Weird Things Publishers Do

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Two examples of the same thing:

(1) Scotland's Christian Focus Publications, in its Mentor imprint, published Allan Harman's superb two-volume commentary on the Book of Psalms in 2011. Now, it's 2019, and Volume 1 is out of print, but Volume 2 is still available. In re-buying the set, I quickly got on Amazon and bought a copy of Volume 1 before the price starts skyrocketing.

(2) England's Evangelical Press has done it the other way around: John L. Mackay's excellent two-volume commentary on the Book of Isaiah was published in 2008. In this case, Volume 1 is still available, but Volume 2 is out of print - and quite expensive on Amazon.

Why do publishers do this? If you let one volume of a two-volume commentary go out of print, doesn't that make the remaining volume more or less worthless? Even from a publisher's sales point of view, who would want to buy one half of a commentary?

Isn't publishing a tough enough business without publishers apparently trying to lose money?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
This is much more likely due to production variations. Book makers contract a plus or minus 10 percent; and on top of that more orders for a volume 1 than a volume 2 of volume 2 comes out later; or even a planned printing of more volume 2s to save money with an eventual reprint of volume 1 to catch up to make full sets. Or many a number of other scenarios; but my first guess, if they were not published together, is production variations either planned or unplanned.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
This is much more likely due to production variations. Book makers contract a plus or minus 10 percent; and on top of that more orders for a volume 1 than a volume 2 of volume 2 comes out later; or even a planned printing of more volume 2s to save money with an eventual reprint of volume 1 to catch up to make full sets. Or many a number of other scenarios; but my first guess, if they were not published together, is production variations either planned or unplanned.

In both cases, both volumes of each two-volume set were published at the same time.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
In that case it would be odd if the publisher limited one volume over the other and it is likely there was some spoilage higher on one than the other in the manufacture, e.g. volume 1 was 10 percent under the print run ordered by the publisher, and volume 2 was 10 percent over.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
In that case it would be odd if the publisher limited one volume over the other and it is likely there was some spoilage higher on one than the other in the manufacture, e.g. volume 1 was 10 percent under the print run ordered by the publisher, and volume 2 was 10 percent over.

Interesting. Meanwhile, a person is stuck with half a commentary, unless he wants to pay the Amazon seller's exorbitant price.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Yep; bugged me about that aspect of muli volume, but what do you do, just toss the extras of the other volume? It is not like it is the publisher's fault. Usually the odd volumes are discounted.
 
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