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Going Once, Going Twice, Going as Many Times as Possible

May 14th, 2010

This month it’s my turn to guest post here on the Writers Bureau blog. I pondered for quite a while over what to write, but then I realised in these financially uncertain times, one thing we are all interested in is making as much money as we can from our writing.

I have a golden rule with regard to my articles and it’s this: if I only sell something once, then I need to try harder because that simply isn’t good enough.

Let me explain what I mean by this. I have just sold a humour article for reprint rights in the UK. Although I only received fifty percent of what the original fee was when the piece was first published (way back in 2005), I am still thrilled to bits.

The reason for my glee is that this is the fourth time I’ve sold this particular article. It was originally published in the UK as part of a series of humour pieces I wrote for a regular column. I subsequently sold First North American Serial Rights to a magazine in the US and First Australian and New Zealand Rights to an Australian magazine. Now, three years since it last appeared in print, it’s being published again in the UK under Second British Serial Rights.

My reason for sharing this with you is to remind you of the benefits of recycling your work. If something is good enough to be accepted for publication in one country, it is entirely possible that an editor in another country might like it too. Even though you will most probably need to make some changes for the magazine’s style and tone in each country, that would still involve far less work than writing a completely new article.

Obviously, you should be aiming at magazines and newspapers in your country of residence first, but once something has been published there, you should consider selling it again and again. So how do you find markets in other countries?

First and foremost, subscribe to magazines which give details of available markets, such as Freelance Market News.

You might also find the following websites of benefit, but they do require registration and payment of a small fee to access the information. However, one resale of an article or short story would more than cover the cost.

UK: http://www.writersandartists.co.uk
USA: http://www.writersmarket.com
Australia: http://www.awmonline.com.au

Next, make sure you research your overseas titles as carefully as you would your home publications. Many editors are happy to supply sample issues to prospective contributors via a PDF version as an e-mail attachment. If that isn’t possible, most magazines now have websites where a selection of previously published material can be studied.

Good luck and happy reselling.

Lorraine MaceLorraine Mace is a columnist with Writing Magazine and deputy editor and writing agony aunt for Words with JAM. As well as being a writing competition judge, she runs Flash 500, a quarterly flash fiction competition, www.flash500.com. Lorraine, a tutor for Writers Bureau, is the co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s ABC Checklist (Accent Press). www.lorrainemace.com

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