Tell us about your experiences with Marketplace. Enter To Win

Do you know if your e-book’s been updated?

Nova Safo May 15, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Do you know if your e-book’s been updated?

Nova Safo May 15, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Kindle version of the book “Clinton Cash,” which has faced criticism from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, was updated this week to correct for “seven or eight” factual errors, according to publisher HarperCollins.

Amazon called the changes “significant revisions” in an alert to users.

“It may not be unheard of, but it is not common” to make such corrections to a published book, says Mike Shatzkin, a consultant with decades of experience in the publishing world. Shatzkin says e-book corrections are a relatively new phenomenon.

“It’s not like a lot of people have done this and there’s a protocol around it. There really are no rules about this,” Shatzkin says.

But publishing consultant Ted Hill, founder of THA Consulting, says there is a business case for keeping e-books updated. Publishers see it as customer service “and in many cases, consumers want to have that file updated dynamically,” he says.

“Consumers don’t know the fact that the book has changed a bit,” says Hill, pointing out that the publishing world is still debating that practice.

Publishing industry lawyer Jonathan Kirsch, who teaches about publishing at NYU and is himself the author of 13 books, says e-books should follow established conventions in printed books and in online journalism.

“Unless a publisher tells you what is being changed, the reader has no way to make a critical judgment about the credibility of the author,” Kirsch says. “The best practice would be to insert a marginal note or a footnote, which alerts the reader to what was the error that has been corrected.”

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.