What To Charge For Second Rights?

Dear Ms. Hoy:

Thanks for all the effort you put into this newsletter. Obviously, it is smart marketing, but it looks like an enormous amount of work and I want to acknowledge that.

I am a full-time freelancer writer working in Minneapolis. I was, however, born in Maine and live in exile. Even went to UMaine Orono and lived, for a time, in a dreadful apartment on Broadway across from St. Joseph hospital. Oh, and I worked at B.Dalton in the mall.

Anyway, my husband just jumped his steady “real job” to write. So now that we are plunking down $700 a month for health insurance for two children and ourselves, I am far more interested in selling reprints.

Is there a guide of what to charge for second rights? One-time use? I’ve been told that one should try to get half of the first print, but honestly who can afford $1000 for a story on counter top surfaces?

Thanks so much and poke around the Grasshopper Shop for me.


If you sold first rights for $2K to someone, there’s probably someone else out there willing to pay $1K for the reprint. It looks like something about kitchen countertops would be pretty niche topic and probably serve a trade publication, or more than one!

You can either charge half of your original fee, or accept what the pub usually pays for reprints. Most pubs have set reprint rates…and sometimes, if you’re lucky, those rates are even more than you got for first rights, depending on the size of the pub! So, always ask for their standard rates before quoting a price for reprints.

And, if their reprint rates aren’t to your liking, don’t be shy about negotiating for a higher fee.