This Might Be A Terrible Idea

shutupI’m launching the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital next week and today I’m going to try and answer all your questions.

Most have surrounded something I’ve hinted at over the last few months. I’m doing something pretty cool and different with this launch. Or maybe crazy is a better word.

In short: I’m giving it away free to all purchasers of the old edition. More on that below…

When is the 2nd edition out?

It’s officially launching next Wednesday, September 17, and I’ll be posting again then. As always, subscribers to my New Release Mailing List will get an exclusive for a day or two before that, so if you are desperately impatient to get your mitts on Digital 2, sign up here.

Isn’t that later than planned?

Yup, sorry about that. It is for good reasons though. I’m told that new editions generally have around 25% new content with a new intro slapped on the front. Digital 2 will have tons more fresh content than that. Off the top of my head, I’d say about 60% of it is brand new, and almost everything else was revised or updated in some way.

So what has changed then?

Too much to give you a comprehensive list right now, but, by reader request, I’ll be publishing some type of change-log here next week, so you will have a guide to everything that has been added and updated, and can skip to the bits you want to read.

The basic structure remains the same, but each section is jam-packed with new stuff. The first part still covers the digital revolution, and how it has disrupted publishing and created fantastic opportunities for writers, but it was fascinating taking a step back and charting what has changed over the last three years.

For example, there’s extended information on the agent-publisher phenomenon (including some juicy quotes from an anonymous agent), an extended look at the effect piracy has had on publishing (predominantly the fear of piracy and the dumb actions publishers took), and brand new stuff on various publishing scams and predatory “service” companies (with Author Solutions and its various partners in traditional publishing featuring heavily).

The second part still covers all the steps needed to publish your work and get sales going, but everything was updated and huge chunks are completely brand new. The marketing chapters in particular were totally re-written from scratch, and there is much clearer demarcation between the kinds of things that fiction writers should be doing (and not doing) versus non-fiction authors, and so forth.

And the third part still contains those inspiring success stories, but lots of them have been updated and it’s fascinating to see what those writers are up to three years later. I also have a new contributor from a genre not covered last time (erotica).

Then there’s all sorts of extras based on reader feedback: info on print editions (and why you really should have them), advice on how to get a mailing list started (and how to grow it), a self-publishing checklist that you can easily refer to when publishing, more detailed advice on the optimal layout of e-books to boost sales (and reviews and mailing list sign-ups), and more options for those publishing on a tighter budget.

And that’s just for starters…

Is it true I won’t be able to buy the 2nd edition if I already purchased the old version?

Yes. I’m uploading the 2nd edition directly over the 1st edition, so if you have purchased it already you won’t be able to purchase it again. However, you will be able to download it for free.

If you purchased it from Amazon, you will be able to download the new edition, from September 17, via Manage Your Content & Devices (formerly known as Manage My Kindle) in your account settings. READ END OF POST FOR UPDATE ON AMAZON. Smashwords also lets you download updates at any time, as does Apple. Kobo doesn’t yet have this facility, but they will be providing a free coupon for all purchasers of the 1st edition. There will be more detailed instructions on all of that next week.

I haven’t figured out yet how it works on Nook, but if there are any Nook owners, please let me know in the comments if there is a facility where you can download updates. At worst, I’ll sort that out manually (and anyone else who is having issues).

And, I’ll explain why I’m doing this below.

What if I have a problem downloading the update?

I’ll be testing this before launch, but this is a bit of a leap into the unknown, so there could be issues. Please let me know in the comments of this post (or the book launch post next week), rather than emailing. It will be much easier for me, and I’ll be able to resolve your issue quicker. Whatever the problem is, I’ll make sure you get your free update one way or another.

I prefer reading non-fiction on paper. When is the print edition out?

My print formatter (the excellent Heather Adkins at Cyberwitch Press) is primed and ready to go, and I’ll be sending her the final file over the next day or two. Between formatting, getting approval at Createspace, and checking the proof, I expect it to be maybe two weeks. But it will be as fast as possible, and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available. Note: I’ll be pulling down the 1st edition paperback when the 2nd edition e-book comes out. I don’t want someone shelling out for what they think is the new edition.

But I bought the first edition in paperback. Do I miss out on the freebie?

Not at all. I’ll be making Digital 2 free through Amazon’s Matchbook program, so you will be able to download it for free if you bought it there. If you bought the paperback elsewhere… I’ll figure something out. Maybe email me a pic of you holding the paperback and I’ll send you the e-book by reply. Does that work?

It’s cool that you are giving us the 2nd edition for free, but I want to buy it. I want to support you and/or the book.

I’ve been hearing this a lot, which is cool, it really is. I genuinely appreciate the sentiment. This book has been a consistent seller over the last three years, and that’s all down to you guys recommending it to others. I’m hugely grateful for that and I don’t want or need anything in return.

If you still want to support me and/or the book in some way, there will be a very, very cool Top Secret way that you will be able to do that next month. I can’t say anything else about that right now, but will announce as soon as I’m able – which will likely be late October. If you can’t wait that long, sharing news about the new release would be greatly appreciated. I’ll have some easy ways you can do that in next week’s post.

Why are you doing this? Wouldn’t you make more publishing this as a brand new book?

Well, yeah. Probably. But there are other considerations. The first edition of Digital has over 200+ reviews on Amazon US and 300+ ratings on Goodreads, and I’d hate to lose all that. Because the review score has been high, Digital has consistently ranked well on various Top Rated lists on Amazon, which has been a decent driver of sales. On top of all that, there are innumerable links pointing at the book from all sorts of writing/publishing blogs, and a brand new book with a new ASIN would lose all of that too.

Now, I would probably make up that ground pretty quickly with a fresh book, but I also wanted to do something to thank the readers who supported me over the last three years. Maybe giving them the 2nd edition for free will result in some extra social media noise during launch week. Maybe I’ll end up reaching more new readers as a result. Maybe, just maybe, that could ultimately earn me more than publishing it as a separate book.

Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

As I type out the “rationale” behind what I’m doing, it sounds kind of crazy. And perhaps that’s because it is crazy. I’ve sold 12,000 copies of the 1st edition. I also gave away around 30,000 more copies on Amazon during a free run a couple of years ago.

I don’t know how many of those readers would buy the 2nd edition, if given the opportunity, but it’s a number higher than zero. So it’s highly likely that I’ll be leaving money on the table in the short term, given that 42,000 readers won’t actually be able to buy it.

But, over the long term… investing in reader karma is never a bad thing. Will it end up being a net win or a major loss? I have absolutely no idea, but I do know it’s going to be fun finding out!

*grabs whiskey bottle*


I’ll be posting about this in more detail later, but it appears I was misinformed. It’s a major screw-up. The version Amazon is letting you download from Manage My Content & Devices is the OLD version (despite the new cover).

While I’m getting that fixed at Amazon’s end, to get the new version, there are three options:

1. Call Amazon and they will push the actual 2nd edition out to your device. Here are the numbers (toll free in US & Canada): US: 866-216-1072 Canada: 866-321-8851 UK: (0203) 356 6212 International: +1-206-266-2992.

2. Email Amazon and request same (but phoning is probably better to avoid successive rounds of emails and/or delays).

3. I’ll send you the mobi and you can sideload it.

The way you can tell if you have the first or second edition is simple. Look at the copyright page, the 2nd ed. should have “Second edition published September 2014″ in bold on the front. The old one doesn’t. Also, in the 1st ed. the first chapter is called “Challenges Facing The Publishing Industry”. In the 2nd ed. it’s called “Appetite for Disruption”

Sorry for the trouble. I’ll update the post above. And I’ll have more news in my post later.


About David Gaughran

David lives in Dublin, where it rains every day and conversation is a sport. He writes historical adventures and has helped thousands of authors to self-publish through his workshops, books, and this here blog.
This entry was posted in Marketing, Publishing, Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to This Might Be A Terrible Idea

  1. Jessica says:

    Nook: you can archive and then unarchive the book, and it will download the latest edition available once the book is unarchived and downloaded.


  2. Finally going to set up a tip jar? That would be easiest for me; and/or I can gift someone a copy – hey, I just thought of a couple of people who should have one.


    • Problem solved!

      On the tip jar thing (because someone else mentioned it below), I’ve had people suggest it before, but it just doesn’t feel right for me or this blog. I’ve no problem with others doing it at all, and have kicked in before to others, but I don’t want to go that route. I can’t quite explain why, but I guess part of it is I already get lots and lots from doing this blog. It’s a sounding board for ideas that I put into practice in marketing, it’s where I flesh out theories that make it into books like Digital and Visible, and my blog readers already support me hugely by sharing data, posts, news of new releases, and by buying books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m excited to read the updated edition, David! I enjoyed the original immensely.

    I’ve done what you’re doing with How to Write Hot Sex, which was originally published in 2011. I updated it for 2014 and published the second edition directly over the first. Anyone who bought the first edition can get the new one free, and I say on my site that they can take a pic of the book on their ereader or in their hands, and I’ll email them the new edition free.

    I’ve found that the book continues to sell well, but more like nothing ever changed, (steady sales instead of a “new release” push). Then again, I didn’t make a ton of changes like you did, so I think that makes sense.

    Only a few dozen people contacted me to email them the updated edition. I think it worked out automatically for others…? 🙂 Either way, I’m glad I did it this way. You have very good reasons for wanting to keep the links the same. I think your updated edition release will go great 🙂


    • That’s good to know. What did you do for the other retailers? Oh, and did Amazon send an email to all the old purchasers?


      • I did the same at B&N and Smashwords (uploaded updated book and cover on top of old one). You can request Amazon to send out an email to readers, but they are the ones who decide if they’ll send out a notice, or simply make it available to update if the reader goes to “Manage My Kindle.” They didn’t send out an email for mine.


  4. Hi David. I think it’s a brilliant plan! Curious to see how it will turn up. Good luck with it!


  5. I’m looking forward to checking out the new edition. So many things have changed in just the less-than-a-year since I read your first edition and published my own book. Let’s Get Digital was a terrific guide, so I can’t wait to see this new updated copy. Thank you!


  6. Melanie Abed says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it David! I’ve been eagerly waiting for your new edition, as I’m launching my MG/YA book in October. It’s because of you David that I made the decision to self-publish, and do it right! No slap-dashers here, all thanks to you, and your tireless work to help keep us all informed. My gratitude is endless.



  7. Stacy Claflin says:

    Looking forward to the new edition! Thanks for being so generous. You give so much, and yet you continue to give more to the indie community.


  8. Alix Moore says:

    Can’t wait to read the new edition! Digital and Visible are two of the books I recommend most often to my writer friends!


  9. L.L. Akers says:

    You’re awesome, and I’ll be happy to do my part in offsetting any royalties you would have gotten from selling us a new edition…tip jar…share a tweet, etc… Can’t wait for the new edition 🙂


  10. geraldine says:

    Reblogged this on geraldineevansbooks and commented:
    Can’t wait! David Gaughran’s bringing out his enormously helpful (and thoroughly updated) Second edition of Let’s Get Digital next week. And if you bought the First edition, this one’s FREE! Please support this savvy very generous Irish writer by sharing.


  11. geraldine says:

    Can’t wait! Congrats and thanks, David. Tremendously useful book. Reblogged on


  12. David,
    Here’s my photo of my copy of the First edition:



  13. Jim Self says:

    David, as far as I understand you CAN buy an ebook you’ve already purchased. I did it on accident because of a bad connection three or four years ago.

    But as you said, you have another way planned for people to contribute.


    • Hi Jim, I’ve actually tried to buy books I already own and it doesn’t let you. The only exception is if it’s a separate edition/version with a new ASIN, or if you delete it completely from your library (which I think is a multi-step process and not something likely to happen by accident) and then re-purchase.

      Now, maybe it was different three or four years ago, but you definitely can’t do it today and it’s been that way for a while. But maybe you have special powers!


  14. Wonderful. Can’t wait to get the newest release!


  15. You are too cool for school.


  16. Mark Chapman says:

    Thank you David. I have the first edition, and I’m excited to read the second. For what it’s worth, I usually don’t buy a second edition when I have the first, although I’ve no idea how others feel. Your books are already on the recommended list of books that I give out to members of my writing group, and so is your blog.
    I hope this works well for you.


  17. acflory says:

    This is the kind of mad, generous leap of faith that warms my heart. If you give us a reminder on the day I”ll be happy to do my bit promoting the launch. 🙂


  18. Of course I don’t need to tell you this, but if Amazon send out their infamous ‘updated version available’ email, you could end up with thousands of re-downloads – and presumably you have updated links in your back matter for your HF novels, which is one way people can support you and say thanks! I think this is a great idea, and it’s all about the Karma – something you must have in spades by now, with all the people you’ve helped. You never know – perhaps this is the version Amazon will try to buy off you… 🙂


  19. well because you never give up all ready 3 y this is good i am agree ..
    note ‘ please give me 1 day to discusse about what i do ( to be sure for my self)
    thank you tomorrow you have 100% answer about this


  20. brianastbury says:

    I think that you should be given the award for Philanthropist of the Year! Though not in the meaning of the word that resulted in Tony Blair getting the title.
    Can’t wait for the New, Improved Version (with extra bleach..)


  21. kyrahalland says:

    This is so awesome, thank you! The first edition was amazingly helpful; I’m looking forward to all the cool new stuff in the new edition!


  22. Z.L Arkadie says:

    Not sure if someone said this yet but on Nook readers archive the old edition of the book and then unarchive it to get the new edition.


  23. TBM says:

    I wish you the best of luck. Both of your books have helped me immensely and I continue to reread certain sections. I’m looking forward to seeing the latest addition and learning more. And I love this idea of yours. It might be crazy, but hey, it’s also really nice of you. And I’m always telling people to visit and read your books since you are such a wonderful person and resource.


  24. Thanks! I look forward to the 2nd edition. The first edition was very helpful.


  25. Pingback: Die Woche im Rückblick 05.09. bis 11.09.2014 | sevblog - Self-Publishing und Schreiben

  26. Roger says:

    Anyone else having trouble applying the Kobo coupon? I’ll keep trying but I don’t know how long I can keep my excitement at the release of the new edition under control! Maybe there is a time lag here in Australia? OK – cut the jokes people….


    • Emailing you now Roger to see if I can help.


    • patrickeholt says:

      Yeah it keeps saying code cannot be applied, I’ve emailed them. Hopefully they will fix it 😦


      • patrickeholt says:

        ‘Hi Patrick,

        The problem may be due to your browser. Can you try accessing the kobo site using Firefox or Chrome? I’ve also attached a guide on how to use a promo code on the site.

        If you continue to have problems, let me know and I’ll investigate further.


        Reply I received from Kobo, lol. Now to tell them I’ve tried it on my phone, Safari, and also on my computer, Firefox. And also let them know I’m familiar with ‘promo’ codes :-/


      • Patrick says:

        After a second email, they’ve just added it to my account, for me. I know others have had issues with Kobo Cust. Support but every time I’ve had to contact them about something, it’s been pretty quick and easy.


      • Hi Patrick, I’m so sorry you had such trouble, but I’m glad you have the book now. If you have any further problems, please come back to me.


  27. Hi David: Just wanted to say I got your email that the 2nd edition was available. Tried to buy it. Amazon wouldn’t let me, so I called the Amazon number you provided in the email. Took a couple of reps, but we finally managed to download the 2nd edition to my Kindle. I would gladly have paid the $2.99.


    • Hi Magda, I’m sorry it was more hassle than I thought. I thought you would have been able to download it with a couple of clicks, but apparently that has to be improved internally at Amazon first, or else you just get the old book again. I’ve been working on Amazon for a couple of days now to try and fix this, but we’re still working on it. Glad you got the book in the end though. Let me know if you have any further problems.


  28. I’m just catching up with comments/tech probs now. If anyone has a problem comment below and I’ll just email you the file for Digital 2. Sorry this was a hassle.

    I’ll make sure you get the book one way or the other. Now, to catch up with these ^^^


  29. eugephemisms says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing this post. #letsgetdigital #bloggersdoitbetter


  30. UPDATE:

    I’ll be posting about this in a fresh post later, It appears I was misinformed. It’s a major screw-up. The version Amazon is letting you download from Manage My Content & Devices is the OLD version (despite the new cover).

    While I’m getting that fixed at Amazon’s end, to get the new version, there are three options:

    1. Call Amazon and they will push the actual 2nd edition out to your device. Here are the numbers (toll free in US & Canada): US: 866-216-1072 Canada: 866-321-8851 UK: (0203) 356 6212 International: +1-206-266-2992.

    2. Email Amazon and request same (but phoning is probably better to avoid successive rounds of emails and/or delays).

    3. I’ll send you the mobi and you can sideload it.

    The way you can tell if you have the first or second edition is simple. Look at the copyright page, the 2nd ed. should have “Second edition published September 2014″ in bold on the front. The old one doesn’t. Also, in the 1st ed. the first chapter is called “Challenges Facing The Publishing Industry”. In the 2nd ed. it’s called “Appetite for Disruption”

    Sorry for the trouble. I’ll update the post above. And I’ll have more news in my post later.



  31. Pingback: Let’s Get Digital 2 Is Out! | David Gaughran

  32. Pingback: Let’s Get Digital 2 Problems Fixed, New Kindles Launched & More | David Gaughran

  33. brianastbury says:

    Not sure how this happened, but I’ve just checked on my version – and I have the 2nd Edition already, complete with “Appetite for Disruption”. For the life of me I can’t remember getting this update in the last two months – it was way before that. I sort-of vaguely remember updating it (getting old…) I just did it through Manage Your Content and Devices. Did you send us news about the update earlier?


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