Monday, July 29, 2013
Amazon adds a great new feature to Kindle: automatic delivery of corrections
I went to my "Manage Your Kindle" page on Amazon today, to send a copy of the J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling to my husband's iPad, and I noticed something new. There was a notice above the section with the list of my books that said I could sign up for automatic updates when a corrected version of an ebook comes out. Naturally, I clicked OK!
A big advantage of ebooks over print is they can be corrected if errors (typos as well as formatting errors) are found. Newer Kindles even offer a way to report these kinds of mistakes (in the More menu that comes up when you highlight a phrase). But once the publisher has fixed the mistakes, someone who has already bought that book won't see that fix unless they download the book again. Amazon will email buyers if the mistake is significant, but then they buyer has to request a new copy. This new feature is a "sign up once, and it's automatic from then on" thing, which is much better.
The number of errors in ebooks from self-publishers is widely variable, depending on the author's attention to detail. The number of errors in traditional books used to be just awful, mostly because of workflow issues, but they have (mostly) gotten better. I have found a couple of typos in The Cuckoo's Calling, though (an excellent book, by the way!). I will have to report them and see how well this new feature works!