For the past several months I've been cleaning up my contracts with one of my oldest publishers. My books had a good run there and the contracts have expired so over time I've emailed them asking for my rights back, pointing out that either the contract duration had expired (most were for seven years) or that they no longer met the minimum number of copies sold to be considered "in print". In the ebook world it is very important that a contract have clauses in it so that the book can be reverted. Life of copyright contracts don't make any sense for an author to sign given how fluid the publishing world has become. You never know what the next big push will bring.
So I now have most of my books back and need to decide what to do about them. There are so many possibilities. I can do final edits, find a cover, and upload to Amazon, Smashwords, and the other ebook distributers' and that's what I have done for some titles with moderate success.
But more recently I've simply sat on the titles, thinking that perhaps it would be better to come up with a real publishing plan rather than continue to roll books out without one.
And so next week I'll head for the RWA national conference, where I'll sit in many seminars about the topic "what to do with reverted titles". Even a short review of the schedule shows many relevant seminars for me to attend and I'll be making a list of the ones I feel will be most interesting.
Hey I might even talk to a traditional publisher about my work. Not expecting much there but it could happen. That's the point of going to a conference, to find out just what is going on in the publishing world. Accompanied by 2000 of the people most like me in the world, it should at least be exciting.
Janet Miller/Cricket Starr/JL Miller