Know Your Rights

Key information for article writers.IMG_7175 2to3

by Andy Scheer

Will a publication buy your article ― or just lease it from you? You’ll need to know these terms as you study writers guidelines and when you offer an article for publication.

All rights. Some large publications, in exchange for a larger payment than other magazines offer, expect you to grant them full ownership of what you’ve written. (You can write another, different article on this topic, but you can never again sell this version to another magazine or post it on your website.)

Work-for-hire. A company pays you to write something for them. Unless the contract says otherwise, all rights to that work — including your research — belong to the company.

First-rights. Like leasing a new car. A magazine pays you for permission to publish an article that’s never appeared in print.

One-time (reprint) rights. Like leasing a used car. After your article has appeared in print, you have the right to see if other (usually smaller or noncompeting) magazines will pay you for its use.

About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.

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