Disclaimer: For the purposes of this, you can assume that I am, if not actually an idiot, then at the least a person who tends to do everything wrong, and go from there.

I published 4 mass-market paperbacks via Ballantine/Fawcett. The last one was published 10 years ago.

In my contract, Ballantine specifically retained electronic publishing rights, which were more of a buzzword back then than an actual Thing. Now they are a Thing, and reading over my contracts it looks like Ballantine has a perfect right to exploit this, but so far, it hasn't happened.

It looks to me like, for me to do it myself, I need to make sure I have my rights back. The contract says something like, if two years following publication the book is out of print, I can write to them and demand they either print a new edition or get my rights back--ALL my rights. This seems pretty straightforward. I write them, they have to reply within 90 days saying yes or no. They can hand the rights back right then, or they can say they'll do a new edition. If they say they'll do a new edition and they don't within 6 months, the rights revert to me.

Now at the time of this contract I had an agent, and it looks like as long as the contract is in force--i.e., until I get the rights back--or maybe even after--this is my agent. It does not name her by name, but by agency. Since then, she's changed agencies, that is, at the time she worked for one agency, now she has her own.

So this is probably a question I should put to her, which I would, except for the following: Around 2005 I sent her a proposal for two new works. She wasn't wild about either proposal but said, "Oh, well, go ahead and write the one you like best, send me fifty pages, I'm not wild about the idea but I've always loved everything you wrote so maybe I'll like the pages." And I never sent them. I don't know, I guess I needed unmitigated enthusiasm, or something. (I did, however, write them.)

In fact, actually, I never contacted my agent again, although I continued to get royalty statements, etc. Then I moved, and I never updated my address with her, so I ceased getting royalty statements.

This is why I'm afraid to approach her. I don't know whether to just write the publisher and send a cc to the original agency, cc my agent at her new agency, cc everybody, don't cc anyone at all, or just forget the whole thing. Or I could put the electronic version up on Kindle via Amazon and just assume that since these books are all pretty thoroughly out of print, I'm okay (see first paragraph of this).

Anyway, you can probably see why I don't want to contact my agent and have her do this thing. She's busy, it won't net her any more money, etc. She was a great agent, on the offhand chance that I can one day write something else I would like for her to sell it, so I really don't want to annoy her--but meanwhile I would really like to get these things published in ebook form, but I'm stuck. Ideally I would change my name, move to another country and start over, but that's not likely.

Any recommendations? Reasonable ones, that is.