What to Do When You've Gotten Your Rights Back
One Author's Rights Reversion Journey
My first published book, May Day, was released in March 2006. In the twelve years after, I released ten more books in that series, watched glowing reviews come in, made an average of $6,000 a year off them (less than minimum wage), and grumbled to myself that if I had only self-pubbed the series, I’d be rolling in the hay by now.
Fast forward to late 2018.
I got my rights back to the first ten books in that series. I hired a cover designer, bought book layout software and the computer I’d need to run it, and took a quick and dirty dip in the marketing pool. One thing I discovered for sure: successfully publishing a book is a hundred times harder than I’d imagined (apologies to my original publisher for my negative thoughts).
This presentation shares the rights reversion lessons I’ve learned. Use it as a guide for your repackaging your own backlist, a behind-the-curtain peek at indie publishing, or a cautionary tale.
Jess Lourey teaches, travels, and writes about secrets.
She's the bestselling Edgar, Agatha, and Lefty-nominated, Anthony-winning author of nonfiction, children's books, YA adventure, magical realism, romcom mysteries, and thrillers. Jess is a retired professor of writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a Psychology Today blogger, a leader of writing retreats, and a TEDx presenter. Check out her TEDx Talk to discover the surprising inspiration behind May Day, her first published novel. In addition to her online courses, she teaches face-to-face writing workshops for all and leads transformative writing retreats for women.
When not traveling, reading, writing, or hanging out with her family, you can find her dreaming of her next story. You can find out more about Jess on her website and by signing up for her newsletter.