Thursday, May 10, 2012

Writing and Publishing Roundup

Bernard Potter, "Publish - and be damned," Times Higher Ed, May 3, 2012

I have greatly appreciated my relationships with several publishers and editors over the past 40 years. Almost without exception, they have been friendly, wise and helpful. . . . It appears that this eager team of publishers never sent my book out for peer review, either as a proposal or as a completed manuscript. (The publisher of my fifth edition did.) At least, they did not deny this on being

questioned about it, and I had no feedback from reviewers. They didn't have my book edited at all, in the sense described above. They probably didn't even read it - showed no sign of it, in any case. They declined to provide any help with illustrations, copyright and permissions. (As a result, the illustrations are dire.) When I requested a small advance to cover the unexpected cost of illustrations, they refused.

Helen Sword, "Yes, Even Professors Can Write Stylishly," Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2012

Of the estimated 50 million academic articles at large in the world today, all too many of them contain prose as "weary, stale, flat" (to quote Hamlet) as a black gown with matching mortarboard.

Consider these two real-life examples (doctored slightly to protect the authors' identities):

The capability of a decision unit to induce innovation is crucial to the attainment of organizational success but can eventuate in oppositional behavior within organizational adoption units.

The continued contestation of authenticity on manifold fronts tends, unsurprisingly, to induce a defensive posture to establish professional authority, which is accomplished by legitimating practice through symbolic representation.

Awash in muddy syntax and obscure vocabulary, such sentences recall the bureaucratic blather that George Orwell once likened to the defensive response of a "cuttlefish squirting out ink.">>>

Emily Temple, "The 10 Grumpiest Living Writers,", April 25, 2011

This week saw the release of Farther Away, Jonathan Franzen’s newest collection of essays and speeches, covering the last five years of his non-fiction output. Well, in those last five years, he has become increasingly grumpy, griping about things like Twitter and ebooks, and building a reputation as an unrepentantly prickly author with a constant bone to pick. To celebrate the release of another book filled with Franzen’s complaints, we’ve put together a list of the ten grumpiest, crankiest and most cantankerous authors still living today. Click through to read about the exploits of our favorite literary curmudgeons, and let us know — as un-crankily as you can, please — if we’ve missed anyone in the comments.>>>

Teri Tan, "Publishing In Russia 2012: Publishers in a Changing Industry Exploring ways to move ahead while going increasingly digital," Publishers Weekly, March 30, 2012

Despite the economic gloom, the number of titles produced annually in Russia continues to grow. The country is now #3 in terms of book production (approximately 125,000 new titles per year), after the U.S. and China. It also saw more than 20 million e-book downloads and some one million reading devices sold in 2011.>>>

John Bynner and Harvey Goldstein, "Open access publishing should not favour those with deep pockets," Guardian blog, May 9, 2012

The present academic publishing system obstructs the free communication of research findings. By erecting paywalls, commercial publishers prevent scientists from downloading research papers unless they pay substantial fees. Libraries similarly pay huge amounts (up to £1m or more per annum) to give their readers access to online journals.>>>

No comments: