Selling reprints of your articles and stories can double, triple, even quadruple your freelance income. By following the three rules of reprints shown below, you can begin earning multiple paychecks for every piece you write.
Rule One: Make sure you have the right
You MUST own reprint rights before you can sell them. If you have agreed to an all rights agreement or a work for hire agreement, you have given up your right to the work. You can not sell something that you no longer own. Be very careful when signing publisher contracts; read the fine print. Some publications only ask for first rights or one-time rights. Others may want rights for a limited time, perhaps demanding an exclusivity provision that bars you from reprinting the piece in any media for a specific amount of time. If you are new to the freelance world, getting published and building a portfolio should be your number one priority, but as you gain experience your priorities will shift. Invest in future income by remembering that the more rights you keep, the better.
Rule Two: Utilize your portfolio
You may be sitting on a gold mine already without knowing it. Review the articles/stories in your portfolio and pick out the pieces to which you currently own rights. Make a list of all available titles, their subject matter, and word count. Review and update your reprint list as often as possible.
Rule Three: Actively locate and contact markets
Begin looking for potential reprint possibilities by searching freelance market listings for possible leads. Magazines, newspapers, circulars, trade publications, and websites are often interested in reprints. Check their guidelines and send a query to the editor of the publication. Include a short, focused description of your article or include a copy of it for review. If you have not received a response in four to six weeks, follow-up with a polite query.
Finally, don’t overlook the possibility of your own book. If you specialize in a particular subject- health and fitness, pet care, parenting, etc, you may want to reorganize the material into book form. If you can’t or don’t want to sell it to a traditional publisher, other options like print on demand publishing and e-books are readily available avenues for every writer.