Out-of-Print Reversions


1. Publisher may have a waiting period of some years from publication before author can ask for reversion of rights. Authors should request the book be put back in print or a reversion of rights within six months of the book going out of print.

2. After author's written request to reprint the out-of-print book, publisher has a limited period in which to reprint. Limit the period to six months from date of author's request. Date your letter and send a certified letter to publisher.

3. Publisher may request an overpayment of royalties or other sums due (author should question this and get a definition of "other sums due" from the publisher).

4. Publisher may decline to revert rights if there are outstanding licenses or the book is under option. It is vital that author and agent get copies of all license agreements (excluding permissions) after the license agreements are fully executed and signed.

5. If a book is under option to a motion picture or television company, this could hold up the reversion and should be excluded from the author agreement. Major publishers will require that the author of a book notify the publisher if the work is under option or contract with a movie company 

6. Is an unearned portion of the advance considered a sum due the publisher? Question this and ask that this be excluded in author's agreement. 

7. What about outstanding licensed editions in other countries if author's publisher has licensed a French edition, etc? Limit outstanding licenses to only U.S. licenses.

8. At the time of reversion, the publisher may have the right to continue to sell all copies of the work that have already been printed (at the time of notice) or are in the process of being printed. Make sure you are on top of your print runs.