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Publishing Public Domain Content

Our program allows the selling of content that is in the public domain. However, we may ask you to provide proof that the content you submitted is in the public domain. We may refuse public domain content that's already available through our program or other retail sites. To provide a better customer experience, we don't publish undifferentiated versions of public domain titles if a free version is available in our store. Differentiated works are unique. They meet one or more of these requirements:

  • Translated: Unique translations
  • Annotated: Unique annotations (additional content like study guides, literary critiques, detailed biographies, or historical context)
  • Illustrated: 10 or more unique illustrations relevant to the book

Books that meet these requirements must include (Translated), (Annotated), or (Illustrated) in the title field. For example, "Pride and Prejudice (Annotated)" is acceptable; "Pride and Prejudice (with an Introduction by Tiffany Gordon)" is not. The product description must also include a summary of how the book is unique in bullet point format at the beginning of the product description (maximum 80 characters).

It's possible that other features make books unique. However, we only consider public domain titles that meet the requirements listed above to be differentiated. Examples of features we don't consider to be differentiated include:

  • A linked table of contents
  • Formatting improvements
  • Collections
  • Sales rank
  • Price
  • Freely available Internet content

We implemented this policy in February 2011. It applies to new and existing titles in the Kindle Store. Do you have public domain books that are no longer offered because of this policy and you believe they are differentiated? If so, please write to content-review@amazon.com and explain how your books meet our requirements. We may reconsider them for sale in the Kindle Store.


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