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Can You Sell Public Domain Books On Amazon?

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Can You Sell Public Domain Books On Amazon?

Image signifying public domain. CC0.

Books written before a certain year dependent on the country are often placed in public domain. What this means is that no one really owns the rights to these books. So technically speaking you should be able to list these on any selling site you’d like such as eBay or Amazon and print your own copies and sell them.

And for the most part you can. You won’t be violating any Copyright laws in less you are using a modified version or a translation that was made more recently which will still be under Copyright. This is incredibly common. But if you’ve ruled that out then you’re usually in the clear. However for Amazon it’s slightly different.

On Amazon they do allow public domain books but not if an exact same version is freely available elsewhere or on their platform. What this means is you’ll have to do something to make your version better. You have to make some sort of improvement on the public domain work.

The exact specifics on how significant the improvements or changes need to be are a bit unclear. So I would have to say you’re treading rough waters and can easily get in trouble with Amazon.

I would advise against selling public domain content partially because the entire world is already doing it and partially because their rules are unclear and you don’t want to risk getting your Amazon account banned.

Β However there are lots of ways you can do this, just try not to be lazy with it in spam out 100 public domain books on Amazon. This is not going to work out well for you. Best of luck selling out there!

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Dave
Dave
8 months ago

Honestly don’t bother. The amount of people doing it is insane, you will get nowhere.

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