Monday, November 28, 2016


        All publishing rights are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to negotiate with publishers who ask for all rights when you only want to sell first or one-time rights. If a publisher wants a piece badly enough, they will usually be willing to negotiate.

        Even if you sell all rights to an article, you can retain book rights if you think you might want to include it in a book later. In the cover letter to the editor, or in the upper, right-hand corner of the manuscript put, “Book rights Reserved” under whatever other rights you are offering.

        Don’t forget that just because a publisher offers to buy a piece, you do not have to accept the offer if the rights arrangement or payment are not acceptable to you.

        When you and the publisher have come to an agreement about what rights they are buying, preferably first or one-time rights, be sure to watch out for any statements printed on the back of your check that indicate that signing the check conveys the transfer of all rights (or any rights not agreed on). If that happens, return the check and ask that that statement be removed. Some have suggested that if you write “for deposit only” on the back of the check and do not sign it, that you are not agreeing to it. That will not work. Simply cashing the check implies your agreement.