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How to deal: negotiating a better contract

At the NASW Annual Meeting in February of 2004, two experts offered their experiences and insights in a workshop devoted to freelance contract negotiation. According to Erik Sherman, "The best first thing to do is say, 'I'd like to see your first North American Serial Rights Contract, please," while Kraig Baker suggests, "If you want to be successful, your first tactic should be whatever tactic keeps the publisher's lawyer out of it." Special Thanks to Alan Kelly, Owner, Verbatim Instant Transcripts, for generating this complimentary transcript for NASW

Secondary rights: a lot of heat, not much light right now

Secondary rights are the rights to resell your work after its first publication. With all-rights contracts growing like kudzu, some authors' groups are trying to work out collective deals and micropayments in order to facilitate reselling stories. Here, freelance Jeff Hecht relates some recent news on these efforts.

(The sad state of) health insurance options for freelances

Looming over the otherwise idyllic life of the freelance writer is the dark cloud known as health insurance, for which the only silver lining seems to be the silver lining the pockets of the insurance companies. In this report, David Lindley provides a snapshot of how NASW freelances are getting their insurance (or not), and provides some recommendations, both for the individual freelance and for NASW as a whole.

Legal update for magazine editors

Contracts, rights grabs, negotiations — What advice are magazine editors getting from their lawyers, and how does it affect the freelance? Robin Marantz Henig sat in at a meeting of the American Society of Magazine Editors, and files this report from the other side.

Can you survive as a freelancer?

This document is the record of a discussion that took place on the nasw-freelance mailing list from January 19th through January 27th, 1998. It deals with a number of issues critical to anyone trying or hoping to make a living as a free-lance science writer.