Generosity, Smart Marketing, Or Both?
You are a children's book author. You've been writing titles for quite some time and since you are prolific it's just the natural order of the universe that your books should inevitably fall out-of-print. You could bombard your old publishers to reprint your titles, if you liked, but how far would that really get you? You want to try something new. Something different. Something... something free.
If you are Hans Wilhelm you take your books and you put them online. As the PW article on this subject said:
His books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have reached an in-print tally of more than 35 million copies. Now Wilhelm has made nearly 100 of his out-of-print picture books available for fans to download free on his Web site . . .Trend?
"It is entirely logical," says the author of his decision to establish the Web site. "Books seem to go out of print faster and faster these days, often for reasons beyond our control and not always because they aren't selling well, and it is a pity that many powerful books are no longer available. I thought there is no reason why my out-of-print books should collect dust on a shelf when I could keep them alive. So I'm taking them out of retirement so that they can continue to give joy and pleasure to millions around the world."