Selling Your Story – and getting multiple deals…
Everyone has their own personal reasons for selling a story. But whether or not you want to sell your story to make money or you are selling your story to gain the maximum publicity and exposure, it is best achieved by gaining multiple deals. Here, I explain why selling your story yourself directly to a newspaper, magazine or TV will not gain as many deals – and therefore not as much money or publicity – as selling your story via Featureworld…
If you sell your story directly to a newspaper or magazine…
* You might not market your story as well as it could be.
Going via Featureworld ensures your story is presented to editors as you want it to be and in the best way to get it sold for the best price.
It might be what appears to be a good deal to you is not as good as you imagine as other editors would have offered more. As an agent, I offer your story to tens of magazine and newspaper editors at once. It might be we only get one offer – in which case we know that is the best (it is the only one!) but if we have more than one publication interested it can be sold to both or the one who can offer the most money. Some stories are so sought after that they are sold during an auction with the publication who puts in the highest bid winning the chance to run the story.
Conversely, I have had people come to me who’ve actually had a very good offer from a newspaper or magazine that has approached them directly. However, they have not realised it was such a good offer. On occasion they have turned it down only to go back and find the publication is no longer interested.
* Magazines and editors might offer less if you go directly.
Without an experienced agent to guide them, interviewees basically have no idea if an offer is a fair one or not. If they can get away with offering you less, then they probably will! At Featureworld I am selling stories to the press every day and therefore know exactly what stories are currently selling for.
* Going directly can prove problematic.
One of the biggest issues can be over syndication (selling your story on.) Many interviewees do not realise when they accept a sum of money for their story from a publication, they can be selling the rights to it. If a paper or magazine has commissioned photos and a staff journalist has interviewed you, legally they can own the copyright and therefore have the right to sell your story on without your consent and with no extra payment to you. There does not legally need to be any contract because if you talk to a reporter and pose for a photo, then it is taken as your consent. Some people have come to me after giving what they thought was a short chat and a photo (for free) to a local newspaper reporter – only to see the story the next day in every national paper. Many local papers are owned by big publishing groups and stories are likely to automatically appear in the national papers owned by that publishing group too. By then I am unable to help and their story is no longer saleable as it has already appeared. However, going via Featureworld ensures all rights to your story remain with you. In fact, at Featureworld you must sign your permission with every deal I find for you.
If your story has already appeared in a magazine or newspaper then we might sometimes be able to sell it on. It is worth contacting me to see if that is possible. However, for all the reasons discussed here, it is always easiest and preferable to come to Featureworld first of all.
* I can syndicate your story, even abroad.
Once your story appears in a paper or magazine you have gone to directly then what? That newspaper or magazine is not going to find you paid deals abroad (although it might sell your story abroad without your knowledge for no fee to you if you have inadvertently signed over all rights as above.) So if you want to gain further publicity, you are then back to square one. At Featureworld I am not only selling our interviewee’s stories to UK magazines and newspapers, but gaining them deals on TV and abroad. Many stories are sold (always with consent) to magazines, newspapers, websites and TV all over the world gaining extra exposure and of course more money.
* I remarket and rewrite stories.
It would be impossible and not desirable for interviewees to keep on going over their stories with so many different journalists from different publications. At Featureworld I continually remarket, reangle and rewrite interviewee’s stories to gain them more deals. This means they don’t need to go over their story again and again – often the only input they have is to sign their permission to sell their story to yet another publication.
* You are not alone when you go through Featureworld.
Should you go directly to a publication to sell your story – and should you have any concerns – you will have no-one to turn to for advice. At Featureworld I am always there, at your side, giving you advice and ensuring the selling of your story goes smoothly, before, during and after your story is published. I am also there to ensure you are paid!
* I care about our interviewees.
My success is my interviewee’s success. Put simply, interviewees must be happy enough with their payments, the way their stories are written and the way I deal with the whole process, for them to sell their story on again, time after time.
See it for yourself – go to recently published stories and note the different publications interviewees are appearing in!
Find out more: How it works