Are Publishers Just Trying to Aggravate Me?

So today I got the following message from Sage Publications:

SAGE Publications

Ref: 3.48 / Thussu / 16.11.11

Dear Professor Stabile,

We are preparing an academic work entitled International Communication” edited by Daya K. Thussu (University of Westminster) which will be published by SAGE Publications in April, 2012, as part of our SAGE Benchmarks in Communication. The work will be published as four reprinted volumes with an introduction by the editor.  The print-run is scheduled at approximately 225 copies.

We are very pleased to inform you that the following article has been selected by the editor for full reproduction in the collection:

Book/Journal Title: Media, Culture & Society, 27(5) (2005)

Chapter/Article Title: Unveiling Imperialism: Media, Gender and the War on Afghanistan

Pages: 765-782

This article was published by SAGE Publications and we manage the copyright to the work as per your signed Contributor Agreement.  As such, we want to keep you fully informed of all instances of reuse of your work, and to reassure you that full acknowledgement of the original source will be made at the front of the collection, as well as on the first page of the article itself.

For your records, the details of the collection are follows:

Title:                                       International Communication

Editor:                                    Daya K. Thussu (University of Westminster)

ISBN:                                     978-0-85702-987-4

Publication date:                 April, 2012

Publisher:                             SAGE Publications

Please note, however, that due to the high production costs involved and the number of ‘contributing’ authors, we are unfortunately unable to offer complimentary copies to the authors selected for inclusion by the editors.  The collection will be an invaluable resource for university libraries worldwide, especially in countries where academic holdings are relatively less comprehensive.

Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail.

In effect, what Sage is telling me is that we “manage” (e.g. own) your article and although we intend to include it in a costly volume we are planning to sell to libraries and individuals, we cannot afford to even send you a complimentary copy of the pricey volume in which the unpaid products of your labor are going to be included.

Am I supposed to feel good about this? Oh, wait: this will be “an invaluable resource for university libraries worldwide, especially in countries where academic holdings are relatively less comprehensive.” Well, I just think I might post the essay on this website, where university libraries won’t have to pay a gazillion dollars to read something I basically wrote for free.

With very kind regards, indeed.



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