Don’t take trannies home!

Photographers and illustrators are advised to seek compensation for loss or damage to original work. Quite right. But, if you are a freelance publisher of any sort - beware. You might be the one doing the compensating.

Some years ago, a book editor friend was on her way to the post office, with an envelope stuffed with transparencies she was returning to a picture library. One minute the envelope was in her shopping basket - the next it wasn't. The library wanted thousands in compensation - and she wasn't insured for the loss.

The moral of this is that, unless you are insured, don't handle expensive materials at home. I work for a branch of Macmillan that makes things easy by simply not allowing it. Other publishers are less careful, and the temptation may overwhelm them to send you valuable material so that you can do the work in a hurry or out of office hours or save them the bother of storage.

Don't go along with it. Try only to handle the materials in the publishers' office and never risk taking on the liability yourself - unless you are (a) very rich or (b) insured - which, unless you are (a), you probably can't afford.

Last modified: 2 February 2002 - © 2002 contributors
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