Getting Your Rights Back

contractI’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:

A blog reader wrote:

I’ve found myself in a frustrating situation with a publisher regarding the definition of “out-of-print” [and not being able to obtain] a reversion of rights to two of my novels. These novels have earned back their advances but are no longer available to the public. I’m guessing this situation has come about because I signed these contracts before e-book rights were contracted. Do authors still have so much difficulty obtaining a reversion of rights when their books are no longer in print?

Good questions. Rights reversion is an important element in a publisher contract, and this is one of the reasons to have an agent or someone knowledgeable in publishing who can negotiate a contract for you.

“Reversion of rights” simply refers to the point in time at which the publisher no longer owns the rights to your book. When the rights revert to you, the author, you’re free to sell them again or do whatever you want with your book. In the past this wasn’t as important because it was unlikely that another publisher would want to take on an already-published book. Your main option was to self-publish and you’d likely not be able to make enough money to cover your self-pub costs.

But all that’s changed in the digital age.


Click HERE to read the entire post at Books & Such.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. […] with your rights: Getting Your Rights Back From the Publisher by Rachelle Gardner from Books & Such Literary […]

  2. sherpeace on July 27, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    I attend a local conference because I don’t have to pay for the hotel which makes it much more affordable. The second time I went, I decided I better find out what I could about starting a local critique group as I had looked everywhere and had only found a couple groups that were not looking for new members. I took really good notes and after a couple fits and starts finally got a group going at my local library.
    The trainer even told us how to deal with difficult group members which I hoped and believed I would never have, but a year and a half into the group, we got a guy with severe psychological problems who started harassing us. Luckily we were able to nip that in the bud and continue on our way.
    Besides that, I made a great friend who even offered to let me stay in her room. I may take her up on it this year.
    But, best of all was the feedback from the pitch sessions. They asked a few questions and told me what my story needed. And they were right. Once I added a stronger connection between my protagonist and the rebel poet, everything just seem to fall into place.
    I plan to go every year. Until they invite me to be a speaker, that is. 😉