Selling Rights to Your Work

There are several different levels of rights you can offer for your written material. You can offer these rights in print or electronically. Here are the different types of rights and a brief explanation of each.

First rights. As the name suggests, the publication gets to print or post the material first. After that, you can resell, repost, reprint the work elsewhere.

One-time rights. This type of rights also allows you to publish the work elsewhere, and the publication is allowed to use it once.

Nonexclusive rights. This is mainly for electronic publications, meaning that they can keep the work published indefinitely, even though you may post it elsewhere.

Exclusive rights. There is typically a time limit during which the publication is the only place the work is to appear. After the time limit the rights may change to nonexclusive.

Archival rights. Publications will sometimes ask for the right to store your work indefinitely and be able to reuse it in the future. It is best to allow nonexclusive archival rights.

Be sure that you are compensated according to the level of rights you are providing to the publication. Exclusive rights should naturally command a higher fee than nonexclusive rights and so forth. Always make sure that you understand whether or not you can reuse your material.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hi,

    I am just beginning writing to Helium. I have had a few things published (on paper) and a few on the web.

    I am so glad that you started this site! It is a WEALTH of information. I plan to consult it daily and learn something new from it every day!

    Thank you,

    Jenna Pope


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