Republishing Out of Print Books

Crime Writing Competitions

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
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:

How to Republish a Book That Is Out of Print

Getting Your Rights Back From the Publisher

Some books have never been out of print, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula:

Dracula and Bram Stoker — Mal Rogers is out of office (Warning: alarming images!) o_O

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 the Colony.

An Island to Oneself

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:

An Island To Oneself

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?


Books by William Goldman (Author of The Princess Bride)
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Crime Writing Competitions

Thoughts on an idea.