I love reselling my stories. It keeps them alive and fresh for new audiences all the time. It also keeps my creative fires stoked. I think the most rewarding thing in my writing world is to see one of my stories in print or online.
I first experienced the reprint market a very long time ago. Back in the 1980s I heard a joke and decided it would make an excellent flash fiction story. Well several years (like around five) and twenty-three years later I sold my story for $5.00. Not a huge amount but it was a sale and at the point in my career sales were not plentiful. I was so excited, that is until the magazine showed up.
It was about eight pages folded in half and center stapled with a really tacky clip art cover. I shoved the zine in a folder and didn’t take it out for another three tears. I started teaching an adult writing class for a township and while planning out my lessons and thought that 900 word story would be a fine example of theme. Every session on the first class I’d read the story and every session someone would ask for a copy of it because it was about a teacher and it seemed that everyone had a teacher in their family or knew a teacher who would just love it.
It got me thinking, after all I teach about rights, maybe I should try to sell it again as a reprint rather than giving out dozens of free copies. I sent it out for reprint rights and sold it almost immediately to a nice regional magazine for about $15.00.
The next magazine asked me to cut it down to 750 words. At first I was annoyed then I struggled to cut down a flash story by 25% but I did it, they published it and I decided that the shorter version was so much better that I have never tried to sell the longer version again. Sometimes I’ve given the story away to magazines and once I actually made $125.00 on the story. All in all the story has been published ten times and I find it thrilling to see it in print every time.
I think I have sold most of my published stories at least one other time. I just had two reprints accepted the last week in November and I am so excited. I’m a writer, an artist with words, and I enjoy seeing my artwork appreciated over and over again. Money is always nice, but to have one of my stories loved again and again is priceless.