Don’t Sell Your Stories Short! By Michael T. Smith

A year ago, my wife saw a request for stories in a post online. The publishers of a new collection of books were looking for people who had life-changing moments. They offered $100.00 for each accepted story.

I write inspirational stories and had several to fit their theme.

A couple days after submitting them, I received an acceptance for one of my submissions. The publisher was a wonderful person. We spoke on the phone several times. On one occasion, I mentioned my inspirational writing friends. Many of them wrote stories based on their personal life-changing moments. Their stories would be perfect with the editor’s requirements.

I threw out a few names, and joked, “If I keep this up, you’ll have to hire me.”

They took me seriously. We exchanged phone calls. I was on a roll. I thought, “This could turn into something great for me.”

My bubble burst.

I received a copy of the contract. They took all rights. “I can’t accept this.” I told them. “This story is the one that got me where I am today. I can’t give my rights away. I also can’t recruit my friends for your project. Their stories are what they use to make their careers as writers and speakers. I’d lose their respect with a contract like this. I’m sorry, but we can’t work together.”

We spoke a few times more during the next month, but we could not come to an

agreement. The deal was off.

A few months from later, close to the launch date of the first edition of the series, I received an email. They still wanted my story and attached a new contract that did not take all my rights. They changed the contract just for my story.

It was a win for the little guy. I needed the $100.00, but not for all rights to a story that means so much to me. I’ve sold the story twice since then. Those were sales I would have lost if I’d signed the first offer.

Michael T. Smith works as a project manager in the telecommunications industry and writes inspirational stories in his spare time – stories from his heart to yours. Mike’s stories have been published in various newspapers, magazines and essay collections in both Canada and the USA. He also publishes an ezine called “Hearts and Humor”, in which he shares his stories of hope and inspiration with his subscribers. To sign up for Michael’s stories go to:

To read more of his stories, go to: