Historical Post by Gail Gaymer Martin
Reversion of Rights: From Old to New
It’s spring in our new homeland of Sedona Arizona and flowers are everywhere. I had no idea our landscape had so many amazing colors and so many beautiful birds. In Michigan where I lived all my life until our recent move, I knew the flowers and birds in that part of the country. But here in Sedona, I’m seeing orioles, hummingbirds (by the droves) and even the Western Bluebird that is so beautiful.
You can probably see that I am happy. I am, but that’s not the only reason. After contacting my two major publishers, I have been able to request and receive reversions on the rights of some of my books which means, they now belong to me rather than the publisher. Since I have been active writing for a small press, I also have the opportunity to rework my older novels and bring them back for a whole new audience.
One thing we learn as novelists and readers, is that writing grows and changes with experience and practice. I have studied writing for years, grasping new concepts, honing my craft, and trying to be the best writer I can be for the Lord who gave me the talent. It has been an adventure, and when I look now at my early writings, sometimes I cringe because I see ways in which I could have said something so much better.
Now with the reversion of rights, I can improve on that writing and make changes that will bring the books closer to the abilities I have as the author of 76 published novels or novellas. I will never be sorry for my earlier books. The stories are often some of my favorites, but now I am able to make them even better with changes.
For novelists who have the opportunity of having your older novels revert back to you, do yourself a favor and study them to see how you can improve them. So far I have often used the same title with a new cover, but I usually refer to those books as reissue so readers will recognize of they have already read them. Almost 20 years have passed and new readers spring up every day.
In a future post, I will share with you some of the changes that I have made with the older books and the new techniques I have learned.