For Inside the Publishing World Wednesday, I thought I’d focus on life after publication. I will be taking most of my information from the SCBWI 2007 publication guide.
So, your book has been published. You’ve spent the last couple years marketing and doing school visits. How do you keep your book alive? First, you need to keep track of the current availability of your book. The best way to do this is to have a bookseller check their wholesalers’ lists. If your book pops up as Out of Stock (OS) then you need to contact your publisher’s ordering department
If your book’s status says OSI, or Out of Stock Indefinitely, then you have some work ahead of you. OSI means that your book’s current printing is over, and the publisher is unsure whether to do another round of reprints. If you catch this status right away, then you still have a chance. You need to do anything you can to stimulate demand and orders for you book. If the orders come in, the publisher may order another print.
But, what if you are too late, and your book goes out of print? A lot of books do go out of print within the first couple years. Your best bet is to buy as many copies of your book as possible. You will still be able to do school visits and sell them on your website. Most importantly, you can keep word of your book alive, and hopefully increase your presence so that another book gets contracted. Remember, it is about the future. Not just the one book deal. It is about your life as an author.
It is very important to get a “reversion of rights” letter from your publisher. You might just be able to keep your book alive with a print-on-demand company or as an e-book. Just remember, it is not your fault. Books do die at some point. Look to the future and write the next book.