|Boy Doll by Misocrazy on flickr|
Pearson is moving extremely aggressively into digital media - through sites like LiveMocha, ELLIS , LanguageLab and others* and in this world of I-WANT-FREE-FREE-FREE, authors may well soon find themselves with nary a penny if their materials are placed up on these sites without prior financial agreement.
Therefore the digital rights of my work had always been a top priority to lock down - I might blog and share materials for free (because u're my peeps) but writing is part of my income and rent and food must be paid for. We live not in a Utopia.
Before the deep writing really began I expressed my concerns and an agreement was made between the Senior editor and myself that this would be dealt with separately, once the signing contract stage was entered into.
That however, was not the case, when the Pearson contract did eventually land in my inbox... More on this in the next posts on this theme. Because...
I really have to first go backwards.
My baby has indeed been aborted, removed from its "safe" womb, :-(, but I do have to say that there were niggles and complications early on that should have warned me. Things like stalling on providing an advance or a proper contract. And while the issue of e-rights may have been the straw that broke the camel's back in this relationship, the day I absolutely flipped out, demanding my youthful editor be replaced with someone better qualified was when I was suddenly told I couldn't create any activities that would require the students to use their computers or the internet.
With the greatest respect, I replied, are you 404?
No URLs, baby, I was told because, see they die.
Apparently once upon a time when they did allow URLs one of these led to a "dodgy" site.
Pearson, you see, you know the company which used to be called Longman Pearson - whích used to be Longman ...has um, um, um... never... um, um, seen companies featured in their textbooks which have gone bankrupt post print run nor any pop stars who've popped themselves off after being the main highlight of an inane present simple exercise?
We never know what might happen to websites like wikipedia, duck-duck-go, Linkedin!
But that's all irrelevant, to be honest. The "ruling" might have merit in a book aimed at general learners, but
according to the senior editor I complained to (begged for assistance),
(insert a quite proper but patronizing British accent)
while he impatiently swatted away my concern, apparently
English for IT
will be used to learn English by
who don't have
access to computers.
You couldn't make this sheeeeeeet up.
*More on Pearson's digital empire
TechCrunch: Digital Joint Venture Nokia and Pearson
Bookseller: Pearson buys WallStreet Institute
Financial Times: Pearson's digital growth
Telegraph: Keep hold of Pearson as it goes for online expansion
UN declares access to the internet a human right
When I refer to the editors, in order to protect their digital footprints I am not mentioning their names. As upset as I am I don't want to hurt anyone on a personal level - however the handling of this project was not professional and at the very least some of the posts within this series may well serve as a list of things to watch-out for to those entering the profession of ELT writing.
However, by not mentioning names it also puts me in a slightly difficult position as while I have strong criticisms of some of the editorial team, I also want to be very clear that the series editor of this project is in particular someone I have a deep admiration for and I was very grateful for his red pen which bloodied my textbook's content outline until we reached an agreement and had gotten it "right". Thanks, D.