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Old 11-07-2010, 08:58 PM   #1
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Does it do any good to contact the publisher...

...when there is a book you'd like to have, but it's not in digital format? I'd love to have the ebook version of Beyond This Place by AJ Cronin, but it doesn't look like it's available. Would contacting the publisher do any good?
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:11 PM   #2
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No.

Probably better off logging it here, as far as effect goes :-

http://lostbooksales.com
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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JL, I contacted four publishers just the other day on this subject. Two responded. One promised to pass the word to the appropriate department. The other was just a form letter.

I don't see how it could hurt. Your request might tickle the fancy of someone important!
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:37 PM   #4
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I think it probably matters more to them than clicking on the "I want to read this book on a Kindle" button on Amazon. Definitely worth making the effort.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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I've contacted both publishers and authors in the past. The publishers don't always respond and when they do it's usually some generic response (in my experience). I recall several of us getting the same response from Penguin even though we were asking about different books.

One author I wrote to responded that she wanted to get her books in digital form but did not have the rights and more and her hands were tied. That was a couple of years ago. Now all of her books are in the Kindle store.

It can't hurt.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! I did send an email to the publisher, as well as posted something on the lostbooksales.com website. The only problem was that I didn't know how much the digital version would cost, so I had to go by the paperback prices, which varies wildly (some person has it listed for $400+ on Amazon ). I just ended up putting down $9.99.

I have clicked that "I want to read this book on a Kindle" link several times for a few books, but I have no idea how much good that does.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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A. It doesn't hurt anything.
B. Whether you get a response or not will vary by who is writing and which publisher you are contacting.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:59 AM   #8
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You know, we should keep track of which publishers respond to people's requests. I know personally, if I know of a publisher that responds to an email, especially if not a form response, I'd be more likely to buy from them afterwards.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:40 AM   #9
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I tend to email authors instead...I almost always get a response either explaining why a given issue exists or with contact info of exactly who to email rather than a email to some bulk contact center where pretty much all emails will get sent into the bit-bucket.

A few years back I was looking for audiobook/Audible versions of Jerry Pournelle's books, so I emailed him via his Chaos Manor site. He was very nice in his response that, at the time, he wasn't planning any of my preferred Audible format books but he asked me if ebooks would be helpful instead. I emailed back an enthusiastic YES. Not long after that conversation, maybe a year later, I began seeing his books on Baen and now a good portion of them are there.

As Pournelle has done a significant portion of his writing on a computer of some sort, I lived for his monthly Chaos Manor column in Byte Magazine so most who read it kinda felt we knew him a bit...so he had a ton of books, in final form I think, ready to go as he had also been pretty vigilant in moving his back-ups to newer media so one did not need to find a computer to read a 9" floppy disk a couple-three decades later.

I was hunting some works buy George Alec Effinger as well as Edward Abby. Tracking down publishers was pointless so I also contacted then via sites dedicated to the authors (sadly both are long ago dead). In both cases I did get emails back with an explanation that the estates still were a mess in terms of rights and such so it could well be a loooong time before the mess was straightened out. A true shame as we are worse off for the lack of access to Abby's humorous and seditious fiction but also his wonderful non-fiction writing about the beauty of his beloved deserts. And Effinger is just a FUN and under appreciated author.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellmark View Post
You know, we should keep track of which publishers respond to people's requests. I know personally, if I know of a publisher that responds to an email, especially if not a form response, I'd be more likely to buy from them afterwards.
Seconded, but I'd say only record those that are not a form response. I've been chasing one publisher here in Sweden over a relatively new book, not as old as the one the OP is after, where one might expect there to be some likelihood that they would consider an epub version. No reply to two emails so far.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLeighs View Post
...when there is a book you'd like to have, but it's not in digital format? I'd love to have the ebook version of Beyond This Place by AJ Cronin, but it doesn't look like it's available. Would contacting the publisher do any good?
This doesn't answer your question, but I'd support your request. I read many of A.J. Cronin's books many years ago, but they're difficult to find now, even here in his native country. I'd really like to have them on my Kindle now.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Blue Tyson View Post
No.

Probably better off logging it here, as far as effect goes :-

http://lostbooksales.com
What impact does logging it on that site have, Blue? Does it have a good history of success in getting new eBooks published?
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:05 AM   #13
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No idea currently. It is only a week old or something.

However, it if builds up a database of thousands and thousands, people will pay attention. Also public, on record, and central if it turns out to be popular.

As opposed to company X putting an email in the digital equivalent of the circular file.

Why would be nifty would be if the site could take the data entered, and automatically send a form letter (like you get back from corporates) about what you didn't buy, and why. Then both get done at once.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
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You know, we should keep track of which publishers respond to people's requests. I know personally, if I know of a publisher that responds to an email, especially if not a form response, I'd be more likely to buy from them afterwards.
Great idea! The real person response I received was from Signet/Penguin. I had asked them to ePublish their Ellery Queen books.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:37 PM   #15
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Okay, the publisher replied that this book is out of print and that they no longer own the rights to it. I'm not exactly sure what this means in terms of who owns the rights, etc. If a book is out of print does that mean it will never be printed again or that the copyright is now in public domain?
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