My Book Went Out of Print, Now What?

When I learned that my publisher decided to let One Person/Multiple Careers go out of print just a few months after its second printing, I didn’t know what to make of it. The book hadn’t sold millions of copies, but it had sold thousands, had a loyal following — and garnered continuous media attention around the world.

As someone who spends a lot of time talking about the book business with other writers, this just didn’t make sense. But rather than whine, I took action. I asked the publisher to revert the rights back to me — which happened with relative ease and no cash on my end. And I decided to release an electronic version and a new paperback edition on my own, as the first “Heymarci.com” production. In fact, the thing that pushed me to get moving and get the e-book finished was a wave of recent interest (nearly five years after the book’s publication) outside of the United States. It was killing me that there was no way to buy the book other than through Amazon, where the handful of used copies would surely run out at some point. I had some other reasons, too.

I wanted to start a conversation with other authors who are in the same position — wondering what to do with an older book that still has readers but has been orphaned by the original publisher.

I also wanted to model the kind of entrepreneurial thinking I encourage others to adopt. The timing was awful. I’m weeks away from delivering a new book manuscript to a new publisher. And my head is focused on encore careers — the subject of my new book. So the only way I could do this was by minimizing the labor involved. I tapped my network, found a great consultant to handle the technology parts, and gave her the updated introduction I had written months ago. I signed up for a PayPal account. My husband designed a new cover. And voila, we were ready to go in about two weeks.

So here it is. You can download the new introduction for free. And if you or anyone you know has been awaiting the digital version, you can order or share with this link. If you’re inclined to help spread the word – either about this new edition or about how authors can be more entrepreneurial, I’d so appreciate it. And here’s a few easy ways to do that:

1.  Tweet (#slashcareers) or share this post on Facebook.
2.  Write a review on Amazon.
3.  Share this post with other authors who may be wondering what to do about books that have gone out of print.

Oh, and don’t forget to join the conversation about “slash careers” and share your experiences with others. There’s a slash “/” careers group on Facebook that I plan to revive. I also regularly get calls from reporters doing “slash” stories and love having handy case studies ready to share. If you tweet, use the hashtag #slashcareers.

In a follow-up post, I’ll cover the steps you need to take to take a previously published book and reissue it as a digital and POD (print-on-demand) edition.

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Taking Stock of Life’s Options While at Business School

Taking Stock of Life’s Options While at Business School

In a guest post, Ricky Opaterny, a first-year business school student at N.Y.U., asks the big questions surrounding his return to the classroom.

Talking Business With Guy Kawasaki

Talking Business With Guy Kawasaki

A conversation with Guy Kawasaki, a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, blogger, speaker and author, about his new book, "Reality Check."

Happy Anniversary, Shifting Careers

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the Shifting Careers blog, a top 10 list of favorite posts.

A Peek at the Future of Work

A conversation with the author and consultant, Patricia Martin, about a new set of values that is shaping the workplace.

Talking About Working From Home

A conversation with Tory Johnson, a co-author of a new book, "Will Work From Home."

Women talking….about women


Last week I took part in a radio chat with a smart and opinionated group of about writer/thinkers about what’s going on with women these days. Think Chris Mathews’ Hardball meets The View.

The panel was hosted by Karen Salmansohn, the author of 29 books and host of the daily radio show, “Be Happy, Dammit” on the Lime channel of Sirius.

The other guests were Eve Tahmincioglu, author of From the Sandbox to the Corner Office/columnist for MSNBC.com; Cali Williams Yost, work+life strategy consultant/author of Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You; and Leslie Bennetts, contributing writer at Vanity Fair/author of The Feminine Mistake.
Read more »

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Plug for My Friend’s New Book


My good friend Chris Kenneally’s new book, The First Word, was reviewed by William Grimes in today’s New York Times. It’s the kind of book that makes me very very proud to be able to say the author is a friend. Not surprisingly, Mr. Grimes finds it as fascinating as I did. Here’s the review:

Language Evolution’s Slippery Tropes

While I’m at it, I want to give a shout out to Marcia Ciriello, who took that gorgeous photo of Chris. (Marcia also took my headshot. And yes, she’s available for gigs. You can reach her at memcgwin@yahoo.com.)

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