Writers’ Rights

I am not an expert on writers’ rights. These are only my thoughts on the subject.

Lately, I have listened to podcasts and read articles about writers’ rights. Whenever a writer completes a story, an essay, poem, or other form of writing, at that moment the author holds all the rights to what they created. They decide how their work is published and in what form with what type of compensation.

Many years ago, authors granted rights to have their work printed in a book or a magazine. The fortunate ones sold movie or TV rights. There were also audio rights to sell. Today, technology has created many rights that an author can sell such as electronic or digital.

As a writer (like all writers), I have two things to sell when I finish a body of written work. The product which I wrote (novel, short story, etc.) and the rights to that work.

I would never consider selling “all rights” to my work and neither should any writer. In today’s digital world, I do not think a reputable publisher would want “all rights.” Also, there are other repercussions to selling “all rights.”

Besides owning all future money, the publisher also owns the author’s reputation. That work can appear in any publication anywhere. In the music industry, many musicians cringe at their work used to sell things they do not support.

I think rights are more valuable than money or publication. It is better not to be published rather than sell all the rights to what I wrote.

Of course, some rights could be sold on a limited basis. Afterall, the publisher needs to make money, too. However, I would always have some control over what I wrote.

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