Last week I FINALLY got the copyright papers for Dead in Red. Just a mere TWO YEARS after I filed them. I'd kind of lost track of time and a few months back realized I'd never received them.
If you're a published author with a New York house, you're probably saying, "What copyright papers?" Most large publishers register their author's books for them. That doesn't always happen with a small press. (Or in my case a LARGE press with a small imprint.) So I dutifully filed them back in 2008. Except I sent them an ARC of the book instead of the REAL book. They sat on the request for a long time -- until I nudged them, then decided the ARC wasn't good enough and asked me to send 2 copies of the real book.
By this time, the book was nearly out of print. It's now officially out of print.
Well, not officially. I was told back in March that if I didn't buy up all the copies, they'd be pulped. So I did (and can now sell them at considerably less than the publisher. In fact, $15 less than the publisher--postage included (for media mail)! (If you're interested click here and scroll down the page.) But I'm not sure of the REAL out-of-print date, and that's where things get sticky.
You see, I have to wait 18 months until AFTER the book goes out of print before the rights revert to me and then I can do with them what I please. Resell them, reprint the book--or just upload it to Kindle. (I've had a LOT of requests to upload it to Kindle and Nook.)
I don't own the cover art. But I do now own the cover stock photo (the red shoe) in anticipation of making my own cover similar to the one my publisher used.
I'm looking forward to the day when Dead In Red will be available to a MUCH LARGER audience. Until then . . . I just have to wait. And so do my readers.