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Re: Publisher contracts

I have spent many years in the publishing industry (including the
publishing of books on art, architecture, music, poetry, and historic
preservation--both commercial and not-for-profit) and I can guarantee that
you should not put up with this. It is typical for a publisher to try such
stuff, but they are usually amenable to alterations. In part, what you
receive depends upon how important your work is to the finished product. If
the book can't be done without your work, you deserve payment. If you are
contributing, you deserve to have your work or slides returned safely. If
you are receiving no payment, you can certainly ask for a couple of copies.
That's a minor courtesy that is more than reasonable.

If anyone is interested in specific questions about publishing contracts,
I'd be happy to share what I know. Contact me directly. I have been an
editorial director, publisher, art director, and production manager at
different points in my career. I've negotiated scores of contracts, and
I've never felt the need to put the screws on an artist.


At 02:11 PM 10/8/1998 -0400, you wrote:
>In revising a contract for a book that will be published containing
>reproductions of some of my work I began to wonder what people say in such
>The one I received gave the publisher all rights forever in any format and
>assumed no liability for responsibility concerning the original materials
>submitted.  In addition to the expected no payment provided for doing
>their work the contract does not even incorporate a copy of the finished
>work for me!  Needless to say, my revisions were extensive.
>While I know from experience that the typical contract gives all the good
>stuff to the publisher and any potential negatives to the provider of the
>material, I wonder what experiences people have had with such matters.
>R. H. Starr, Jr., Ph.D.                 I am not related to Kenneth Starr
>Professor                               (but, his wife's a distant cousin)
>Department of Psychology
>1000 Hilltop Circle
>Baltimore, MD  21250

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