One of the important negotiation points for life-of-copyright publishing contracts is including provisions in the termination clause that oblige the publisher to take the work out of print when sales or royalties drop below a minimum level.
Why is that important? Well, when your book has fallen so far into the backlist that your publisher no longer even includes it in its catalogs, and sales have dropped down to practically nothing, there's no reason for the publisher to continue to hold your rights. Much better for the book to go out of print, and for you to revert the rights and do something else with them--self-publish as an ebook, for instance, to take advantage of the exploding ebook market, or try to market them to other publishers.
That's what I did with my Stone duology (The Arm of the Stone, first pubbed by Eos in 1998, and The Garden of the Stone, first pubbed by Eos in 1999)--and I'm thrilled to announce that both novels have been bought by Phoenix Pick, a small publisher that specializes in re-issuing previously published books by established science fiction and fantasy authors. The books will have brand-new cover art, and will be available as trade paperbacks and as ebooks.
Arm has just been released, and is available at Amazon, among others. To celebrate, I'm giving away three signed copies. To be entered in a random drawing, please email me at victoria [at] victoriastrauss.com with your name and mailing address, and "February Contest" in the subject line (your info won't be shared, and you won't be added to any mailing lists). All entries must be received by midnight, February 28, 2011. US and Canadian residents only, please!
Garden will be released next month, and I'll be posting another giveaway then.
For ebook enthusiasts, the publisher will be giving away free downloads as soon as both books are available. I'll post an announcement then.
Please feel free to post this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, etc., or to feature it on your own blog. Thanks!