New Life in the old book yet

Dear Miss Snark,

If a trade paperback collection of short fiction sells well (considering it’s with a small publisher) is there much chance it will be reprinted by a larger publisher later, especially if that larger publisher is interested in publishing the author’s first novel?

Yes. Some smaller publishers make a nice chunk of income from selling rights to major publishers after a book does well. The key here is "sell well" and also "well reviewed".

Here are four examples, straight off the Publishers Marketplace deal list (June 20-30,2006)

Peter Behrens's debut THE LAW OF DREAMS, a literary adventure novel set during the Irish Potato Famine of 1847, to Jane von Mehren and Jillian Quint at Random House, in a good deal, by Chip Fleischer at Steerforth (US). chip@steerforth.com

Paperback rights to Lawrence Douglas' first novel, the Booksense pick THE CATASTROPHIST, about the unraveling of a star art historian as fatherhood approaches, to Tina Pohlman at Harvest, in a pre-empt by Carole Lazare at Other Press.

Mike Davis's THE MONSTER AT OUR DOOR: The Global Threat of Avian Flu, an account of the looming avian flu pandemic that exposes the human accomplices to this "natural" disaster, to Sara Bershtel at Metropolitan, by The New Press (NA).

Angela Davis-Gardner's PLUM WINE, to Caitlin Alexander at Bantam Dell, at auction, by Liz Darhansoff at Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman, on behalf of the University of Wisconsin Press.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer. The contract with the small publisher is for two years, after which we can renew the contract or not. The collection has received twelve very positive reviews so far and the publisher mentioned it's selling better than most of the books she publishes (very modest sales compared to blockbusters). I'm keeping all of the reviews in a folder for when it's time to discuss reprinting it with a larger publisher. Thanks again.

Miss Snark said...

It's not a reprinting if it's done by a different publisher. What you want to do is called "sell rights" either to a new edition or to, most likely, a different form (tp, mm, hc).