How we Intend to Update Our Outlook Book 4th Ed.

Jan 27, 2014

We are going to be updating the 4th edition of the Outlook book often, perhaps several times a year. The updates will show up first in our PDF copy of the book, then in Kindle books, and later in any new printings of the 4th Ed. paperback book (as the older printings sell out). PDF buyers will get those updates free. It looks like Kindle users will also get those updates free—others we are not sure, it depends on the ebook seller policies and technology (we have no control over them). More on that below.

Why are we going to do these updates?  Because Microsoft has a new approach to updating their Office software, and we want to help you keep abreast of that. I am not sure if you know it, but starting with Office 365, if you buy Office software through their new subscription service (which I recommend) rather than as a one-shot software purchase, then you will receive frequent feature updates at no additional charge. So Microsoft, rather than waiting 2 to 3 years to release all new features as one new version, will release them throughout each year to subscribers (keeping the same 365 name). Non-subscribers will have to wait for major service packs. This is a nice benefit to software subscribers, but think about how this could play havoc with software reference books. They will get behind on the features if the authors wait for the next major version to update the book

Here’s what we’re going to do to stay ahead of that in our Outlook book. We intend to update the text of the book several times a year and post them to our PDF book. PDF buyers recall you were asked to create a user name and password when you bought the PDF from us. You’ll use those credentials to log in to pick up new releases of the 4th edition when they come out (a new one is coming out soon, by the way). No extra charge.

We’ll also resubmit the latest files to ebook distributors each time. That’s the primary reason we are using a more complicated method of creating epub/mobi files this time—to make these frequent re-releases possible. And that’s a main reason why the initial release of Kindle/Nook/ibook etc is taking so long. Once new files are posted to ebook distributors, note that Amazon is providing ways for existing buyers to pick up the latest copy of the updated Kindle book at no charge. We’re still looking into how that works, and we hear it may take up to 4 weeks to get posted. We’re not sure if other ebook sellers will be matching Amazon’s free method of doing that (if you’ve had experience with such updates, please mention it in the comments).

We’ll announce in our blog and newsletters when the 4th Ed. updates are released. As I said, there will be a new PDF out soon that picks up one new feature (and some minor book corrections); watch this blog for that announcement. (BTW, the first release of the 4th Ed. Kindle/Nook/ibook/epub just about to come out will have that round of updates.)

Michael Linenberger

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2 Responses to How we Intend to Update Our Outlook Book 4th Ed.

  1. Jim Parzych says:

    For those of us who purchased the hard copy, do we also need to purchase the PDF or is there a way to get it?

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Jim—if there were an easy way to automate this, we’d definitely offer a steep discount on the PDF for paper book buyers. It’s just that the only way to confirm purchase is asking for and examining bookstore receipts, then issuing discount codes one by one, and all that is just too much work and hassle for our small staff. And “trust us” will lead to a bunch of freeloaders, and then the customers who paid will feel cheated. Plus we’d have to go back and issue refunds to the thousands that have bought the PDF so far who also bought a paper book. It’s all just too unwieldy. Some good news: we plan to activate the Kindle Matchbook program where if you bought the paperback from Amazon you can get the Kindle version for $2.99. Amazon does all the work on verification. But sorry about the PDF! Michael.

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