Authors Taking New Looks at Old Books for E-Publishing (Video)

One advantage e-booksellers have over traditional bricks-and-mortar booksellers is nearly infinite shelf space — and that’s good news for publishers and authors who want to revive back-list sales.

In the print-publishing world, sales of titles that are years old and no longer top-of-mind for publishers’ marketing departments are almost non-existent. In the e-book world, publishers and authors are taking old titles that may not have seen many sales in recent years and giving them new life by digitizing them and promoting them in e-bookstores.

The back-list is an “untapped” “goldmine,” according to Bob Mayer, a best-selling author who formed his own publishing company, Cool Gus Publishing (formerly Who Dares Wins Publishing), to acquire the digital rights to his books from the larger publishing houses that owned them.

“I sell more in one day in e-book than Random House managed to do in six months with the same books,” wrote Mayer of one of his books for which he acquired the digital rights from Random House (disclosure: Mayer blogs for the Digital Book World Expert Publishing Blog).

The opportunity to digitize and start selling old titles has given rise to an interesting trend: authors taking a second pass at old works, essentially creating something new.

“Their first thought is, I just want to get it back out as an e-book,” said Larry Norton, senior vice president of business development of INscribe Digital, a San Francisco-based digital-publishing consulting and technology company. “When they actually pull the book off the shelf and look at it, they realize, ‘there are a lot of things I would like to update and modify,’ so, in a way, it becomes a new book…that’s going to be a very important part of the future of publishing.”

Hear more from Norton at Digital Book World 2012:

A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Media: Founded by Rich Fahle, Astral Road Media is a full-service digital media agency, providing content strategy, design, video production, and other creative forms of social outreach for authors and content creators of all types.

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