So it's not like PW reviewers will starve now because the rate they're being paid is being slashed by 50%. But it still sorta sucks.It more than "sorta" sucks. There was a time, 15-20 years ago, when a significant chunk of my income came from PW reviews, which I cranked out at the rate of 2-4 per week, at $45 per. During the sturm und drang over Tasini v. NY Times, I followed the advice of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, of which I was a member, and refused to sign PW's retroactive rights contract. It demanded that I hand over, gratis, the copyright for the hundreds of reviews, interviews and articles I'd written over more than a decade. Whereupon PW informed me that my services were no longer needed--not even for the biannual announcement listings, which I'd been doing for 10+ years.
So I caved and signed the verstunken contract. And my services were still no longer needed. Whereupon I found greener reviewing pastures, which not only paid 6-10 times more but gave me a byline.
"However, you will be credited as a contributor in issues where your reviews appear," reassures reviews director Louisa Ermelino in the email she sent contributors announcing the change. Also, she writes that "all of us here are also experiencing change but we expect that we will continue to be the gold standard in book reviewing."Raise your hand if you think Ermelino and other PW staffers' salaries have been cut by half.