Updated version of the ERE book?

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DMcL1971
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Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by DMcL1971 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:58 am

I received a notification from Amazon this morning that an updated version of Early Retirement Extreme was now available for download, noting that 'Significant editorial changes have been made' to the book. However when I try to download this update nothing downloads. I contacted Amazon and they don't know what the changes are but have assured me that I have the most recent book version that they have available.

Does anyone know if there really is an updated version of the book or if Amazon have notified me in error?

jacob
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:52 am

There really was an updated version about last Thursday (Feb 11). It's rather rich (and telling) (and given my recent experience, not that surprising) that the amazon email talks about "significant editorial changes" while at the same time not knowing what those changes are. :roll:

Incidentally, the updated book has practically no changes, certainly nothing significant, nor anything editorial. If you haven't downloaded it, you're really not missing anything.

What happened last week was that five years after its publication some nincompoop apparently complained that it was annoying that footnotes didn't have a link in them going back to the original reference. This is an inconvenience because amazon in their infinite wisdom decided to remove the back button/functionality from their newest generation of kindles. In addition they apparently figured that the best strategy was to blame their slip-up on the authors retroactively and so they decided they'd take the book hostage until I fixed this. :x

Which I then did.

The only change was a few spelling spelling errors and kludging those back and forth links to compensate for their removal of the back button functionality.

My next book(s) will not be published on kindle. The way Amazon runs their electronic publishing these days is too much of a liability. :evil:

Did
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by Did » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:13 am

@jacob can you expand on the kindle liability point?

DMcL1971
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by DMcL1971 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:55 am

Thanks Jacob.

If their link had have just said there were a few spelling and link updates I wouldn't be bothered. But when I saw the 'Significant editorial changes have been made' bit, I was expecting whole new chapters and a new title like 'ERE 2016 - The Next Generation' or something. So when I couldn't see any difference at all I thought something was up.

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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:33 pm

@Did - KDP basically took the book off w/o warning (strike 1) publicly citing "serious issues" with the book on the amazon sales page which is confusing to readers as well as bordering on defamatory (strike 2).

They wanted footnotes to be backlinked; a feature that is neither documented by their own pages (strike 3) nor required by their own publication specs at present time (strike 4) nor five years ago when the book was published (strike 5).

The book was originally published using the MOBI format (one of the few formats they accepted in 2010) but now they don't accept that format any more (strike 6). Fortunately, I still had an html version which they do accept.

If I hadn't had that html version ready then that would been the end of the kindle book. Indeed, if I hadn't published the book myself, I would have had to go find the original editor/publisher from five years ago hoping they still had the appropriate source/input files in a format that was readable/useful to me (not some proprietary piece of editing software) and that amazon still supports.

The risk is that amazon can and apparently will cut books at any time if they decide to demand a new set of features some time in the future even many years later. I can't be sure they won't come back in 2021 or 2028 demanding that the book be virtual reality compatible or somesuch.

In general, when I publish a book I don't expect to have to provide tech support five or ten or fifteen years later for something that wasn't part of the original specs and that hasn't been an issue before. I understand if they come back a few months after publication if something is broken. But I think that demanding petty changes five years later is simply insane.

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vexed87
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:20 pm

Sooo... who's the nincompoop?

Jacob, have you made any enemies recently? I feel a witch hunt coming on! :lol:

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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:26 pm

No idea, probably just some random person who likes to complain. I put this entire debacle squarely on KDP's policies.

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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:32 pm

The footnote links don't work in my version. It's paper, of course.

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BRUTE
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by BRUTE » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:52 am

jacob wrote:My next book(s)
elaborate

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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by jacob » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:55 am

if any

Did
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by Did » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:39 am

@jacob thanks for the info. I have had many booked pulled because they were in an unsupported language. It still works but unsupported.

simplex
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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by simplex » Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:32 am

Please keep a paper version in any case. As a reader you don't buy a kindle version technically. What you get is personal a right to read a kindle file. You can't easily sell or hand over a kindle book to somebody. And if your amazon account disappears ...

Additionally it seems that ebooks are not more environmentally friendly than plain paper books. The fast obsoleteness of the ereaders/mobiles significanly increases the environmental load.

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Re: Updated version of the ERE book?

Post by jacob » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:18 am

jacob wrote: What happened last week was that five years after its publication some nincompoop apparently complained that it was annoying that footnotes didn't have a link in them going back to the original reference. This is an inconvenience because amazon in their infinite wisdom decided to remove the back button/functionality from their newest generation of kindles. In addition they apparently figured that the best strategy was to blame their slip-up on the authors retroactively and so they decided they'd take the book hostage until I fixed this. :x
I see that amazon has now fixed their software thus allowing people (who lack a backbutton) to flip back and forth between pages.

I can hope that my publisher feedback (please rate your recent experience) after that incidence contributed a small part to this software update.

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