View Full Version : Rights to Out-of-Print Novel, Author Deceased

11-05-2004, 07:13 AM
Please help if you have any inkling where I can go from here. I've got a book I would love to secure the film rights to, but it is out of print, and the author has been dead for more than 10 years. So what is my best avenue towards finding who controls the rights to it? Who do rights revert to upon an author's death, if anyone? The publisher, the family? All my research has come up empty. Thanks.

night fugue
11-05-2004, 08:44 AM
Contact the subsidiary rights department of the publisher. Even though the book is out of print, they should be able to provide you with the information you need.

JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
11-05-2004, 02:49 PM
Night fugue is correct. Let me add that if the publisher has no info on him (which sometimes happens when a book goes out of print and the author dies), contact the Authors Guild, 31 East 28th Street, New York, NY 10016, Tel. 212.563.5904, email at staff@authorsguild.org.

If he was a member of the Guild they'll have archived info.

11-05-2004, 03:43 PM
Many thx to both of you.

11-06-2004, 05:58 PM
For what it's worth -

A book scout friend also recommended checking on the Acknowledgements page (if there is one) and seeing if the author named his rep anywhere (according to her, it's a very common practice). Should everything else turn out to be a dead end, the rep can often give you information.

Just tossing that out there.

JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
11-06-2004, 05:59 PM
Excellent idea. You can check names against the index of the LMP (Literary Market Place), in the reference section of your library. It's like a gigantic HCD for the publishing and journalism business, updated, I believe annually, and containing the name of every agent and editor in the biz.

Or you can throw out the names here. I know lots of literary agents (and the names of pretty much most of them), and can tell you if any of the names are actually those of agents. Or I can try, anyway.:)