Monday, September 15, 2008


[update: possible communications failure, either on my part or on the part of the publisher. Hard copy MS arrived today, probably too soon to have only been sent when I emailed back saying I couldn't evaluate a >200-page MS in electronic form. So all is good and I will be able to evaluate something that looks interesting].

I know that the publishing industry is a difficult one right now, that academics are a pain in the butt to work with (for example, deadlines are absolute for students, only a suggestion for many academics), and that the economic climate is very bleak right now.

But, jeez. Ask someone to review a manuscript, which, if you do a good job, is at least ten hours of work for $100.00. That's ok. It's the going rate, and it's important to the field to review, so I pretty much always say 'yes.'

But then to send the MS as an email attachment? So, I'm either supposed to read 200 pages on screen, or I'm supposed to print the 200 page MS on my own dime and my own time? You've got to be kidding me.

It's not even the money; it's the rudeness.

(So now it's time to see how a nice passive-aggressive response works. I've written back saying, "I've received your various forms and guidelines. You can mail the MS to this address." If the editor then comes back with "I already sent the attachment," then I say, "Oh, I can't read 200 pages on screen." We'll see if the editor gets the point).

1 comment:

Dr. Richard Scott Nokes said...

A couple of months ago, I sent a manuscript to a publisher who was adamant about it being as an e-mail attachment. Now, having it as an e-mail attachment is not unusual, but the vigor with which they insisted it made me think, "Ah, I'll bet these jerks plan to e-mail it around."

It's hard for me to use the word "publisher" in conversation these days without it sounding like an epithet.