I recently started writing a quarterly feature article for a (company’s) newsletter, which is in an email and online. Now the coordinator of that newsletter and website is asking if (another division), which is over their department, can edit and use my article within their website, too.
Before I answer her, please help me understand about electronic rights.
+ Is it standard to charge for reuse? I know that in print, you can often charge for reuse.
+ Is there a guideline for how much that might be?
+ And since the rights she was purchasing weren’t spelled out at the onset, any recommendations to how we should proceed?
I want to preserve both of these relationships (I write for the other dept publication as well), but don’t want to leave hundreds of dollars on the table when it could add up if they reuse my articles in the future.
Yes, you absolutely deserve payment for the reprint. Half of the original fee is more than fair.
In the absence of a formal contract, first rights is almost always assumed. All rights are NOT assumed so don’t let them make you think they can do anything they want with your hard work.
Remind them that you are a professional and that you make a living with the work you’re doing for them and others. Many, sadly, assume writing is a hobby, or that we’re all just so happy to have people read our words that we don’t care about making money. That’s only true for hobbyists, not for professional writers.