When I publish a Calder Wood Press title I aim to break even within a year of publication, and to sell out the edition within two years. My usual print run is 200 copies, and I’ve found that works out well in the majority of cases. Going out of print is an odd experience for some authors. On the one hand there’s a feeling of satisfaction at the edition selling well, but on the other hand there’s a feeling of sadness that there are no more copies left. For me, there are several aspects to the situation. I’m pleased that my decisions about the author, the book’s design and pricing are confirmed; that many members of the public have read the work of the authors; that I’ve made a modest excess of income over expense, which I can re-invest in new titles, and that my storage space is under less pressure. It also frees up the author and myself to look at new projects. Perhaps I may suggest doing a new collection in future, or advising an author to try a larger publisher for a full collection. Both of these have happened with some of my authors.
When a title goes unexpectedly out of print very quickly, however, it suggests to me that there is still a demand for the title, and I will try to reprint to bring it back into print. This has happened in the past with two titles – Jo Gibson’s The Heart Is Always Full, and Catriona Malan’s Love Affair With Mussels. Now it’s happened again. I’m reprinting Jayne Wilding’s Sky blue notebook from the Pyrenees, and Mary Johnston’s Fa dis she think she is?
I will have to think very carefully about print runs for my 2010 titles – seven pamphlets and (I think) one full collection. (That’ll be CWP’s first full collection, by the by).
PS: sky blue notebook reprint now in stock, and I’m getting quotes for the full collection.