Here are all of your most Frequently Asked Questions about Lyra’s Books, our Imprints, the Rights system and everything else as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to all the questions we have had put to us thus far, and a few that we’ve dreamt up ourselves. We will add more questions as they are asked and answered, so check back now and then to stay up to date with the latest situation. There is always the chance that you have a query which you don’t find answered here. If that is the case then head to the Contact page and get in touch with us directly. 


About the two Lyra's Books Imprints
Lyra’s Classics is a separate imprint from Lyra’s Press, both of which are owned by Rich Tong and come under the umbrella of Lyra’s Books. Lyra’s Classics will focus on fine press editions of public domain books. We will be bringing in new illustrators for a fresh approach to classic titles and, in the long term, creating a series of books which will complement each other on the shelf. These books will be uniform in size. Lyra’s Press will focus on publishing more modern titles. The emphasis will be on more heavily illustrated art books, author signatures (where we can get them) and more modern and unique bindings. Dimensions of the books, designs and materials may differ from title to title.

Due to many of the books having rights attached to them, we wanted to create a separate branch of titles. We are aware that not everybody wants to follow a contemporary book like Stardust with a classic literature book like, for example, Pride and Prejudice. These are two very different titles. We don’t want customers to feel any kind of pressure to buy a book that is far outside of their normal area of collecting just to retain rights. These two branches of publishing also allow us to create two very different types of books for, possibly, two very different types of customers. There will be those who want a uniform set of handsome bindings, just as there will be those who love the idea of varying modern designs. You will have the freedom to choose between either imprint (or have both!). Another reason for creating this imprint is that dealing with and gaining reprint rights from publishers is a long and laborious task. Having a public domain imprint running at the same time will allow us to publish titles more consistently.

Lyra’s Classics will publish only Numbered and Lettered editions; there will be no Standard edition. There will be approximately 250-300 Numbered editions, and 26 Lettered editions. The quantity of the Numbered edition may vary from title to title. There will always be 26 of the Lettered edition.

The numbers and editions of Lyra’s Press will vary. There will always be 26 of the Lettered edition and a minimum of 175 of the Numbered edition. There may not always be a Standard edition as this will depend on the title. The next title in 2022 will consist of 26 Lettered, 200 Numbered and 500 Standard editions.

At the moment it is hard to say. Once we achieve some momentum with commissioning illustrators for future titles we would hope to release at least one a year, perhaps two, of the Classics. Perhaps one a year, if we can, of the Lyra’s Press.


What they Mean, and Which Books Have Them

Owning the rights to a Numbered/Lettered book allows a collector to have a window of time to pre-order the next published book with that matching Number/Letter before the public pre-order. This allows collectors to maintain a collection of books all with the same matching limitations, provided they continue to purchase newly published books.

Lettered Edition – These copies will all have rights attached to them. These 26 books will be offered first to the owners of the Stardust Lettered books. From then on, all owners of the first Lyra’s Classics Lettered edition will have rights to the Lettered edition of the next Lyra’s Classics book.

Numbered Editions – Copies 1-150 of the Numbered editions will have matching rights associated with them. This allows a quantity to be available to the general public while at the same time allowing long-term customers the ability to have matching sets in their collections. Since some copies will always be available via public sale, this approach allows all customers an equal chance at purchasing future publications without feeling the need to buy every single book. For the first title, the first 100 copies will be offered to the owners of the Stardust ‘Leather’ edition.

Lettered Edition – These copies will all have rights attached to them. The owners of Stardust will be offered the Lettered edition of the next title first.

Numbered Editions – Copies 1-125 of the Numbered edition (formerly ‘Leather’ edition) will have matching rights associated with them. This is an increase of 25 copies from Stardust. There will be a minimum of 175 copies in total for future Numbered editions, although it is more likely to be 200-250.

No. There will be no rights for this edition as there may not always be a Standard edition. Making an edition of 500 books or more, on top of the Numbered and Lettered editions, is a gargantuan undertaking for our bindery. It is not something we will be able to cope with for every release. The inclusion of this edition will also depend on the title and whether we are able to acquire reprint rights from the publisher for this many copies.

Yes, the two imprints will have separately maintained rights tracks after the launch of the first Lyra’s Classics book. Owners of Stardust will have rights to the first Lyra’s Classics book, but if they pass up that opportunity, they will still have rights to the next Lyra’s Press book to be published in 2022.

No, the Lyra’s Classics imprint and the Lyra’s Press imprint each have their own respective rights tracks. Owning a copy of the most recent Lyra’s Classics book with rights (The Picture of Dorian Gray) does not give you rights to the next Lyra’s Press book. Only those who own the first Lyra’s Press book (Stardust) have rights to the next Lyra’s Press book. This applies to both the Numbered and the Lettered edition.

The 100 owners of the Leather version of Stardust will have rights to purchase the respective matching number of the first Lyra’s Classics Numbered book. Those who purchase the first book will thereby acquire rights to the second book.

Purchasers of copies numbered 101-150 inclusive of the first Lyra’s Classics book will have rights to the second Lyra’s Classics Numbered book as well. Copies 151 and over of the Numbered edition will always go to a public sale.

Any Lyra’s Classics Numbered books that go unclaimed by rights-holders of Stardust, and any new Lyra’s Classics books that have rights attached to them (copies 101-150 of the Numbered) will be randomly allocated among the pool of pre-orders received within the first 24 hours.

The 26 owners of the Lettered Stardust will have rights to the 26 copies of the Lettered Lyra’s Classics title. Any Lettered books that go unclaimed by rights-holders of Stardust will be available for purchase via lottery.

Click here to see a flowchart overview of the matching rights system as it applies on the publication of the first Lyra’s Classics book.

No. Both the rights and non-rights copies of the Numbered edition will be the same price because they are exactly the same book and rights are simply an extra, optional feature. Both are numbered, signed, use the same materials and have gone through the same design, printing and binding process. The limitation for Dorian Gray has been increased by 150 copies and 50 of these will be allocated as rights copies. These additional 50 copies, and those that become free from the initial 100, will be allocated randomly to those who order within the first 24 hours giving everyone an equal chance to acquire rights. It is worth adding here that I will contact all those who are given a number with rights. If you do not wish to own a copy with rights, simply send me an email after ordering and I will take note.

Copies of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’  that come with rights attached will be randomly allocated among the pool of orders received within the first 24 hours of the pre-order. If there are still rights copies available after this 24 hour period, remaining rights copies will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Rights copies are those numbered between 1-150. Copies numbered 150+ will not have rights attached to them.

No, rights cannot be transferred. A rights-holder will have rights to the next published book even if they sell the most recent Numbered/Lettered book that has rights attached to it.

If a rights holder decides they no longer wish to purchase the next Numbered/Lettered book they have rights to, that Numbered or Lettered book with rights will become available for public sale.

This rule applies to both Lyra’s Classics and Lyra’s Press titles.

This rule applies as of now. Any private sales up to this point of either edition that included rights will be honoured. We will need both parties to confirm this rights transfer via email.

For a couple of reasons. Firstly, I want there always to be copies available for public sale so that everyone gets an opportunity to purchase the books. Locking every Numbered copy into having rights could exclude new and occasional customers. I also do not want to foster an unhealthy environment where people feel like they have to buy books they do not want. This way, they have the option to dip in and out whenever they like. At the same time, I appreciate that some people do want rights as it allows them less stress with ordering future titles. Hopefully, this way, we cater for as many people as possible and can keep the audience as broad as we can. Secondly, not having all copies tied into rights gives me, the publisher, the flexibility to vary the limitations from title to title – some titles will warrant slightly lower limitations, while for others it will need to be higher.

I am very sorry that some people missed out on Stardust. By adding a further 150 copies to the limitation of the Numbered edition (50 of which will carry rights) I hope that this gives people another chance. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the Lettered limitation, this edition will only be available via lottery if and when copies become available.


Questions Raised by the Sale of Stardust

If someone who owns a Stardust Numbered (formerly Leather) or Lettered edition chooses not to buy the first matching Numbered or Lettered Lyra’s Classics book respectively, that limitation and it’s associated rights will be allocated to someone else during public ordering. The owner of Stardust will still have rights to the next Lyra’s Press title regardless as this is the first title of the Press line. See the ‘Rights’ section above for how Lettered and Numbered books with rights can be obtained.

No. The rights to Lyra’s Classics were passed on to the new owner of Stardust. But do not despair, copies of the Numbered edition of Lyra’s Classics will be available for public ordering and there may be copies of the Lettered available via lottery.


Other Questions Related to Orders

Customers will initially be able to purchase only one copy of each edition. This limit will be in place for the first 24 hours of the pre-order, after which all limits will be removed.

Shortly after the sales of books have started, customers will be allocated a number/letter. Those who have been assigned a number/letter with rights will be notified by email. At this point, if you do not wish to have a number that carries rights then let me know and I will assign you a higher number. The rights copy will then be offered to someone else.

If you request it we will endeavour to match numbers to the best of our abilities, although this may not always be possible.