19 August 2011 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 15 comments

Like every author who has had more than one work published, I have favorites among my various books. There are just certain projects for which I have a certain fondness, for whatever reason. In the case of Trevilian Station, it was my first campaign study, and the book was the first detailed tactical treatment of an important campaign. It was groundbreaking work, and that book was long been one of my favorites as a result.

Another of my favorites is also the source of a great deal of frustration for me. In 2003, my book The Union Cavalry Comes of Age: Hartwood Church to Brandy Station, 1863 was published by Brassey’s. To my displeasure, Brassey’s allowed it to go out of print, and when they refused to print a new edition of it, the rights to the book reverted to me. This is one of my very favorites of my work, as it covers a range of material never covered in real depth before, since, or anywhere else. There are several cavalry actions detailed in this volume that had never received a detailed treatment previously, and I’ve long been proud of it.

The problem is that I cannot find a publisher that would be willing to take a shot with it and bring it back into print. Hence, I face a variety of options:

1. Self-publish it as a print-on-demand book as originally published.

2. Self-publish it as a print-on-demand book as a completely revised edition with new maps.

3. Self-publish in Kindle/Nook format only (thanks to old friend John Geracimos for that suggestion).

4. Continue to look for a new publisher for it.

There are pluses and minuses to each. POD is fine, but I’ve always had questions about the quality of the books so published. I don’t have the cash or warehouse space at the moment to print a large quantity of them in order to have inventory on hand, so that’s not really an option for me. Publishers are hesitant to bring out a new edition of something that has already been published, and Ted Savas, of Savas-Beatie, who is already working on new editions of two of my prior books, has already passed on this one because he doesn’t think there’s a good market for a new edition.

It pains me to see this book out of print. I would really like to see it back in print, but I have limited options. What do you–my readers–think I should do? Please give me your opinions, as I value them. Thank you.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I tend to favor option 1, given your expressed pride in the work. It’s also the most straight-forward approach to publishing during this period of renewed interest in the Civil War.

    Good luck with your decision.

    —Bob

  2. Mark Peters
    Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 2:44 pm

    As a non-user of elctronic gadgets that attempt to replace printed books and the fact that you’ve already stated that cashflow and storage space are issues, I’d prefer finding another publisher (maybe a University Press). Other than that, I’d wait until you have the funds to ensure a decent quality of print run and appropriate storage space.

    I hope it works out, because this is an addition I’d like to make to my library. Good luck!

  3. Rob Wick
    Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Eric,

    One thing I’ve noticed in my years on the book floor is that the number of POD books has risen considerably, and it isn’t just Aunt Mary’s memoirs that is available (although that certainly remains the largest proportion of books out there). A number of books that otherwise would have gone out of print are now POD and they are legitimate, quality works.

    I also agree with Mark Peters that a university press would be a viable option. They will keep a book in print much longer than commercial presses. Certainly worth a look.

    Best
    Rob

  4. Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Maybe a chin wag with other authors that were involved with Ironclad Publishing that also have books OOP (Battle Between the Farm Lanes for1). Whats up with Casemate? I know they distribute but do they publish? Everything you have ever written deserves to be in print and available for all.
    I sold high end, spot on CW reenactment goods years ago (Jersey Skillet Licker) was my company. I still have a lot of inroads with the community which has always had a high regard for me….Ebay is a good way to go. I purchased the last 30 or so copies direct from the author on “Battle Between the Farm Lanes” and sold it through quickly, I also so the 1st edition of “Fires Beyong Gettysburg” and did very well with that too. Im happy to try and help where I can…even if you are a Phillies fan!

  5. Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 4:18 pm

    To me, it looks like you have one option…..Kindle version.

    but I have no idea if there are costs to you for doing that option.

    I bought my wife a Kindle last year. It is not as bad as i thought, though I still LOVE real books.

  6. Paul LaCroix
    Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 4:25 pm

    My two cents.. what about an audio version of your books? I’m a big fan of audiobooks. Since I’ve began my subscription two years ago I’ve constantly had an audio book that I’m listenting to. I know I’m not the only fan of them either.

  7. Christ Liebegott
    Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Eric,
    FWIW, it might be more sellable with “Revised Edition” on the cover. That implies more recent findings and better maps. As for publishing, I know nothing about that, so I let that up to the more knowledgeable of your readers.

  8. Fri 19th Aug 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Eric–At the risk of incurring the wrath of my better half, I’d love to get your book. I think you might want to try options 1 or 2. I am sure that many others would be interested in reading your book. (I would publish it, but not enough capital to engage in such a venture!)

    Ron

  9. Steve Basic
    Sat 20th Aug 2011 at 1:06 am

    Eric,

    As others have said, I would check with the university presses, especially those in Ohio. An advantage you have is that you are based in Ohio, and you have a fine background in terms of the fine reviews for your works over the years. Might be something The Ohio University Press would consider publishing. Wish I could help there, but have no contacts with that branch of OU.

    Steve

  10. Alton Bunn
    Sat 20th Aug 2011 at 9:07 am

    I’d go with option 3 until a publisher can be found. Storage wouldn’t be a problem naturally.

  11. Sun 21st Aug 2011 at 7:28 am

    In the math/science world, we have Dover Press, which will buy the rights to older works and publish them as low-cost/high quality paperbacks. It is a way of keeping classics in print and available. They do have other disciplines; you might contact them.

  12. Jason Connerley
    Sun 21st Aug 2011 at 10:04 am

    I like options 1 and 2. I’m not really up to speed on the world of e-readers although I have an old (no wi-fi) Sony E-Reader, if it was in a format I could read on that I would buy it.

  13. Keith Toney
    Wed 24th Aug 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Eric,
    I’d go with Kindle to at least have it out there while you continue to search for a publisher you feel comfortable with. I just put the ghost book up this week. There’s no cost to you and if I could figure out how to do it with my limited computer knowledge, should be a piece of cake for you.
    Regards,
    Keith

  14. Billy Markland
    Tue 30th Aug 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Eric, as others have stated, a university press is a viable option. You might also inquire with McFarland in Jefferson, NC. They published Fred Waner’s book Participants In the Battle of the Little Big Horn. I’ll send you Fred’s email if you want.

    Billy

  15. Brian Musselwhite
    Sun 04th Sep 2011 at 11:04 am

    Try Ten Roads Publishing out of Gettysburg. These guys run the American History Store.

    It’s a thought.
    Brian

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