Kindle Automatic Book Update Feature

kindle_iconI just noticed something interesting in the Manage Your Kindle section of the Amazon Store:

Automatic Book Update
Opt in for automatic book updates to receive new versions of your books when we have confirmed that improvements were made. In order to retain your notes, highlights, bookmarks and furthest reading locations, ensure that all your Kindle devices and reading apps have the “Annotation Back Up” setting turned on.

This new feature (or feature that is new to me) would then automatically grab the latest updated copy of any book you have bought through the Kindle store. It’s an optional feature that is turned off by default. Still, you might be wondering why it is off by default when it seems like an amazing and useful feature.

First and foremost, some folks don’t like the idea that their precious books could be changing without their knowledge. So it’s best to let people opt into the feature. Secondly, and most important to me, is that any notes, highlights, or bookmarks I’ve made to the book can’t carry over to the updated copy when it downloads. It’s an understandable limitation of the technology. If the books were updating on their own, that novel you spent hours annotating for your thesis, or even this months Group Read could suddenly see all of your hard work literally disappear overnight.

Conversely, the power of the Book Update feature largely speaks for itself. It allows publishers (or authors) to update a manuscript and fix those typos that managed to slip through the editing process. This is potentially one of the single greatest advantages of the ebook format.

Amazon’s note regarding the feature does explain that devices have an “Annotation Back Up” feature, which is great. But I would hate to try and figure out how to restore my notes and an old copy of my book to go with them. It’s a process that is likely beyond the grasp of many Kindle users. So, once again, the feature is off by default. Users must opt into it.

How do you access the feature?  First, visit www.amazon.com and then click on Your Account.  Then click Manage Your Kindle.  The option you are looking for is buried at the bottom of the Manage Your Devices page under a heading titled Automatic Book Update.  Unless Amazon changes its link structure, this link should take you right to it (once you login).

Still, this is a very cool new feature. I’m glad to see that Amazon is continuing to improve their product!

One Response to Kindle Automatic Book Update Feature
  1. Nathan Reply

    Amazon has indeed come up with innovative ways to update their Kindle devices. Over the years it has done upgrades and added new features. Another thing that most Kindle users like is the ability to make annotations and highlights which can be accessed online.

    While it is a good thing, some have difficulty trying to access these online while some find it too tedious a process. There is an iOS app that will be released on November 2013 called Snippefy (http://www.snippefy.com) which will make it more convenient for Kindle users to read and share their notes and highlights. These can also be shared to various social media and exported to Evernote, Dropbox and email.

    It’s a great app that will be really helpful to Kindle users. I hope you will find it helpful too.

    Thank you

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