DIGGING INTO THE BACKLIST AND FINDING GOLD
Any book publisher that's been around as long as Hastings House (over 70 years, and my publisher since 1982) is bound to still have rights to books they published decades ago. There remains a modest market for many of these, but until recently ordering a new print run was far too expensive for the few hundred copies that would get sold. To say nothing of the cost of maintaining inventory — warehousing, insurance, taxes and so on — on slow selling titles.
This is no longer the case.
Print-on-Demand (POD) technology has come a long way in the past few years, especially since Amazon.com has become deeply involved in the process.
Lately I have been assisting Hastings House in reissusing a "Classics" series, at least to the extent of preparing new covers and promotional copy. As far as the inside pages go, they just send one or two copies of the book to the POD printer, who then scans the pages into a pdf file and prints from that whenever orders are received — even if the order is for just one copy.
The covers are a bit trickier. What I do is to scan the original cover at a sufficiently high resolution, then drop it into a new file that includes both front, spine, and a new rear cover, as seen in the examples to the right and below. I also add the heading "Hastings House Classics," put a little shadow there to make it prettier, and insert a bar code.
A small problem can occur when the original cover includes a photo. Often, this results in an unwanted moiré pattern caused by interference between the original half-tone screen and the pixel pattern of the scanner. This can usually be eliminated in Photoshop, but it's a lot of work.
The first two titles that I worked on, both in a way related to my Daytrips series of guidebooks, were a classic guide to Germany's Rhineland, and a classic guide to German wines, both shown to the right and below.
As new classic titles are released, they will be announced on both Hastings House's blog, which is updated frequently, and on their website. All are printed on demand by Booksurge, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, and all can be read online at Google Books.
SO, just what Little Adventure am I up to now in 2013? Why, just the most challenging o0ne of them all! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
Interested in photography? Check out my "Assisting Avedon" blog.
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