Self publishing your previously published book? 3 things to change first

What do you do if your publisher goes out of business or, in a mutual decision, gives you your book files to self publish your book yourself? You might think you can just republish the original files but wait! Don’t upload the files to KDP and just hit publish. You need to make a few changes first.

1. Change the ISBN and barcode

The ISBN is registered to your publisher and identifies your book as being from that publisher. If you are self publishing, you’ll need to swap that out for your own ISBN. Need to buy an ISBN? Create an account on Bowker and buy an ISBN  and barcode.

2. Update the copyright page

Update the ISBN and the copyright information on the copyright page. Have you been thinking of starting your own publishing company for your books? Now is the time to do that. Add that info to your copyright page and remove your former publisher’s info.

3. Change the cover and maybe even the title

It’s a good idea to make some minor or even major changes to your cover to differentiate it from the first version. This might even include changing the title of the book. Just include “previously published as (title)” on the copyright page. Be sure to copyright the new version with the Library of Congress.

Should you call your book a 2nd edition?

You probably should call this new version a 2nd edition if you are also changing at least 10% of the content. Were there typos you wanted to correct and maybe some new content you want to add to make it different from the original version? Here’s your chance.

Will this book replace the old version of the book on Amazon?

No it won’t. Since there will be used copies of the book for sale on Amazon, they will leave the old edition’s sales page on the site. All the more reason for you to write a new book description touting the new content.

Next step – work with a designer to make your changes

You’ll need to work with a designer to create the new cover. If you don’t have a lot of new changes for the interior, your designer should be able to update your interior file. However, if you are making major changes to the interior you might have to have the entire interior redone. Check with your designer and get a quote. You will also need to either update the ebook or create a new ebook file.

Create a new marketing plan for this new version of your book

Treat this update as an excuse to promote your new (revised) edition. Be sure and update all of your profiles and website with the new cover design. Announce it on social media and on your website. Include a link to the new sales page.