Monday, February 02, 2009

Victoria Strauss -- University Press of the South

University Press of the South (UNPS), (warning: hideous website alert) is a primarily academic publisher that also accepts adult and children's fiction. Over the years, I've gotten a trickle of advisories from non-academic authors who were asked for substantial fees in order to publish--$2,500 due on contract signing for "administrative costs," plus the entire cost of printing.

UNPS does not disclose these fees on its website.

Academic vanity presses can serve as a fallback option for scholars who cannot find a more reputable academic publisher for their manuscripts. Academic vanity publishing isn't prestigious--but it doesn't carry the same stigma that we're familiar with in the trade publishing world. Libraries do acquire books from academic vanity presses, and scholars cite them on their CVs.

UNPS is an old-style vanity press. Manuscripts must be delivered camera-ready; UNPS then prints whatever quantity of books the author desires, and the author is responsible for storing and distributing them (unless the author wants to use UNPS's own distribution service, which costs extra). By contrast, the newer, digitally-based vanity presses offer design and formatting services, don't produce inventory unless it's ordered, and automatically offer some level of online distribution through the catalogs of wholesalers. While new-style vanity publishing may never earn back the author's investment, it's far cheaper and thus far less risky than old-style vanity publishing, which can involve truly enormous expenditures--and, in some cases, false promises and poor service.

In May 2007, one of UNPS's authors, Christian Augustin von Hassell, filed suit against UNPS and its Director, Alain Saint-Saens, alleging breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and fraud. According to the complaint, the plaintiff incurred costs in excess of $100,000 in connection with his book (a contract signing fee of $500, an additional signing fee of $2,000, $42,000 to print 6,000 copies, $4,500 to ship copies of the book to UNPS for distribution, more than $34,000 in costs associated with UPNS's development, distribution, marketing, and promotional services, and thousands of dollars for his promotional and marketing activities). The complaint also alleges that not only did UNPS not provide promised marketing, promotion, and distribution services, it misrepresented its ability to provide them, as well as the scope and functionality of its ordering and distribution system. The plaintiff also alleged that UNPS did not pay royalties due, and refused to allow him to inspect sales records for his book, even though he was contractually entitled to do so.

Alain Saint-Saens and UNPS failed to answer the complaint or otherwise appear. On October 14, 2008, a judgment in favor of the plaintiff was entered in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, in the amount of $148,449.39: $141,933.07, plus $350 in costs, plus $7,348.49 in interest.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Victoria,

One thing to make clearer. This University Press of the South is NOT a university press.

It is a vanity press whose name is intended to suggest that it is a university press.

Also, while I know that scholarly journals do charge hefty sums for publication, last I heard legitimate academic presses did not. They give very low or nonexistent royalties, but I'm pretty sure they pay royalties.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

I once worked as an assistant acquisitions librarian at the University of Chicago Library, which is one of the world's largest academic libraries (No. 3 after Harvard and Yale in the US), and we acquired academic books from just about everywhere, including almost every country in the world and in virtually every language.

One thing we DID NOT do was acquire books from academic vanity presses----even when they were by the university's own professors. (mind you, most University of Chicago professors don't have problems getting published, so it was usually the adjuncts and graduate teaching assistants' books that were turned down). We would not buy them, and the bibliographers usually refused to accept free copies that were given to the libraries as gifts by the authors. These books were generally of very poor quality, with crummy binding, horrible typesetting, and irrelevant content. Books from poor Third World countries in Africa that used very low-grade papers and plant inks were often better quality than what you'd see from the academic vanity presses.

The "gift" books the library received of these books usually went straight to the library trash bin, as I recall, because we knew no one would buy them at our annual Book Sale.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

"I know that scholarly journals do charge hefty sums for publication"

---Legitimate scholarly journals do not charge authors for publication. Just FYI. They do have VERY high subsciption fees, which are paid mostly by libraries. Any journal that charges for publication (especially in the sciences) is _not_ legitimate at all, but rather a publication mill for desperate academics in danger of losing tenure.

(Speaking as a former academic librarian in acquisitions who knows!)

Victoria Strauss said...

I didn't say that UNPS was a university press; I said it was primarily an academic publisher. There's a difference. Its main output is scholarly works. I've no idea of the quality, either of the physical books or of the scholarship.

If you Google University Press of the South, a fair number of library listings come up. I've seen books from other academic vanity presses on library shelves, including the library at UMass, which is where I do my research these days.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

"I've seen books from other academic vanity presses on library shelves, including the library at UMass, which is where I do my research these days."

---I'm sure that's true, Victoria. What academic libraries stock and don't stock is entirely up to the university librarians and university policies. I know some of the more prestigious academic libraries have much stricter policies about what they will and won't stock. The library where I worked had very strict acquisition policies.

There's actually an arm of bibliographic scholarship out there that actively collects vanity-published books as a way of studying culturual anthropology---believe it or not.

lucyp said...

Both scholarly journals and legitimate academic university presses do sometimes seek subventions for publishing articles and books, respectively, especially when the work involves lots of illustrations. Sometimes a department will make paying these sums part of your academic job contract.

But the big difference between this and what Victoria is describing is that it is not pay to play. The decision to publish is independent of the subvention.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

When I was an acquisitions librarian at U of Chicago, I recall we had a policy against subscribing to any academic journal that required subventions. We considered it the same as vanity publishing. There were a few subject bibliographers that circumvented this policy, but that was _very_ rare. And in the hard sciences, it was never deviated from. (then again, some of the annual subscriptions to the more well-known scientific journals cost $20,000 or more a year)

The more prestigious universities with billion-dollar library budgets can afford to be snobbish about this, I guess. The second- and third-tier (full disclosure: I went to a second-tier public university for undergrad), probably not.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

also, I left the library world over ten years ago. A lot has changed in publishing since then, so who knows if the old policies at my former employer are still in place.

Anonymous said...

Jill, you gave us long lectures on how you were a librarian who knows. then at the very end you turn round and say 'well, a lot has changed in the 10 years since I left'. In other words, you don't know what it's like today. Reading your posts was very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

I think the overall message here is clear. DO NOT PAY TO PUBLISH! It seems that whether you've written an academic book, a novel, children's literature or a collection of short stories, if you hand over money, you're never going to see a return on your investment. If you've written a book that doesn't have a potential mass audience, then go to a printer's and they'll print it for you. It's much cheaper, they'll print it in the format you want and they'll deliver. Then you can sell or distribute the copies to whoever you please. They won't make you order 6000 copies either. But the problem remains: people want to be able to say 'MY publisher', 'MY agent'. It doesn't roll off the tongue well to say 'Today I have a meeting with my printer'. For as long as people think like that, these people will get away with it. The problem with these cases and the awarding of damages is actually getting your hands on the money. If the publisher didn't show up in court, it's obvious that there is no good faith here. I will never pay to publish anything, not after reading this. Another easy lure for naive writers is the promise of an ISBN number, which makes people think vanity publishing is a 'real' book.

I once knew a fellow who paid Vantage Press to 'publish' i.e. charge him a fortune to print, his book. He was wily. He thought that the books could be used to get him a legit publisher in Europe. So, off he sent his book to publishers with a letter stating: Please find enclosed a copy of the American edition of my book. I do hope you will consider publishing the British edition.

He really thought he could get away with that. All the books he sent out were returned with a traditional rejection slip.

I felt sorry for him.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

Anonymous 7:07:

The point of my posts is, DO NOT PAY TO PUBLISH. It's not legitimate, even in the academic world, to the point a lot of very large academic libraries with huge acquisitions budgets refuse to acquire subsidy/vanity academic publishing as a matter of policy.

One thing I did find out since yesterday, my old employer will now subscribe to some "open source" online journals that are free and have open submission/posting policies, but these don't charge their authors for publication.

The lesson here is, vanity publishing is still vanity publishing, no matter how you try to dress it up, and it carries a pretty big stigma with it no matter what or where you do it. I agree with university policies that don't offer tenure based on vanity publishing, I agree with library policies that block acquisition of vanity-pubbed books, too. I don't think the vanity industry should be supported or legitimized in any way whatsoever.

Castiron said...

Legitimate scholarly journals do not charge authors for publication.

Unless the journal is one of the new open-access journals that uses the author-pays model -- but that's going to be clearly disclosed up front. I don't know of a legitimate journal that a library has to pay for that also charges authors to submit.

As far as books go: Legitimate academic presses will occasionally require the author to come up with a subsidy, but I've only seen that with enormous heavily-illustrated books that have high production costs. Authors also often have to pay any permissions fees for materials they want to use in their work. Other than that, though, "money flows towards the author" is as true in scholarly book publishing as in trade book publishing -- it's just a lot less money.

(And scholarly authors who want to verify whether a publisher calling itself a university press really is one could do worse than start at www.aaupnet.org, the Association for American University Presses.)

(Disclaimer: University press employee.)

AnneMarble said...

The subject of page fees for journals may vary depending on the journal. There are some very respectable, peer-reviewed scientific journals that charge page fees. For example, PNAS charges $70 a page plus additional charges for supplemental information, figures, etc. JBC also charges page fees. Both journals have a very high impact factor. Authors can also get those fees waived in some case. More recently, some journals are also charging an additional fee if authors want to make their articles available immediately through open access. (Depending on their funding, some authors have to make their articles available via open access.)

MisterChris said...

Jill, you said:

The lesson here is, vanity publishing is still vanity publishing, no matter how you try to dress it up, and it carries a pretty big stigma with it no matter what or where you do it. I agree with university policies that don't offer tenure based on vanity publishing, I agree with library policies that block acquisition of vanity-pubbed books, too. I don't think the vanity industry should be supported or legitimized in any way whatsoever.


Are you saying here that if my books are NOT picked up by a legitimate publisher, through luck of the draw or their inability to surface through the slush pile, that it's better NOT to publish them at all, not even for family and friends?

The format for query letters seems to assume that you are already published, since there is a section at the bottom to list your previous works. This leads me to the conclusion that there is a Catch-22 in the literary world - You cannot publish unless you are published.

If the avenue of self-publishing or POD is a throat-slitter, your only option appears to be to continue to send ms after ms out for review and rejection.

Reading Rob Silverburg's notes on the SFWA site leads me to believe it has ALWAYS been that way.

(This, by the way, is coming from an author who hasn't submitted his works yet, they are still in edit).

Anonymous said...

MisterChris, I suppose there's no harm in putting together a book to distribute to family and friends, etc. I have done this. I had a collection of essays I'd written for my classes over the years and had been enjoyed by my students (although nowhere near a big enough audience to attract a publisher). I put them all into one word for windows file and printed them up. Then I got them copied and bound and gave them away. However, I would never dare to approach a publisher and argue that this little private collection is a basis for getting something else published. I think POD, etc. is for self satisfaction and nothing more.

It sounds harsh. Even the term 'vanity publishing' sounds harsh. But the truth is that what you pay to get published is not a track record. No matter what fancy binding you put on it or if you get an ISBN number, it's not a real publication.

I agree with a previous poster who said that the 'vanity' part is true. People want to say 'MY publisher', 'MY agent'. I got my little collection printed at a local printer and collated for a few dollars, nowhere near the tens of thousands that vanity publishers ask people to fork out. However, as a money spinner, being an academic vanity publisher is good business. No one is more susceptible to the temptations than a scholar. We want, oh how we so truly want, to say that we have published. For most of us, an article in a specialist journal or periodical is about as real as it gets. But we all want to say 'my book'. And the vanity publishers step in, butter you up with all the illusions and then take your money. Even if they bind it in leather and on the best quality paper (instead of the cheap cardboard and newspaper that you get, if you receive your book at all), it still isn't an authentically published book and it won't be on your record of published works.

Sorry, but that's just the facts of life, unpleasant though they may sound.

wealhtheow said...

Another university press employee here. There definitely are perfectly legitimate journals with "page charges"; they are, as noted, mostly open-access (free to subscribers) -- meaning that the money has to come from somewhere else -- and they are also mostly in the "hard sciences" (what we call STM journals, for scientific, technical, and medical) -- meaning that the people who publish in them tend to have research grants part of whose function is to pay said page charges (some granting agencies require open-access publication), so the money is not, in general, coming from authors' own pockets. To put it another way, the university (in the broad sense) is paying either way: by subscribing to a journal that doesn't have page charges, or by paying faculty members' page charges for a journal that does.

Open access is a relatively new paradigm in journal publishing, and there are various ways of supporting it financially (or trying to); author page charges are one of those ways, and they don't make these publications any less legitimate. It's also standard practice for the author (or the author's grant) to pay any necessary permission fees, and a journal might legitimately assess a fee for something unusual such as 4-colour images in a print journal that is normally printed in one colour. I've also known of journals published by associations that require you to be a member in order to publish; again, in most cases either you're already a member anyway because it's your field, or your university or your grant will cover the membership fee.

However, as also noted, the journal publishing model separates the publication functions from the editorial functions; your article is accepted or rejected by the journal editor(s), on the advice of referees, while the page charges, if any, are assessed by the publisher. Of course there will be exceptions -- smaller operations where everything is done by a couple of people in a spare university office -- but that's not usually the sort of context where you see page charges. In theory, the sole purpose of page charges is to shift the costs of publication from the reader's institution to the author's -- it's a source of revenue but not a source of profit, if you see what I mean. I can't speak to what commercial publishers might be up to, though.

I work with journals, not books, so I also can't speak in an educated way about current practice in UP book publishing; but I have certainly never heard of an author's being charged a fee by a legitimate UP. Asked to pay for permissions and provide an index, yes; asked to fork over some grant money, quite possibly; but asked to pay out of pocket, no.

The thing is, the majority of scholarly books are expensive to produce and sell relatively few copies, so someone, somewhere, has to pay to publish them -- a significant proportion of them will not make back their publication costs through sales, and many academic authors will make little or no direct money on their books (rather, they get promotion or tenure on the strength of those books, so make money indirectly). The author's SSHRC grant is paying, or the publisher got an NEH grant for the book, or the books that do sell well are helping to bankroll the rest of the list ... So it's perhaps easier to understand how the lines might get blurred -- although of course they shouldn't. Maybe this makes it easier for places like UP of the South to take people in. You'd think the website design would be a giant red warning flag, though :P

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

"The format for query letters seems to assume that you are already published, since there is a section at the bottom to list your previous works."

---MrChris, _what_ are you talking about? There is no fill-in-the-blank "form" for query letters. Query letters are concise, succinct "sales pitches" for books, and the ability to write a good one is dependent on writing ability, and independent of being previously published.

Every published author was once an unpublished author (myself included). There is no "catch-22" if you are a good writer who writes something that a publisher thinks is marketable to the public.

I agree that if you want to "publish" something just for family and friends, go to your friendly neighborhood print shop, who will do it for far less $$ than a vanity publisher, and probably do a better job, too. And your local print shop could probably use the business, anyway.(Full disclosure: my brother-in-law owns a print shop.)

MisterChris said...

Sorry, didn't mean to be so vague. I've never written a Query Letter before, so I've been looking through links off the SFWA site and in links off some of their PDF documents. Ran across AgentQuery.com and read some articles there, looking for SOME sample I could use as a pattern for writing one.

After all, If I just wrote a letter to an agent/editor and said 'Hey Mr. Tambourine Man, read my book, it's hot stuff! All my friends say so!' I'd probably get a reject letter before it even hit his trash can.

So, in order to get a professional look to a query letter, I needed to know what the general content was on one.

And what I got was that a query letter needs to have several sections:

1) A 1-sentence summary of your book.

2) A 1-paragraph summary of your book

3) A short Bio of the Author, listing prior literary accomplishments (if any).

It's the third section I'm referring to, and it makes sense that if an editor or agent is likely to pitch a query but notices that you wrote a best-seller, they'd think twice before at least seeing what your ms is about.

(It also differentiates one Stephen King from another...)

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

MrChris, bestselling authors like Stephen King are long past the point of having to write query letters, so that's not a good comparison to make.

The lack of prior publication is not a deterrent to being published. All published authors were once unpublished authors (even Stephen King). A good writer with a good book will eventually get published, regardless of prior history. The "catch-22" you cite is really just a myth perpetuated by the vanity industry to drum up business.

If you've written for a local newspaper, had a short story pubbed in a magazine or webzine, or even are a graduate of a prestigious writing program (like an MFA from Iowa) those are all attractive to editors and agents. But the bottom line is, it all comes down to the quality of your writing. Good writers who are also persistent eventually get published. Bad writers don't, and writers who give up after the first couple rejections also generally don't.

Writing a snappy query letter is a test of a writer's skill. Frankly, you shouldn't even need to look at "forms" to do this. If you have the skill to write a good novel, you have the skill to write a good query letter.

MisterChris said...

Thanks Jill. That gives me some solid hope. Or at least encouragement to get my ms ready and start hunting an agent.

Jill Elaine Hughes said...

Then again MrChris, I never said that writing a query letter, landing an agent, or getting published was _easy_. It's not. It's often very difficult, and may even take years of trying (and failing) until success is achieved.

I highly recommend you read Stephen King's book "On Writing." In it he details the many, many years he spent trying (and failing) to get published. He wallpapered an entire room with rejection slips. Moral of the story: Don't give up. Be persistent.

It took me several years of trying before I broke through, too. But I never once considered vanity publication.

Mad Scientist Matt said...

MisterChris,

I just wanted to add my words of encouragement - I did successfully land a book contract through a query letter without having been published before, anywhere. My book is nonfiction, so the key with that one is proving your expertise in the subject and that you have some writing ability (my publisher requested a sample chapter with the query letter).

Having a book previously published will show that you at least can write well enough that someone thinks your books are worth buying, but that's about as far as it goes unless your name is widely known enough to attract readers. As Miss Snark once put it, the only qualification you need to be qualified to write a novel is that you wrote it. If you can come up with an interesting enough book and do a decent job of summarizing it, that's enough to get a request for more.

Alain Saint-Saens said...

Dear Victoria Strauss,
My name is Alain Saint-Saens, and I am the Director of University Press of the South. Although I respect your fundamental freedom of speech and I salute it, I disagree mainly with what you said about University Press of the South, and I therefore would like my answer to you to be placed after your comments, as it is fair:
- We are not a so-called ‘vanity’ press. We are a legitimate, respected, prestigious academic press, that has helped developed many fields in the humanities thru more than two hundred publications over twelve years. We are growing and expanding. Our authors come not only from the very best universities in the country and worldwide (Princeton, Vanderbilt, Tulane, etc…), but also from lesser-known state universities and community colleges. We do not discriminate a scholar based on the fact that she comes from an Ivy League school or not. All our authors must go thru a fair but rigorous peer-review process, and we accept to publish manuscripts only if we have received at least two good and positive letters of recommendation by specialists in the field who are not from the university in which the scholar is currently teaching. Our Editorial Board and Series Editors are renowned specialists in their respective field, and are coming from North America, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Our proudly published authors, over the years, have passed third-year review, tenure, promotion, and gotten endowed chairs in the best universities of the country.
- We are not an ‘old-style’ vanity press either. We help the author in the preparation of her manuscript camera-ready for as long as it might take. We help her in formatting the manuscript, correcting mistakes, rewriting what has to be rewritten, adding an index, finding the right document or photo for the cover, preparing the cover art, etc… We generally print runs of hundred copies, and our first edition is always put at 1,000 copies. We NEVER asked any author to store copies of the book and distribute them. Our books are distributed by some fifteen major academic wholesalers on a regular basis as soon as they are published and on Amazon.com and European digital distributors. We promote our books thru flyers, thru our own web site with a digital page for each published book with links to other website if necessary, and thru any means possible that is accessible to us. We send review copies of the book to journals or newspapers chosen by the author, and we do help the author in promoting her own book. Our books are found in the best academic libraries of the country and worldwide. Most of our authors have praised the help we gave them, the care we offered to them almost 24/7, and have been happy with their book and the professional impact of it.
- In the case vs. Agostino Von Hassell and his book, Military High Life, that you are mentioning, and that we are appealing, it is important to mention that we did charge the author for contractual and publication fees, as we usually do, and that we provided in return repeated editorial advise before and after the book be printed to his team of helpers, contacted all military bookstores and wholesalers, all faculty at military bookstores, contacted all the higher hierarchy of Army, Navy, and Air Force, and even sent promotion copies to the then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, then Vice-President Dick Cheney and then President George W. Bush, as attested by letters sent by them to us and posted at our web page. We had a person working full-time five hours a day for months to promote this book via targeted emailing. We were proud to let people know at our website when Mr. Von Hassell went on the Food Network channel. We believe we have done what we could to help promoting and marketing this book the best we humanly could.
You let imply that we would have charged Mr. Agostino von Hassell for printing 6,000 copies, shipping these copies, and shipping copies to our distributors along with additional costs of promotion and marketing. IT IS JUST NOT TRUE. We never asked for, nor charged Mr. Agostino von Hassell for the aforementioned costs. Against our suggestion to print the book with our excellent printer in Mexico, Mr. Agostino Von Hassell decided to have his book printed in Hong Kong AT HIS COST and to print 6,000 copies, which we thought was too much to start with— I remember the cost of printing as $20,000, though, and not the number you are mentioning – creating a long delay to have copies of the book shipped to California, then blocked there for a while, before finally being sent to our storage in Louisiana. The fact that Mr. Von Hassell decided to invest part of his personal, large fortune in marketing his book was his own decision, and had nothing to do with our contractual obligations that, I believe, were respected and fulfilled. We did not misrepresent our ability to promote and market the book, within our range and scope, and on the contrary, we even advised the author in November 2006 that we believe a larger press might get him better results in terms of sales, and we offer to let his book go with any other press he would suggest.
We sold some 450 copies of the book, and we let the author know on a regular basis about the sales of the book, indicating what could be done to increase the number of books sold. Military cuisine is a very narrowly targeted market and we could only sell as many books as customers and therefore bookstores wanted to buy. We did pay royalties on a monthly basis to Mr. Agostino Von Hassell on the copies sold. There was no fraud from us whatsoever. I wish we could have sold more copies, but the fact is, we did not. I was never physically subpoenaed and was advised therefore by our lawyers not to appear in court. I expect to be vindicated in a court of appeal.
University Press of the South is a fine and serious academic press that has brought professional security and career enhancement to many scholars and joy to many readers of academic books, novels or poetry. We do care for our authors, who for many of them are repeated authors or referrals of published authors, which indicates a high degree of satisfaction.
I think it is about time to abandon the term of ‘vanity press’ that is an old-fashioned derogatory word in the editorial field, or at least to seriously redefine it. University Press of the South, by the quality of its work and its publications, does not deserve to be stigmatized with the v..p… word.
Alain Saint-Saens
Director
University Press of the South
www.unprsouth.com

Victoria Strauss said...

Mr. Saint-Saens, thanks for your comment. To respond:

- You say that University Press of the South is not a vanity press. Yet you admit that you "usually" charge authors contractual and publication fees--a fact that is nowhere disclosed on your website. A company that presents itself as a "publisher" (rather than a self-publishing service) yet requires authors to pay for publication is the general definition of a vanity press.

- My description of Mr. von Hassell's allegations against your company, including the financial amounts, is taken directly from court papers.

- According to those court papers, UNPS didn't just fail to appear in court--it failed to answer the amended complaint. I find it hard to imagine that a responsible lawyer would advise such a course of action. Also, the fact that Mr. von Hassell was awarded the full amount he requested, plus costs and interest, indicates that the court found that his complaint had merit.

Anonymous said...

Two kinds of comments. I take it that Ms Strauss is an attorney and therefore in a position to judge the merits of cases, including those where the contract may specify a venue for resolution other than the State of New York.

As for the practice of charging fees or subventions for books, I have some recent experience. But some older experience is worth citing, too. A close friend published a book with the University of California Press in the 1970s. His topic was the history of Polish labor movements, a theme judged to be worth publishing but not marketable. UC Press asked for a $2000 subsidy, which was paid by my friend's employer, the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter the Solidarity Movement proved that his scholarship was marketable and relevant after all.

Within the last two years I have been part of two publishing projects with a major West Coast university press. I choose to keep the details private from this site. In both cases, the press required subsidies in the form of buying significant numbers of the books and paying for various other services. One book was funded by a federal agency, the other by a large private foundation. This seemed to be business as usual. We didn't mind, because we had the grant money, and in one case our intent was to distribute lots of free copies to policy makers anyway.

Top scientific journals in some fields now demand publishing fees of between $3000 and $4000 per article, especially for articles that require publication of photographs, micrographs or other technical illustrations.

The websites of these university presses and journals do not make obvious and transparent statements about the fact that fees will be required. So if you apply the same standards to these presses as you (authors on this site) do to U Press South, then some major university presses are vanity presses as well.

And what about permissions fees? Contracts routinely require authors to obtain those at their own cost. In this climate, that's a kind of subsidy too.

The fact is that U Press South, like other academic publishers, prints niche books that have limited markets. I know one of their authors whose book has been cited routinely in the professional lit. I have examined other books from the press and find them comparable to other academic publications. Frankly, it is hard to publish on a topic such as Portuguese detective fiction. U Press South has qualified specialists in Hispanic and Romance literature. My colleague who has published with U Press South has also received royalties over the years.

Too many of the respondents on this site have inadequate experience with real publishing.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, your comment would carry more weight if you'd made it under your real name. And I'm sorry, but I don't put a lot of stock in claims about unnamed projects with an unnamed publisher. Anyone can make such claims. They're meaningful only when verifiable.

I am not crazy about subventions (and I come from a family of well-published academics, so I am somewhat familiar with these issues). But there's a big difference between a publisher that sometimes requests subventions--to cover the cost of illustrations, for instance--and one that routinely requires its authors to fund 100% of the cost of publication--and then some, in the case of UNPS, which also charges "administrative" fees.

Requiring authors to obtain permission for use of copyrighted materials is standard for publishers, including trade publishers. If there are fees for these permissions, they're more properly considered to be part of the expense of writing the book--just like research expense. Or would you consider the fact that authors must fund their own research to be subsidy publishing also? This is an entirely separate issue, at any rate, from requiring authors to pay for publication.

Anonymous said...

I can understand your wish to have more information to check my claims, but I choose not to use your site to bring attention to the specific press involved. I accept that this choice limits the force of my argument.

What is at issue in my recent experience is far more than paying established university presses for illustrations. The fees requested are overall subventions are are quite substantial.

Your site is premised on a particular view of what authors and publishers ought to do. Authors do research and write; publishers fund printing, marketing, and other services.

My own experience and that of my colleagues in various universities and publishing enterprises indicates that the real economic situation is far more complex. Smaller academic and art presses charge subventions or leave substantial portions of the marketing task to authors. Royalty accounts get charged for marketing or art costs. Large academic presses negotiate where they can for fees when research projects are well funded.

Moreover, it is not the case that to be published for no fee implies that the work is necessarily of higher quality. Some presses that are subsidized by universities or professional associations must complete their annual lists, or publish a certain number of books in various areas of specialization, or publish books by members whatever their quality or the likelihood they will sell. If the typical academic monograph sells 500 to 1000 copies to libraries and specialists, the typical small press book is lucky to sell 2000.

You are simply too critical of this particular press, and you are harsh without having adequate information about either the books themselves or the case that inspired your interest. Your own judgments would have more merit if you could demonstrate that you had in your hands specific reviews by experts of the books themselves.

Victoria Strauss said...

You are simply too critical of this particular press, and you are harsh without having adequate information about either the books themselves or the case that inspired your interest. Your own judgments would have more merit if you could demonstrate that you had in your hands specific reviews by experts of the books themselves.

You're changing the ground of the argument. I made no statements about the quality of UNPS's books. Indeed, quality is not the issue. A vanity publisher is as happy to publish an excellent book as a poor one.

Again, the fees levied by UNPS simply can't be compared to subventions. We're talking applies and oranges here. And I don't think I'm being too critical of a publisher that not only requires its authors to pay a large "administrative" fee, but requires them to foot the entire bill for printing and production.

Anonymous said...

I work as an editor of scholarly works at a state university. We do not have our own press, however, I help faculty get their manuscripts into shape for submission to scholarly presses. A state university press offered to publish the manuscript that I edited for a professor who has been published more than 200 times. They asked for money - a lot of money. Welcome to university press publishing in 2009.

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria

you are ternishing some experts at university press of the south, especially in literature.. I looked at the website and I wonder if you look at presses universitaires du nouveau monde. I invite you to have alook of French francophone culture, Spanish literature.. They are written by experts in their fields..

Anonymous said...

dear Victoria
I was informed about your blog...
I published my book with presses universite du nouveau monde where you can find experts in Chinese, French, Spanish.. I am finalist for the literature prize in Europe and what you said about the authors are dangerous.we publish poor work.. so, herbi baraoui is an expert in diplomacy!!! dr, Jean jacques thomas is a renowed literature author.. ( find his work and make investigation, you seem to enjoy research), Mary Luckacher is an expert in Georges sand.. you ternish our reputation and it is dangerous.. you ternish my name.. I belong to steve de shazer, a famous psychologist and I was appaled how you ternish the work of authors. so these experts have grants from Universities to publish their work... you are ternishing the experts,and it is dangerous.. so why do not you write a letter to Jacque Chirac, his book: it was a poor book too because he published at pRESSES UNIVERSITAIRES DU NOUVEAU MONDE.. TELL ME..

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, perhaps you should more carefully read blog posts on which you plan to comment. I made no judgments about the quality of the books published by UNPS.

It would be difficult for me to "ternish" your name, in any case, since you have neglected to provide it.

Anonymous said...

my name is marie laure rosita de shazer and i belong to steve de shazer. i am finalist for the literature prize in Europe with pan yu liang.. please look at the website that you mention: presses universites du nouveau monde. we authors, professors, obtain grants from universities and we publish our books with different university presses including universite presses du nouveau monde. Did you read all the books that most universities use. Do you know that we have an expert from Harvard university who publish: the literature francophone and is used in Harvard. do you know that? do you know that you are ternishing our names to say that we are desperate professors, authors. we are not desperate, we publish with other publishers from Europe, China... I belong to steve de shazer, a very famous psychologist and author, I work hard to be like him.. You ternish my name.. you have no clues about the author that you are talking. You have no clues, interview other experts who work at harvard, illinois, ohio, wisconsin and ask them how doctor saen publish our so called poor scolar work that harvard university uses.. madam

Anonymous said...

i have not finished we authors, professors and researchers who publish with dr saen are decided to act against your blog. we will contact a lawyer because you ternish our name
marie laure de shazer

Victoria Strauss said...

Here's the book that Marie-Laure has published with UNPS. Her profile on Amazon identifies it as a novel.

Covers for some of UNPS's novels, including Marie-Laure's, can be seen here. A few aren't bad, but the rest...all I can say is, for what UNPS authors pay, they deserve better.

Anonymous said...

madam
I belong to universite presses du nouveau monde. my books are worldwide such as pan yu liang. I am going to sue you. you said that my books are bad. no?? we are not the only authors who want to sue you. thanks.. you are not a research, a novelist. you are nothing in reality

Anonymous said...

victoria strauss
I make investigation about your fantasy books. ha ha.. it is very bad.. really how can i waste my time with a woman who is not worlwide and publish fantasy and soap books.. bye bye. edition le manuscrit will never publish your books. i do not pay,. presses universitaires du monde: we have grants.. you are not a novelist, you are not goerge sand, a finalist of literature prize like me. I laugh hard when I investigate about your novels.. fantasy books.. yes, it is not balzac, maupassant, the books that presses universitaires du nouveau monde publish.. understand.. do you speak Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish to read all the novels published at universite presse du nouveau monde in Europe.. understand culture world in Europe and we can talk.. ok, bye bye fantasy and soap opera books. my novels are worlwide and recognized. it is a waste of energy to discuss with a low level of fantasy writer. you do not have your books at harvard, berkeley, or did not write a novel about george sand, maupassant, balzac or pan yu liang. you do not have a literature prize. we laugh hard now.. a fantasy novelist judging teh novels from harvard professor..ah ah

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria
I am dubious that you are a researcher now. I wonder if your fantasy novels are recognized. I looked at your webiste and I saw ugly covers.. vow.. it is ugly. YOu need a designer.. regarding subventions, I think you are old enough to have an insight into the global world. You are an ignorant, narrow-minded fantasy novelist who thinks she is the best. right?
professor, published author. An author who makes research does not criticize other writers' work. I was in shock how you criticized the authors... it is ignorance, arrogance, again, you do not know anything about education, world, and university presses. I work ..



I am not crazy about subventions (and I come from a family of well-published academics, so I am somewhat familiar with these issues). But there's a big difference between a publisher that sometimes requests subventions--to cover the cost of illustrations, for instance--and one that routinely requires its authors to fund 100% of the cost of publication--and then some, in the case of UNPS, which also charges "administrative" fees.

Anonymous said...

I am dubious that Victoria has a phd and is an expert in her field. visit the covers of her novel, you will see ugly covers, stupid books published.
enjoy readers looking at her fantasy novels from a woman who pretends to be a writer, a researcher at the library (maybe the dean or her boss needs to know about her blog..).. enjoy readers. you know, I was making research about Victoria and I discovered that she is fake, an ignorant person who published low level of fantasy books..

www.victoriastrauss.com/ - 29k - Cached - Similar pages

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting her website about fantasy novels. yes, you are right, it is a fraud and she cannot help us.

Anonymous said...

we are going to create a blog against victoria, the liar, the novelists who pretend to help us be published!!!!! great. after visiting the website I was disappointed. I really thought you were a research, a novelist from a big university press.. really, what a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

liar writer beware blogs from Victoria strauss,,,
we should create this website, now. I am disappointed. I really thought you wrote academic books and now I discovered that you wrote poor fantasy novels..

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria Strauss,
I am Dr. Alain Saint-Saens, the Director of University Press of the South, whom you have incriminated in your blog. I have answered you a week ago, asking for my long answer to be placed just after your attack to me, which was not done of course, showing dishonesty from your part and unbalanced and biased treatment of information. So let me be firm again on several points:
- University Press of the South IS NOT a Vanity Press. We choose manuscripts we want to publish thru a very serious peer-review process involving outside readers who are all specialists in the academic field or in creative writing for poetry and novels. Anybody who does not get at least two POSITIVE evaluations is turned down. Our authors are the very best in their field. I invite all readers of this blog to peruse our Series and our catalog at our web page: www.unprsouth.com Anybody who knows anything about academics or novels and poetry will understand rapidly that University Press of the South is indeed a very serious and prestigious press, and that our titles are the envy of many other university presses, our respected fellow competitors.
- We are offering an excellent service, and it has a price, that we think is fair, in comparison to other university presses or academic presses. I, as an author, published a book with Greenwood Press, a very reputable and fine academic press, in 1994. They charged my co-editor and I $2,000.00, for which we were awarded grants to cover the cost. In 1995, I published my book on Spanish Art with Peter Lang that charged me $2,200 at that time. Peter Lang is a great academic press, with international reputation, and the Director of the Series who accepted my manuscript after a serious peer-review process, is one the very best scholars in Spanish Literature in America. Are they vanity presses because they ask, as we do, for participation to the cost? Of course, not. It is the reality of the publishing market nowadays that you do not seem to know nor understand.
- University Press of the South functions like a university press without any doubt: we have the same highest standards of evaluation; most of our books are granted by the universities of the authors; thanks to our publications, our authors have been awarded tenure, promotion, and endowed chairs in the most prestigious universities of the country and worldwide.
Recently in your blog, you have started mocking our covers and now our authors:
- I invite every one reading this blog to give a fair look to our covers that are presented at the web page at: http://www.unprsouth.com/newtitlesbycovers.htm . Our cover art designer, Ms. Rosana, is a great specialist who works on the project presented by the author and makes it magnificent. I invite also the readers of your blog to visit your web page and compare the quality of the covers of University Press of the South with the covers of your books. I am afraid to say that your covers, in comparison to ours at University Press of the South, are tacky and dull. YOU certainly deserve better cover art.
- You have finished deconsidering yourself on your own blog by mocking our authors who answered your unfair and unfounded criticism against University Press of the South. They are all very respectable, great writers or poets, renowned academics with worldwide reputation or young scholars with huge potential. As a writer yourself, you should never attack other writers thru mockery and insult. It shows ignorance to say the least, lack of respect toward fellow writers, and lapse of character.
I respect your right to trash us, even unfairly and wrongly, because I believe strongly in freedom of speech. I came to live in this country twenty years ago, because I identified with its values of liberty, respect of the other and search of happiness. I, as a publisher, see myself as the successor of the courageous publishers of the Renaissance/Reformation period in Europe, who were burnt at the stake because they were publishing the Bible in vernacular languages and other ‘dangerous’ pamphlets. Your blog, unfairly moderated, is the new modern stake, and you, by mocking our authors, are indeed behaving as the narrow-minded, ignorant, and arrogant, Inquisitor of it.

Victoria Strauss said...

Mr. Saint-Saens, you say that I've "mocked" your authors. Please quote me. I have in fact done no such thing.

I can understand that you take issue with my characterization of UNPS as an academic vanity press. But please, if you're going to accuse me of saying something, accuse me of something I've actually said.

Marie-Laure, you reveal far more about yourself in your repeated comments (and please don't pretend that you are not the author of the anonymous comments, other than Mr. Saint-Saens', that have been posted here over the past day or so--your writing style gives you away) than you do about me.

I've avoided personal insults, both in my post and in my comments, as I feel that this kind of discourse tends to weaken argument. May I ask that you both do the same?

Anonymous said...

I invite you to contact Maryline Lukacher, a specialist in Literature and discuss that she is not a specialist because she published in Unps. I am ready to do something against you... we are specialist and you start ternishing our reputation as professors, educators, researchers.. you ternish us.. visit the unps, the cover is good and some of them are bad. it is low.. your personality is despicable. you only published fantasy novels and you dare to judge professors from prestigious universities. come and do research, publish george sand, stendhal, and we will discuss. your behavior is low. and you are an author, who deserves respect. You start ternishing authors, experts who work at university press of the south an dpresses universites du nouveau.. you are a despicable person...I invite people to see the names of the experts who publish books at university south of press: Maryline Lukacher, maurica n anutabi, marie laure de shazer ( finalist for the literature prize, and she published in different publishing companies that Victoria ternished.. Lanin A guyrko, BEGGAR, jEAN JACQUES THOMAS, NATHALIE BUTCHER, matt waldroop, lauer, the list is long. we are all experts and we believe in research, education and literature.. we do not work fantasy novels to target mass culture but we help universities, research all over the country. MRS VICTORIA has a despicable behavior and all universities are aware of her log.. we are in shock.. we had professors from prestigious universities who publish their work at university press of the south and feel offended.. We ask a lawyer because Victoria criticized our research, our work that most u niversities enjoy reading.. Univers ity press of the South and Universite du nouveau monde publish international books, and we have grants to publish.. we do not store our books, or commercialize our books. it is a pure liar, Victoria lies about the case of this author. Mr saen published 1000 books and after that he published 1000 books.. not 6000 books. I know the author, he lied.. wall street journal was negative about his novel and after that the sales dwindle.. the author decided to break the rules of the contract... Victoria lied, and ternish the reputation of experts and we are aware it.. we are ready to sue her..

i publish with dr saen my book and I am very happy. his university press is recognized in Europe, and in the United states..

Anonymous said...

How can you judge me? you dared to say : visit amazon. com .. I can see your despicable personality: only to ternish professors, researchers..
I will not give my name at all.. You have no clues who I am.. You do not write international books in Chinese, French, English or in Spanish. I do. You ternished my colleagues who published with dr. saen.. I WANT READERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE A LIAR.. YOU HAVE NO CLUES ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE TALKING. YOU STARTED DEPRECIATING THE WORK OF THE DESIGNER, THE WORK OF ALL PROFESSORS FROM VERY GOOD UNIVERSITIES.. SO UNDERSTAND HOW WE FEEL. WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE STARTING SAYING THAT YOUR BLOG IS A LIAR.. as THE PERSON SUGGESTED, WE SHOULD CREATE A BLOG AGAINST YOU. VICTORIA AND HER FANTASY NOVELS JUDGE OUR NOVELS, OUR RESEARCH. WELCOME TO VICTORIA.I am an author and I do not appreciate how you despise our work. It is low, and it proves that you are an ignorant person. you misudged dr.saen and all of our colleagues. You dared to say that our novels were bad and the commitee did not read our manuscript. It is a liar.. you world is to lie. do not talk about research.. you are not good at it.. I believe so. as you see I have a strong personality when people ternish my colleagues's work.. do nt do it anymore, and collect facts, visit the university press of the south, visit the professors that you ternished..

Victoria Strauss said...

Marie-Laure, I am very reluctant to censor the discussion on this blog, and actually your contributions have been quite entertaining. However, in the interest of any substantive discussion that may still remain to be had, I will be deleting any further comments from you like the two above. You're welcome to debate the facts, if you care to, but the ranting is done.

Janet Reid said...

oh darn it all Victoria, just when it was getting good. You've ternished my amusements.

Anonymous said...

I went and read your answer. I decide to add a last message:

Dear Ms. Victoria Strauss,

I am Alain Saint-Saens, Director of University Press of the South that you have stigmatized as a 'Vanity Press' with lies and untrue comments about us. I shall not answer you again on that point. I have clearly demonstrated, in two long answers to you in that blog, that indeed University Press of the South is NOT a vanity press, but a very respectable and respected academic press.
Let me quote one of our authors, who is Full Professor of Latin American Literature and Film Studies in one of the most prestigious research universities in the country. He had just received two days ago copies of his book that we published:
''Muy estimado Dr. Saint-Saëns, The package containing the copies of The Shattered Screen arrived right on time, and the book is truly magnificient! Thank you again for all the expertise and great care that were dedicated to the creation of this splendid volume. I will spread the word about the publication and your distinguished University Press of the South. All the Best,'

LANIN A. GYURKO

I think his message says it all. I therefore invite all the readers of this blog, interested in being published, to submit a proposal to my attention at unprsouth@aol.com. Their manuscript will be peer-rewieved by outside readers,and if evaluations are positive, we will consider pub
lishing them.
Freedom of speech is valid in both way. I recognize you, dear Victoria Strauss, the right to unfairly and untruly trash us, but the readers of your blog are not stupid either. They can read my two long argumented answers, they can be shocked too when you mock other authors in your blog, they can surf thru our beautiful web page. Do you really think the readers of this blog are going to believe that the very best scholars in America and in the world would publish with a mere vanity press? I do not think so.
I thank you therefore for your negative light that gave us a platform to defend ourselves. Thanks to your lies and mockeries, we are coming stronger off this issue. More authors are signing than ever with us, and righteously. Paraphrasing President Reagan, facing the symbol of modern obscurantism, I could tell you:
'Ms. Victoria Strauss, TEAR DOWN THAT BLOG|', but I respect too much the First Amendment of our US Constitution to do so.
I wish you good luck in your editorial endeavors,
Dr. Alain Saint-Saens
-----------------------------------------------------
More people than ever are signing indeed. I think this negative publicity will indeed make us stronger, and it is just right.
Thank you again for your time on that issue, dear Marie-Laure. Focuse now on the manuscript of Quatre Vies. That is more important than this little person's trash tribune.
Best,
Alain Saint-Saens

Anonymous said...

Dear Victoria,
I think that by taking these nuts seriously, you have been the victim of a massive joke. The comments by the various people signing as anonymous are usually posted in unnaturally quick succession, meaning that the same person is typing up the messages as if s/he is a number of different people. You have been bamboozled. The writing of the supposedly French/Chinese authors ranges from Shakesperian to kindergarten/James Bond foreigner style. these people just want to egg you on, and by being impressed by this nonsense and replying to it, you are being made a laughing stock. One minute they are serious "Doctors" with academic arguments, the next they are sub-elementary school level nut jobs who can barely put a sentence together. Let them rave alone.
Robert

Anonymous said...

Hey Alain, when you say 'our' constitution is that the American, the French or the Chinese?

I can't believe that you want to be taken seriously. Your writing is full of unusual grammar, haphazard word order, mangled idiomatic expressions, horrendous spelling mistakes and meaningless upper case rants. And that's exactly how you have proved that your publisher is a vanity publisher, because onlya vanity publisher would take this dreadful writing seriously. You and all the other professors, researchers and scholars that you claim to be/represent produce such bad writing that it takes one's breath away.

I tend to agree with the person who posted before me, that this just has to be a joke. But if it isn't, then vanity publishing is indeed the only route for you, dear Alain.
Frank

Sarah Jensen said...

Well, this has been very entertaining. And I thought my 9 y/o's grammar and such needed work.
All I can say is, SPELL CHECK PEOPLE. I mean how hard it that? And are any of these so called books published in English?

And it probably isn't a joke, I don't think these people are trying to be funny. They are, but I don't believe it's intentional.

Have fun Victoria.

ALC said...

Anonymous said...
I take it that Ms Strauss is an attorney and therefore in a position to judge the merits of cases

Uh,no, she's not an attorney. However, having access to court documents pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

I realize that this is a difficult concept to grasp if your native tongue is not English.

As for the response from Mr. Alain Saint-Saens, I have to assume that HIS native tongue is not English either. His awkward language usage must, therefore, be attributed to that. At least I hope that is the case since he claims to be in the academic publishing business.

Arguing that a publisher who charges fees is not a vanity publisher simply because the ones being published are 'allegedly' experts in their fields (& they may very well be) is a hollow & silly argument. You could be today's equivilant to Albert Einstein & your work could be the latest twist on the theory of relativity, if you're paying the cost of publishing (I'm not talking subventions, which have been discussed here) then you are 'vanity' publishing. That is what 'vanity' publishing IS - 'vanity' publishing means that YOU the AUTHOR are covering all the costs of printing your book. Period.

Oh, & BTW, it doesn't really matter what type of scholarly "expert" you are if you are writing FICTION. Being an expert on medieval history doesn't mean that your novel based in that time period will be fit to read. Being an expert on English literature or on English grammar doesn't mean that you can write a compelling, or even moderately interesting novel. I'm not saying that you DIDN'T, or that you HAVEN'T, or that you CAN'T, I'm just saying that the skills to do so require far MORE than a knowledge of grammar or of the time period in which you'd like your story to be based. (Although those ARE important.)

Anonymous said...

Sarah, really, how can't you see that this whole thing is one big joke? Do these people really sound like serious academics to you? It's just not on. And when I say 'these people' I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the probably one person who is posting all this stuff.
Frank.

Bonita Kale said...

The warning about the University Press of the South website wasn't strong enough. My eyes, my eyes!

Anonymous said...

Another expert that I saw in the website. Your comments do not convince me at all.. sorry, she is a great professor, author!!
BARBARA MUJICA

Adviser for Golden Age Literature and Theater

University Press of the South




BARBARA MUJICA is a novelist, short story writer and critic. Her latest novel, Frida, is an international bestseller that has appeared in eleven languages. Based on the tumultuous relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Frida was published in hardcover by Overlook Press in 2001 and in paperback by Plume in 2002. Barbara Mujica’s other book-length fiction includes The Deaths of Don Bernardo (novel, 1990), Sanchez across the Street (stories, 1997) and Far from My Mother’s Home (stories, 1999). Far from My Mother’s Home was translated into French by Alain Saint-Saëns and published in 2005 by Presses Universitaires du Nouveau Monde under the title of Loin, très loin de la maison de ma mère, and is currently being translated into Spanish.

Dr. BARBARA MUJICA’s essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning Star, and hundreds of other publications. In 1990 her essay “Bilingualism’s Goal” was named one of the best 50 op-eds of the decade by The New York Times. Her latest non-fiction works are Teresa de Jesús: Espiritualidad y feminismo (Biblioteca Crítica, 2005), Women Writers of Early Modern Spain: Sophia’s Daughters (Yale University Press, 2004), and Hispanomundo (Harcourt College Publishing, 2001). She has edited eight literary anthologies. The most recent are Milenio: Mil años de literatura española (2002), Antología de la literatura española: Siglos XVIII y XIX (1999), and Premio Nóbel: Once grandes escritores del mundo hispánico (1997).

Dr. BARBARA MUJICA is President of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater and Editor of Comedia Performance, a journal devoted to early modern Spanish theater. A Professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, she writes extensively on Spanish literature, in particular, Teresa de Ávila, and her articles have appeared in many academic journals. She is book review editor of Américas, the cultural magazine of the Organization of American States and director of El Retablo, Georgetown University’s Spanish-language theater group. In 2005 she was editor of the Latin American theater section of the Latin American Handbook. She is a judge for the Helen Hayes Theater Awards.

Anonymous said...

Another researcher that I discovered and published at university press of the south
PIUS NGANDU NKASHAMA

Literary Adviser for African and Francophone Studies

University Press of the South/Presses Universitaires du Nouveau Monde


PIUS NGANDU NKASHAMA is Professor of French Language and Literature in the French Department of Louisiana State University (USA). He is also the Director of the LSU Center for French and Francophone Studies. He was awarded the 2004 Fonlon-Nichols Award for his commitment to democratic ideals, humanistic values and literary excellence in Africa.

Dr. PIUS NGANDU NKASHAMA is not only a worlwide specialist of francophone African literatures; he is also an established and acclaimed writer, novelist, poet, and playwriter. He has published more than fifty books either in French or in Cilubà.

Dr. PIUS NGANDU NKASHAMA' s major Dictionary of African Literary Works in two volumes was published in 2004 by the Presses Universitaires du Nouveau Monde:

- Écritures Littéraires. Dictionnaire critique des oeuvres africaines de langue française. Vol. I ISBN: 1-931948-01-1.

- Écritures Littéraires. Dictionnaire critique des oeuvres africaines de langue française. Vol. II ISBN: 1-931948-13-5.

Anonymous said...

a professor from Harvard University published with this university press...
Samba Diop received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. He teaches Francophone Literatures and Cinema. He has recently authored, L'épopée de Ndiadiane Ndiaye (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2002).

ISBN 1-931948-19-4

Essential for:

Cinema, African Studies, Francophone Studies, Literature,university press of the south

Anonymous said...

you do not seem to be proficient in British grammar, but American grammar. It means for a British, it is hard to understand your writing filled with mistakes.

I enjoy reading your Amerian style
Anonymous said...
I take it that Ms Strauss is an attorney and therefore in a position to judge the merits of cases

Uh,no, she's not an attorney. However, having access to court documents pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

I realize that this is a difficult concept to grasp if your native tongue is not English.

As for the response from Mr. Alain Saint-Saens, I have to assume that HIS native tongue is not English either. His awkward language usage must, therefore, be attributed to that. At least I hope that is the case since he claims to be in the academic publishing business.

Arguing that a publisher who charges fees is not a vanity publisher simply because the ones being published are 'allegedly' experts in their fields (& they may very well be) is a hollow & silly argument. You could be today's equivilant to Albert Einstein & your work could be the latest twist on the theory of relativity, if you're paying the cost of publishing (I'm not talking subventions, which have been discussed here) then you are 'vanity' publishing. That is what 'vanity' publishing IS - 'vanity' publishing means that YOU the AUTHOR are covering all the costs of printing your book. Period.

Oh, & BTW, it doesn't really matter what type of scholarly "expert" you are if you are writing FICTION. Being an expert on medieval history doesn't mean that your novel based in that time period will be fit to read. Being an expert on English literature or on English grammar doesn't mean that you can write a compelling, or even moderately interesting novel. I'm not saying that you DIDN'T, or that you HAVEN'T, or that you CAN'T, I'm just saying that the skills to do so require far MORE than a knowledge of grammar or of the time period in which you'd like your story to be based. (Although those ARE important.).

3/25/2009 12:40 PM

Anonymous said...

LANIN A. GYURKO published his last book with this editing company: who is he? eh, who can study at HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND CANNOT BE AN EXPERT LIKE LANIN A. GUYRKO

Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese

Lanin A. Gyurko Ph.D.
Harvard University
Latin American Literature and Film Studies


Fuentes, Carlos (Vol. 22) - LANIN A. GYURKO
Printable Version Download PDF Cite this Page
LANIN A. GYURKO
In several of his narratives, Carlos Fuentes focusses on the predicament of the Mexican artist, whom he evokes as facing formidable social and psychological obstacles in developing his craft. Throughout both La región más transparente and Cambio de piel, Fuentes portrays a number of artists—poets, novelists, painters—all of whom either abandon their discipline or decide to remain silent, interiorizing the artistic process, rather than communicating their ideas to a society they judge unworthy of receiving them. There are several factors that militate against the success of the artist in the modern-day Mexico depicted by Fuentes. Some of the adverse conditions are external, such as the dominant bourgeois culture that refuses to take the artist seriously and interprets his scathing social, political and moral denunciation as mere diversion instead of as a force that would impel them to change their lives. Indeed, it is not the...

THE SHATTERED SCREEN Dr. LANIN A. GYURKO. is Professor of Latin American Literature and Film Studies at ... In 2002, Dr. Lanin A. Gyurko was given the Orden de los Descubridores ...
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ANOTHER EXPERT: Dr. Elaine Woodruff


A talented poet and writer, Dr. Elaine Woodruff has published numerous individual poems, articles, reviews, and a book of her poetry entitled Before the Burning (Edwin Mellen Press, 1994. In 2004, she presented a paper on short fiction at the University of Salamanca in Spain. In 2005, she presented on Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborkska at Cambridge University in England. In summer 2006, she participated alongside poets from around the world in a creative writing program at the University of Oxford. Dr. Elaine Woodruff presented a paper in February 2007 at New York’s prestigious Columbia University. Dr. Elaine Woodruff's presentation entitled, "Keeping a Place for Poetry: A Flight from Obsolescence," was part of the 2007 International Symposium on New Directions in the Humanities. The conference was sponsored by Columbia's Center for Comparative Literature and Society.


Dr. Elaine Woodruff earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and earned her doctorate in English from the University of Denver. Dr. Elaine Woodruff joined the faculty at Colorado Christian University in 1993, where she currently teaches literature and creative writing.

A member of the Academy of American Poets, International Society of Poets (ISP), International Women’s Writing Guild, and the National Women's Hall of Fame, Dr. Elaine Woodruff was nominated in 1996 as ISP Poet of the Year. She was a semifinalist in 1997, and was also elected that year to the International Poetry Hall of Fame. In 1998, she participated in a women’s studies delegation to South Africa. The group visited Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town—respectively, home to the nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches. While there, they dialogued with fellow scholars on topics that included among other matters the reconciliatory effort in post-apartheid South Africa.

SHE IS AN EXPERT!! SO? WHAT IS THE POINT?

Victoria Strauss said...

A member of the Academy of American Poets, International Society of Poets (ISP), International Women’s Writing Guild, and the National Women's Hall of Fame, Dr. Elaine Woodruff was nominated in 1996 as ISP Poet of the Year. She was a semifinalist in 1997, and was also elected that year to the International Poetry Hall of Fame.I can't resist pointing out that the ISP/International Poetry Hall of Fame is a scam (now, thankfully, defunct)--not really something one might want to include in an official bio.

Anonymous said...

VICTORIA STRAUSS
Victoria Strauss
Dr. Elaine Woodruff is an expert!! She invited a writer who received the nobel prize in literature!!! a few people can win the nobel prize..

Anonymous said...

This University Press of the South is NOT a university press.

my eyes my eyes...