Backlist Books vs. Frontlist Books

Industry Insights Printed Books | May 23, 2024

Medium- to Short-run Backlist Books Free You Up to Look Forward

With the exception of the religious sector, book industry sales are down year-over-year roughly 3%. This trend is to be expected, as a correction from 2021 was imminent. The answer for many publishers and authors alike is relying on backlist titles. A backlist book is a publisher’s book still in print—but has been on the market for at least one year. Newly-published titles are known as the frontlist. To be clear, sales for backlist books are still down a bit, but are less so than new books.

On a recent episode of the SPA Girls podcast, young adult author Maggie Dallen addressed some of the major challenges to changing her mindset and business model as a self-publishing author. After many years of success, sales, and being a prolific author, she looked to slow down and diversify her writing skills. Her next venture was to learn script-writing. This would only be possible by leveraging her extensive library of backlist books to keep sales (and her income) churning while she refocused on new tasks and reclaiming some work/life balance. Take a listen here for amazing advice and insight for writers of all experience and skill levels.

With Kingery Printing’s addition of the RICOH VC80000 digital inkjet web press to our arsenal, the KPC Sales team is more competitive than ever on short- and medium-run books on your backlist. Want to get busy honing skills or researching your next big writing project? Maybe it is time to take a break with family or diversify your income streams. The backlist books you have available for sale can be working overtime. Contact us today for a quote on your projects! 

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