I’ve seen a lot of authors talk about how they self-published their novel digitally, then sold their print rights to a publisher while retaining the rights to the digital version. However, virtually all of the query advice I’ve read says don’t bother querying an agent if you’ve already self-published, and I haven’t yet found an agent that will accept a query for the same.
So, I’m curious: What’s the best way to go about selling print-only rights to a self-published novel if most agents auto-reject this kind of query?
Make sure you open emails from editors at publishing companies.
Whereas most agents won't sign something that is a print rights only project, editors at publishing companies might have some sort of special circumstance that would allow them to acquire print only. They'll go looking for it.
You have your email address on your website, right? It's easy to get in touch, right?
And one thing to REALLY be careful of here: anecdotes and stories from self-pubbed writers that are too old to apply to the current state of the market.
I know of several editors who did interesting kinds of deals with previously self-pubbed writers and are now looking at the resultant sales figures. Most of those are Not Good, which means deals that happened one or two years ago are not being done now.