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Negotiate contract?

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Just sold my first poem and have received the contract from Ladybug. Do most people negotiate rights or just sign as is? They ask you to, "...agree to sell, transfer, assign and convey...all right, title and interest...including but not limited to the right to copyright and publish and otherwise use the property in any way that Carus...in its sole judgment shall determine."


Thanks!
#1 - April 10, 2014, 03:14 PM

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When faced with a contract, I always ask myself if there's anything there that I absolutely can't live with. Then I know that if I can't get that changed, I'd have to walk away.
Then there are things I would like to have changed, that I'll ask to have changed, and maybe I get some but not all of that.
But it never hurts to try.
I have to say, that sounds like a pretty hefty grant of rights. Selling all rights including copyright ... you are essentially selling all of it, for good. Generally people would just sell one-time or first-publication rights (or first-publication plus anthology rights), so that you could use the poem again later yourself, or sell other rights to it later on.
So you can always try to negotiate a more limited grant of rights, and there's no reason not to try. If they hold firm to those terms, then you have to decide whether it's worth it to you, and that's an individual decision.
#2 - April 10, 2014, 05:17 PM
Jennifer R. Hubbard
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Loner in the Garret: A Writer's Companion
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Congratulations!!! I've sold many pieces to Carus and they do ask for all rights. Sometimes I've negotiated a nonexclusive. I knew their all-rights policy when I submitted my work, so it was not a surprise when I saw the contract.

Let us know what you decide.
Vijaya


#3 - April 10, 2014, 06:20 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
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Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Congratulations!
I think it's pretty typical for most magazines to ask for all rights. The Fun for Kidz magazines are the only ones I know of that don't, so if I sub something, I know I can't use it again.


With that said, if you are writing nonfiction, you can often reuse sources and refocus they story, especially if the target market/audience is different, for example, different age groups. I've written about Mars numerous times from different angles. Obviously, this doesn't help if you are subbing poetry.


Good luck with whatever you decide.


Kirsten
#4 - April 11, 2014, 06:16 AM
Kirsten W. Larson
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WOOD, WIRE, WINGS (Calkins Creek, 2020)
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Yes, it is typical for most magazines to buy all rights, including many of the most prestigious (who also pay the most).


However, in many cases -- I know Highlights does this, for example -- they will pay you again, and nicely, if the piece is republished, say, in an anthology, even though legally they would not have to.


Practically speaking, the usual scenario if you refuse to grant all rights is that the piece never gets published. I personally believe gaining a publication credit with these high-quality, high-circulation magazines is worth it, especially when you consider that most poems and stories you would sell to a magazine are not viable as books, and any research you've done or NF you've sold to them can always be re-slanted and sold to other markets. I also agree with Vijaya when she says that knowing this going in is helpful. Sometimes, when we aim at a certain publication, we know from the start that we'll be selling all rights, and for some of what we write, that's okay.

#5 - April 11, 2014, 07:36 AM
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Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
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Oh, I do so love SCBWI and all of you!  It took just a moment to pose a question on this board and presto! answers from people who know what they're talking about appeared.:) I'm so pleased to have my little poem accepted and did expect that the contract would ask for all rights. Just wanted to double check that I am proceeding correctly. Thanks, everyone!!
#6 - April 11, 2014, 09:47 AM

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