Friday, March 15, 2013

In praise of: multinationals

Nick Cohen writes in the Spectator about how Verso, a left-wing publisher whose authors include himself and Christopher Hitchens, has turned against Hitchens now that he is safely dead and cannot reply. Quote unquote:
While I had the Verso PR woman on the line, I remembered that it had published my own book Cruel Britannia in 2000.
‘I can’t remember the last time I saw a royalty statement,’ I said.
‘Ah well, we have been upgrading our royalty department for a couple of years,’ she replied.
Years, I thought. It takes years for a small publisher to ‘upgrade’?
‘I want any money I am owed now,’ I said, and hung up.
The only time I have been ripped off over royalties was by a small independent publisher whom everyone (other than unpaid authors) thought was marvellous. The multinationals and academic houses, on the other hand, have been exemplary. As they are with their editors. Last month I submitted a four-figure invoice to one of the Big Four on a Monday and the money was in my bank account that Friday. Freelancing doesn’t get any better than that.

Monitor: David Cohen (no relation)

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