Tips for Tracking Down a Hard-to-Find Book

Here is a list of "bookfinding" tips and resources that you can use to track down a book, identify its publisher, and determine whether or not it is still in print.

Once you have confirmed that a book is out of print or out of stock, our Custom Reprinting division will obtain permission from the publisher/copyright holder for a limited academic reprint. We may also be able to help facilitate textbook orders between a bookstore and another publisher when the bookstore does not have an account set up with the publisher. Contact our Custom Reprinting Coordinator, will@wipfandstock.com, for details.

1) Check Wipf and Stock's website. Wipf and Stock has published and continues to publish a large number of hard-to-find titles.

2) Call the publisher first. Unfortunately, you cannot rely solely on Ingram's iPage or Bowker's Books In Print to indicate whether or not a book is available; therefore it is important to call the publisher to confirm availability. There is always the possibility that there is a new edition (perhaps with a new name) or that the existing edition is still in print.

3) Search by title. When contacting a publisher, it is best to ask them to look up the book by title first and then by ISBN. When customer service looks up the book by its title, they may find a newer edition of a book that they may not have found if they were looking it up by ISBN.

When a title is out of print, ask whether they know if another publisher has picked up the title.

4) Ingram's iPage: although the information on iPage may not always be accurate, it's still an important resource, if you have an Ingram account. You should not rely wholly on the results if it indicates a book is out of stock or out of print. Again, it is always best to confirm a book's status with the publisher directly.

Another good reason to check Ingram is that there are many publishers who use Ingram's Lightning Source print-on-demand service to produce POD titles for them. All Lightning Source titles are listed as "GreenLight" on Ingram, with an in-stock quantity of one hundred at their Tennessee warehouse.

5) Bookfinder.com: one of the very best sites for locating a new or used book. If you are trying to find a new book, it will show you the latest edition, publisher, and ISBN. This information is helpful when a different publisher issues a new edition of a previously published title (just as Wipf and Stock does when bringing a title back into print).

Bookfinder can also help you gauge how many used copies of a particular book there are on the market. This information might be helpful when you need to make buying decisions and face a lot of competition within the used textbook market.

6) Amazon.com: Amazon is a helpful resource in cases where a ministry, an author, or an obscure publisher lists their books with Amazon, but may not list the book on Bowker's Books In Print or distribute their book through Ingram. Titles distributed by Amazon's POD provider, BookSurge, are exclusively listed on Amazon and not with Ingram.

7) Titles published in the United Kingdom: many times a title has been copublished by a US and a UK publisher. Sometimes, when the US edition goes out of print, the UK edition may still be in print and available from the UK publisher. Often Bookfinder, Amazon.co.uk, or one of the UK library catalogs can provide information on UK or other foreign titles.

8) Google: often a simple Google search can lead you to a book and its publisher.

9) Bowker's Books In Print: this service requires a paid subscription to use. If you do have a subscription it can be a very helpful tool; however, some information may not be up to date, and it can be an expensive resource for small stores.

Recommended websites:

Library Card Catalogs:

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