Out of Print!

    So, imagine for a moment that there is a book you have been salivating over for years but you never managed to convince yourself it was worth the high price tag to purchase. “I’ll get it when I have more money, I just can’t justify the purchase right now.”

Months pass, then a year or two. You finally have the funds to get a little gift to yourself for being good. And then… you see these words:

“Out of Print.”

They chill you, shock you. You stare at them as if you’ve forgotten what they mean. You’ve only had a Kindle for a year and already you are used to the idea that books will never go out of print, they will always be at your fingertips.

But what if the Kindle version is actually inferior to the paper version? What if the traditional publisher couldn’t justify doing a good job formatting the book, and so there’s at least something egregious per chapter that jars you out of the story?

Or what if the book you desired was actually an art book? What if there is no way the pages will ever compare in print to a little 6″x9″ minimalistic screen?

This is a strange world we live in, but there a few things that have me worried.

  1. Will publishers EVER justify doing a second print run of a popular book?  Now that digital versions exist which supposedly will never “run out of stock”, does that mean that all print versions are now “Limited Editions” and you have to purchase them the moment they come out?  Will this mean that print versions of books will steadily increase in price over time?   The “Men and Angels” art book just went out of print this month. I waited one month too late. Already the price has tripled the original price tag.
  2. Will publishers ever start caring about formatting their electronic books? The Kindle and Nook have been out and popular for at least two years and STILL traditional publishers release inferior, badly formatted electronic copies.  What is going on? I am tempted to learn the ins and outs of electronic formatting and then demanding that they hire me to fix their books.  There is no excuse for shoddy work, none whatsoever, especially if they are going to charge triple or more the price of what indie authors and publishers are selling at.  This is ridiculous.

Other thoughts? Worries? Concerns?

6 responses to “Out of Print!

  • Charlie Holmberg

    Is Keturah out of print? I bought it for a writing class once and am glad I did…

    • Laura

      Yeah, unfortunately, Keturah is out of print, so I’m glad you’ve got a copy! I had a hardcover originally but I gave that away to a friend. When I came home from Armenia I bought the Kindle version for myself–and there are SO many formatting errors, you wouldn’t believe. I went to refer it to another friend and then saw it was out of print, so I rushed to buy myself a used hardcover before people catch on and the price starts soaring. Crazy!

  • Joe Vasicek

    I suppose it’s too much to hope for that the publishers who produce inferior products will go out of business, and the ones who survive will actually start paying their writers enough to make a living. At least we still have Amazon and used bookstores, and indie publishing as a viable alternative to these bloated corporate dinosaurs.

    • Laura

      Yeah, too much to hope–since you don’t know the formatting is shoddy until you buy the whole thing! Grrrr. Argh. Though I guess we could learn and then never buy an e-book from that publisher again….

      Do bloated dinosaurs roll? How do they move around? Lol.

      • Joe Vasicek

        I believe they moan like cows until the volcanic ash asphyxiates them and they die. Then their remains get buried and gradually turn to fossils, which some scruff-faced paleontologist finds one day and puts in a museum.

        Out of curiosity, which publishers are guilty of this?

      • Laura

        Poor dinosaurs… 😦

        You know, that’s a good idea. I should make a list! I’ll get back to you on that.

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