Guest post by Jo Ann Fore
Yes, you understand that, as an entrepreneur, you can strategically leverage your business through article writing. And yes, you’re willing to share your expertise as you climb the ladder to a successful enterprise. But in this foreign land of publishing, what’s all this talk about writer’s rights? And, what does it really matter?
When you sell your work to an editor, you transfer specific copyrights. Before you sign a contract, know your rights. Your words are a valuable commodity, which can be recycled in countless venues—but only if you retain the proper rights. You own your words, until you assign a copyright to another party. And that’s where it can get tricky if you don’t educate yourself in advance.
A side note: You do not have to do anything to obtain copyright protection to your work. It evolves automatically when you author your work. Read more at www.copyright.gov.
A basic overview of the more common types of rights:
First rights. This is the right to sell your work for the first time. It can be sold only once. The first time your work is published, you transfer first rights.
One-time rights. This is the right to publish your writing one time. You should
specify a timeframe the editor may use your work when selling one-time
Electronic rights. The right to publish your work in any type of electronic format.
Second rights (Reprints). This is the right to publish your work one time, but these rights can be repeatedly sold.
All rights. In most cases, as an article marketer, you will want to avoid this because it is exactly as it says – you surrender all rights to your work (to include print, audio, CD, etc.)
For additional information on your rights as a writer, the American Society of Journalist
and Authors have a “Rights 101” Article here: www.asja.org/pubtips/wmfh01.php.
Here’s another great piece, A Novice Writer’s Guide to Rights (www.writerswrite.com/journal/dec97/cew3.htm).
Visit her site at www.soyouwanttowrite.org for free resources for new writers. Check out her coaching programs here: www.soyouwanttowrite.org/coaching.