Contracts and Rights in More Than 140 Characters

While I was busy at work and then grocery shopping a discussion arose regarding my historical romances and what’s being published where.

Basically, the more than 140 character version is that my publisher only bought North American rights to my historicals. My agent tried to get them to go for World rights but they weren’t interested. I knew I had the foreign rights. In fact, there was a nice handful of foreign sales by my agent

It was only after I wondered out loud to my agent why Not Wicked Enough was on sale at only in paper and not in digital that I learned that Berkley had North American rights only: essentially, the US and Canada.  That book should not have been on sale in the UK at all. And, as it turns out when it occurred to me that I ought to check, the same was true for Scandal and Indiscreet.

So, hoo-yah! Kind of late. I self-published Scandal, Indiscreet and Not Wicked Enough in all the territories where I have rights, including the UK. I will do the same for Not Proper Enough when it releases this September.

I’m still waiting for an accounting of what I am owed for books sold in countries where my publisher did not have rights.

The odd thing is that originally, it was very disappointing that we were unable to get my publisher to buy World Rights. They just weren’t interested. Things are changing fast in the publishing business. Speaking only for myself, I’m glad to have those other rights. And, in fact, I was quite disappointed when my publisher agreed to reprint Indiscreet rather than revert the rights to me. Scandal was/is still in print.


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4 Responses to “Contracts and Rights in More Than 140 Characters”

  1. Meljean says:

    I think the conversation started out re: Sherry Thomas’s latest release and why it isn’t available in the UK (and whether it was Berkley imposing geo-restrictions, or whether the rights were held by the author. And since you published yours in the UK, I assumed you had the rights.)

    I’m kind of stunned that they didn’t take the World rights. O.o Crazy. And really interesting. I wonder what their thinking was? (Not that I expect anyone to know what goes on in the publisher’s head, just wondering out loud.)

    Awesome it worked out like that, though! I hope you see a resolution on those monies due to you sooner than later, because that sucks.

  2. I’d be shocked if Berkley didn’t buy World for Sherry, a wonderful writer who sells a lot more books than I do. It so happens that we have the same agent, so the agent variable goes out the door, more or less. But maybe they didn’t. I can only say they only wanted NA from me.

    I sold Scandal back in 2008, I think, and Berkley only wanted NA rights then. After Scandal and Indiscreet didn’t do very well, I was definitely on the contract bubble.

  3. SonomaLass says:

    I was pretty sure that selling only the NA rights had not been your choice, or your agent’s, although now that you’re a self-pub mogul (LOL), I’m not surprised you’d prefer it.

    At least one person in today’s Twitter convo had just assumed your historicals were still unavailable in digital in the UK; I was glad to let her know otherwise.

  4. Berinn says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t glom onto world rights right away, but great for you! Just a bummer they reprinted…