The last time I Googled my own name, there were more than 1400 hits. Pretty good, huh? Well, maybe not. Many of these citations are for my books, web pages, listings in members' directories of other organizations I belong to, and articles I've contributed to a number of websites.

But more than 1300 of those hits are for websites which vary from to , to, a spiritual newsletter from Australia.

Each of these allows a web surfer to click through to an article I wrote more than 25 years ago. My original title was "The Real Difference Between the Fatties and the Thinnies," and I sold one-time rights to several Canadian and U.S. newspapers, then tried to sell it to U.S. women's magazines. Nobody bit, and so when I heard of a book on dieting that was looking for short humor pieces, I sent it there.

I'd been a PWAC member a few years by then, and refused the initial offer of $50 for All Rights, but when the author told me people were "standing in line to get into this book," I reluctantly agreed.

When galleys were sent by the publisher (Bobbs-Merrill) to magazines, only McCall's was interested, and the excerpt they chose was my piece! They renamed it "Thin People Don't," and it appeared in the June, 1983, issue. I didn't even know about it until my sister phoned from Connecticut to tell me. Of course McCall's never paid me a cent.

I also had to watch Geneen Roth's first book, Feeding the Hungry Heart, become a hard-cover best-seller, then a paperback best-seller, and go into repeated reprints. Wonder how much money she's made in royalties? And how much I could have earned if I'd insisted on just a penny per book sold?

I should probably be pleased that my name is all over the net, at netxaio, a Chinese site, at bizhat, at cerias (Purdue University) and at ahajokes. The sad result of this, however, is that when I was deciding which of my humor pieces to include in Mewsings/Musings, I couldn't include what is probably the most famous, because when you sell All Rights, you can't even reprint your own work in your own book.

How's that for a reason to be careful about what kind of contract you sign?  

An interesting new development occurred in the fall of 2006. I was contacted by an editor at Guideposts Books, who found this article on the web and wanted my permission to use it in one of their new Let There Be Laughter series.  I was able to give permission because although I no longer owned the print rights, the article was all over the web and I was able to sell that version, with the title that appeared in McCall's. So I was paid for my contribution to Funnybone Fitness.


    (this list also includes citations for other mentions of Barbara
    Florio Graham, Simon Teakettle, and Simon Teakettle Ink)


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