Alligator Pie

There was a collection of children’s poems written by Dennis Lee and published in Canada in 1974 called Alligator Pie.

It was enormously popular and was awarded the Book of the Year by the Canadian Library Association in 1975.

I remember reading it with my children. I’d like to share it with my grandchildren too, but it’s currently out of print. So I was delighted to hear on the CBC radio program The Next Chapter this morning that it will soon be available again–that’s good news for me and the grands!

One of the benefits of my self-publishing Two Hearts is that it will never be out of print. I have, and will always have, exclusive rights to it. Whether it’s June 2012, next year, or ten years from now, if there is a reader interested in my book, it will be available.  In the traditional publishing model the publisher makes the determination, based on sales, when to take a book out of print. And once it’s gone, it’s gone.

I’ve talked with authors whose books have been traditionally published who wish they would have self-published instead. They look forward to getting the rights to their books back so can self-publish and introduce their books to a new group of readers.

In 2011 15 of the 150 books on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list were self-published.

Kristen Lamb, author of the bestselling  We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer recently suggested that we all hug an self-published or an indie published author. Check out her blog post to find out why.

Those who choose to self-publish are on the forefront of a new direction in publishing. Self-published authors are taking the reins out of the hands of the Big Six publishers and giving them back to the reader and the writer, allowing us to determine which books are successful.

I like that paradigm, don’t you?

I’ll leave you with a taste of the poetry in that children’s book, Alligator Pie. Watch for the re-release of this classic Canadian book in May 2012 and pick up a copy for your own kids or grandkids.

Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don’t get some I think I’m gonna die.
Give away the green grass, give away the sky,
But don’t give away my alligator pie.

Alligator stew, alligator stew,
If I don’t get some I don’t know what I’ll do.
Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe,
But don’t give away my alligator stew.

Alligator soup, alligator soup,
If I don’t get some I think I’m gonna droop.
Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop,
But don’t give away my alligator soup.

Q4U: Are there any books you wish you could buy today that have gone out of print?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
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  2. I can’t believe Alligator Pie was allowed to go out of print! Award-winning children’s books generally stay in print longer. Several marvelous picture books illustrated by Barry Moser and written by his (preschool) grandaughter Isabelle Harper, which could be purchased easily ten years ago, are available now only for a price (three figures!). Some books are such treasures they should always be available. I’m glad you’re keeping control of yours.

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