Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Making Timeless Tales More Writer-Friendly

(Written by Tahlia Merrill Kirk, Editor of Timeless Tales Magazine)

Contracts are probably the most tedious parts of the publishing process to discuss. If you're a freelance writer, you'll know all too well how verbose contracts are-- often to the point of being indecipherable. When I started Timeless Tales, I didn't really understand what most of the legalize meant, so played it safe by using lots of standard boilerplate language. Most of that has surprisingly stood the test of time, but other sections have needed reevaluation. 

As we've been ramping up for our Snow White submission window (coming up March 12-22), I've been researching ways to tweak it. Specifically, I'm looking into the possibility of providing Kindle versions of TT directly on Amazon...but that's still a work in progress, so don't get too excited. As I was re-examining our contract, I started thinking about this phrase:

"Exclusive Worldwide Rights"

I think it's assumed within the publishing industry that preventing writers from sending their story elsewhere will keep the supply/demand curve in the publisher's favor. This is certainly true when it comes to books. You'd never want to publish an author's novel if there was a chance another company would publish it too--that would be a disaster! Following this logic, we've always requested exclusive rights for 6-12 months after publication...

But now we're trying something new.

The more I considered it, the more I concluded that the impact of loosening our rules would be minimal to us. I seriously doubt our site will lose readers just because a story/poem can be found in two locations. In fact, I actually think it's a perfect opportunity for us to indulge in some mutually beneficial cross-promotion on social media as we celebrate the author's good fortune.

So we're changing the "exclusive" to "non-exclusive". 

Plus, let's be honest: We're a pretty niche market. And while our flat $20 per piece rate is excellent for poetry, it isn't exactly full market rate* for the fiction we receive. It seems only fair that, until we can raise our rates, we should allow our writers to sell their pieces to other markets without restriction. After all, what is a small impact on us might be a significant financial impact for a writer.

So that's a summary of the changes upcoming writers will see in our new contract. If you have questions or would like to see our template for yourself, you can always email me at .

*Not yet, at least! If you want to help us raise our rates, becoming a Patreon supporter will get us closer to making that possible.

1 comment:

  1. "Exclusive for a limited time" is fair and common in the industry for original work. See also ideas in the model contracts at .