Edition progression and the ebook disruption

When I began working in book publishing at Henry Holt & Co. in 1988, one of the first things I learned was that there was a pattern to when each edition of a work was published. Hardcover editions came first, and then, usually a year later, a paperback edition was published, if the hardcover had sold well enough. There were, of course, exceptions, but the pattern was generally understood.

The rise of the ebook has, of course, disrupted this paradigm.

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Re-publishing Mormon Doctrine

This past week news reports confirmed that Deseret Book will no longer print additional copies of the 42-year-old classic Mormon Doctrine, essentially taking a classic Mormon work out-of-print. While the move is apparently because of low sales, many commentators on the bloggernacle and news sites have claimed instead that the Church wanted it out-of-print.

While that seems unlikely to me, the effect is the same. What might be more interesting is what happens to Mormon Doctrine next.

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