Extract from an article in Self Publishing Advice:
Should indie authors keep their self-published books available for sale forever? As more writers see self-publishing as a long-haul career, this question will become relevant to a growing number of authorpreneurs. ALLi author members share their views in this composite post taken from a recent online forum discussion.
Generally speaking, trade-published authors who are contracted to a publishing company will find their older books automatically delisted if they’re not selling profitably, often quite soon after publication. This is because maintaining a book in the traditional publishing environment requires significant investment in inventory and warehousing costs.
Thanks to digital publishing technology, indie authors have much more choice. Once we’ve uploaded a book to our distributor of choice – CreateSpace, IngramSpark, KDP, Kobo, iBooks, etc – we can keep it before the market forever, if we want to. Our files will simply stay available in the ether until a reader orders a copy, whether as an ebook or as a print-on-demand paper copy. It costs us nothing, or next to nothing, to keep all our books available.