One Writer’s Journey

June 12, 2018

Copyright Terms and Payment

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 6:01 pm
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Copyright terminology can be confusing.  Fortunately, Brian Scott and has created an amazing graphic full of information.  I’ve run this graphic (see below) once before but it has been getting a lot of play on Pinterest lately.  I thought it might be a good idea to give you all a chance to refresh your memory.

In addition to copyright terminology, it is vitally important to understand when you will be paid.  Common options include payment on submission, acceptance and publication.  They seem pretty obvious.

Payment on submission = you get paid when you turn it in.

Payment on acceptance = is very close to the above but with the implications that someone has to okay your work.

Payment on publication = you get paid when the piece is published.

But I just learned to watch out for the second one and ask who has to accept it?  In the past, it has simply meant that when my editor said “this is good,” I got paid.  But recently I encountered a situation where the piece had to go through copy editing which means that I’ve been waiting 3 months for acceptance and I’m still waiting. Either no one else puts it through copy editor or they are a lot faster about it.

The moral of the story?  Ask who has to accept it.  Live and learn, people.  Live and learn.



May 19, 2015

Gertrude Ederle vs the English Channel: A Lesson in Holding on to Your Rights

Gertrude Ederle vs the English CIsn’t the cover gorgeous?  Admittedly, I am a little biased.  Gertrude Ederle versus the English Channel is my latest book, available as an ebook through Schoolwide. It is part of Zing!, their digital library.

Have you ever heard someone say “don’t sell all rights”?  This is a book that shows the beauty of that advice.

Gertrude Ederle versus the English Channel is a piece of reader’s theater, a play to be read aloud in the classroom.  It was originally published in READ magazine way back in March, 2001.

When my Children’s Writer newsletter editor, Susan Tierney, moved to Schoolwide she put out a call for manuscripts.  I was in the middle of a project but Schoolwide was open to reprints.  Many of my pieces have been work-for-hire, but I had sold only North American serial rights to READ.  I scanned the published peice and sent it in.  I also sent her several pieces that had appeared in Young Equestrian magazine.  Four reprint submissions.  Four sales.

Whenever possible, hang on to your rights.

You don’t get the full effect with the cover but if you flip open the cover and peruse the pages, the design is gorgeous.  That watery art deco motife behind Ederle’s name?  It is found throughout the book which looks oh so art deco and amazingly jazzy. And I had to do very little work to make this sale and end up with this gorgeous book.

So whenever you can, hold on to your rights.  You never know when or where they might come in handy.



March 10, 2015

Work-for-hire vs royalty: Rights and How Writers Make their Money

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:35 am
Tags: , ,

royalty rights etcRecently, I met several new-to-me writers.  They’re both prepublished and asked me questions about how I am paid for various jobs.  There seem to be just as many terms for rights and payments types as there are publishers.  Here are the ones that I encounter most often.

Work-for-hire.  The writing that I do for Red Line and is work-for-hire.  That means that they own the copyright and I am paid a set amount.  No matter how much money these items earn the publisher, I’m done.  I won’t make any more.  This is the kind of writing that I consider short term income.  It pays the bills I have today.

All Rights.  See work-for-hire.  An all-rights sale means that you are signing over all rights to the publisher.  Again, you make one lump sum.

Royalty.  The work I do for Schoolwide is royalty based.  I will earn a percentage on sales of my work.  The more my work sells, the I make but I don’t make anything until it sells.  This is long-term income for tomorrow or the day after.

Royalty with Advance.  I haven’t been in this position . . . yet!  When you sell a book, you are sometimes paid an advance against royalties.  The publisher pays you $500 or whatever when you deliver the project.  When the work starts to sell, the publisher keeps track of how much you have earned in royalties.  You will get a check once this amount is greater than the advance.

One time rights.  This means that you give the publisher permission to use your work one time for one payment.  No royalties.  That was the deal I had with Young Equestrian.  You can sell this to publishers who take reprints.

First North American Serial Rights.  This is like one time rights, but you are telling the publisher that they are the first ones in North America to publish this work.

Reprints.  These are pieces that have been published elsewhere but were not an all rights sale.  My pieces with Schoolwide were all one time or first rights sales.  Schoolwide is reprinting them as e-books.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but I hope it gives you some understanding of the terms you will see in various publisher’s guidelines.



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