Maybe this is your first release or your hundredth. You’ve hit publish, it’s been a week—or several months—and your two versions (eBook and print) haven’t joined up when you click on either book’s page on Amazon.
Step 1: You’ll need the ASIN numbers. (The identification numbers Amazon assigns your book. This is RARELY your ISBN.)
There are three ways of finding the ASIN.
- On your KDP dashboard is the easiest. You can nab the ASIN for your new ones and your old books.
- Author Central
- On the book’s Amazon page / Amazon URL.
Now, once you have the ASINs, go to Author Central.
Step 2: For linking books, you’ll go to help > Contact Us, and fill in the drop-down menus. **Pay attention to the drop-down menu. This will make sure your request goes to the right people instead of bouncing between/being referred.**
In the email, type something similar to “Please link the editions of “Book Title.” ASINs are # and #. They’ll email you back and within a week, they should be linked. (You could have them call you if you have the option, but a simple email does the trick.)
The other time you may need to change what books are linked is with newer editions. According to Bowker (USA supplier of ISBNs), a change of covers, trim size, and fixing grammar/punctuation or a change in metadata does not constitute a new edition; those are classified as reprints. Go ahead and update the changes. To be a new edition means a change in the plot, story, or rewrites.
Amazon isn’t Bowker or IngramSpark. Amazon has no issue with you updating a cover and fixing minor issues, but Amazon doesn’t let you change trim size or change metadata in paperbacks. They make you get a new ISBN (theirs or yours) and create a new listing for paperback. Amazon never removes a paperback listing. It has to do with the possibility of resellers.
Ebooks, however, are easier to handle with new editions. You can update the “edition” section under the book and upload a newer edition or the book can be purged from Amazon’s once you remove a book from being available, and so, it is important that if you make a new edition, that you link your books together.
For review transfer, just like linking, go to the Contact Us form. This is important if you deal mostly with a single version (ebooks or print) and need a new edition put up and the older edition retired. It is important that you do not remove the edition you are transferring reviews from until after your reviews have been transferred.
Double check that by the time you read this that they haven’t added a drop-down menu for reviews and ask them to transfer the reviews from edition ASIN # to ASIN #. They’ll email you back, and within a week, they should be populated, and your older editions can be removed.
While this is heavily KDP slanted, if your book is published via a 3rd party instead of direct—IS, D2D, PD, Lulu—the steps are largely unchanged. You still need to acquire the ASIN/ISBN and email them to link editions prior to removing another format.
When would this happen? If you have a 6 by 9 trim size, and you’re changing it to a 5.25 by 8 instead, and you’re having the work put out through IS. You would publish via IS, wait until the product page is created on Amazon, send Amazon the info to link that version with the ebook, and then unpublish the 6 by 9. If you’re going through PD for ebooks and have the paperback direct, you still email Amazon the ASIN/ISBN to link the editions together. If your books aren’t direct in either format, theoretically, you should still be able to link editions—I’ve never had the experience to test this.