September 17th 2009 18:04
Reprints: A Great Way to Increase Your Writing Income
Writers are continually looking for new ways to maximize their influence, exposure, and income—or at least they should be! One great way to do this is by selling reprints of your already-published works. This is a relatively quick, easy way to leverage the time, energy, and effort you've expended in creating these works—turning them into even greater profits—and is one secret to ensuring an ongoing income stream for your writing business.
Normally, reprints will not command top dollar—though in isolated cases, they do pay well. Without question, you will need to generate a steady stream of new writing to keep your business thriving and your profits high; yet, the smartest, most savvy freelancers recognize and use every technique they can for building maximum profit. Reselling your work can fit nicely into your comprehensive publishing plan.
While many markets seek only "original works"—a misnomer, really, because all non-plagiarized works are original (what they actually mean is previously unpublished works)—many other markets are quite amenable to considering reprints. Some publishers have limitations, however; and many pay less for reprints than they do for previously unpublished pieces. All want to know where published works have appeared before.
A Few Reprint Facts to Keep in Mind
Before offering your work for republication, check to be sure that the market to which you originally sold the work doesn't have a policy (to which you agreed at the time of sale) that prevents publication elsewhere. Some publishers require notification of your intent to publish reprints, and many reserve the right to decide whether or not to grant you permission to do so. This is always true in cases where the publisher has purchased all rights. (However, most publications seem to be fairly reasonable in administering these policies.)
You should be aware, that even those markets which return publication rights to the author after running the piece often expect the courtesy of a notice of your intent to republish. Some return publication rights to an author with certain limitations, such as allowing the author to publish the work or excerpts from the work on his/her own website but not elsewhere. So, before offering reprint rights to your piece, double-check the policy of the original market to be sure you're on steady legal and ethical ground. And, while you're at it, read the current publisher's submission guidelines carefully (which you should be doing anyway for many reasons) to be sure you understand its reprint policy, relating to both past and future publication of the work in question.
In addition to accepting reprints, some markets also allow simultaneous submissions, which should make it that much easier to resell your work—though such companies generally require notification if the piece should be accepted elsewhere. Remember: simultaneous submission and simultaneous publication are not synonymous.
Some publications are only open to submissions during certain time periods, so be sure to check their guidelines for any time limitations before submitting your work. Otherwise, it will go unread and all your time and effort will be wasted.
Also, be sure to follow the formatting requirements of the publication to which you are currently submitting—even if your piece has been published elsewhere in its present format. Unfortunately, that fact alone is no reason to assume that the market you've chosen this time will look favorably on the previous format—particularly if its guidelines say otherwise.
By following the above guidelines, you can leverage your past work into welcome new earnings with minimal time and effort. And which of us couldn't use a little extra money right now—without having to create an entirely new article to get it!
To your reprint success!