Every year around this time the BookFinder.com team puts our heads together, crunches the numbers and cranks out the BookFinder.com Report; a snapshot of the nation's search trends for out-of-print books. After 10 years of researching the most sought after out-of-print books in America, we’ve learned a few things:
- Sex still sells: 20 years after it was first published, Madonna’s Sex has been the most sought after out-of-print book on BookFinder.com for the past ten years.
- Nora Roberts has very little influence on her fans: Despite Nora Roberts pleading with her fans to avoid Promise Me Tomorrow (a book she herself has described as mediocre), the book remains painfully expensive and highly sought after.
- Stephen King knows this pain all too well, he decided to take his novel Rage, which is about a school shooting, out-of-print some time ago and he just can't seem to shake the demand.
- Publishers should re-print more Alice Starmore books: Starmore is a rock-star of the knitting world; known for creating some of the world’s most intricate patterns and having written a number of books. Her book Aran Knitting appeared on every BookFinder.com Report from 2003-2010 until it was re-printed in 2011, only to be replaced by Tudor Roses (#60 in 2011 and #13 in 2012). Starmore also has several other out-of-print books including In The Hebrides (1995) and Stillwater (1996).
Many of the books we see on the BookFinder.com report persist on the list for years. Sometimes they were simply limited-run books that remain popular and demand always outstripped supply. Sometimes a popular author decides they want a certain chapter of their writing career to stay firmly in their rearview mirror (see Roberts, Nora). However, even after 10 years, there are still out-of-print books coming back out of the woodwork. Here are a couple of this year’s surprises:
- Kyle Onstott’s Mandingo has featured on several past reports. However, this year the author appeared on the 2012 Report three times: Mandingo, DRUM, and The Black Sun; more than any other author.
- Big League Sales-closing Techniques by Les Dane is considered by many to be a salesman’s bible, even though it’s been out-of-print since 1971. Word-of-mouth recommendations on internet bulletin boards and review sites have pushed the price of this out-of-print guide through the roof.
- Pure, White and Deadly; the Problem of Sugar by John Yudkin was first published in 1972 and outlines research showing that refined sweeteners are closely associated with heart disease and type-two diabetes. The book was all but forgotten, despite being highly topical, until it was featured in Robert Lustig’s lecture “Sugar: The Bigger Truth” which attained YouTube viral success. Because of this, Yudkin’s book was re-printed in the UK but remains out-of-print for Americans.
See the 2012 BookFinder.com Report, the hot 100 out-of-print books of the past 12 months.