Oh no! Your publisher has closed its doors, leaving you and all of their authors high and dry. You’re not alone! Print on Demand publishers are dropping like flies, not only because of competition but, in some cases, illegal activity. After you get past the shock and anger of your book sales instantly vanishing into thin air, what can you do to get that book back on the market ASAP?
First and foremost, know that many authors in this position discover that their book is still for sale, that their old (defunct) publisher is still collecting money on sales for those copies, and that the author is getting nothing.
While it may be painful, the best way to prevent your future readers from getting confused, and from buying the old edition, is to RENAME YOUR BOOK. If you decide to do that, your new publisher will need your manuscript as a text or word processing file, and you will need a new cover designed. It’s not as painful, nor as expensive as you might think it is. BookLocker can get your book back on the market in two to four weeks! Or, you can independently utilize WritersWeekly’s MarketPlace services RIGHT HERE.
So, let’s get started on getting your book back up for sale ASAP!
Which option describes the current state of your files?
THE FIRST OPTION HERE DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO RENAME YOUR BOOK.
You have print-ready pdf files of your interior and cover
Do you own the rights to your files? You probably don’t (most publishers take those) but, if your publisher is truly out of business for good, it’s unlikely they’re going to come after you for copyright infringement since they violated the terms of your contract by, you know, GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! If it was me, I’d simply proceed with the files and, if they sued me, I’d counter-sue later. However, you should consult with an attorney before taking such a risk.
If you decide to take the risk, your new publisher should be able to easily replace your copyright page (with a new ISBN) in the interior pdf file, and remove the previous publisher’s logo from the title page and/or back cover. Keep in mind that your new publisher is going to insist that you confirm you own all rights to those files, via their contract, before they’ll use those files.
If your files are an odd size that no other known book printer can accommodate, read the options below.
THE OPTIONS BELOW GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO RENAME YOUR BOOK. BOOKLOCKER.COM OFFERS A “DISGRUNTLED AUTHOR SPECIAL” TO AUTHORS IN THESE SITUATIONS. CONTACT ANGELA FOR MORE INFO.
You have print-ready files…but they’re formatted to an odd size that no other known book printer can accommodate
Some print on demand publishers do this to make it even more difficult for authors to move their books to another publisher at a later date. That’s in addition to the publisher claiming all rights to their authors’ files. Nice way to do business, eh?
If this applies to your book, you’ll need to provide your manuscript to the new publisher as a text or word processing document. And, you’ll need a new cover design.
You can save money by purchasing those services HERE.
You have the cover as a print-ready file, and a text or word processing document of the manuscript
If you own the rights to your cover design, your new publisher can easily remove your publisher’s logo and other info. from the back cover…provided the spine width does not change. Your publisher can probably do some creative formatting with your interior file to keep the page count around the same as the first edition. BookLocker does this for authors with a smile but some publishers might try to upsell you on additional services to make this happen, or refuse to use the previous cover altogether (so they can upsell you on a new cover). You can save money by purchasing those services HERE.
You don’t have the cover; only the manuscript
You will need a new cover design and your interior will need to be formatted and converted. You can save money by purchasing those services HERE.
You have nothing but a printed copy of the book.
You’ll need a new cover design and an interior file for printing. But, first, you’ll need a text or word processing file of your manuscript. You can re-type the book yourself but, if you’d rather not do that, hire a local college student or data entry service. Or, contact WritersWeekly’s MarketPlace for a referral.
You have nothing at all.
You’ll need a new cover design and an interior file for printing. BEFORE you sit down to rewrite your entire book, consider the following:
There might be used copies of your book for sale online. Check ebay.com and Amazon. Using your favorite search engine, search for your book’s ISBN to find obscure used booksellers online. If you can get your hands on a copy, you can utilize the advice in #5 above. Also, email friends, family, and customers. Do any of them have a copy of your book that they’d be willing to give/loan/sell to you? Did you at any time email your manuscript to anyone else for comments, advice, or editing? Perhaps they still have a copy. Do you have an old computer, disk, CD, or thumb drive lying around that might have the file on it? Did you submit your manuscript for consideration to any other publisher? Perhaps they have a copy in their archives. Which printer did your previous publisher use? That firm might be willing to give you a copy of your file if you can prove you’re the author, and if you can prove your publisher is out of business.
Okay, so you’ve secured your files, or what you could cobble together from the advice above, and you’re ready to find a new publisher. Who should you use? How can you avoid getting into bed with another publisher that might go belly-up? There are ways to protect yourself, which are explained in my related article RIGHT HERE.
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