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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A turn of the page » » Actual meaning of "out of print" ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

sethb
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Although we all use the phrase "out of print" and generally understand what it means, I wonder what it actually does mean.

For example, out-of-print (OOP) doesn't always mean that a book is unavailable. An OOP book can still be widely available in bookstores, and in new condition.

So does OOP mean that the book is no longer being printed? If that was the case, it seems to be that a book would technically be OOP once the print run is finished, even before the book is available in bookstores. So that can't be right.

Or does it mean that the book is no longer capable of being printed, because the plates or computer files or whatever has been used to print the book have been destroyed? That seems to be the most logical answer.

But I really don't know, and would appreciate any information that anyone may have about this. SETH
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Clay Shevlin
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Sethb --

I think publishers use this term to describe when they no longer have copies to sell, be it retail, wholesale, or both. Thus, as you say, a book could be OOP but still be available through a wholesale jobber or Barnes & Noble or "Carol Ann's Books" in Smalltown, U.S.A.

If the plates, files, etc., were destroyed, there still might be 5,000 copies in a publisher's warehouse, ready to ship to a bulk or individual buyer, and thus the book would not be OOP. But, simplistically put, any subsequent printing, if done from new plates, would be a new edition, even if it looked exactly like the old edition!

Hope this helps.

Clay
sethb
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Thanks, Clay, what you say makes sense and is probably correct. If so, it's too bad they don't use the term "out of stock," since that would appear to be more accurate than "out of print." SETH
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RS1963
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Quote:
On 2005-09-21 08:17, sethb wrote:
Thanks, Clay, what you say makes sense and is probably correct. If so, it's too bad they don't use the term "out of stock," since that would appear to be more accurate than "out of print." SETH


Actually out of stock means that the item is not available for a short time, and will be available shortly. Out of print means just that. The publisher does not have anymore to sell at all. Out of print is correct.
Clay Shevlin
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Seth, conceptually speaking, think of "print" in the term "out of print" as an adjective, as in "out of print[ed stock]" - maybe that will help you get more comfortable with this phrase. I agree, "out of stock" would suggest to many of us that the item is only temporarily unavailable, and thus doesn't well describe the situation. Besides, "out of stock" could be used to describe the situation at all levels of the distribution chain at any given time, whereas "out of print" has a very specific, unambiguous meaning. Clay
Bill Palmer
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As a publisher, I can tell you what OOP means to the industry. It means the printing run is over, all copies are distributed, and we aren't going to print any more in the foreseeable future.
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