Should I Charge Or Not?

Dear Angela,

Thank you for the wonderful resource! I’ve been with you for ages and I’d love to use this opportunity to thank you for all the amazing work you and your colleagues are doing. The Internet wouldn’t be the same without you.

In the past, you were so kind to answer a question or two of mine so I wondered if you or one of your colleagues could be so kind to give me a word of advice this time. Recently I wrote a few articles on writing–for free, just for the fun of it–and put them on my site. The other day, two writing resources (small-time and non-paying but respectable) approached me and asked if they could reprint the articles. I was about to say yes, but then I wondered whether there might be any problems attached to it in the future. I don’t mind them being reprinted for free but I’d hate to lose rights to them.

My question is, should I actually offer them some rights, or jot down some sort of contract, or maybe do something else to prevent any damage to my rights? They’re honest people but I’d rather be on the safe side.

Thank you very much!

Wishing you a very nice day,


No matter how much you like those sites, you should not give your writing away…especially to sites for writers! It’s bad enough when a website asks writers to write for free, but when one of our own tries to suck free stuff out of us, it’s horrible!

Tell them your work isn’t for free, only for sale. They may surprise you and then offer payment (that happened to me just last week). Allowing them to post it online is going to devalue your work and there aren’t many sites, and certainly no print publications, that will want to pay for a piece that was given away for free to someone else.