I got an email response from Amazon customer service this morning. It is a rather convoluted message asking me for more information regarding the various editions of the manual (which I promptly provided) and goes on to say that they CAN do something about the problem, but they did not explain exactly HOW they plan on doing it yet.
Their message read, in part:
Thank you for reaching out to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
I checked your KDP account and can confirm the presence of a book titled "Cozumel Survival Manual", originally published on 04/04/2012. There are two scenarios in this case:
1. If you've updated the same book - ASIN: B007RPRKXQ with new content in 2016, we can push the updated content to customer devices.
2. However, if you've published the new content as a separate submission on Amazon, customers will need to purchase this new book, even though they already possess the older book.
If your inquiry pertains to Scenario 1, we can manually push the updated content to your customer's device.
Because customers may lose their highlights, bookmarks, and notes when they download updates, we can only send out updated content to correct serious readability issues, like overlapping text or cutoff images, typos, formatting errors and missing/wrong content.
Please write back with a few examples (and location numbers) of the corrections made to ASIN B007RPRKXQ.
We look forward to your response.
I am assuming that since I updated the book as a new edition, and did not publish it as a new book with a new title and new ASIN number, they will get back to me with an explanation of how they will “manually push the updated content to your customer's device.”
I will post the solution as soon as I hear back from them.
I'm sure many would prefer getting an updated version for free whenever you publish one.
That doesn't work with paper books, and it doesn't seem right that it should with electronic versions.
Perhaps you should put the year of an update in the title and publish it as a separate title each time.