Should I call the updated version of my book Second Edition?

Should I call the updated version of my book Second Edition?


I have secured a reversion of rights from the publisher of my 2014 poetry collection. The publisher has relinquished all rights and removed the book from Amazon. The content will be almost the same (just a few changes in format and a couple of line edits). The cover will be the same. I designed it originally and have the cover art. My question is: Do I need to specify an Edition for this reissue and, if so, is it 1 or 2?

– A.C.


I would definitely call is Second Edition. There are very likely old listings for the first edition online and making the new one a Second Edition will help avoid confusion for potential buyers. Furthermore, I recommend adding “SECOND EDITION” after the title in the distributor and book retailer systems to further avoid confusion.

Example: QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments – SECOND EDITION


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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3 Responses to "Should I call the updated version of my book Second Edition?"

  1. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of  April 16, 2019 at 4:29 pm


    Reading about whether a book should be called a second edition is interesting. This is good information to know.

    Even though the changes are few calling it a second edition is informative. It is the second time the book would be out but there are changes.

    That makes a difference.

    – Linda Johnson

  2. Michael W. Perry, medical writer  January 21, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I agree. Apart from the content changes, which do seem minor, a change in the publisher suggests a need to call it a second edition. I’d even suggest making it a real second edition by adding some additional poems and increasing the page count, as well as tweaking the cover and including “Second Edition” to the cover. You probably won’t sell many copies to those who have the first, but it might encourage those who could buy the first edition used to buy the second edition new. That means more money for you.

    You might also ask if a new ISBN makes sense. If the existing ISBN belongs to the former publisher, you definitely want to get an ISBN you can control. Unfortunately, single ISBNs from Bowkers are insanely overpriced.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of  January 21, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      If an author switches publishers, yes, a new ISBN is required. For authors not switching publishers, it often makes more sense to 1. add “Second Edition” to the cover, and in the retailer and distributor systems and 2. Keep the same ISBN. This will enable the author to keep all existing links for the book, and all past reviews. 🙂