Good reviews are everything on a platform like Amazon, especially on their highly saturated KDP service. After all, it’s those little orange stars that communicate to consumers that your work is worth their time, money, and attention.
Once you’ve amassed some good reviews, your books will sell like hotcakes, and their popularity may warrant subsequent editions with expanded or new sections.
But with the updated edition technically classed as a new release, the reviews of the original edition don’t carry over, meaning you’ve got to climb acclaim mountain all over again — Boo!
Thankfully, though, there is a way to bridge the divide between your hard-earned reviews and your follow-up editions, and today, we’ll be showing you how it’s done!
A Note On Title & Subtitle Changes
Before we begin, it’s important that we discuss an issue you may run into. By addressing this first thing, the hope is that you can avoid disappointment as you prepare to publish new editions of your publications.
Amazon is incredibly inflexible when it comes to linking subsequent editions with the original product if the title or subtitle from the original book has been altered in any way.
For example, let’s say that your first release was called Battling Amazon: An Exercise in Futility, and your second edition was called Battling Amazon: An Extended Exercise in Futility, the folks over at Amazon are unlikely to link the books.
This means that the reviews of the first book will not be carried over to the second, despite them being, by and large, the same.
So, if you’re hoping that your new edition will inherit the reviews of the previous one, be sure to keep the title and subtitles exactly the same. Change only the edition number.
Transferring Reviews To Revised Edition On Amazon KDP: A Step-By-Step Guide
With that preface out of the way, let’s jump into the guide and get your reviews where they need to be!
- Step 1 — Head on over to the Amazon KDP website.
- Step 2 — Scroll down to the very bottom past all your publications. You’re looking for the small-print menus in blue writing.
- Step 3 — Click on the one that reads “Contact Us”. If you can’t find this menu, look instead for the KDP Support page. You should find it there.
- Step 4 — You’ll then be guided to a problem filter page designed to narrow down the potential issues that you could be having, allowing Amazon to guide you to the correct resource. You’ll need to check the one that reads “Amazon product page and Expanded Distribution”.
- Step 5 — A drop-down menu will then appear to further specify your intent. There are a couple of different routes you can take at this juncture, but we find that the fastest is to choose the option that reads “Link your print and Kindle editions”, even though that’s not strictly what we’re after on this occasion.
- Step 6 — A menu will then appear asking how you’d prefer to contact them, via email or over the phone, and believe it or not, it’s in your best interests to choose email.
This way you can get all the details in place and avoid delivering all your ISBN numbers over the phone, a fool’s errand that will almost certainly amount to some form of human error and a slowing of the process.
- Step 7 — When you select email as the preferred mode of contact, a field will open for you to compose yours, but in it will be some advice from Amazon.
Essentially, this copy just tells you to wait at least 72 hours for different formats of your book to be linked and that it may take between 3 and 5 business days for the customer reviews to pass over to the newly released format.
While this is good to know, we’re not trying to link different formats of the same book, i.e. a paperback to a digital Kindle release, we’re trying to link a new edition to the original release.
Unlike new formats that are typically automatically linked to the original release, new editions are not, so we can pretty much disregard everything said here. So, go ahead and delete Amazon’s default copy.
- Step 8 — In preparation for composing your email, head over to the detail pages of your books and find their ISBNs or ASINs. If they’re available in multiple formats, you’ll need to collect the ISBNs or ASINs for each one.
- Step 9 — Your email needs to explain the situation in simple terms and provide the ASINs and ISBNs of both editions, well labeled of course. Let’s take a look at an example email, so you know exactly what needs to be done:
“Hello, I just published edition 2 of my book “BATTLING AMAZON: AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY”. Would it be possible to have the reviews and ratings for edition #1 applied to edition #2? As it stands, edition #2 does not have any reviews or ratings, but edition #1 has 120.
Here are the ASINs and ISBNs of the editions in question:
Edition 2 (released 2023)
- Paperback: ISBN-10 : 1740839677
- Kindle: ASIN : D06HG9T35S
- Hardback: ISBN-10 : 174083968X
Edition 1 (released 2020)
- Paperback: ISBN-10 : 2896558709
- Kindle: ASIN : D09FHFZL8A
- Hardback: ISBN-10 : 1740839687
Both editions have exactly the same title, subtitle, and author. The only difference is that the edition number has been changed.
- Step 10 — Wait for Amazon to respond to your email or simply check your new edition listing periodically to see if the reviews and ratings have been updated.
It might take a few business days for the changes to take effect, but as long as your title and subtitle remain unchanged from the first release, you shouldn’t run into any roadblocks along the way.
There you have it — All it takes to get those ratings and reviews allocated to your new edition is a bit of clear communication with the KDP team — Phew!
This saves your book from having to prove itself on the market twice, thus reducing sales and taking potential profit from your pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have a few unanswered questions? Stick with us and we’ll wrap them up ASAP.
You can indeed make changes to the cover of your new edition on KDP without ruining your chances of carrying the reviews from a previous edition over. This is necessary in order to advertise that your new publication is the next edition in sequence.
Again, as long as there is continuity in the title and subtitle of your new edition, everything should play out smoothly.
Yes, the author of the first edition must be credited as the author of the second edition. This can be tricky to navigate if others have made contributions to the revised copy, but there are ways around it.
Why not feature the contributor’s name on the cover but as part of a graphic rather than an author tag. It might read something like this… “With new contributions from Joe Bloggs”.
Alternatively, you could simply credit new contributors within the book, thereby completely avoiding the chance Amazon will take issue with the changes.