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mlred
08-07-2016, 04:31 PM
Hello,
I am in the process of having my rights reverted due to breach of contract by the traditional publisher. Once I have the rights back, I am highly considering self-publishing via Amazon. The novel is currently available on Amazon and the publisher's site but once my rights re reverted, I assume that will no longer be the case.
Am I able to keep the same ISBN number? I want to keep my Amazon reviews because there are a lot of them and the majority are favorable. I also spent a lot of my own money marketing my book and don't want to have to go through that expense again. I would also like to know if I have to change the book cover. I love the one that my publisher created but I can change it if absolutely necessary.
So, my questions are:
Will I be able to keep the original ISBN?
Will my Amazon reviews transfer over?
Do I have to create a new book cover?

Thank you for you help.

Snowstorm
08-07-2016, 06:19 PM
Sorry to hear of your publisher troubles. (Perhaps write about it in Beware, Recommendations, & Backgrounds Check section so others can be forewarned) I had two trade-published novels, and when the publisher and I parted ways, I got my rights back.

The original ISBN belongs to the publisher, so you'll need a new ISBN. ETA: However Amazon does have free ISBNs. Though if you use theirs, it shows Amazon as the publisher (not sure if that's the correct term). Brain burp! Apologies for any confusion--See Zombie Fraggle's info in post #6.

I bought my own ISBNs as I put the books up on several self-publishg sites.

My reviews carried over to the new book, even with a new ISBN.

The publisher allowed me to purchase from the designer the original covers. I liked them, so I used them when I put them up on self-publishing sites. Perhaps if you ask to purchase them, you can reuse them. Or go with a new, fresh look and make your own or check out the book cover design thread in AW. I seem to recall there are some people who design books that you can hire them.

Good luck!

Old Hack
08-07-2016, 08:59 PM
Hello,
I am in the process of having my rights reverted due to breach of contract by the traditional publisher. Once I have the rights back, I am highly considering self-publishing via Amazon. The novel is currently available on Amazon and the publisher's site but once my rights re reverted, I assume that will no longer be the case.

It's "trade publishing", not "traditional".

The book won't be taken down from Amazon once your rights are reverted, but it should be removed from your publisher's site as soon as they no longer have the rights to it. Bear in mind they might have stock of the printed edition to sell even after your rights have reverted, depending on what your contract states.


Am I able to keep the same ISBN number?

No, ISBNs belong to the publishers which buy them. You'll need a new one.


I want to keep my Amazon reviews because there are a lot of them and the majority are favorable. I also spent a lot of my own money marketing my book and don't want to have to go through that expense again.

Your self-published book will simply be a new edition of the title, so the reviews should follow it to some extent--although often, reviews are specific to the edition. But different editions are linked on Amazon, so all is not lost.


I would also like to know if I have to change the book cover. I love the one that my publisher created but I can change it if absolutely necessary.

The publisher might be willing to sell you the design they created: but bear in mind there is more than one issue here. There's their version of the cover; there's the cover image, which they will probably have licensed to use in that jacket design; there's their sales copy associated with the book, which you'll also probably want to use. Make sure you have the rights to use all of these things before you use any of them. And make sure you have the rights to use them all commercially, and in all territories you'll be selling in.

However, a brand new edition might work better with a brand new jacket design. It'll give you more marketing opportunties.

Marissa D
08-07-2016, 09:30 PM
I'll be doing the same thing later this fall, and agree that even though you love your old cover, a new one offers new opportunities for promotion...just a thought.

cmhbob
08-07-2016, 09:47 PM
I just went through this as well with Booktrope.

Old Hack covered most of the issues.

Here's what I did:

The day Booktrope shut down, all Booktrope books became temporarily unavailable until new editions were uploaded. For some people, it was a matter of hours. For others, it was days. I took my time, which didn't help my ratings any, but I wanted to sit back and watch for what everyone else was dealing with.
I bought a block of ISBN because I'm planning on a bunch of books in the future, with multiple editions (audio, digital, and paper). You don't have to have an ISBN for a digital book, but I've read several compelling reasons to do it.
I kept my cover, which was fairly easy given the way BT worked. I made arrangements with my Booktrope cover artist to fix the cover (removing old logos, etc) for a flat rate. (Booktrope worked on a percentage return to the creative team.)
You should receive a letter reverting your rights. Be prepared to have to show that to Amazon when you re-publish your book. It was hit-and-miss with the former BT authors.
Also be prepared to have to talk to Amazon to get the reviews re-connected. Again, that was hit-and-miss with the former BT authors. Both with rights and reviews, I had no problems at all. One or two had their accounts temporarily locked because they missed Amazon's deadline for getting the rights letter sent.

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Zombie Fraggle
08-07-2016, 10:48 PM
However Amazon does have free ISBNs. Though if you use theirs, it shows Amazon as the publisher (not sure if that's the correct term).

This is incorrect for digital books.

1. Amazon KDP does not issue ISBNs, free or otherwise.
2. Amazon assigns an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) that serves the same function as an ISBN for books, but only on the Amazon system.
3. You are free to put whatever you want in the publisher field when you enter your book into the KDP system. Even if you do not enter a publisher name (or author name) in the publisher field, the book will not be listed with Amazon as the publisher. In either case, it will say "Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC," not "published by" Amazon.

For POD books, Createspace is the Amazon affiliate. You can use a free ISBN there, which will cause your print book to be listed as "Published by: Createspace." For USD $10, you can purchase an ISBN for your print book which will list you (or your publishing company's name) as the publisher. You will also receive an account with Bowker's (the ISBN people) via myidentifiers.com with your paid ISBN, which allows you to enter detailed metadata for your title/titles.

Old Hack
08-08-2016, 10:34 AM
I kept my cover, which was fairly easy given the way BT worked. I made arrangements with my Booktrope cover artist to fix the cover (removing old logos, etc) for a flat rate. (Booktrope worked on a percentage return to the creative team.)


Just be careful with this. You might have permission from the cover artist to use their work, but that's not always enough.

If the cover artist worked for Booktrope, it is possible to likely that Booktrope owned the rights to that work, not the cover artist who produced it.

There are several layers to most cover art: the original image, any image-processing work which is done to it, writing the text to go with it, and putting the text on top of the cover image. All these layers require permissions from the copyright holders. You can't assume the cover artist can give you those permissions.

cmhbob
08-08-2016, 06:59 PM
Booktrope worked differently from most traditional publishers. We had a creative team agreement for each book that covered rights and finances.

The cover artist bought the image. I also bought the image, just to cover myself. I owned the copyright on the text, because I wrote it all.

mlred
08-09-2016, 06:37 PM
Thank you everyone for your input and advice. The publisher already has enough bad reviews on this site, so I don't need to be another voice in the chorus. They are not too friendly or accommodating to the authors that want their rights reverted so I highly doubt they will grant permission to use the cover design.
Lesson learned, I guess.
Thanks again to everyone.