Considerations After Your Book Rights Reversion

Considerations After Your Book Rights Reversion

In Katlyn’s blog post last month, she discussed the benefits of reclaiming your book rights from a publisher. This week, she shares how to move forward with the new life of a book with reverted rights. 

If you are one of the lucky authors who has been able to successfully revert your book rights, the prospect of publishing it on your own can seem daunting. Now that you’re faced with the infinite future of how this book can work for you, take your knowledge of publishing and put this book out there for new readers to find and love.

In terms of re-publishing the book, there are several republishing options to consider:

Re-publish immediately

At your publisher, you went through rounds of edits with your book. If years after publication you are happy with the book as is (even if you need to fix a few grammatical errors), you can republish as soon as the book is down from the vendors. 


  • Production files. Some publishing contracts give the author the opportunity to purchase the production files of the work, which would include all the edits you made. 
  • Formatting. If you don’t have the production files and are uploading your most recent draft of the story you need to format the book for publication. You can hire a formatter or there are options to do it yourself through Draft2Digital, Microsoft Word, Scrivener, and Vellum — to name a few. 
  • Cover. Cover trends change quickly in the publishing industry. If it’s been years since you’ve published this book, cover design should be at the top of your budget. Some publishers may offer to sell you the rights to your cover, but it might be an opportunity to rebrand the book for new readers. Unless you are a cover designer, it’s highly encouraged that you hire an experienced designer for a custom cover or purchase a pre-made one.
  • Exclusive versus wide publishing. The term “exclusive” refers to the KDP Select program at Amazon where you are contractually obligated to have your e-book available only on their site for 90-day increments. Publishing wide means having your e-book on as many vendors as you choose.
  • Promotion strategy. Now that you are in charge of your book, you can choose what promotion strategies you want to implement. Whether that is paid ads, sales, whatever! You are in charge now. Many direct vendors and aggregators have opportunities for promotion, so be sure to research which ones will work best for your book.

Re-publish after editing the book

If you are interested in editing your book to change aspects you weren’t able to change prior to publishing the first time, or to bring the book closer to your current writing style, you may consider hiring editors. The type of editor you choose will depend on how much the book has changed. Line editing focuses on sentence structure and language of the book along with pacing and flow. Copyeditors focus on the mechanics of the line-level writing, such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, and typos. Proofreaders will review the minute details of the book to find typographical errors.

Re-publish after overhauling the book

If you still love the story, but want to change a lot of the aspects of it — whether that’s the characters, settings, or plot-lines — you may consider:

  • Redrafting the book. This may be a case where you keep the essence of the story but need to rewrite it and go through rounds of self-editing. 
  • Hiring a developmental editor or enlisting the help of critique partners. Since you have redrafted the book, you will need to have someone else read the book (as you would in any stage of the publication process). Whether you hire a developmental editor or send the book to your critique partners, this will help bring the book to the same level as it was when you first submitted the book for publication.

You’ve come here to understand the options to keep this book working for you. Self-publishing can seem overwhelming, but when you’re able to reclaim the rights for your book and do more with it than your publisher could, the benefits are all in your favor.

Learn more about rights reversion and how to take control of your books in “Take Back Your Book: An Author’s Guide to Rights Reversion and Publishing On Your Terms” by Katlyn Duncan. 

Written by Katlyn Duncan

Katlyn Duncan is a multi-published author of adult and young adult fiction and has ghostwritten over 40 novels for children and adults. When she’s not writing she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’ and hanging out on YouTube where she shares her writing process and all the bookish things.

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