Why did that book go out of print?

March 12, 2013 @ 8:07 am | Filed under: , ,

Across the Puddingstone DamGot this question in the comments yesterday, and since it’s an inquiry I get often, I thought I’d pull it up into a post here:

“Why have the Martha, Charlotte, Caroline and Rose books gone out of print? As a huge fan of Laura’s books I read all the books and the books about her family. Now being older I want to purchase them all for my own collection as the libraries are getting rid of them. It does not help that I am Canadian and have a hell of a time of even finding them! Do you know of any places that still carries them?”

When a publisher allows a book to go out of print, it pretty much always means one thing: the book isn’t selling very well anymore. Warehouse space is extremely expensive, and there’s a certain point when it becomes more costly for a publisher to store books that are selling slowly than to just remainder them.

The decision to shutter the Little House prequels and sequels happened before social media took off, so if HarperCollins ever decides to bring them back (particularly as ebooks, which has been discussed but doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon), we’d be able to give them a nice big push and I think they’d do very well.

You can sometimes find used copies on eBay or Amazon Marketplace, but they tend to be extremely expensive in those outlets. (I don’t get royalties on used book sales, so please know those crazy prices don’t have anything to do with me!)

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3 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Jennifer says:

    I have been wondering about seeing them as ebooks. I would love that.

  2. Gail Gauthier says:

    I’m still in the early days of marketing an eBook edition of an out-of-print book. Right now, I’m on the fence about how practical the effort is. It’s good to have had the experience and nice to keep the book available, of course, but I’ll have to see how it does before I decide whether or not to make the effort to republish the books for the still younger readers.

  3. Melissa Wiley says:

    I don’t own the copyright on my Martha and Charlotte books, or else I’d have launched digital versions ages ago. They’re an unusual situation in that they were a royalty contract, not work-for-hire, but the LIW estate owns the characters.