Where Is My Fainting Couch?

I have a publishing question. I have a dozen or so books in my backlist that aren’t being actively promoted at the moment (in some cases, for years) by various prior publishers. I’d like to get the rights back, and indie publish them myself as ebooks at least — some aren’t available in digital form at all, which is frustrating.

I realized I have no idea what this process is like. Do people just write to their publishers and ask for rights back? Are publishers likely to say yes for an older title? What should I know going into this conversation? Am feeling quite lost!

The first book we do will be my first book published, Torn Shapes of Desire (erotica), and that one is easy, because Dale Larson has already said he’s fine with me doing this. Dale, I think I’m not going to include Tracy Lee’s photos in the digital edition, just for simplicity’s sake. But there’s lots more after that.

I’m thinking about also compiling some of the work that appeared in Silence and the Word and the book I co-authored with Nnedi Okorafor when we were guests of honor at WisCon into a new collection.

Not quite sure what it should look like — there’s fiction, poetry, essays. I could do it as separate books by genre (which maybe is more what readers would want?), but am also sort of tempted to do a ‘best of’ kind of thing — a selected works from my first 25 years of publishing. Here are the pieces I really truly love. Or here are a set of pieces that speak interestingly to each other, perhaps. Hm.

Good lord. I’ve been writing and publishing for more than 25 years. I think I have to lie down now. Where is my fainting couch?

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