In case you don’t know, in the ‘real’ world I work as a dressage horse trainer and judge, and also write in this field under my real name, Debby Lush.
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF TRAINING is my first published book; a consistent, steady seller which, to my dismay back in November, sold out.
Since it was published back in 2008 (yes, I’ve had work in print for 10 years now) my original publisher was sold to another publishing house. Then to my shock, that second publisher was sold to yet another one in 2016 – a true shock because none of the authors involved knew anything about it until after the deal was done.
So I had not had any previous contact with the publishing house that currently owns the right to the book (such is the dismal story across much of the traditional publishing industry these days), leaving me unsure of how to proceed regarding asking about the possibility of a reprint.
Bear in mind although the book earned out and continued to sell at a steady pace, it was a slow one (about 100/150 books per year), and I wasn’t sure they would consider it worth the effort. It’s a 90K word large format hardback, retailing at £22.50.
I have been responsible for many of the sales over the years, particularly recently when I developed a lecture circuit for riding clubs, always selling around 10 books per evening, usually more of them Building Blocks compared to my other title, THE SUCCESSFUL DRESSAGE COMPETITOR. This, of course, resulted in a far greater income for me from each book, even selling them at discount – I can buy them at 35% discount, still get my 10% royalty, and even selling them at discount I still make £5 per book on top of the royalty.
Now I had none to sell!
I emailed the MD of the new publishing house back in November, when this situation finally hit home and I had to start disappointing people who wanted to buy the book.
His reply was that they would look into maybe doing a small print run but he would let me know.
I heard nothing.
Finally I dug out my contract and discovered it is my right to formally request a reprint, and if they don’t, the rights will revert to me 6 months after asking. I thought I’d better get on with it, though I was dreading the idea of figuring out how to self-publish such a large book which includes 50 photos plus many diagrams and line drawings.
Obviously the right thing to do, because within two days I had an answer – yes, they will reprint!
I had an apology for the long delay since my original email, but here is what they said regarding the book:
“We are keen to keep the book in print as it seems to me a very practical
and useful book which is also beautifully produced.”
Apparently costs have rocketed since the original print run (surprise, surprise) and a hardback would now be prohibitively expensive, so he proposed a paperback instead, with the added bonus of being able to present it to the trade as a new book. I’m thrilled – the format is irrelevant (SDC came out in paperback from the word go), it’s the content that matters to my readers, and being brought out as a new book should give it a fresh push, AND as its already earned out, I will be earning royalties from the word go!
Yes, if I’d managed to self-publish it, I would potentially be earning more, but this isn’t going to be a simple book to self pub, and if that option comes along in the future, the technology will hopefully have moved forward by then to make it simpler.
Plus, I really don’t want to take the time out just now – I’m steaming through writing book #3 of the Five Kingdoms series, and I want to finish all 4 books as fast as I’m able before starting on any other projects.
So, yay Crowood Press, thanks for simplifying my life.