After getting the rights reverted on my debut series, I'm republishing the series under a pen name in 2021.
Recently I had the rights reverted back to me on a young adult paranormal series, which has been previously traditionally published. Then I had the choice whether to leave those documents to forever collect metaphorical dust on my computer or to republish them. I wanted to talk about my reasons for republishing the series indie-style and why I'm doing it under a pen name. If this is your first time here, hi, my name is Katlyn Duncan. I am a traditionally published author and soon to be hybrid author. I post videos here on YouTube on Mondays talking about the writing process and all the bookish things. So be sure to subscribe to my channel if that at all interests you and ring that little notification bell so you know the next time I upload. When I was faced with the idea of republishing these books, I really found it hard to find any information online about authors who have done this before.
I know authors in real life who have had their rights reverted back to them. So I approached them directly. I asked them about the intricacies of the process, and I was very surprised to hear that all of them had wildly different ways of republishing. Some kept the books and did nothing with them. Others just took the files from their publisher and put them on a book retailer website. While a few lightly edited prior to republishing. I felt a little out of place at this point because I really, really love this series, but I knew if I was going to republish them, I had to deep dive into edits and everything that goes along with it prior to republishing. Another bit of information that I looked for with these authors was the act of making this decision and moving forward with that decision. And wondering if it would be worth it in the end. These books have already been through the editing process,
so why would I do it all over again on my own dime this time? So I thought long and hard, and here are my reasons: these books were published more than seven years ago. And I have changed a lot as a writer when it comes to my process and my craft. And they were also my first books. And if you have been writing for any amount of time, you know that your very first projects are usually not your best. And for me to put them forward again, after so many years of publishing just seemed a little bit of an amateur move. Through those seven years, I have been developing when it comes to receiving and using feedback from editors and also critique partners or beta readers. Even though the first book got some pretty nice reviews as a debut for me, I knew if I was going to republish them, I had to bring them to where I am today.
With that decision loosely defined, I needed to outline what I had to do to make that happen. I had to reread the entire series to see if any of it was salvageable. I had to create an editing plan for the series. I had to put aside money to pay for edits. Also new covers because most of the time when you have your books reverted back to you, you don't get to keep the cover files. I have not found any authors who have kept them and also based the previous covers, especially for my series, I don't feel like they would fit into this market now. And then I had to make some time to research on how to self publish. So that's a lot to consider. So I took another step back and I thought about my career as a whole and where I wanted to be.
I do want to continue with traditional publishing and I am moving toward that with an adult thriller that I am currently querying, but the trad industry moves so much slower than I want. And during this unstable time in traditional publishing, I've been thinking a lot when it comes to those books as well, but that's a discussion for another day. Previously, I am published with a digital first imprint of HarperCollins. And the one thing that I love about digital first publishing is that everything moves a lot faster. If I wanted to, I could release three to four books a year because the process is a lot faster. And I am sort of used to that idea of publishing quicker than 18 months to two years from now. With indie publishing, I can put out as many books as I want a year. I probably wouldn't do three to four, but I'm still used to the one to two books a year when I'm really on a roll.
And also I really still love this young adult paranormal universe that I have created for this series. And I do have another book that is coming up for reversion soon that I still want to explore. That was supposed to be a series, but my publisher did not want to go further with them. So after thinking about it a lot, I chose to do the work and move more into hybrid publishing, which means some of my books will be traditionally published and some of them will be indie published. The self-publishing space nowadays is filled with so many talented authors that I am happy to be moving into that space with this series. Also, as I said, it's been more than seven years since I published this series. And I'm so excited to breathe new life into it and find another set of readers. So why a pen name? In the classic example of doing what you're not supposed to do when it comes to publishing is writing a lot of genres under one name.
And at the time when I moved from publishing paranormal novels to contemporary and then eventually women's fiction, having them all under one name really just didn't help me find the readers that I was looking for. We all make mistakes early on, and this one was one that always bothered me and I'm happy to be getting into this space where I start to separate out my books into different pen names so that they are able to find the readers that enjoy those types of books. So by using a pen name for these books, I'm going to brand that specific author name with my self-publishing young adult paranormal series. This will help readers find me, as I said. And also it will appease the algorithms on the book retailer websites, to be able to show my book to readers who want to buy it. When it came to choosing a pen name, I still wanted to have some recognition with my author brands.
So that readers who do cross genres are still able to find my other books. I have received emails from readers who do enjoy my women's fiction books, and also are excited to read my young adult books. So my women's fiction novels are doing pretty well. So because they are doing well and are not up for reversion, I am going to keep them under the Katlyn Duncan author name. And in terms of making that connection between the two author names, I decided to keep my last name, the same in both of these author brands. And then I tried to do some variations on my first name to see if there were any authors on Goodreads and Amazon and any other book retailers that had that name. So I tried just different variations. All in all, after my research, I ended up on settling on Katy Duncan.
I thought the first name sounded a little more young and fun and sort of branded toward the type of books that I am putting under this pen name, while not veering too far from my original author name. Having that new pen name in mind, I had to also think about the continuation of separating my two author brands. Later this year, I am a rebranding my website to show a delineation between the two author names and creating a young adult newsletter specifically for readers of my young adult series. And hopefully in that newsletter, I'm able to cultivate true fans of the series and then eventually be able to access them for early reviews, arc reviews, or possible beta readers. It's been a slow process of putting this all together, but I feel so good about this moving forward. I am excited to chat with you more about this process.
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Author. Dreamer. Storyteller.