No, this is not a marketing ploy. I mean it. The book is still on all the usual channels for a while, but within a few weeks will be gone, I hope. Leaving me with the rights.
As the author of six books and publisher of one more, I have found the business of writing and publishing to be a nightmare at times. Those who are as-yet unpublished dream of getting an agent. Most realise after some time that getting an agent isn’t easy, so they look for an Indie publisher or go the self-publishing route.
My first novel (long out of print) was published in 2002 by a Florida-based Indie. The publisher took on far too many authors, couldn’t deal with running the business, and then the book warehouse burned down along with all the books.
I began my own imprint and published another author, an SF novel. A larger publisher promptly poached my discovery. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t know that I had rewritten — book-doctored — the manuscript. Enough said.
Recently I had a new novel picked up on Twitter from a tentative cover I posted. An Indie. Everything looked great, they came up with a great cover and great new title, I began marketing… several hundred $ of promotional spend later, with some great reviews, the publisher went out of business, cleared the books from his site, and emailed me reverting the book rights.
If there are enough authors here on DK interested in how you deal with this, it’s not easy, but I could go into details. Get it wrong and your book becomes dead words.