Monday, September 14, 2009

Victoria Strauss -- VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller

For some time, I've been receiving questions about VDM Verlag Dr Mueller, a German academic publisher. VDM describes its business thus:

VDM publishes academic research worldwide - at no cost to our authors. Annually, we publish more than 10,000 new titles and are thus one of the leading publishing houses of academic research. We specialize in publishing theses, dissertations, and research projects.

VDM uses digital technology (which it dubs "print-to-order [PTO], a further development of the print-on-demand [POD] procedure") to make its books and monographs "available" (which just means they can be special-ordered) through online and physical booksellers. There's no cost to authors, who receive a "fee" plus "up to" 20 free copies of their book. There's also no editing or proofreading: what you turn in is what's printed, and the process for doing so, in which authors essentially create their own books and covers, is very similiar to uploading content to a self-publishing service. Retail prices are absurdly inflated, even for a digitally-based publisher. As for marketing, "data is optimized by the publishing house and entered in all relevant catalogues worldwide. The book is offered to the leading international book distributors." Put another way: there isn't any.

VDM, in other words, is an academic author mill.

Author mills, which must maintain an enormous volume of authors in order to make money, have a voracious appetite. Those that feed on book writers need only lie in wait on the Internet, since book writers are actively seeking publication--but students and professors may not be, or may be looking only in specialized areas, so rather than wait for them to come to it, an academic author mill must go to them. VDM (and its clones--see the last paragraph) do a lot of cold call solicitation.

If you receive one of VDM's emails, and you've got an old dissertation sitting around, you may think you have nothing to lose, and might even get a little exposure and a bit of money. Be warned, though: the terms of VDM's contract (which Writer Beware has seen) are not author-friendly.

- The contract requires an exclusive life-of-copyright rights transfer, without any provision for releasing those rights other than VDM failing to publish or deciding to discontinue publication. The author's only possible recourse would appear to be Article 41 of the German Copyright Act, which allows writers to revoke licenses "[i]f the holder of an exclusive exploitation right does not exercise such right or exercises it insufficiently." VDM doesn't allow the author to exercise this entitlement until five years have passed, however--and good luck proving "insufficiently."

- The contract allows VDM to transfer the licenses you've granted to third parties without your permission (though if it's paid for those uses, you get 50%).

- In the contract I saw (as well as in this archived VDM author information sheet from mid-2008), ebook royalties were 40%, and print royalties 12%--both paid on net revenue. This may be a relatively recent policy for the company, however. My research turned up discussion from 2007 suggesting that VDM was paying print authors just 3% of net.

- Royalties are scheduled to be paid just once a year.

- Or possibly never. "In order to cover the administration expense and the data management," VDM is not obliged to pay you anything if your royalties average 10 euros or less per month. With a print-on-demand academic book, this is entirely possible--indeed, it's quite likely, especially given VDM's eye-popping cover prices. Moreover, if royalties average 50 euros or less per month, you'll receive book vouchers instead of money. I would guess that VDM rarely has to write a royalty check.

VDM also does business as VDM Publishing House, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, Südwestdeutsche Verlag für Hochschulschriften, Verlag Classic Edition (VCE), and Alphascript Publishing--which appears to specialize in cobbling free Wikipedia entries into expensive books, (VDM's defense of this policy can be seen here).

I've blogged about a number of VDM's "imprints," including:

75 comments:

wealhtheow said...

I'm so glad you blogged about this! Out of the blue yesterday a freelance editing client of mine asked me about "VDM Publishing House", which I had never heard of (a quick Google search suggested some reasons why). In addition to the other links I sent him I will now send him this one, which I hope he will find sufficiently authoritative to discourage him from sending them anything!

Lydia Sharp said...

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. It really helped me deciding against giving up my book to VDM.

The details of their contract is simply shocking and their way of paying out royalties is just pathetic. Book tokens? I bet they could only be used on their own books too?

Andrew said...

I'm an 'academic' and I'd never give a book to VDM, or anyone other than the mainstream textbook publishers. If it's not good enough to get a mainstream hearing, it's not good enough. Period. Getting one's ego stroked by seeing a substandard book in print - no. No way.

And as for the cost of textbooks...don't get me started. I see my student come in happy because they got the books for all three of my classes for 'only' $250. I use old editions wherever I can, so they can buy them used and fight that particular gouge.

Anonymous said...

I just received an email from them and at first I was quite 'happy' but my hunch tells me otherwise. Luckily, I did some googling and came upon this blog. Thank god I've followed my instinct and a big THANK YOU to this eye-opener. Again, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I just received an email from them and at first I was quite 'happy' but my hunch tells me otherwise. Luckily, I did some googling and came upon this blog. Thank god I've followed my instinct and a big THANK YOU to this eye-opener. Again, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

As a victim of stalker for many years I wrote a book. Tried to find a Agent or Publisher gave up and do my own printing.
I was a Soldier Police Officer and Volunteer Fireman on Long Island.
I have seen more then anyone should, write about true incidents in my life and change to fiction. Call me a romantic but it does help me sleep at night.
Officer Lucky'
Bob Herrmann
222 Hamilton Valley Road
Lockwood New York 14859

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much

Random Royalty said...

In addition to the items listed in your post, it would appear that VDM Verlag (VDM Verlag Dr Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co) does not submit their titles to the German National Library, as required by German law. A quick search shows absolutely no titles showing up in the GNL database. This is despite what is stated in VDM's standard imprint (opposite title page of their books).

Since there is no bibliographic record or cataloguing data, any library would most likely not buy any of their titles, and saying they do so seems rather fraudulent to me.

Judyta Aleksandra Szacillo said...

A very useful note, thanks a lot. I have just received an invitation from this publisher, too, so of course the first thing I did was to google it. I did not expect anything good, though, as the quality publishers don't go looking for people, it's people that try to reach them and not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I did publish with Verlag. Everything has gone according to their contract and policies so far – no editing, no out of pocket costs, etc. But, it has been over a year since my book has been available and I have never received a royalty or book credit notice and cannot access this information through their website. It seems to be a technical problem with databases on their end, according to them. I never expected to make any money on the deal, but the serious lack of information is making me skeptical about their honesty.

Parmezán said...

Thanks for the info. I also received their "invitation", better forget about it.

Anonymous said...

They're still out there fishing. Received their invitation today. Happy to ignore. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Got the e-mail, too. I also wonder where they get their cover photos. I read that an author is allowed to choose between a number of pictures proposed by the publisher. Non-copyrighted pictures, no doubt. Another illegal issue to me seems the fact that in each of their e-mails, they have an 'acquisition editor' with a different name. False identity, isn't that illegal?

Anonymous said...

and I got an invitation today too...well, not that I wanted to publish with them...but I was curious of what people say about them. As far as I understand theses belong to the university/library...really they are already published, so people might get in trouble publishing somewhere else. Especially with some really sketchy company. Thank you everyone for your comments! Go Google!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Got the email yesterday and was suspicious. (My research is specialized enough- can't imagine who'd want to publish it)

Anonymous said...

I got an email from them and began the process. WHat I find strange that has caused me to be skeptical is that I have been contacted by three different "editors" due to "reorganization" and they are really rushing me to get it submitted even though I have 4 weeks...also there are always typos in their email messages....I cold be being a little nit-picky but i'm not really sure if this is legit. I will definetly open a new account not associated with my main bamk and give them THAT acct info if I do decide to complete the submission process.

Anonymous said...

I did publish my PhD thesis through VDM, in 2008. They were very friendly etc. and once the book was published, they sent me three copies. I have never heard from them afterwards and no return to my emails. I tried to call them, but there was no one to answer my call. Never received any payment, but the books were sold at very beefed up price. A few people I know bought my book but I never got any pennny as royalty.

Dont get into their trap. When I checked in 2007 (the time they contacted me), there were no blog about them on the internet.

larsjuhljensen said...

It may be worth noting that the people behind Verlag Dr. Müller also operate under the names LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, SVH Südwestdeutsche Verlag für Hochschulschriften, VCE Verlag Classic Edition, Fastbook Publishing, Saarbücker Verlag für Rechtswissenschaften, and MoreBooks! Publishing GmbH.

I have personally been spammed by Verlag Dr. Müller regarding publishing my 8-year-old PhD thesis and have close friends who received similarly worded emails from Lambert Academic Publishing.

Anonymous said...

I did an extensive search on Verlag. And, yes, it is not considered a peer-reviewed academic publisher. In other words, it will not count towards a published, and therefore you will not be able to make a case for it when you up for tenure at an academic university. having said, I had published sections of my dissertation as an article, and I have already published a book. The dissertation had been sitting there eating dust, so I decided to publish it get more exposure. The topic is highly specialized and I did not think it will be widely purchased. Thus, I decided to go with Verlag just for the heck of publishing it. Publish it if and only if you do not plan to publish your dissertation and you are not seeking tenure at a university, because it will not count as a peer reviewed publication.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I find all these comments pointless. I have several reputed colleagues at top tier schools (several of them Rhodes Scholars) who have published with VDM and have enjoyed the process. Most of the Ph.D. dissertations gather dust anyway, so why complain incessantly about royalties etc. It is amazing how as human beings we love to feel victimized. I respect the professors who have published with them and they are glad they did it. This appears to be a website for people who are unable to accept the fact of their anonymity and have delusional claims about their greatness. Go ahead and try dealing with one of the 'mainstream' publishing houses if you enjoy masochistic self-flagellation! Param Srikantia, Ph.D.

Anonymous said...

Hi to all,
I have been contacted by LAP publishers, apparently linked to the Verlag concerned by this thread. I asked them if they would waiver the book voucher payment for copies sold under a certain number, they said no.

I am wondering if it is legal to "pay in kind" and if this method could not be considered as "incitation to buy" ?

Thesis

Jo said...

I have published a thesis with VDM and it was okay for me. I was unlikely to publish elsewhere as I had too many other projects on and at least I have the thesis in book form without it costing me anything. I know others who have done the same thing with work that was in danger of gathering dust. It's something that needs to be thought about carefully though - the comments on this blog about the down side ie overpriced sales, lack of academic recognition and contractual limitations placed on the work are all important to have in mind if you go ahead with publishing with them.

Daniela said...

Thank you, this was very insightful. I will forward this to my friends!

rebhuhn said...

i am d'accord with Jo as i have published my thesis and am happy with it. i gave each my parents and my grandpa a copy and own one myself, so that's pretty nice. i never planned to go further in the field of my thesis [which obviously is NOT as i intended beforehand ..], so everything's fine :).

Marketing Dissertation said...

it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

Alexander Wright said...

Attention: All readers and authors.

I am writing on behalf of VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller. Publishing houses have long been considered as closed to everyone, without any interaction with authors, book buyers and readers. However, we, at VDM are different from conventional publishers. Instead we pursue an innovative 'open book policy' where we continuously identify scientific and academic projects from different universities and colleges. We do contact authors by email and propose publishing contract to them. Our aim is to provide knowledge to a wide market and connect the book buyers and readers to the right author and the books they are looking for.

Our books are distributed through more than 80,000 bookstores and more than 3,000 online shops worldwide.

We are committed in providing the best publishing experience available to our authors, we are thus open to the concerns of all our authors and customers. While our request for bank details have been often assumed to be some type of identity fraud we wish reassure our authors that we use the VeriSign security system and that such request is for the sole purpose of royalties payment. Upon suggestions of many authors we will be soon implementing new royalties payment methods such as Paypal.

Often confused with Vanity Press our publishing model is very different from it. We wish to provide the following details on the difference between a Vanity Press and our publishing model:

* We distribute your book worldwide through mainstream and well known shops such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble or AbeBooks.
* You are not charged any cost for the production of your book. We bear all production,distribution and marketing cost for you and we pay you royalties for specific periods.
* You are able to publish 80% your book through journals and reviews. Your book is not tied up when you get a contract from VDM.

Whereas Vanity Press charges for all the services mentioned above instead VDM look after all these at no cost to the author and with the advantage of a dedicated Acquisition Editor who is engaged to attend all your the author's request.

In a time where most actors of the publishing industry are turning irrelevant and out of date, VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller partners with its authors to enter the new publishing era. Authors can join us now and be part of this revolution of the publishing industry.

Regards,
Alexander Wright
Customer Service Executive

Anonymous said...

I also got their E-Mail. Thank you for this bloog, it helped me to decide. I think, that it is a good way for ... thesis, that are of no further interest. If you have the plan to make further research, their conditions are a real problem for you. Sorry for my ... not so good English, but I'am from Austria and not so firm with writing in E....

Frank said...

This is a great post. You may be interested to know I have been contacted by Lambert Academic Publishers for a similar (though not as detailed) post on my blog where I discuss whether or not LAP is a scam.

Here, in my newest post, I show LAPs official response to my position, as well as my commentary: http://sandcountyfrank.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/academic-spam-redux-lambert-academic-publishers-responds/

Victoria Strauss said...

Adding linkage to Frank's blog post, which is well worth reading. The email he received from Lambert is identical to the comment above from Alexander Wright and VDM.

Anonymous said...

I don't even have thesis, and I received this email. That's funny enough.

Anonymous said...

I published my PhD with these people. As long as you go in with your eyes open, never expecting any royalties then you won't be dissapointed. At $100USD for my thesis let's be real... no-one is going to buy it, and this is their strategy.

I received my annual statement which tells me they have sold 3 books in one year, and because of that my royalties do not exceed a threshold of 10EU/month, as in the terms to pay out. How unsurprising!

I published with them because it cost me a few hours in effort at no cost, with the opportunity cost being the thesis would never be published in entirety without considerable interference from editors effort and effort in making changes. I have claimed academic credit for a 'book' with an ISBN at work, which translates into money for conferences while I continue to carve it up for conference and journal papers, regardless of the fine print in Verlag's terms (up to 80% anyway according to their terms...and who expects them to scour the world's journals and conferences checking to that level of detail?!).

As for the front-page pictures, they subscribe to an image bank so it's perfectly legal.

Yes, they are a desperate money making venture. Yes, regardless of what they imply you will never receive any royalties. Bottom line, If your book is worth something, don't use them. If it is an unadulterated dime-a-dozen academic thesis, what have you got to lose?

Anonymous said...

Victoria, you stated that "VDM is not obliged to pay you anything if your royalties average
10 euros or less per month." Suppose an author made less than 10 euros per month on average,
but he made something, say, 5 euros per month. If every author made that much, that would amount to a considerable sum of money that VDM just keeps for itself. If VDM keeps that and the author is never at any point in time able to collect it, wouldn't it be illegal?

Anonymous said...

I am also wondering about how legal VDM Verlag's royalties procedures are. If the book is only eligible for royalties over a certain period, yet sell 20,000 copies outside of this period, that's one hell of a lot of money sitting in VDM's bank account. Hmmm...any lawyers out there?...

Anonymous said...

I am familiar with some companies that use an artist's work to apply to clothing, accessories, prints, etc. In return the artist receives a royalty that the artist determines. The caveat is that the royalty is only deposited into the artist's account until it reaches a certain (reasonable - say, > 10USD)amount. If that amount is not reached for the reasonable period (reasonable - one month), the royalty money is held by the company FOR the artist until the required amount is reached. This makes sense. There is definitely something wrong, if not illegal, with VDM's royalty policy.

Anonymous said...

Scholars new to academia (fresh graduates who have written a theis or dissertaion) should consider self-archiving their theses in a web-accessible institutional repository. Transferring their copyright to a print on demand publisher like VDM does little to give one's work real exposure. Few potential readers will spend money just to read the work. But if it is archived in an IR then anyone who can Google can find it, read it, & cite it...the real "royalties" of scholarship

Victoria Strauss said...

A university in Australia warns staff and students about VDM.

"Unfortunately, we have several researchers who have fallen into the trap, written VDM-published books, and are now citing these books in promotion applications, apparently with the genuine belief VDM Verlag is a respected publisher, not the vanity press it appears to be. This jeopardises the quality of our institution through association with such a press; our academics risk looking like fools in citing these books as significant publications."

nicole said...

I'm glad I cam across your blog. I got an email from them this weekend. Thanks for the info, saved me the time of contacting them back.

Kyle said...

I also received an email, which is odd seeing as I am only a freshman, so wouldn't possibly have a thesis, nor done any research. If I were to submit anything (which I'm not going to), it would have to be some completely random stuff that has nothing to do with anything.

Anonymous said...

Hei guys! I have received the e mail from them recently as well, and I discussed with my thesis supervisor and he said go for it, so I seny¡t them my master thesis and today I got a reply that it is accepted and that they want to publish it...that I have to register and upload all online... I still didnt do any of tjose things and now after your comments...I doubht I would...u think that I am in any kind of ¨danger¨that they already have my work...???

What a mess:)

Please tell me if you have some experience? Thanks

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, if you're worried about intellectual property theft, I don't think you need to be. Outfits like this don't steal--it's not worth their while. If you don't want to publish with VDM, just ignore their communications--after a while they'll just purge you from their system.

Emma said...

Got the e-mail two days ago. VERY glad I found this site. Wrote back this:

Please remove me from your mailing list. I take this e-mail to be scam, as per info. found here:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2009/09/victoria-strauss-vdm-verlag-dr-mueller.html

Personally, I think it could be a legitimate and actually positive business if you would change the terms of your contracts; however, as it stands you're putting all your effort in ripping off people who would otherwise be excited about such a prospect.

Do NOT reply to this email.

kauto said...

I have seen a similar article from an academic. So they are hoping that they will hit lucky with one or two authors and they will milk it. Somewhere an author might not know his worth and agree to it saying why not. But why bother? You can get all the exposure you want for free anyway.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Emma!

Anonymous said...

FYI the company now operates as "International Book Market service".
I just recieved the same "cold call solicitation' for my thesis dissertation. Of course my ego was interested, but my academic brain told me to slow down a bit.
Thanks so much for the review it really helped alot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog which has clarified many aspects regarding VDM publishers. I had some misgivings and I think that after their most recent email stating that I had only 2 weeks to take up their offer to publish with them, I was feeling rushed and harassed.

fyi:
VDM Publishing House Ltd. has been renamed and is now International Book
Market Service Ltd.

PR Doctor said...

I accepted their offer. And why not? I would never expect anyone to buy my PhD thesis. And they haven't. I got a free coffee-table book and I can say I was on Amazon. However, the fist copy they sent me had the correct cover, but the thesis wasn't mine. Good for a laugh and probably indicative of their quality control. Life's too short to get hung up on this. Cheers, @pr_doctor

Anonymous said...

Victoria wrote:

Outfits like this don't steal--it's not worth their while.

Maybe they don't but they definitely publish "work" from people who do steal. Take this one for example. The only portions of the text that are well written are plagiarized word for word. The sections that aren't, are unintelligible.

So maybe Anonymous thinks it's all good and he has nothing to lose by publishing his dust gathering dissertation. I can only say I'll never buy another book published by VDM Verlag. As unfair as my assessment may be, I would not consider anything published by VDM to be credible.

Anonymous said...

I would really like to see a class-action lawsuit against this company.

Eetheart said...

I'm SO glad you posted this!!!!! Really, I was supposed to send the manuscript and actually did, except that I forgot to attach to the email. Then I came across your blog, wanted just to do a little search on google about Just Fiction!, and there I saw the blog. Wow, thanks!! :) I'm so happy for that!!

Now, I can recommend CreateSpace for self-publishing, should any of you authors out there decide that. I think I'll do it, as a starter. I mean, when self-publishing, it's not like you've got something to lose and CreateSpace is very nice and no startup fees..
But anyways, thanks for the blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Most of you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. All 3 publishers:
http://www.alphascript-publishing.com/
https://www.lap-publishing.com/
and VDM Publishing House
have just found a niche in the new post-network society and a lot of authors have a chance to publish there...if you don't like it, don't read their books or send your stuff for publication...let's see how many of you (probably 0) will get published in Oxford Univ Press, Rutledge or Wiley, Common people, get serious!

Anonymous said...

If you do want to publish, at least do it with an outfit (CreateSpace, for example) where you will at least get a return for your effort even if you only sell a few books. Unless you sell hundreds of books, VDM has it figured out that they will never have to pay you a dime. While it may, or may not, be legal, why go there?

Anonymous said...

I did have a dissertation I wrote ages ago published. I had a friend in tech publishing help me do the lay-out, included an index etc. and sent it off. I came out beautifully. The subject matter of the book is not what I am currently working on and after reading all the comments I though, why not. After "publishing" my book I have had several invitations to talk at seminars, do training and will be off to Tanzania to go and help teachers develop cross-curricular programmes about HIV/Aids.

So I might not get rich or famous, but so good did come from the "my book".

Jacques

Anonymous said...

All the negative comments about VDM Verlag are bullshit. It is for you to ensure the authenticity of your document before you upload to any publisher. By the way why make comments that articles or books posted in VDM are not peer-reviewed. There are so many publishers all over the world where similar things may happen. Also, how many authors come forward to publish your manuscript without you spending a single dime. If you want international publicity then you have to accept terms and conditions of the publisher. There are many reputed authors who have published with VDM and all of them cannot be just idiots. I feel royalty is secondary compared to international visibility. Also, why blame the publisher if something is not peer-reviewed. You are quite aware that you are putting your work in an international platform, then you as the author do the homework, don't point the gun at the publisher.

Anonymous said...

If VDM royalties are a mystery. Then take it up at the appropriate forum. Write to them and if they do not respond, address the issue with their Directors, even then if there is no response take it up legally if you want to. It is left to individual's perception. VDM has verisign as an authorized e-comm, m-comm digital signatory and now they are getting into paypal. Hence, they are taking the steps in the right direction not only to give international visibility to their authors but also pay for their work. Even, after you publish your work, your intellectual property of the work as the creator remains and you can publish your work elsewhere as journal articles and scientific articles. You must give credit to VDM for reaching authors globally, interacting with them in a very cordial manner and helping the authors finish your project(that too free of cost). You must give credit to VDM for giving an international platform to showcase your work. If your work is of international quality, then why bother about peer-reviewing. Leave it to the world to judge your work. I compliment VDM for doing an excellent job.

JZ said...

I really love how VDM (or people who really like them) has apparently set about adding "their side of the story" through the comments.

davis said...

I am un Uganda and have got mail from VDM. The posts are all good seeing there are two sides of the story. Typically works gathers dust on the shelves at my university and there is almost no hope for ever publishing it. So, may be I will give it a try, money was never the main reason I did my thesis....I had to get a qualification.

Anonymous said...

heres something new on VDM Publishers
http://fraudex-2012.blogspot.com/2011/10/vdm-publishing-scam-aka-frederic-p.html

JZ said...

If it wasn't clear enough, my earlier comment was sarcastic.

There's no excuse for a publisher to claim rights for the length of copyright in the contract. At best they should get first publication rights and exclusivity for a period of time.

Doing otherwise is predatory--especially for as little money as an author will be getting out of it.

Anonymous said...

If VDM started paying authors a royalty for every single book published, even if they have to hold the royalties until they amount to 10USD of whatever, it would make an enormous difference in how that publisher is viewed. Then, they would be at least somewhat on par with other publishing outfits such as CreateSpace.

S.M. Carrière said...

They're still at it. I just got an email for their JustFiction division.

If it weren't for the no-editing thing, I'd be tempted...

Is that sad?

Amahagger said...

A Venezuelan university has recently advised against using this publisher due to its dubious methods (Editorial Academica Espanola, the Spanish-speaking wing of VDM Verlag):

http://www.usb.ve/home/node/272

Many, many academics over the world are now aware that this is no more than a shady self-publishing service that takes advantage of the authors as well as of potential buyers, who are conned into paying exorbitant ammounts for poor printouts of unedited texts that haven't gone through any sort of selection process.

It might be tempting if you don't have many publications in your cv, but it the long run it will be a liability: if you put it in your cv any job panel will see through it and realise that it's not an academic monograph but the print-out of a pdf that only exists in the copy they sent you and maybe in the one you bought for your mum at 100USD.

Anonymous said...

when reading this blog I feel really stupid, as I am one of the few who fell for the 'scam'.

to make a long story short, I want to revoke the licence asap! does anyone have experience with this and therefore provide me with the solution?

Thanks!!

Michael said...

I think this publisher targeting the right segment :

Non-tenured academics (yes PhD student, post docs and non tenured researcher/lecturer)

They are the one who desperately needs something to inflate their ego... They don't have anything else outside of this publication thing.. no money, no respect, no social life, no career...

So when some unknown publisher offered them to publish their relatively substandard work, they are jumping with excitement..

They don't even bother to search info about this publisher....

This is legitimate, but CRUEL business model....

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Amahagger. I am elimating the VDM publication from my cv.

Paul Solomon said...

I too fell prey to VDM. I had a choice of 4 publishers and VDM was the only one that didn't want any upfront money. It sounded too good to be true, and as I have discovered, it was. I can't get any response from them much less royalties or even book credits. Nothing.

I would recommend everyone stay away from them.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get them to quit publishing our works and allow us to get a "real" publisher?

Garry Crystal said...

Great article, thanks for posting this. I too received an email invite to publish with this company. It was actually to turn my blog into a book. I always check online when I receive offers like this. Glad sites like yours exist. Have written an article on it and linked your blog post within the article.

Garry

http://expatspost.com/creative/articles/another-day-another-publishing-scam-i-mean-publishing-offer/

Anonymous said...

This company stole my copyrighted information and research right off my web site and published it without my permission or consent. Thismisnnot a legitimate publishing house.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Does anyone know how one can go about cancelling their publishing contract with this publisher? I emailed them telling them to cancel contract and they responded, saying that I need to pay 750 euros, in order to cancel. This is a real nightmare. Does anyone have any experience with cancelling publishing contract with this crooked company?

Anonymous said...

They are now after bloggers with "bloggingbooks", same publishing house, just another name. You will never earn anything when below 50 Euro p. months. So never. The well-known German Zeit newspaper wrote an article about that publisher. It says they produce for an academic garbage dump.

Anonymous said...

As a former worker at this sheet box, I would not recommend anyone to publish with them as you will never and I mean never receive royalties to your intellectual work. plus, they make big money on your profit and it is abnormal that you do not receive anything except if your book is bought (to meet the royalty barem) again, they make big money.
Do not be fooled ladies and gentlemen, what they do is simply called making money out of your intellectual properties. Be careful or rather do not accept their services.

And all their names are fake, just as they are.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto on the last comment. They have it figured out so that they will NEVER have to pay an author. If you're happy with that and just want to be able to say that you have a book on Amazon, then go for it. Otherwise, publish with a reputable company, say, Amazon itself (Createspace). You will receive royalties after they accumulate to just $10. It has been wisely recommended that, if you do publish with them, you don't add it to your resume.

Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning, checked my emails as usual, and found that "LAP Lambert Academic Publishing" had sent me an email stating that they desired to publish some of my work, after becoming familiar with it from my University's website. I was very excited, since I obviously had intentions of publishing papers from my research anyway. This excitement lasted only a few seconds, as I began to question how this company could possibly have received my email. I also thought it strange that the company would seek me out, since I know it's usually the other way around: the publisher is sought out by the author. Then, upon doing some research, via Google, I discovered that the only website on which I found anything positive about "LAP" was LAP's website. Everyone else, from Wikipedia to bloggers (who, in most cases, are academics themselves) gave negative reviews: they are not peer reviewed, they are vanity publishers, they require that you waive all your rights to your work, they do not edit (exactly what you send is what they print; therefore some books are substandard), etc. I think it is a bit risky, so I am ignoring their solicitations. Thanks for your help in protecting me from the schemes of this publisher.

Anonymous said...

I have a very important question. I am midway in the publication process. I have not signed a contract unless I did so inadvertently electronically (is that possible?) I want to withdraw the publication due to all the negative publicity I have seen and read, what are my options? I have updated, revamped,modified and greatly lengthened the original thesis into a full fledged book format. It is a non fiction work on national security. Any ideas where I might submit such a manuscript for publication? Thanks Phoenix

Victoria Strauss said...

Phoenix,

It's been a couple of years since I saw a VDM contract, but unless things have changed, registering with VDM constitutes acceptance of the contract, which is exclusive life-of-copyright without any provisions for termination.

As I said, though, it's been a while since I saw VDM material. If you'll send me whatever material they sent you, I'll take a look and give you an opinion. You can reach me at beware [at] sfwa.org.