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Monday, October 13, 2008

Several Titles Sold out, Coming back in Paper

Every publisher perusing monthly sales and inventory reports enjoys watching particular titles sell strongly, or at least steadily, until they sell out.

And therein rests the dilemma. Are sales strong enough to warrant a reprint? Is it worth paying a printing bill up front to so so? Hardcover or paper, or a split run?

We recently sold out of these longstanding steady sellers: The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781, by Jerome Greene; Steel Boat, Iron Hearts: A Crewman's Life Aboard U-505, by Hans Goebeler with John Vanzo; The Quest for the Lost Roman Legions: Discovering the Varus Battlefield, by Tony Clunn. Each has its own unique market, in addition to the general trade.

The Guns of Independence: Yorktown title, for example, has always done very well at the Yorktown and other Revolutionary War battlefields and fully warrants a paperback in the spring.

Steel Boat, however, does not have similar park outlets. But it does have the one and only Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, which houses the renovated (and MUST SEE) U-505. The heavy and constant turnover in attendance has resulted in solid hardcover sales there. Not in huge numbers, but sufficient to witness a steady drain in inventory with zero returns.

Major Clunn's Roman Legions book is very unique. It sells well in an English-language hardcover in Germany at the museum erected to interpret the Varus 9 A.D. battlefield and the thousands of artifacts pulled from the ground. It has also been a good seller in the general trade market here in the US.

All three of these titles merit reprinting, in paperback; the Clunn title will appear in a split run (X number of hardcovers, and Y number of paperbacks). Watch for them in our Spring 2009 offerings.



Michael J said...

Just curious.

Did you consider POD to keep a small number in stock. See where the orders are coming from. Then use that data to make a decision about reprinting.

I come from the printing side, as opposed to the publishing side. From the printing side it makes so much sense.

But I must be missing something.

In the interests of transparency I do not sell POD.

TPS said...

Thanks for stopping by.

We do not use print on demand. The quality is not up to our standards (ink is put on the paper, rather than IN the paper), and the dpi quality is simply sub-par. We have other ways to track whether a book is suitable for reprinting.

I know other publishers find this an attractive option, especially self-published authors. It just depends on what works for each press.

Thanks for asking.

Ted Savas