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Justin Lee on faith, culture, and nuance

Justin Lee on faith, culture, and nuance

From the Blog

Confused by Torn’s listing on Amazon? You’re not alone.

Update: And now the paperback seems to have been re-merged into the main listing, though Amazon keeps defaulting to the old cover. As soon as I think I know what’s going on, they change it! Original post is below.

My book Torn—about the LGBTQ/Christian debate—is probably the thing I’m most known for, although I write and speak on other topics as well.

So I was thrilled when I got to announce the release of a brand new updated and expanded edition of Torn earlier this month. I’ve worked really hard on it, and I’m so happy with the result.

But when some of you went looking for it on Amazon, what you found was confusing, and a number of you wrote me with questions. I took your questions to my publisher, they took some of them to Amazon, and now, at long last, I have answers for you!

So here’s the deal.

The original 2012 edition of Torn (with the black cover) came out first in hardcover, then in paperback. It also had an audiobook—read by me—and an ebook, as you would expect.

The new, expanded edition (with the cross on the cover) is currently out in paperback and ebook. There’s not currently a hardcover or audiobook of the new edition, so if you search Amazon for one of those, you’ll get the original edition instead.

Amazon has replaced the old ebook with the new ebook, so if you search for the ebook, you’ll get the new one connected with all the reviews from the old one. (At first, though, due to a mistake of some kind, the new ebook was showing the old cover. That’s been fixed.)

The new paperback, however, is now being listed as a separate item. At the moment, the new edition of the paperback only has two reviews, because it’s being treated as a completely new book. It doesn’t link people to the ebook, and the ebook links people to the old paperback—but the old paperback now has a link to the new paperback as a “newer edition of this item.”

Got all that? Clear as mud?

Yeah, it’s not ideal, and things may change, but here’s what it means for you:

  • The links here should get you to the correct pages, on Amazon and other retailers as well.
  • If you like Torn or it’s been meaningful in your life, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could leave me a review on the new edition paperback here. There are so few reviews that every review makes a big difference.
  • It’s going to take time for Amazon and other retailers to see that people like the new edition, so word of mouth also makes so much difference right now.

And now to some of the questions folks have been asking:

Q: I saw Unconditional on your Amazon author page when searching for the new edition. Is that the new edition?

No, Unconditional is the UK title for the original edition. My UK publisher decided to change the title for their market (I don’t know why; it was their call), and people have been asking me about it ever since!

Okay, technically, there are some minor differences between Unconditional and Torn, but there’s no reason to buy both of them unless you just really like collecting things.

Q: I’m in the UK. Is our version (Unconditional) getting a new edition like Torn?

That decision is up to the publisher, but as far as I’m aware, no. In the modern era, though, there may be ways to get your hands on the new Torn, though…

Q: Why is there no hardcover edition of the updated Torn?

Hardcovers are typically a lot more expensive than paperbacks, so usually, they’re reserved for only the initial release of a book—and even then, many books never get a hardcover edition at all. (The big exception to this is if a book is a classic or megabestseller where people might collect the hardcover.)

These days, most books just start in paperback—if they get a physical release at all! And yeah, I do love the feel of hardcovers, but honestly, going straight to paperback is usually a good thing when it comes to making a book affordable and getting it in as many people’s hands as possible. The important thing about Torn is the message, and I feel so strongly about the message in this new edition that I just want it to be out there as much as possible.

Q: Why is there no updated audiobook for Torn?

If I had my way, there absolutely would be one! I loved recording the first edition audiobook, and I would jump at the chance to record an updated one. Unfortunately, though, that decision is in the hands of the publisher, and they’ve opted not to commission an updated audiobook at this time.

Audiobooks are important for a lot of folks—including the visually impaired, people with dyslexia or other reading difficulties, and people without the time to sit down with a book. I love audiobooks, and my vote is for doing an updated one, but I don’t cast the deciding vote here. I’ll keep pushing for one, but in the meantime, the best way to convince the publisher to reconsider is if the new edition of Torn and the original edition of the audiobook are both selling well.

Q: Why did Amazon separate out the listings for the new paperback and the new ebook?

It’s complicated, but in short…

The publisher really wanted to keep all those great reviews from the original edition attached to the new edition, so that’s why the new ebook is still connected to the original listing.

But keeping the paperback connected there meant that Amazon was recommending the old paperback over the new one; their system didn’t register that the new one was actually an updated edition. The solution to that problem, then, was to disconnect the new paperback so that it could be labeled as a new edition, but that also meant losing all the reviews attached to it.

But here’s the bottom line: Torn has a new edition with lots of new stuff in it, you can get it at any of these links, and I would absolutely love your reviews and word of mouth! Thanks so much for all your encouragement over the years and I’ll keep working on more stuff for you!

Newly expanded and revised for 2024!

Divided by faith and LGBTQ identity? Torn has an all-new edition with new chapters, new stories, and a new study guide to help heal the rifts.

Tired of the polarization?

Talking Across the Divide as an ebook, audiobook, and paperback

Learn about Justin’s book Talking Across the Divide, and download the free study guide!