Book Out of Print?

By Joe McDaniel

In recent months we have come across several authors whose book publishers have gone out of business, resulting in their book titles becoming no longer available in distribution. In some cases, authors have retained their publishing rights. It is important to know the terms of your publishing agreement. Where the author can obtain the original print-ready PDF files for their cover and text, it is quite possible to adapt, and if necessary, re-format these files and publish the title again.

There are, of course, many different situations to be considered. Some authors want to update an old publication with new material. In many cases the old book needs to be re-formatted in a different size or with new content added.

This was the case when Tate Publishing went out of business. Julie Federico, the author of a series of important educational books on Children’s issues (Violence, Abuse etc.) had been able to change most of her books to her own IngramSpark account.


One book however, Anger Is Okay, Violence Is Not, had originally been published as a landscape 9in x 6in book. Julie wanted the book to be re-sized to match the other 6.5in x 6.5in square formats in her book series so she could upload the new square book to her IngramSpark account. In this situation it was possible to take each of the many illustrations in the book one by one and shift the essential elements in each image so the page size could be changed without distorting the drawings. Several new pages of text and a new ISBN were added. This book had been awarded a first place Gold CIPA EVVY Award, so adding that sticker to the cover could also be done.

If your book is out of print, and you do not have the source file, your publisher should be able to arrange to have your book scanned, and rebuild the book from those scanned files. For example, Christopher McBride had published an important hardcover book, Liontide, in 1990. His South African book publisher no longer wanted to consider publishing the book and gave the author permission to publish it again.

The author wanted to publish a new edition in softcover for distribution through his IngramSpark account. No manuscript was available; only an old, partially mildewed, hardcover book with a dust jacket. The book was richly illustrated with sketches and many color photographs.

The book was taken apart and scanned by Blue-Leaf Book Scanning. This process provided high resolution PDF files of both text and images which, after some careful editing and correction could be completely reformatted published in a slightly different size, but in softcover. The scanned front and back cover images from the original dust-jacket were used to re-create the cover very closely.

The views expressed herein are not those of Colorado Independent Publishers Association, its officers or directors.  They are solely and completely those of the author. The Colorado Independent Publishers Association will not be held liable for any legal action resulting from information published in this newsletter, and the organization’s insurance will not cover any such action.