If I publish an eBook, distribute it and later I want to edit or add to the information, is there is a way to push those updates to the already distributed copies of the eBook?


Most online publishers have a method to allow for updates to published ebooks. The user generally is given way to identify that a book has an update, then the user is given the option to re-download the work. I don't think any publisher has "push" to reader.

So yes there is way to redistribute the book, but it is dependent on user to perform some action to receive the update.

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  • Thank you. I am treating 'redistributing' and 'notifying' those who have a copy of the eBook from pushing the update to directly to their eBook (upon user acceptance of the update). It seems to me it would be more elegant to make such a provision - sort of like a 'one-click' update. Thanks for your answer! – NivF007 Apr 20 '14 at 2:19
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    I can confirm. I updated my book on Amazon and users were notified of the changes. I also get notices of updates from Amazon books I own too. – Bulrush Apr 18 '16 at 11:17

Depends on your definition of 'way to publish an eBook'?

If you mean you wish to distribute the eBook file outside of a publishing ecosystem (online store) then I don't know.

If you are using the Apple iBooks Store, then information is here.

Readers that have downloaded your book will get notified of updates just like app updates on their devices.

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  • the link 404's, is there an updated page? – mzmm56 Jul 19 '15 at 13:17

In general the answer is "No" unless the following conditions are met:

  • the publishing service has some mechanism to force updates to the devices that have downloaded the ebook directly, or through some proprietary program. This precludes anyone managing their ebooks e.g. in Calibre.
  • the device has to be connected to the service in order to get the updated version

I would not want such a service, as I don't like updates to happen without my explicit knowledge. Not every change is an improvement.

The mechanism you propose is a similar to the one used in the software industry: publish half-finished and partly tested code and update as necessary. And there you see that people stay—for whatever reason—with older versions for years.

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