I’ve read of several cases where an author bought back the rights to their book(s) after a publisher allowed them to go out of print. Most self-published them, doing a better job of promoting their titles than the traditional publisher. Other authors approach book companies trying to sell their work for a second time.
These short articles explain the ramifications of those two options:
Some books have never been out of print, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula:
https://www.malrogersisoutofoffice.com/dracula-and-bram-stoker (Warning: alarming images!)
It’s easy to see why some classic novels have endured, but I’m occasionally surprised to find books that have languished—or which spawn a cult, driving up second-hand prices.
Two good examples of the latter are Tom Neale’s An Island To Oneself, which I’ve praised several times on Paul Pens.
His story is as timeless as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, so I’m amazed An Island To Oneself is out of print. Second-hand, it reaches eye-watering prices; there’s currently a copy on eBay for £105.
Travellers visit Neal’s island on pilgrimage:
Another favourite read that’s no longer available new, is Twistgrip: a motorcycling anthology compiled by esteemed motoring journalist and author L.J.K. Setright. There are two copies on eBay priced £75 and £59.99.
Had I the money, I’d purchase the rights to these two books and reprint them.
Which titles would you like to see revived?