Sunday, August 5, 2007

Writer's Rights, Defined

So, you've finally hooked an editor. Superb! You're going to see your name in print. Excellent!

Here's what you need to know about selling not only your work, but more importantly, the rights to your work.

First North American Serial Rights
Magazines typically purchase these rights, which allow them to be the first to print your piece in North America.

Exclusive Rights
The publisher asks for exclusive rights to your story for a limited period of time(anywhere from 90 days to 6 months). You can't offer the story for reprint until the period of time agreed to ends.

Electronic Rights
Publishers who purchase these rights can publish, distribute and/or store your article electronically via a website, e-zine or database.

All Rights
Publishers own your work outright, meaning you cannot sell the piece again, ever.

Work For Hire
The publisher owns the copyright on your work. In effect, they own what you wrote.

Reprint Rights - also known as Second Rights
The right to offer an article for sale once it has been printed somewhere else. Reprints are a good way to capitalize on a perennial topic.

If you don't know what rights the publisher is buying, ASK! And then, have them written into any contract before you sign on the dotted line.

1 comment:

April said...

Good post. I always find myself looking up these rights, you'd think I'd have them memorized by now. I suppose I just like to double check, instead of assuming and being mistaken later!