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02/03/2012

Juno the Monkey

One of the things that worried me about writing a blog was that it would not be useful.  I didn't want to write drivel, I wanted to write articles that answer questions and hopefully help authors who are publishing independently like me.

I've written a handful of posts which I hope will provide insight into what it's like to start out in the world of selfpub.  This one, however, will be a straight-forward answer to a question I had a few weeks ago, to which I couldn't find an adequate answer at the time.

As well as writing books, I also write software.  Last year, a good friend and I embarked on the process of creating an App for the iPhone.  You can read about our exploits here.

Apple's App submission process is infamously scary.  You don't just throw your App up there, you offer it for review. Whether or not it gets accepted depends upon how well you've stuck to their design and quality guidelines. It can take a week, sometimes more, to get a response, and that response is quite often one of rejection.

It's a bit like waiting to hear your exam results, or whether or not you're getting sent to hell.

Another cruel part of the process is that, if you decide you want to update your App significantly, you can lose all of your reviews. It's a new App: what people said about the old one no longer stands.

So, when I began the submission process of From The Storm through Amazon's KDP, I faced it with the same apprehension I had when we submitted to Apple last year.

I needn't have worried.  The process is far easier and much less detailed.  However, I still had the hangover fear that if I had to republish the book at any time, I would lose the handful of excellent reviews I had already built up on Amazon.co.uk.  In order to fix a typo, I would be back at square one!

Sure enough, just as with software, as soon as the book went live I found some mistakes.  They were few and minor (the book had been well-edited prior to publishing) but I still wanted to fix them.

But were they worth losing reviews over?  I searched the web for some reassurance, but nothing came up.

So, I published anyway, and here's the answer:

When you republish on Amazon, you don't lose your reviews.

Phew!

I hope this simple post helps some other Apple App Vet. overcome their PTSD.

Incidentally, the one blog post I did on Juno Tree was all about the power of collaboration, and I have to say that there's no better group to collaborate with right now than the selfpub tribe.  This is especially true of the last few days, during which From The Storm has been enjoying a surge of interest in its first free promotional period...

More to come on that one in the next few days!