Wednesday, April 04, 2007

McGraw-Hill and the threat of stolen submissions

On the last couple of weeks' issues of Writers Weekly, the "Whispers and Warnings" section has included a thread about McGraw-Hill and a book containing a stolen submission. Basically, the writer had submitted an essay, which the author "twisted into a profile" for use in her book, without permission from the writer. The author of the book, Jan Goldberg, has not (as of yet) responded to either the writer or Writers Weekly, and McGraw-Hill seems to be giving them both the run-around. Basically, the author and her publisher stole someone else's work, and they're going to get away with it because of how large and established McGraw-Hill is.

This whole thing reminds me of a fear that constantly keeps me from submitting to anthologies or similarly-minded collections. I'm always afraid that exactly this is going to happen: My work will be published without my consent, without payment, and perhaps even without my byline. Even in a best case scenario, anthologies usually pay very little, and the chances of being selected for publication are fairly low. In my mind, submitting to an anthology, or even a collection that is being published by another author, is a gamble that I'm just not willing to take.

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