Re: Publish and be dumbed?
Fair? You've been taught to expect fair?
You think that it's talent decides sales, rather than a rather large amount of luck, and a gift for self promotion? (admittedly I'm in the music business rather than printing, but it seems to me there is a fair resemblance between the two.)
No, I don't consider it fair. They requested, essentially commissioned, a story from an unknown author, about a subject I knew, for a collection for mass market publication. They requested changes in the presentation to better suit their audience (and I'd be the first to admit I'm not always the most comprehensible of authors.) They have put the book out as an electronic volume, and it should soon appear as a hardcover. (when it comes out in mass market paperback I'll buy myself one) And they actually sent me a cheque for the work.
No, that's not fair – I'm sure there are many more deserving writers out there. But I'm damned if I'm going to complain about it when "not fair" goes my way.
Their target audience is their problem, and my target audience should have been the editor who asked for the work; I suspect it was far too much myself. Still, I know there are several people on this site who would have accepted the deal if it had been offered by a ruddy gentleman with cloven hooves, rather than a polite American who said "don't you think that this might be a little bit difficult for your readers to understand". Several times.