Where Have All the Dragons Gone?

This is a bit of a strange post, but it illustrates one of the big changes happening in publishing right now. A number of you have emailed me or left messages here on the blog or on my Facebook pages, asking why you can’t buy some of the Dragonfire or Dragon Diaries books. Most of you have thought there was something wrong at the portal or the publisher, but that’s not what’s going on.

When an author sells a book to a publisher, it’s for a finite measure of time. It’s not forever. Each publishing contract includes at clause that defines when and how the rights to publish the book return to the author. This is called Reversion of Rights. The trigger can be a number of different things – in the case of these contracts, when the number of units sold of a specific title drop below a defined quantity over a certain period of time (in this case, over a year) that title is available for reversion. Once that happens, the author or his/her agent asks for the rights to revert and the publisher has a number of months in which to reply. They might choose to promote the titles and give them new life so they sell  more units again, or they might choose to let them revert to the author.

Flashfire, #7 in the Dragonfire series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeRight now, Penguin’s rights to the Dragon Diaries, to Harmonia’s Kiss and to two Dragonfire books, Ember’s Kiss and Flashfire, have reverted to me. I’ve made Harmonia’s Kiss available in a new digital edition. The publisher has the right to continue to sell their existing print copies of these books – but not to print more – and they can’t sell the digital editions. That’s why these books have disappeared from online portals, at least in the digital format. You still might find print copies, either at online portals or at bricks-and-mortar bookstores.

Flying Blind, first of the paranormal young adult Dragon Diaries trilogy by Deborah Cooke, UK editionThere’s a bit of a wrinkle with the Dragon Diaries, as Penguin sold UK Commonwealth rights to Allison & Busby for Flying Blind and Winging It. You might find the A&B editions of either of those books – in both print and digital – available for sale in your territory. A&B never did acquire the rights to Blazing the Trail, so they don’t have an edition of the third book in the trilogy. (Nope. I can’t explain that.)

Firestorm Forever, A Dragonfire Novel and paranormal romance by Deborah CookeI will make new editions of the Dragonfire books available once the rights to the remaining six books revert to me. I’ve no idea how long that will take – in a real sense, that’s up to all of you. The fewer copies that sell, the faster the rights to the books can revert to me. When I do republish the series in print and digital, the print editions will very likely be in the same trade paperback format as the final three Dragonfire books, The Dragon Legion Collection, Serpent’s Kiss and Firestorm Forever. I’ll also produce the entire series in audio.Harmonia's Kiss by Deborah Cooke, a Dragonfire story

This is why the publication dates for both the Dragonfire Companion and Hot Blooded, book #1 of DragonFate, have been delayed. I won’t be publishing any new books about the Pyr until I have all those rights back. I’m still working on all of those upcoming titles, so we can have a real dragon celebration once I have the rights to Dragonfire again.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Where Have All the Dragons Gone?

  1. Totally understands this as much like my author’s getting back their rights to early works published before I ever started working as an editor with them on later books. They were happy then, so they could go and update and revise them, even to making up cohesive sets or series that now will make more sense and be more blended with each other too. Great time for new covers as well. So I am betting you are also glad to get the rights back and revise them according to what you just noted to us.

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  2. Am I understanding the sentence “I’ll also produce the entire series in audio.”. I texted back and forth with you about making them available in Downloadable Audiobooks. Can I expect to be able to purchase at some point the entire collection of both Dragon series in E-audiobook format?

    If so, be sure that I will be one of your first customers.

    Sincerely a fan,
    Shelley

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    • Yes, Shelley – and you’re part of the reason for that decision! I just have to have all the rights back in order to have the audiobooks recorded. As we discussed, the audio needs to start at the beginning. It won’t happen today or tomorrow, but that’s the ultimate plan. 🙂 Thanks for sharing all your thoughts about audio earlier!

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