I've concluded my published book needs more work applied; this comes from my statistical evaluations of people's reading habits, problems scattered throughout the book, and just being told it needs work.

I'm expecting the amount of work will be immense, with lots of grammar problems, theme problems, structure problems, and things I wanted to add, although, in my attempt to get the story out to an editor in a reasonable time, I skipped.
Thus, if I'm going to rework something with so many issues, I might as well do what I want, and I want more showing off the environment they live in (not too much) and their thoughts on being stuck in that world. I skipped so much of the internal struggles of living in these places and what it feels like that I wouldn't mind rewriting to add that. Also, change some characters, maybe remove or add entire scenes, and change the title to something shorter.

Nevertheless; I'm not sure about the legal technicalities of ISBNs and ASINs, and I'll ask about that later, but for now, I want to know what qualifies as a fundamental change. I've read that a book needs to undergo 'fundamental changes' to republish, but I don't know what that is.

So that is my question; how much change is possible before I'm required to publish a 'new' book?


Blessings to anyone who reads this in Jesus' name. :)
 
Oct 15, 2022
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@Mercedes W. I was not very good at this writing business when I started (some may say I'm still not very good). Anyway, my 1st book (A Glorious Day in Hell) was only 30 pages. I subsequently wrote and published a sequel (At the Water's Edge), which was about 50 pages. After learning many lessons (e.g. dialogue, character development, etc.), I merged both books, corrected several flaws, and recently republished a 145 page, 2nd edition of A Glorious Day in Hell. I had to wait until my agreement expired with the publisher before I could self-publish the new edition, but I did add a new ISBN when doing so.

Don't know if that helps you or not, but I hope you glean what you can from my limited experience. Godspeed and God bless you.
 
Aug 10, 2013
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Another one who doesn't know, but it would seem to me, if you want to make that many changes (including the title), it would be a new book.
 

Accord64

Write well, edit often.
Oct 8, 2012
2,659
1,042
At what point is a published book considered a 'new' book? Instead of being re-uploaded, it should be republished under a new ISBN?

I think it depends. If you've completely changed the story, then maybe consider changing character names, book title, and release as a new book. Otherwise release it as a revised edition.

A few years ago I reworked my first published book. It was full of rookie mistakes (info dumps, pacing, grammar, etc.). As a result I trimmed out 20,000 words. But the story was still the same. The plot developed in the same way, with the same scenes, characters, etc., with no changes to how it ended. So I just kept the same ISBNs, same book title, and called it a revised edition.
 
Jul 14, 2021
132
118
Thanks, everyone, for your input and for sharing your experiences! I appreciate hearing some of you have undergone republishing too, and I wasn't aware there are different ways to achieve republishing depending on the publisher.


It took me a while, but after reading this I searched how to do so with the company I'm published through. In the course of 21 articles, I figured out, as for Amazon, most changes as I stated above, are irrelevant to requiring a newly published book. Seemingly anything less than a title change, or an author name change, would go under the 2nd edition category.

(I think I also have to add a disclaimer for a newly published book, but nevertheless)


While a new edition does sound better than republishing, I look forward to knowing I can republish. Currently, Amazon owns my book's ISBN. I looked into the legalities. Despite Amazon owning my book's ISBN, it would seem if I change the title, I can apply my ISBN, and to be fair, if I'm going to invest more into this book to improve it, I want the rights to say if it's discontinued.
 

Accord64

Write well, edit often.
Oct 8, 2012
2,659
1,042
Amazon owns my book's ISBN. I looked into the legalities. Despite Amazon owning my book's ISBN, it would seem if I change the title, I can apply my ISBN, and to be fair, if I'm going to invest more into this book to improve it, I want the rights to say if it's discontinued.

If you self-published through Amazon (KDP), then you still own the copyright. The ISBN is only an identifying tool. In fact, I'm pretty sure that KDP allows you to upload as many revisions as you wish. Although I think it goes without saying that (for fiction at least) it's always best to get it right the first time.
 
Jul 14, 2021
132
118
If you self-published through Amazon (KDP), then you still own the copyright. The ISBN is only an identifying tool.

So are there any advantages to using your ISBN? The only thing I can think of would be wanting to transfer from Amazon's platform to someone else like Ingram or D2D, which would require your ISBN.
 

Accord64

Write well, edit often.
Oct 8, 2012
2,659
1,042
So are there any advantages to using your ISBN? The only thing I can think of would be wanting to transfer from Amazon's platform to someone else like Ingram or D2D, which would require your ISBN.
If I could go back and do it all over again, I'd buy my own ISBN's. However, at the time I had no budget to do so and ISBN's aren't really cheap at $125USD each. But you can purchase in quantity and save (through Bowker):

10 ISBN's for $295
100 ISBN's for $500

All you need is one ISBN per title (and format), and you can use them through all retailers. However, I published my print books though the old Createspace platform which allowed you to enter you own ISBN or have them assign one for you (under their name). I'm not sure if KDP Print allows the same, or of they require ownership of the ISBN. Maybe someone else who has recently published on KDP Print can comment?

Keep in mind that not all retailers require ISBN's for eBooks. For instance, Amazon and Kobo don't. Others like Apple books do. Probably a good idea to purchase ISBN's for eBooks regardless. Aggregators like Smashwords will provide you with a free ISBN that's used through all the channels they distribute to (under their name).
 

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