Here’s an update on my four out-of-copyright books that I loaded on January 1 2023. This will give you a sense of how the process can go.
The Tall Men – a book of poetry – is still in an “in review” state. So Amazon is still researching that one. There is no other copy on Amazon except first edition hardcovers, so this is a “new entry” for Amazon.
Fine Clothes for the Jew – a book of poetry – was flagged as a problem. This is another “new entry” for Amazon, and those always pose the biggest challenges. I had to send them proof that the book was out of copyright. This included screenshots of the title page with the publication date, links to authoritative articles about the book, etc. They finally put it live but even in its live state it is not able to be bought. I sent a friendly gentle message to their support team asking them to look into it. Always be nice to the support folk. They are overworked.
To The Lighthouse – a short novel by Virginia Woolf. This one already had lots of versions in Amazon so there wasn’t the problem of being a ‘new entry’. In order to have my version allowed, I made an illustrated version. However, while it go in easily enough, it’s not visible on searches. I will gently prod Amazon about that once I get Fine Clothes for the Jew resolved. With Fine Clothes for the Jew preparing to be the “one and only” version on Amazon (besides the expensive first edition hardcovers) that is my main priority.
Clouds of Witness – murder mystery. This also has several versions already live, so I made an illustrated version. My book shows up on the tenth page of search results even though it’s the cheapest one. I’m going to run a sponsored ad for the book so it shows up higher, to get it some views. Once it gets some purchases and reviews, it should naturally start showing up higher, and I can then remove the ad payment.
I have three more books that I want to work on. These books exist NOWHERE in text form on the web, meaning my copies will be “even more valuable” than some of these other ones. Once copies of these books physically arrive at my house, I can take photos of their pages, use OCR software to turn that into an editable Word document, and then format and publish my own copies of them. That takes a bit of work, but if I end up having the only copy on the entire Amazon system of these books, it becomes worth it.
Ask with any questions about this process or about any of the books I’ve been revising these past few weeks!
Here’s my full book on how to work with out of copyright content –