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comment How much power does the author have over an original work?
You could be right spice, but my experience shows that if you are working with a publisher that is going to walk all over you, the last thing the they are concerned with is the contract. You have to size them up first. A bad sign is a publisher that is unwilling to read or discuss with you in any meaningful way the work to be published.
comment How much power does the author have over an original work?
It's not clear what those 30 pages were used for, but it seemed to establish a precedent for editing that made me very uncomfortable. When I mentioned my discomfort, the publisher got blustery and stubborn. It was a difficult collaboration. The lawyer who initially reviewed the contract said it all seemed pretty standard. Surely this is not the experience most published authors have? I've worked with editors from the NYT and others who were much more transparent about what changes they needed.
comment How much power does the author have over an original work?
To follow up on what happened with me, I ended up publishing the book. I basically found I had to be more aggressive with my negotiations, but it was hard because I didn't know how the process worked, and often only found out about problems after they arose. I was also terrified that it would get away from me and something terrible would be published in my name. I still can't seem to swallow the fact that writers are at the mercy of publishers. If all publishers are like this, I may be in the wrong field or develop some strategies. So, my question here.
comment What is “head popping” and why is it bad?
Head popping is a silly name, but changing POV doesn't actually describe the problem I'm seeking help with. For example, you can change POV without running into the "head popping" problems described in the answers to this question.