Selling book rights direct (ghostwriting variant)

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David Y

Sep 24, 2019
South London
I'm preparing to sell the print and/or electronic rights of one of my novels to a targeted community - the sorts of people who might conceivably have written it themselves and have the marketing clout I lack. A bit like ghostwriting, but the book's already written in this case.

This way I might be able to achieve two out of three - my book being read and making some money. Just no fame. (I've got 0/3 trying trad routes and self-publishing.)

At it's basic level it's no different from eBay: I have something to sell that someone might want (to sell on). I know there will be technical/contract issues. If I get worthwhile interest, I guess agents will be approachable to handle them then.

Just wondered if anyone's heard of this and what you think of the idea?
Never heard of it. I'd be very careful, contract-wise, with what they can do with it and distribution of earnings. How much do you know about this targeted community? What else have they done? Have you talked to another author who has done the same thing and can give you feedback on their experience with this particular target? How does this community have more marketing clout than you could muster, and why couldn't they just market your book for you? Sounds fishy to me. There is a scam going around which takes unpublished manuscripts for no obvious reason. They do nothing with them, it seems. They just vanish. But if you've sold them the print rights, you probably won't be able to do rights reversal and you will never be able to print your book yourself.

Agents don't just work with a book. They work with an author's career. I don't know that this would attract an agent any more than you approaching directly with your book.

My sixth sense says don't do it.
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