Just as there is a feeling of euphoria when a new book comes out, a melancholy mood eventually follows when you get the note from your editor telling you that the book has had its day and is being declared out of print.
Yesterday I learned that three of my titles with Boyds Mills Press are going out. They are THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET (ISBN: 978-1-56397-994-1), DYLAN THE EAGLE-HEARTED CHICKEN (ISBN: 978-1-56397-982-8), and SOUNDS OF RAIN(ISBN: 978-1-59078-442-6). I’ve been watching their sales tail off and knew the time was coming when I would get that note. ALLIGATOR lasted 13 years; DYLAN made it 14; and SOUNDS lasted 10. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these titles before they disappear from stores and online services, I’ve included ISBN numbers.
I’ve asked for my rights back and will tuck them away in case I decide to do something else with the books. Most publishers aren’t interested in reintroducing someone else’s retired titles. It’s one possibility though. Bringing them back on my own via e-publishing is another. A third is to take favorite poems from the books and sprinkle them in other combinations of mostly new work. And yet another is to sniff and put the titles away for good. As for DYLAN, I’ve always liked that picture book and would love to see him pop up somewhere else. I’ll certainly try.
As Kurt Vonnegut reminded us in, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, “And so it goes.”