Authors commonly transfer any or all of the rights in their works to their publishers when they sign their publishing agreements. In time, authors may regret transferring certain rights if their books fall out of print, sales drop, or their publishers stop marketing their books. In these circumstances, many authors who want to do something to make their books more widely available may be constrained by the terms of their publishing agreements.
For example, some authors may want to bring their out-of-print books back into print, while others may want to deposit their books in open access online repositories. Authors who have signed over some or all of the rights in their works to their publishers may not know how to make their works available in the ways they want.
This guide addresses common issues facing all authors who seek to increase their books’ availability, regard- less of whether an author has a literary agent. However, authors with agents may be restricted by the terms of their agency agreements from approaching their publishers directly—or they may prefer to have their agents speak with their publishers on their behalf. Regardless of what an agent-author contract might stipulate, authors who consult this guide will be better informed about strategies for making their books more available.
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