HOW TO GET YOUR RIGHTS REVERTED
You cannot assume that your work is out of print and those rights have reverted to you just because you haven’t received any money in your semi-annual royalty statement for a number of years. You must have a formal acknowledgement from the publisher that the book is actually out of print, and the rights they had previously licensed have reverted back to you, before you can go out and try to sell the work again to some other publishing house.
Most of the times having rights reverted is a simple matter of following the instructions in the contract, waiting for the appropriate benchmarks to pass, and sending a written request to the publisher for reversion of rights. Oftentimes you will have to wait for 30 or 90 days or longer and then you get a reciprocal letter saying your rights have been reverted. That means you are free to publish the book yourself or sell it to another publisher.
The point is: the out-of-print clause is a part of every legitimate publishing contract. To get your rights back, just follow the instructions in this clause and if the benchmarks of minimum sales numbers or dollar sales figures have been met, there is a solid chance you will get your rights reverted.
If you have questions about this process, feel free to email your out-of-print clause to Laurie@AgentSavant.com and Laurie will tell you what you need to do to start the ball rolling to secure the rights to your book(s).