Why NOT to license your content

How can I get someone else to license my content? 

I got this question a while back and I’ve been pondering what I want to say about it ever since. The idea is that if you’ve written a novel, say, you might be able to license it to a movie or television producer and earn some income. Or a game company or whatever else. 

I’ve occasionally had content licensed – a novel I wrote was optioned by a movie producer, a story I wrote was licensed as part of a social media platform rollout, a nonfiction book I wrote was turned into a card deck – but none of this happened because I tried to get my content licensed. They happened because someone I knew (who also knew my work) was in a position to offer licensing. It was never because I did something that another person could replicate. 

This is very different from my experience of getting client work. For example, I’ve gotten a ton of editorial work from publishers just by asking. (I have credentials and experience, so I’m making this sound simpler than it is – but it is pretty simple. Anyone with some editorial experience can do it.)

creating classes and information products or why not to license your content
Here’s a reason why not to license your content: Make more profits by creating classes and information products with your own work.

…Why NOT to license your content

I reached the conclusion that to try to find someone to license your content – that is, someone who would pay you money to use your words and ideas – would be a great way to waste a lot of time chasing after gate-keepers and begging them to hold still long enough for you to make a pitch.

Once upon a time, that was how it had to be done. If you wanted an audiobook of your novel, you had to have your novel licensed by an audiobook company. If you wanted to turn your nonfiction book into a card game, you had to license the content to a game company. 

It’s not that way anymore. 

If you want an audiobook, you can make an audiobook. If you want a card game, you can make a card game.

Of course, it does require time, effort, and money, but so does chasing after gate-keepers. And chasing after gate-keepers can be a very disempowering, disappointing experience. 

Think about taking control of your own work instead.

Other Helpful Content

  • Using Partnerships to Expand Your Reach

    Using partnerships to expand your reach is a successful way to grow your freelance editing business with a high ROI. My Best Ideas for Using Partnerships to Expand Your Reach One way to broaden your marketing reach is to work with other freelancers to mutually market your work. In other words, you can create a…

    Read more…

  • Stages of Learning How to Edit

    As we learn the craft, we go through stages of learning how to edit—I’ve decided there are four stages. When you’re first learning how to edit, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the learning curve and to wonder when it would be realistic to start charging for your services. The answer is at Stage #3….

    Read more…

  • Query Letter Basics

    Both editors and authors need to learn query letter basics to help with the best possible chance of book publication. Query Letter Basics For Editors & Authors If your author-client is interested in trying to have their novel published by a traditional publisher, you may be asked to look at the author’s query letter (also…

    Read more…

Join the Club!

how to become an editor

New to story editing? Begin at the beginning.

Similar Posts