Simon Wood

Book of the Month: Shelf Life

I’m fading…kind of.

I received a very sweet letter from one of my publishers last week. I’d ghost written a book for them a few years ago. They got in touch to tell me that they were remaindering the remaining print run (essentially selling the remaining stock to the likes of Half Price Books) and that they were not picking up the option to do a reprint. Essentially, this is the end of the road for that book. They told me not to take the news personally and it was no reflection of me. I thought that was sweet. Other publishers haven’t been so caring of my feelings. Those letters chose the tone of a football coach—we’re junking your book, now walk it off, pussy.

That’s not the only book of mine to fall on the endangered list. I found out there are only four copies of WORKING STIFFS left. THE SCRUBS went out of print last year. There aren’t any plans to reprint THE SCRUBS, although we are talking about a new edition of WORKING STIFFS. And in 2010, all my Dorchester/Leisure paperbacks came off the shelves when they had their financial meltdown.

So in recent years, I’ve seen a lot of my work live out their publishing lifecycles. I’m not particularly upset by that. I have to make space for new work, but at the same time, I do have an attachment to my books. I put everything into their conception and birth, so it’s hard not to be a little teary eyed when they disappear.

But I’m not too downbeat. Just like Dracula, no book truly dies. Rebirth is always around the corner. Just like energy, they cannot be destroyed, they can only change form. Last year, I resurrected my extinct backlist as eBooks. Foreign editions are still coming out and I hope to share some news about further resurrections soon.

So while a part of my work is fading, I’m not concerned, because there are new and wonderful things on the horizon lighting my way. If they weren’t, then I might be a little less upbeat. 🙂

4 Responses to “Book of the Month: Shelf Life”

  1. F.T. Bradley:

    I have a number of these titles on my shelf, so maybe they’ll become collectors items! Sounds like career progress more than anything.

    Looking forward to hearing about these further resurrections…

    Reply
  2. Simon Wood

    Well, someone did have a copy of WORKING STIFFS for sale for $1200. You might get lucky. Don’t know if they did because I’d like to meet the buyer because I’d like to sell them some Florida swamp land. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Simon Wood

    I own the e-rights to these titles, so they live on electronically…but it’s nice to see the print live on just as long.

    Reply

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