A friend recently asked why their best selling title of only a couple of years had been remaindered. Why they hadn’t been offered stock and why, when they were being constantly asked for copies had the decision been taken? The story in different forms will resonate with many authors and agents and it’s true that for every great experience, there will always by others not so good.
The ironic side to this particular story is that the thousands of units were grabbed by a wholesaler and were snaffled up just as quickly by their clients. After all, it’s good to have a recent best seller at a bargain price for Christmas. This is probably true recycling and preferable to the and hole drilling or landfill.
However, it also can demonstrate the continued front list focus of some and the disconnection that can occur so easily between the creator and the producer.
Many believe that books don’t have a second life and that once ejected by a publisher, they are destined for obscurity. We all make mistakes. We may not recognise the true potential of certain titles, fail to market them appropriately, find that they conflict and compete with others for resource and eyeballs etc. This is why rights reversals MUST remain, the terms may change but the principle must not.
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