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Wilton A. Person
Wilton A. Person, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
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I recently wrote and published a 4,000 word online article

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I recently wrote and published a 4,000 word online article that has received a lot of attention. It's been viewed by 25,000 visitors, translated into Spanish, and I've now received a request from an author of 20 books to use "all or a portion of" my article in his forthcoming book.

I am inclinced to give him permission, to at least a portion of the article, as it means more exposure for me and my work. However I want to be compensated and properly credited. Is it customary that writers get compensated in these situations and what criteria do I use to determine how much to ask for?
Thank you for your question. Congratulations on the success of our article. There is not necessary a custom with respect to a particular type of use of an article but the general goal is to seek a deal that works for the parties. You may wish to obtain a percentage of sales or a flat fee compensation but in some instances, a person may simply wish to have the exposure to open the door to more lucrative opportunities or provide a window of his or her talent to a broad audience. Many writers and artists occasionally make the mistake of becoming fixated on money when exposure is what will really open the door to serious opportunities.

Nevertheless, your article certainly has value so it is not necessary inappropriate to seek some type of compensation along with credit. However, if an author with twenty books, presumably successful books, this may be the perfect opportunity for your career so you may wish to negotiate based upon this fact without underselling yourself.

One option is to simply allow the person or his attorney to send you an agreement for your review and then have an intellectual property review in your behalf as a starting point.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX have no idea how much to ask for. Can you give me any guidelines?


The research and writing for the article took 3 weeks, obviously they can't compensate me for three weeks of time. Should I ask them to send me an agreement specifying the compensation they are prepared to offer? That puts the ball in their court.


Also, I don't understand this phrase in your last sentence:

"have an intellectual property review in your behalf"



Thank you for your response. Typically, I value percentages over flat fee and the retention of rights and use of the copyright over a blanket license but the guidelines are generally determined on a case by case basis. If the excerpt is a small portion of the book, the author may not be interested in a compensation model and merely will provide attribution to your work. I have seen parties put off by a party seeking compensation in some instances such as this so it may be a good idea to weigh whether the exposure is more important than money or vice versa or how much the author values including the article within his book.

A proposed agreement should provide you an idea of the type of deal that the author is seeking with respect to your article.

To provide a correction to my first response; It would be a good idea to have an intellectual property attorney review the proposed agreement.
Wilton A. Person, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4147
Experience: MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
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