What Does It Mean When a Book Goes Out of Print?

There has been quite a lot of news lately about books going out of print, but what does that mean exactly? To put it simply, an out-of-print book is a book that is no longer being published; even then it could eventually be put back in to print and sold again. It also does not mean that the book has been banned or that used book stores cannot sell them anymore. New copies are just not being put out into the world, and that can be for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is that the book isn’t bringing the publisher (or author) money anymore. There are hundreds of thousands of books that have been created and hundreds of thousands of books that are not being printed today.

Let’s say a book has harmful imagery in it and causes a group of people pain. It’s also not a very popular book, and the publisher doesn’t make a lot of money from printing and selling it. Even if the book did not cause anyone pain, from a business perspective it would make sense to no longer waste money and resources on it. The fact that the publisher is also removing something harmful was probably a factor, but overall a business does not want to lose money.

And even if they lost money because they stopped printing a book with harmful imagery in it, that is still their decision as a company. They are not bending to “cancel culture” or being controlled. Companies are going to do what they feel is best for their brand. Things change as time progresses, and people will either change as well, or they won’t.

Want to read a little more about why books go out of print? Click here.

Want to see some books that are out of print by some famous authors, or just want to know some rare out of print books? Click here.

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