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Reprints and Rewrites

I receive checks in the mail without the "blood, sweat and tears" produced by writing a brand-new article every time. I do this by working smarter, not harder—through reprints and rewrites. Reprints and rewrites have been the mainstay of my writing career since I first learned about them a number of years ago.

 

In the beginning, more than thirty years ago, I wrote and rewrote and rewrote an article—sometimes seven, eight or ten times—until it shone like a gem. Then, I'd sell it and start again using the same process.

 

When I came across the twin income makers, reprints and rewrites, I found that the blood, sweat, and tears of freelance writing began to dissipate.

Reprints

Check Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer's Market Guide for reprint markets. Most reprint markets are listed in the individual market listings.

Reprints open the door to additional payment for previously published work. But first, the piece must be published as first rights—something that has never been published before. After the work comes out in print, the rights revert to the author who is free to send it to other markets whose readership might not have read it.

The beauty of reprints is that a reprint can be sold time and again. One caution, though, if you've posted your material on your website, it is considered first rights. So anything sold afterwards is considered reprint, or second rights.

In the Christian arena, be careful not to overlap markets. Don't sell the same piece to competing markets such as the same denomination or similar group of publications. Generally speaking, non-competing Sunday school take-home papers of different denominations are good markets.

In past years, I sold reprints to Standard Magazine, a take-home Nazarene paper. For the first time a few years ago, the editor requested I not send to Wesleyan Advocate, Vista or other Nazarene publications until after the reprint was published. Fortunately, I had never sent reprints to any of those publications. This points up the fact that you need to be cautious when sending work to competing markets because you may risk alienating an editor.

Payments for Reprints

By having markets in mind for both the disabled and grandmothers, I had the opportunity to produce two different articles from the same research material. Though I've rewritten an article about Larson and sold it a couple of times, I have yet to do a rewrite for the grandmother story, which could be sold to some place like Mature Living.

In 1996, I published "My Prodigal Son" in Experiencing God Magazine and in 2002 it was published  in Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman's Soul. The article was first written from my viewpoint, but by changing to my son's viewpoint and including more details, I sold it as a teen story to Focus on the Family's Breakaway. I could also reslant this and sell it as a how-to for a parenting magazine. One day, I'll get around to writing that one—when I'm ready to shed more blood, sweat and tears.

Learning to work smarter, not harder, is not necessarily easy, but once you get the hang of it, you can sit back and see your paychecks, and your credits, grow. You'll witness your writing ministry reach double, even triple the amount of people it normally reaches.

Payment for reprints range anywhere from $15 to as much as $250, though this is unusual. I learned you could even sell reprints from secular markets to the Christian market, which I hadn't previously considered. I sold "In the Spirit of Love," the story of a daughter of evangelical missionaries who runs a wildlife rehabilitation home, to a regional secular magazine. The same year it came out, I offered reprint rights to Power for Living and made half of what the original article sold for.

Occasionally, editors contact me for reprints, which are unexpected blessings from God's storehouse.

Sometimes, a story may make several rounds and end up earning more than the original sale. Consider this: My article, "The Greatest of These" first sold in 1991 for $30. Since then, it has sold eight more times netting a total of $795 for this piece. It was published in Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul, Womans World, as well as several take-home papers. Not bad for an 800-word story, and it continues to sell. In fact, almost every one of my stories and/or articles have sold more than once.

 

Rewrites

 

Rewrites are articles based on previously sold articles, using much of the same information, but with a different slant, title, lead, and anecdotes.

For some writers, rewriting an article for another publication can be daunting. But I've learned to plan ahead. I usually do enough research in several areas that I have enough for two, maybe three, different articles or stories. During the initial interview, I'm already aware of possible markets and develop the interview by using specific questions.

When I interviewed for "Behind the Disaster Scenes," I already knew I would speak to a quadriplegic, Larson Watts, and a 53-year-old grandmother who wielded a trusty chainsaw to cut up trees in a disaster area.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.~ Ephesians 2:8-9

Where to Find Us:

FaithWorks Editorial Services

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Buford, GA 30518

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But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. -James 2:18 NKJV

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