View Full Version : Payment for Article Published in a Textbook?

08-25-2011, 01:33 AM
This is a new one to me. A major publisher has contacted me about a textbook that's going to be sold for about $100.

The publisher wants to reprint an article I published through an online magazine 9 years ago. The word count is close to 1,000 words.

I never submitted this article to be considered but here I am with a contract right in front of me that says they want to publish it in the textbook. I'm supposed to name a price and sign the permission request.

I've never had this happen before. I'm not sure what to charge for an article that's been online almost a decade.

What would you charge considering that the article's been published under first electronic rights, the book publisher's going to charge $100 for each copy of the book and the article's about 1,000 words?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

08-25-2011, 01:37 AM
You might want to contact Medievalist if she doesn't find this thread on her own. She might have some experience with this type of thing (I don't).

08-25-2011, 01:21 PM
They are asking you to name a price? Wow, that's a deal with the devil deal there...

What is the topic? I ask because some academic topics get more money than others in this sort of thing... For example, of all the friends of mine who have PhD's, three of them have had their thesis published and were all arts graduates (two history and one sociology) and some have also had other books published whereas none of my science PhD friends have published anything other than in official journals. So, clearly, there is more of a market for history academic texts than there is for science...

You could do some research among people in your field and see what sort of fees they have commanded for similar work? They clearly want this article as they are prepared to pay for it. My instinct would be to consider standard professional magazine rates but this is an unusual sitution.

08-26-2011, 10:46 PM
Thanks AlleyCat and areteus. I wouldn't even consider this if it wasn't from a major publishing house. I would be too suspicious! Not that big publishers don't screw over writers but it's just so odd that they approached me out of the blue and want me to tell them how much I'll charge.

It's surprising they want this piece because this article has been stolen from me 100 times over online over the close to 10 years it's been online. I could easily write them a more updated, fresher, never-been-seen before piece for the book. It's all very puzzling!

areteus - It's an article for advertising professionals. I have extensive experience in the field but no PhD. :D

I guess I'll explore my Writer's Market and look at second rights fees. It's been ages since I sold second rights so I'm rusty in that area.

08-26-2011, 10:56 PM
I'd ask for at least .10 a word. I'd also ask about royalties.

If you think the book will be adopted as a textbook, I'd go for royalties rather than money upfront.

I've also had good luck just telling editors of textbooks that I don't have any idea what to ask; this isn't unusual since so much of academic / scholarly publishing is not paid for at all.