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Archived Message:

Updating Ebooks

fabian Hi there
Have'nt been here for a while. But I was wondering how ebooks you sell to customers get updated automatically assuming that the customer has an internet connection ofcourse. I expect this is a bit of a dumb question, but I honestly dont know how it works.

P.S. I apologise if this question has been posted before but I did'nt want to wade through nearly 3000 post to find it.

Thanks again.


Posted on: 4:23 pm on December 7, 2005
Storyman Fabian,

Don't have an answer for automatic updating.

Are the updates additions to the current material? Or changes to the body of the book?

As long as you are using the same file name and set of Registration/Password combinations the end user can download an updated version of the ebook and it will open without problems.

Hopefully, that will work for you.

Posted on: 6:25 pm on December 7, 2005
fabian Hello Storyman

Your first question is probably most relevent to mine.
I have an ebook called Ebay Magic that when opened has a pop up window that states that this book should be read while on line. Presumably to update the books contents. Then again, I'd want to add more sections, ie: Different makes of camera's. New market software, that sort of thing. But the general way the ebook is constructed would stay the same.

Is there a facility within Active Ebook Compiler that lets you do this while your biulding the book.

I take it the origanal ebook would need to be on my website for this update proccess to work as well.

Thanks for your time.


Posted on: 8:05 pm on December 7, 2005
Storyman Hi Michael,

If they are going to be reading it online why do you need to go with an ebook? Why not have a subscription to a secure website?

Maybe, I'm misdirected here, but wouldn't it be more convenient for the user to simply download the new edition of the ebook that uses the same password that they have already purchased? (You can export the password list so it can be reused.  This way when the end user opens the latest version of the ebook they won't need to re-input the registration code.)

The tough question is how do you keep the web site data secure so the user can access the information in the database. It is possible, but requires knowledge of server side programming. Just a thought.

Posted on: 11:47 pm on December 7, 2005
fabian Hello Storyman
I've been searching for an updater and think I've found one. Problem is, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with it. I was thinking of asking Tunil if this third party software, which is freeware, would be OK to put into the ebook compiler and would it work.

I think its only fair to ask first.

The site is atwww.e-rgonomy.com

Its in Spanish but this is a translation of the advertising blurb for internetUPDATER
The continuous effort of many companies dedicated to the software creation makes possible that the programs are improving day after day. The manufacturers make available new versions of periodic form, to guarantee to the end user a greater stability and a always increasing number of new functions.
This fact generates the necessity to provide, along with software, an automated system search of updates, to avoid to the user tedious navigation in the page Web of the manufacturer in search of more recent versions of its product.

The version client of internetUPDATE automatically connects a servant, examines the information on any program (if it is provided by the manufacturer) and it compares it with the information of the version that the user is executing in his computer. The existence of one more an updated version is notified immediately, redirecting directly to a unloading or information page.

This product is already a reality: thousands of users of products multimedia of e-rgonomy.com are used internetUPDATE to remain updated more on the publication of updated versions of software.

I'd be grateful for your thought's on this problem.



Posted on: 10:36 am on December 12, 2005
Storyman Hi Michael,

The updater sounds like an interesting idea. It certainly would be welcomed by some users. How well it plays with Activ is something that Sunil will have to answer.

For myself, I'm still favoring the approach of the user downloading a new version of the book. The main reason is that for the system to work the updater has to either download the entire ebook or download a series of patches (files).

Downloading a series of patches/files introduces security issues (as does downloading the entire ebook using the updater). Another issue is what do you do if one of the patches/files needs to be revised? Is the updater capable of replacing an already installed patch/file?

The other route is to have the updater download the entire ebook instead of patches/files. There is still the security issue and if an error is found in one of the updates it simply means issuing another revision of the ebook.

An alternative to the updater is to send an email with a link to the updated ebook. Since it uses the same Key/Registration codes when the revised ebook is installed it will work without re-registering the ebook. One advantage that this approach has over the updater is that you can mention other ebooks that might be of interest to the user. And with a bulk emailer you write one email and the rest is handled for you.

There are definitely pros and cons to using either an automatic updater or sending emails with links to the updated ebook.  Let us know what you decide and why.

Posted on: 6:36 pm on December 12, 2005
fabian I'm thankful that this forum is here so I can get feedback on the problems I find when I undertake a project like this.

I too toyed with the idea of mass emails instead of an updater for the same reasons you outlined in your last post.

I think I'll take that avenue to go down in the end as it simplifies the task of getting updates to your customers and gives you an oppotunity to sing the praises of all your other creations. The reason I did'nt start emailing updates to people was the email filter problem.

I belong to Joe Claysoft's FSF which I bought into last year. When he mails updates, half the people he mails to don't get the post's because the email filters are working overtime.

I'm not happy with having a members site on my server as its too much hastle trying to keep Mr Nasty at bay all the time.

Don't know which way to go now. I know there are secure newsletter programs out there so will have a look at them too.

I'd better go, as I've an ebook to compile.


Posted on: 7:42 pm on December 12, 2005
Storyman Michael,

Hmmmm. You've raised another interesting issue--email filtering. Besides the email not getting through sometimes when it does it inadvertently ends up in the spam or trash folder. If the receiver doesn't know to look in those folders the email serves no purpose.

There are several ways around this. First, make sure that the email gets through by promoting the updates in the ebook and on the web site. Make it an opt-in arrangement. Meaning that the user needs to send you an email, which will generate an email back to them with a link that they need to click. This cuts down on malicious behavior by those nitwits that sign people up for emails without their knowledge. It also verifies that the email is working both ways--from you and from the customer.

If for some reason the email doesn't get through or ends up in the spam/trash folder that issue is immediately addressed.

For those emails that don't make their way through digital maze you may need to use an alternate email address and use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy).

This approach also lets potential customers to sign up for the ebook. The update emails then serve as promotion for all of your ebooks--of course download links for each of the ebook is included in the update email.

An alternative to the email approach is to have a link within the ebook that directs users to an update page on your web site. On that page there is a download link to the latest version. The user can then verify that their version is the latest version or needs to be updated by downloading a new copy of the ebook.

Much of the problems with email is that it is push technology. An alternative is RSS, which uses get technology. The difference is that with get technology the user request the information.

RSS is new to a lot of people, but one that is growing rapidly--especially with the upcomming OS Vista that incorporates RSS feeds within Outlook. The way it works is that the user subscribes to an RSS feed the RSS reader fetches the latestest feeds whenever it opens.

One of the great advantages is that users have greater control of what they subscribe to. They no longer need to send an email requesting the newsletter emails stop, but rather simply select to remove the subscription from the RSS reader.

Please clarify by how you see the member's site playing a part in the updating process.

Posted on: 8:23 pm on December 12, 2005
acpeter Hi guys!
Sorry to chime in late on this topic, but I agree with being able to update the eBook. Now, having said that, we've completed this task already. We're now just testing the concept for release.  We can update the readers content any time we want.

I understand what some of you are saying about the subscription site and all, but what we have found is this. When you create the ebook, we make it possible for the person to create a desktop icon . The way we promote our eBook is that instead of searching on one of those search engines and getting 1,000's of possible pages, just click your icon and you're done!

I will share this with those who have a serious interest. I am sorry, I just have a problem with putting all the details on the board. It cost us time, effort and money to come up with the solution, but it works and works well. What's best is that we can tell a customer that all he has to do is 'click the icon' and that's it. No haveing to direct him to a web page, log in, password stuff and all of that. We just find the eBook concept is neat and sweet.
Hope this helps. You are free to e-mail me at admin - AT - koolholdings.com if you want details on this.


Posted on: 7:09 am on December 13, 2005
fabian After taking note of the criticisms about ebook updating I've decided to opt out for email updates in the form of a newsletter. Firstly, I can get conformation that the customer has recieved the email. Secondly, it allows for more flexability (interaction) with your customers.

Thanks for all your input on this subject.

Fabian (Michael)

Posted on: 9:28 am on December 16, 2005
EBookCompiler I realize this topic is probably finished now, but I thought I'd jump in anyway

An easy method to make an ebook appear to update is to use IFRAMEs or FRAMEs to link to web sites, so that they open up inside the ebook.  You can do this in Activ E-Book Compiler - you need to uncheck Automatically Open Internet Links in a new Window in Edit User Interface.

So what you do, is make an ebook which contains at least 1 normal, and the rest online in this way

You do NOT need to buy any third party product to do this

Whether you consider it a good idea or not, to make ebooks like this, is of course a different question, and open to a lot of debate

Posted on: 2:20 pm on December 19, 2005
acpeter Yes, the iframe stuff works well. The only problem we found is that when you do that, the actual URL shows up in the computer browsers 'history' (at least on IE). So a user sees the section of your eBook and can go direct to the eBook pages on the net without using the eBook. Not saying that everybody will do that, but it's a problem if you are trying to attract people to use your book.

In our case, we are establishing a directory (of sorts). In order to protect the pages, we had a script written that generates an error page if you try to access the web based site without the eBook.

I am sure that it could be done other ways, but we didn't want to get into registration and password issues. Just wanted to make the ebook easier to use.

Posted on: 3:16 pm on December 19, 2005

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