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Friday, May 28, 2010

They Accepted My Work!

Part I - Rights

After waiting and waiting, and maybe receiving a few rejection notices, the day finally arrives when someone accepts your work. Wow! This is exciting! So, what's next?

There are responsibilities that you and the editor both need to meet. The use of your work is finalized with a contract. When you receive a contract, it will appear to have a lot of big legal words and may be confusing. The main thing you need to know is what the magazine will use your work for and how long you are "selling" it to them.

There are several different kinds of rights. Here are some of the most common ones:

First rights or First North American Serial Rights. This gives the magazine the right to publish your work for the first time. In other words, when you sell these rights, you are telling the publication that your work has not appeared in print anywhere else. Let the editor know when you submit your work if it has appeared in print anywhere else, including on a blog or as a school assignment. It is always best to be honest if your work has appeared anywhere else in any form. A contract will usually tell you how long a period of time the magazine "owns" your work. After that period of time expires, you are free to sell your work elsewhere.

Second Rights or Reprint Rights. Once your work has appeared in print, it can never be sold as "first rights" again. . However, several publications accept reprinted work. You must tell the editor that only second or reprints rights are available and include what magazine, newspaper, or other publication the work appeared in. It's like putting on a new pair of shoes for the first time. Once you've worn them once, you can wear them again and again, but never again for the "first time"

Exclusive reprint rights.This may sound the same as the paragraph above except for that word "exclusive". This means the magazine wishes to buy and reprint your work, but you have sold that right to that magazine only. You can never sell that particular poem, story, article, artwork, etc. to another publication.

All rights. Just like it sounds, all rights means that you no longer have a right to do anything with this particular work ever again. It totally belongs to the publication you have sold it to.What was once yours now belongs to them and you can never use it anywhere again. This usually applies to larger publications that is read by a lot of people, called circulation.

Let's look at why this makes sense. If you sell a poem to two magazines in two different areas of the country that only two thousand people read, what are the chances that the same person would read both magazines? Not very good. However, if you could sell your poem to two magazines that are available all across the country and fifty million people read each of them, the chances are higher that many of the same people read both magazines. Each magazine wants to give their readers "new" material their readers have not seen before.

For further information about rights, go to this web site from where this information was taken.

Happy writing!

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