Eileen Pollack, thanks for your informative article, and for the invitation to ask a question: I’m new to writing for pay, so I don’t know what’s acceptable. Allow me to elaborate: I was lucky enough to snag a contract to write a book on Symbols for a particular publisher. I’d written 15 chapters, and was only 3 chapters away from finishing the project, when the editor emailed and said that the “team” (the Art layout department, presumably) had decided that they wanted the symbols listed in dictionary format rather than the narrative we had all agreed on at the start. They actually told me that all I had to do was “cut and paste” my narrative text into dictionary style entries so the format change would be “no big deal”. Needless to say, it is a very big deal. Aside from the practicalities of changing the format completely (and apparently with no extra compensation for my trouble forthcoming), I’m left wondering what to do? Is this kind of thing common? Do writers not receive extra pay for nineth hour changes to the entire project? I feel like I’m being taken advantage of because I’m a newbie. This isn’t the book I agreed to write, but I realize that the product belongs to the client, not to me. But it’s MY name on the book. I’m rambling, but can you tell me what I’m missing? Do I have a say regarding my “art” if I’m doing it for pay? Or do I just SHUT UP and do what the client wants? I’d appreciate your insight as a writer yourself. Thanks.
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