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Monday, December 6, 2010

Double-Dip Technique #5: Think Reprints from the Outset

Happy Monday, readers! Last post I talked about TEA, a simple, effective method of asking for more money. Today we're back to double-dipping, one of my favorite subjects. You already know how I love reslanting and selling reprints, but there's another double-dip technique I use to maximize my work time.

Reprints aren't just an afterthought for me; instead, I think about reprints from the outset. In other words, when I pitch an idea to a magazine, I'm already lining up potential reprint markets in my mind--and as soon as reprint rights revert to me, I send that piece out to my other markets.

Let me give you an example. I have a handful of reprint markets that purchase stories on women's health, lifestyle, fitness, nutrition, and wellness topics. When I write an article on one of those topics (for a market with a writer-friendly topic), I make a note to offer the piece to my regulars as soon as it's available. So after I wrote a story on how to reduce your risk of breast cancer for a woman's mag for $500 and it ran, I turned around and sold it as a reprint to two different overseas women's magazines ($150 and $300 each); to a small custom magazine ($75); to a regional parenting magazine ($150); to another regional parenting magazine ($50); and to a regional woman's magazine ($80) within the next three months. And the story is still selling to other reprint markets as well.

Get the idea? Don't just treat reprints as an afterthought. Think about potential reprint markets beforehand--as you pitch, and as you write--and you'll make more money for your original pieces as well. That's double-dip technique number 5.

Working efficiently and making more money has been my focus as a freelancer for more than a decade. If you want to learn more about how I do it, read more of my blog. Or check out Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, or Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create your own Writing Specialty and Make More Money. (Notice a theme here?)


  1. This may already be on your blog somewhere, but how do you keep all your dates and articles organized? For example, you mentioned sending out an article again as soon as the reprint rights revert to you. How do you know when that happens? How do you keep track of all that?

  2. Hi, Laura!

    I make a note on the contract, and then when I get my contributor's copy, I double-check to see if there's an exclusivity provision I must honor. If not (e.g. if the pub is just buying first NA serial rights), I send it out immediately. Make sense? It's not that hard to keep up with.

  3. Yep, thanks for getting back to me!

  4. but do you use something like an excel spreadsheet for organizing them? i'm trying that plus a recipe box! i periodically check the recipe box to see when i can resend something.

  5. Kerrie, I really don't have an organized method; I just check them as I receive my contributor's copies. Not the most formal way to doing it but it works for me! :)

  6. I am new to the magazine publication world as a freelancer. I would like to pick your brain regarding a bit of this, if you don't mind. Is there a way to contact you directly? You can email me at I would really appreciate it.

  7. Kelly, I left the comment above a few months ago and you emailed me right around the time you were moving, but I never did receive an additional response. I was wanting more details on the process for submitting an article idea to additional publications - do you send them the original article or just propose the article idea? Any help you can give me as to the process would be greatly appreciated. Again, my email is if you prefer to communicate directly. Thanks for your time!

  8. Michelle, I emailed you, too, but here's my response:

    Anyway, the way I approach reprint markets is to send a letter introducing myself and my work; if I'm sending just one story, I'd send the piece with the LOI. Usually, though, I send a letter that describes my work and includes a list of stories I have available for reprint; then the editor can choose the ones he/she wants to see. Make sense?

    Hope this is helpful and that you continue to find the blog and my books helpful, too!