Friday, November 20, 2009
Ironically Good News
If I ever had to keep confidential the details of my attempts to get a particular paper published, then I no longer have to do so. I've received an acceptance letter for a paper I sent off to a highly respected journal in the field of popular culture. It's very gratifying. But in the context of the most recent unfolding drama elsewhere in the romance community concerning Harlequin's venture into vanity publishing, it does seem somewhat ironic to note that before I can see my paper published I will have to: wait for around 2 years; pay to subscribe to the journal; sign away my copyright. Oh, and there will be no royalties of any sort flowing in my direction, and no "advance" either. This is all absolutely normal in academic publishing (well, apart from the delay in publication, which is a little bit longer than usual). I know the publishing model is very, very different than that for popular fiction, so I'm not trying to criticise the journal. In fact, I wanted to pass on what I think is good news. I'm really happy that my essay is going to be in the Journal of Popular Culture. As I said, it's a very respectable peer-reviewed journal, and I hope that my paper will help bring to wider attention the most recent wave of romance scholarship.
All the same, it does seem deeply ironic that the acceptance letter for my paper on "Feminism and Early Twenty-First Harlequin Mills and Boon Romances" should arrive during this particular controversy. I'm not worried about my paper becoming obsolete. In fact, in the paper itself I point out that the romance genre is a fast-changing one. But I do wonder what the situation will be with Harlequin, the RWA, and romance publishing in two years' time when my paper finally appears.
The image was taken from the Journal of Popular Culture's website. I hope they won't mind. The website has four pictures at the top, of an alien, a pair of superheroes, a horrified woman, and a spy. I didn't really feel I could make the others remotely relevant to the present post.