I've written before that two of my favorite kinds of money to make are royalty checks and reprints. Why? Because they require no (or next to) work on my part. In the past, I've made as much as $6800 in a year from reselling articles that have already been published. The market for reprints isn't as lucrative as it once was, but I still make several thousand dollars a year offering reprints to smaller, regional, and specialty markets, many of which have purchased stories from me for years.
One of the reasons I continue to offer reprints is that it's so easy, once I find an appropriate market for them. I've had the greatest success with "evergreen" stories, but even evergreens can do with a trim--or in this case, what I call a tweak. So I'm always willing to update a piece, or rewrite a lead, or "tweak" a story to better fit an editor's needs.
For example, one of my regular reprint markets recently asked me about reprinting a story I wrote a decade ago. She wanted it framed in a slightly different way. I was fine with reworking it the way she asked, and updated my sources' titles in the meantime--two have new positions (not surprisingly as it's been 10 years), and one has added a PhD to her name, which I included. Total time to do this: 30 minutes. What I'm charging for the reprint: $100. Do the math and you'll see that translates into a $200/hour rate.
No, you won't get rich selling reprints--most of my markets pay just between $40 and $150 for reprint rights to a story. But the fact that they take little effort to sell--especially if you're willing to take a little time to tweak them--makes them well worth the effort for me. That may be the case for you, too.
**Coming next post--my latest royalty statement and breakdown. Aspiring book authors will want to read this!
**Want more advice about making more money as a freelancer in less time? Check out Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Edition, a freelancing classic that helps both new and experienced writers boost their bottom line, and my latest book,Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More, Second Edition, which shows how to break into the ghostwriting/content marketing field. If you're brand-new to freelancing, I recommend Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets.
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