Thursday, January 29, 2015

007 - License to Tell Stories: How Licensing Services Can Breathe New Life into Your #Writing

I admit it, I'm proud of my publishing credits for short works. On my website, there's a complete list of my stories for kids and another list for adults. Adding new works to those lists gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

But once a story is published, then what? Most fade into obscurity, if they don't actually go out of print (or get taken down from a website).

"Sell them again as reprints!" you're saying. Sure, that's a possibility for grown-up sci-fi. But have you ever tried to sell kidlit reprints? Mighty tricky.

Enter the licensing service, a new concept in my authorial life. Alfie Dog Fiction and Schoolwide Inc. both take already-published children's stories, so long as you hold the right to reprint them. They take new stories too, of course. I've decided to offer new stories to Schoolwide and reprints to Alfie Dog. The latter has a spectacular response rate of under a week! This is definitely not so for Schoolwide: expect to wait a few months. Both sites accept book-length works, too, and Alfie Dog takes fiction for adults as well as children.

From the consumer's point of view, licensing services work sort of like iTunes. The reader picks the story she wants and pays to download it. On the author's end, there are royalties paid per download, with no advance. I am not far enough into my relationship with Schoolwide to comment on their actual payment practices, but Alfie Dog's royalty statements are prompt and transparent, occurring quarterly. There is a minimum that must be met before a payout, but that's not uncommon for a small press.

I don't say you'll get rich parking your reprints on licensing sites. However, even a few cents per story is more that the big fat ZERO your pre-used story is making just sitting in an old website database or anthology. I've decided to feed Alfie Dog as many reprinted stories as it's hungry for. Here's my collection there so far.

Have you used licensing services? What has been your experience? Are there others I should try?


  1. No, I haven't but I'm glad you found this dog, Anne, and even happier that you're telling us about it. You are growing a very respectable list of work! I'll check if I have any I can feed to the dog. (And Schoolwide, too.) Thanks!

  2. I don't write fiction, but this sounds like a great way to recycle works that no longer get exposure. I will be sharing this.