How does one unpublish a book from Amazon?

After you have unpublished your printed book and deleted your account from Amazon then Amazon should have no authority to sell new copies of the book, as far as I know. However, the book will remain visible to the public and sadly, third parties are able to sell used copies. You may want to consult an attorney about your rights.

If you are planning to publish elsewhere, I suggest you create a new cover and ISBN number (very important because you don’t want Amazon to show as the publisher). You might also want to add a banner or blurb on the cover or frontmatter that says, “Updated edition,” to distinguish the book from previous versions.

A few other things to consider. If you are on the Amazon Select or Amazon Unlimited program, for eBooks your contract automatically renews every 90 days. During that time, you are prohibited from publishing on another platform. It may be a good idea to wait 90 days to ensure you are meeting their terms.  You will also want  to be sure that you have unchecked Expanded Distribution in your account. You can only have expanded distribution with one distributor, such as Amazon, or another, such as Ingram Spark.

KDP Select is a free 90-day program for Kindle eBook only. According to the KDP site, the program gives you the opportunity to reach more readers through Amazon and Kindle promotions. All authors regardless of where they live, are eligible. When you enroll your Kindle eBook in KDP Select, it is automatically included in Kindle Unlimited (KU). You must enroll for a full 90-day period, during which Amazon has the exclusive right to sell your ebook. In other words, you can’t sell your own ebook on iBooks, Kobo, Nook, or anywhere besides Kindle for the next 90 days. Note that does NOT apply to your print book, audiobooks, or ebook translations.

Kindle Unlimited (KU) is a subscription program where customers can read Kindle eBooks and keep them as long as they want, for a monthly subscription fee. Customers don’t have to be Amazon Prime members to enroll in Kindle Unlimited (KU). When you enroll in KDP Select, your Kindle eBook is automatically included in Kindle Unlimited (KU). Your Kindle eBook will still be available for customers to buy, and you’ll continue to earn royalties from those sales.

To be included in Kindle Unlimited (KU), you must meet the KDP Select requirements and enroll your Kindle eBook in KDP Select. If you don’t want your Kindle eBook in Kindle Unlimited (KU), you have the option to remove it from KDP Select.

KDP Select is for Kindle eBooks only. You can also enroll pre-order Kindle eBooks. To be eligible for enrollment:

  • You must have exclusive rights for the primary content of the Kindle eBook. Content that is public domain is not eligible.
  • Your Kindle eBook must also be exclusive to the Kindle Store for the KDP Select enrollment period.


How to Enroll in Kindle Select (which automatically places you in Kindle unlimited)


Source: Amazon Unpublishing books

When you unpublish a book, it won’t be available for purchase until you publish it again.

To unpublish your book:

  1. Go to your Bookshelf.
  2. Click the ellipsis button (“…”) next to the book you want to unpublish.
  3. Click Unpublish.

When you unpublish your book, customers won’t be able to buy new copies through KDP. Third parties may still sell used copies of print books on Amazon. That means your book’s detail page will stay live on the website. However, customers won’t be able to buy new copies through KDP unless you publish it again.

Then delete your account.

  • Click Contact Us link at the bottom of the page, then >Account>Close Account. Bear in mind, your print listings will never go away, even though copies will become unavailable.
Sources for this article included Amazon.