A few months ago, I got a ms. of mine back from its publisher -- NOT Little, Brown. The publisher had:
- rewritten most of the book
- added two pages of text that contradicted the main message
- completely changed the ending
- changed the title
-- and all without asking the author, me. By the time I saw the edits, the book was in pages, with all the art in place. This wasn't a work-for-hire project; it was a contracted book.
I wrote a couple of emails to the publisher, requesting changes as politely and firmly as I could; the first was ignored. They replied to the second saying they had, in an editor's words "gone as far as we can" (which wasn't very far: they changed a few words). At that point, I let it go.
EVERY author, I think, has high hopes for every book -- but sometimes, you have to just move on. Thanks partly to the wise advice of friends, I did. I put it out of my mind and went back to the novel I'm now rewriting.
Luckily, my agent will be the one submitting this, not me.