Dear Mr./Ms. Publisher: May I have my rights back, please? Getting a Rights Reversion for Your Book.

Now Available from Jennifer M. Eaton

Cover Copyright MuseItUp Publishing

For the last three years, I’ve been scratching my head over the lack of sales for The First Day of the New Tomorrow. Even the success of Fire in the Woods did nothing to trigger interest in this little treasure trove of paranormal explosive happiness.

I volunteered for promotions, dropping the book down to $.99 for a short time, but nothing seemed to have a lasting effect.

In April, 2016, my contract was due to rollover. After long, hard deliberation, I decided to ask for my rights back.

The market is a very different place now than it was three years ago. In a world where so many people are placing full length books on sale for $.99, (or free) the novella format is really taking a hit.

I mean, I get it. I wouldn’t pay $2.50 for a novella when I could get a longer book for $.99. It really doesn’t make sense.

But writing that “Dear Publisher” letter was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Part of me likes seeing multiple titles available. It boosts my inner ego. But I had to be honest with myself. The truth was, nothing was happening with a story that I love. No one was reading it.

A story that is not read is like a puppy not getting any love.

It’s wrong, and I owe it to those characters and the world that I built to give them the chance to be read.

I couldn’t do that at the $2.50 price point.

PKO_0013466 sadThankfully, a few days after my request, my publisher agreed that due to the changing market, this was probably the best thing to do. There was no yelling, no ranting and raving, no challenge that I still have four months left in my contract. All of the sudden, The First Day of the New Tomorrow just started to disappear from distributor cyber-shelves. (Note: this is not always typical. I’ve heard of publishers holding on to rights until the end of the contract no matter the sales.)

Yes, having New Tomorrow leave distribution makes me sad, but now I have the power to offer this story to readers as I see fit. happy smileIt is already written and edited for publication. The hard part is done. Now I can set off on a new adventure … Hopefully where the story can be read by a wider market.

I hope it’s a fun ride.

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12 responses to “Dear Mr./Ms. Publisher: May I have my rights back, please? Getting a Rights Reversion for Your Book.

  1. It’s a really good story. It won’t have a problem selling with the your skills behind it.

  2. Good for you!!!! … I’m still debating whether to re-up my contract with the new folk who have taken over my old moribund publisher. I have until March-ish, so we’ll see.

  3. Go for it! Why the heck not? Good luck. 😀

  4. So, I’m working on a “collection” of novellas with some romance writers. I hear this is a great way to find new readers. My thought is…perhaps the Pen Sisters could do a similar thing – if we can agree on a common thread. The romance collection is stories around a dating application called Virtual Match. I have seen collections that have even looser ties – all Westerns, all paranormal, etc. It’s a thought for this “little” story (which I have read and really enjoyed. In fact I had the same thought several reviewers have made about my short stories in Roane’s anthologies, I wanted it to be longer, to keep going.) I’m sure whatever you decide to do with it, readers will be happy to discover the gem.

  5. That must’ve been a hard email to write. Crossing fingers that the sales pick up now that the ball’s back in your court!

    • Thanks, Christi. I need to read over the copy with a now more experienced eye, and also make a new cover. This probably won’t happen until this editing round on book three of FIRE IN THE WOODS is complete.

  6. I really love this article it hit home . I just write the same email asking my publisher to let me go. He finally did. I revised and republished my book D’sire under my own pen name . I couldn’t be more proud of myself. So liberated.