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Help needed- getting digital rights back from a traditional publisher

389 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  A.R. Williams
Hi everyone, wanted some advice, especially from those of you who have been published with a `traditional' publisher. I published a non-fiction book on Marketing in 2007 with a major NY publisher- and it did well enough- got a half decent advance, and it's sold >3000 copies, which given its niche is not too bad, and got some big ticket endorsements. I started my Kindle experiment in March- when I put up 2 novels for which I had digital rights from my backlist- and in the next couple of months will be putting up my first `straight to Kindle' novel. So far, my experience on Amazon has been heartening- nothing that may be worth shouting from the rooftops about- since I know many of you have sold many more ebooks- but I'll end May having sold just over 600 books on Amazon. That got me thinking about the non-fiction title and I wrote to my publisher about getting back digital rights- since they haven't put an ebook version up- and asking them if they have any plans to do so. I haven't heard back much and feel like I'm not getting a very clear answer- either they plan to put up in ebook format or not- and either they're ok to have digital rights revert or not- but I'm getting bounced from one person to another on email.

I had a very good experience working with them- so I definitelty don't want to burn any bridges- and they editor was a great person- so what do I do? Maybe they're slow on the digital wave so they don't have a process on how to deal with such a request or maybe being a major global firm, they need a lot of approvals- whatever the reason, I'm not getting much by way of a clear response.

Any advice on what I could do?

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I'm not traditionally published nor a lawyer, but I think you should reread your contract and see exactly what conditions need to be met in order for reversion to occur. If your situation meets those conditions, then you should list out the reasons in the request for the rights back. You may also want to focus solely on getting the rights back rather than asking the publisher if they have any plans to create a digital version. Good luck with this.
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