I have recently published a sci-fi novel, and I am planning on writing another novel set in the same universe. I plan to send it to a different publisher this time.

Is it legal that I have two stories with two different publishers both set in the same universe?

  • 10
    That would most likely depend on the contract with your existing publisher and what right's they have over your existing work and any potential follow-ups.
    – user18397
    Oct 24, 2017 at 5:26
  • Yes to Thomo (though I am not a professional) and I have seen series that switch publishers mid stream, IIRC.
    – SFWriter
    Jan 11, 2018 at 15:29
  • Is modern New York City a story universe? If it is, then I suppose so. Jan 11, 2018 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


As @Thomo said, the exact answer depends on an author's individual contract with their publisher. In general, however, fiction publishers do not acquire rights to an author's intellectual property.

That practice sometimes occurs in academic settings, though it's strongly discouraged by the Author's Guild:

“CAUTION: Do not allow the publisher to take your copyright or to publish the copyright notice in any name other than yours. Except in very unusual circumstances, this practice is not standard in the industry and harms your economic interests. No reputable publisher should demand that you allow it to do so.”

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.