Update September 06, 2022: When Authors Have Limited/No Rights… (Part II)

The publisher had an editor follow up with my concerns that I discussed in my previous post, on When Authors Have Limited/No Rights. Fortunately, it has been a pleasant discussion and they were curious about the portions I had an issue with and I pointed out which ones, and explained my issue. They did mention that I gave up my rights to my work in the contract, which is definitely the case, but I also pointed out an email where they said they were going to let me take a look at the work before a submission. So with this, I was under the impression I would have a final look.

They talked about the process of the work being published and how they had some peer-reviewers and other people take a look so that the work could read more sensitively. I was grateful that they did do their part to try making sure that was in place to reduce harm. Over all, the book with my article was still better than many other works, and I acknowledged this. I just thought there was a piece, even a few sentences, that could have been revised and done better with and I hope they will keep that in mind. To their credit, the co-authoring was put in as a courtesy to recognize that not all the words in the piece were mine.

I have not yet received response on what I found problematic in the work, but I am cautiously hopeful. For me, it was more important to start a conversation, not for anything else but considering how we can all do better. To reiterate, there was no intention to cause trouble but to point out what could cause harm and hope to reduce harm. In addition, I did mention the reason why I contacted the publisher before trying to contact the editor who reached out to me was I wanted to recognize they were not the only one who worked on the book. I know there are a lot of steps in the process of writing, editing, and when the book is finally out there. Publishers have a lot of power and weight in the discussion, so I will always assume something broader and more institutionalized before I try to point fingers or blame an individual. In addition, I also recognized that COVID-19 did create complications.

To this end, I hope this does not keep me from having opportunities in the future. It was one fear I had when I took the step to contact the publisher about my concern. I just felt it was to the benefit of all parties, including them, if I pointed out something that warranted constructive critique. If nothing comes of this, I can at least know I tried to do what I could.


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