Publishing Perils…Watch Out!

We all know that publishing is a part of academic life.  But beware the call of the “print content farms”…

Joseph Stromberg at Slate details his experience in publishing his undergraduate thesis with a content farm publisher.

At this point, I did a bit more research into LAP Lambert and found that it’s really just the tip of the book-mill iceberg. Both it and AV Akademikerverlag GmbH & Co. KG are part of an enormous German publishing group called VDM… The company declines to release financial data but claims to publish 50,000 books every month, making it, by its own accounting, one of the largest book publishers in the world.

How can it possibly churn out this many titles?

These outlets will not add to your academic credentials.

From the blog posts I found (and the hundreds of comments posted on some of them), I saw that many authors came away from the deal less than satisfied. Some naive academics think publishing will add cachet to their C.V., but they find that having the Lambert name on it is an embarrassment. Meanwhile, the contract stripped them of the right to publish it elsewhere or even publish chapters of it in an academic journal.

The end product doesn’t even seem to be worth it.

Then, as I paged through the book, I remembered something funny I’d done when reformatting the text for submission. For kicks, I’d buried an errant phrase deep in the middle, partly to see if LAP Lambert’s editors ever actually read the thing. When I got to Page 86, I was gratified to find that they hadn’t noticed it. Right there on the middle of the page, amid talk of Oglala Lakota politics and tribal sovereignty was my insertion.

“Is any proofreader actually reading this book before it gets printed?” I’d asked. “Didn’t think so.”

To read all of Joseph Stromberg’s article, click here.

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Posted on March 27, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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