One Writer’s Journey

August 4, 2014

Reprints: One Way to Increase Your Income

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:59 am
Tags: ,

reprints2If you make your living as a writer, you have to get a certain amount of work out there to actually make this possible.  It isn’t just word count that matters but also earning potential.  A 500 word all-rights piece for $250.00 may bring in a fair amount right this minute but ultimate earn less than a limited rights sale on a piece that you can sell to multiple markets.

There are two things that you have to do to make this possible:

  • You have to retain some of the rights.  If you sell all rights, the publisher has all rights to the piece.  You can’t use it again.  They, on the other hand, can publish is multiple times without paying you any more after that first check.  Note:  Highlights buys all rights but compensates the author if the piece is used more than once.  To sell a piece as a reprint, you have to have retained rights to it.  If your original contract was for first (North American) serial rights, one-time rights, non-exclusive rights, or rights reverting to the author, you’re good to go.
  • You have to find subsequent markets.  Although this isn’t the norm, some pieces are so highly specialized that you can’t expect to find numerous additional sales.  Even if a piece is general enough to appeal to multiple markets, you have to find markets that accept reprints.  Depending on your original contract, you may also have to limit yourself to noncompeting markets.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot because one of my editors is now at Schoolwide.  So far, she has signed four reprints and asked me to rewrite a previously unsold piece of reader’s theater.  Although you may have to do some work before you submit a reprint, it is much less work than writing a new piece.

Definitely something to keep in mind as you try to pay the bills on your writing income.

For more about what I learned while submitting reprints, check out my post today on the Muffin.




  1. Reblogged this on Ruth Williams' Blog and commented:
    Great writing advice from my writing partner, Sue Bradford Edwards’ blog, “One Writer’s Journey.” If you’re serious about earning a living as a writer (and graduating from calling yourself “aspiring writer”), her blog is a great place to learn the ropes.

    Comment by rhcwilliams — August 4, 2014 @ 3:26 am | Reply

    • Ruth,
      Thank you for your kind words! So many writers seem determined not to maximize their income, and I know I could frequently say this about myself. Am trying to work smarter!

      Comment by SueBE — August 4, 2014 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

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