My memoir was published in 2012, both as an ebook and in print (POD), by a small independent publisher. It's done quite well on Amazon, and also through my independent sales (via book signings, speaking appearances, etc.) I have many reviews on Amazon, most at 4-5 stars, in addition to very favorable editorial reviews.
Most of my readers have come from a niche market, which I have worked hard to cultivate and have a sizable following, but I believe that there are more readers in the general public who would appreciate and learn from my memoir. I've been unable to break into major bookstores because the book is POD.
My publisher is leaving the business and I retain all rights. Do you think it would make sense to pitch it to agents or larger publishers? As a second edition, for foreign, audio book or even movie rights? And how should I present it?
I think it makes a lot of sense to pitch it to agents or a larger press.
What they'll want to know is who you have NOT been able to reach. The first thing you can mention is the library market. You've also missed most bookstores that won't order books on a one at a time basis from small presses.
Bookstores like to order their inventory from reliable suppliers and a small press they've never heard of us doesn't really qualify as that. I don't know what sales terms your old publisher offered but just the fact bookstores could only order that one book from them made it a less desirable item to stock.
When you query, you need to give your sales stats, and talk about the target audience you haven't reached. (I did a previous blog post on that topic) Your Amazon reviews aren't going to be as helpful here as you think. Sales numbers are what will get you in the door. (That's the subject of a previous blog post)
It's also not going to be helpful to say "my book was POD" because print on demand is a technology not a method of sale. The information that the editor/agent will need is whether the publisher sold on a returns allowed basis; what the discount was; what the catalog or retail price was; whether there was distribution of any kind. You may not know this information. If you can, find out. The bookstores where you sold books will know if you can't get the information from your publisher.
Lots of large publishers use print on demand technology to fulfill small orders so they don't have to carry inventory. You'd never know it from just buying the book.
Don't mention foreign rights, audio or film rights in the query. You need a book deal before you get subsidiary rights (and for all you clever exceptionistas out there, yes there are exceptions to this, but you don't plan to be the exception in your query letter, now do you?)