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Rehab for (recovering) academics.
10th-Sep-2007 01:42 pm
Maxwell Smart
Figured that out of all the communities of which I am a member, this one will probably have the best chance of supplying me with any information...

Please note, I am not tooting my own horn or anything here, but simply am wondering if anyone has any information they could send my way...

Today I was contacted out of the blue by Verlag Dr. Müller (VDM), a German publishing house, asking about possibly publishing my Master's thesis...I've searched around their website and have emailed a couple of authors who have been published by them, but I was wondering if any of you have heard about it and/or have had experience with VDM...

Again, this is not me trying to toot my own horn, but simply me trying to do due diligence

Thanks in advance for any help from you guys!
10th-Sep-2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
They contacted me a couple weeks ago. I think I am going to try to have my MA thesis published by them as well. So, I would be curious about any responses.
10th-Sep-2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Springer-Verlag is a respected German publishing house in the field of mathematics books. I do not know VDM, however, if they are affiliated, they are quite likely to be legit.
10th-Sep-2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
I don't think they are affiliated -- I'm fairly certain "Verlag" is just the German word for publisher, and I didn't see them on the partners list.
10th-Sep-2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
*grimaces* You're right - Verlag is the word for publisher/publishing house. Blast my weak German vocab. :( Good luck!
10th-Sep-2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
Find out what their peer-review process is, and whether they edit the book at all. You have to publish your doctoral thesis in Germany to get the degree, so there are all these little publishing houses that will publish your dissertation for you, but they're not edited or anything. (You notice this pretty quickly if you're doing research in Germanistik: there are all these published sources in German that are just INTERMINABLE because they're basically just unedited theses.) I would assume that VDM is one of those, but check.

That's not to say that they're not legit, however, you just have to absolutely everything yourself. I've a friend publishing through Peter Lang to get his book out before the RAE, and he's had to nominate two (or three? can't remember) peer-reviewers who will recommend the book, and then provide a photograph-ready copy of the text. And you get included on some index or other, but they're not exactly blowing their budget to promote you. Not as prestigious as OUP or something, but they "count".
10th-Sep-2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
"Anybody who gets an author contract knows already that the book is popular. Further important elements of marketing are the title, appropriate indexing, the cover image, the blurb and also the author's bio.

"The publishing house optimises this data and places them in relevant catalogues worldwide. The book will be offered to book distributors internationally. If the publishing house persuades these distributors about a work and it is 'listed', any bookshop can quickly order the title for their customers."

Apparently they're 'a young publishing house, publishing business and technical literature from research and practice'. It doesn't look like there's any particular downside to them from the little that appears on the web, though they advertise themselves as 'cost-free' and make use of print on demand technology (something like Lulu.com), so don't expect to make any money out of it!

Before you agree to it, take a look at the details in the contract. My guess is that there's some language in there to make all this worth their while - there certainly is with Springer-Verlag, who are pretty predatory, and the business model of these guys looks as though perhaps it depends on keeping hold of the most popular works, but I may just be naturally suspicious.

However, why not? it will likely do no harm and maybe some good...
10th-Sep-2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Print on demand has traditionally been pretty frowned upon from the "legit" publishing scene, but I'm not sure if that's been changing in recent years.
10th-Sep-2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
An editor at the Oxford University Press said that they now do printing on demand, so I think the view of printing on demand has definitely changed recently.
10th-Sep-2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
It often depends on the publication. It is simply more cost effective to do this for really specialized, academic texts.
11th-Sep-2007 12:05 am (UTC)
Also, if it's a Master's thesis, one might not be looking for all that much out of the deal other than an ISBN?
11th-Sep-2007 12:08 am (UTC)
I don't know. I never write an MA thesis. And I have never used one as part of my research. But I understand that people in other fields do. I just don't see why it needs to be published though as a thesis. That's what ProQuest is for. Unless it is going to undergo major revision, it is already "published" in the electronic database for pretty much anyone with access to a university library to read.
11th-Sep-2007 01:03 am (UTC)
I never wrote...
11th-Sep-2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
POD is a technology, not a scam. The scammers are the companies that charge you a lot of money for POD publishing.

You can do wholesale POD for a lot less than you'd pay a POD publisher such as iUniverse or Author House, and it's a useful technology for short print runs, say under 100 or 500 copies.

Dangerous Bill

11th-Sep-2007 12:09 am (UTC)
The author gets 3% of the profits.
11th-Sep-2007 12:16 am (UTC)
Ah, interesting... Does it say how profits are defined?
11th-Sep-2007 01:16 am (UTC)
Publisher's proceeds or the net selling price, according to their brochure. The poster should have gotten one as well.
10th-Sep-2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
I have a friend that just published his dissertation with them.
My advice? If you are continuing the MA work elsewhere, or it is very good quality work, hang on to it. Shoot "higher" with a more reputable, known publisher. If you're done with that work and it's in the past, go for it.
10th-Sep-2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
See what else they have published. Ask them for a catalog. Then weigh for yourself the relative merits of their house by judging the quality of the work they produce.
12th-Sep-2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
They must be trying to "grow" their business. I also received an email from them. I did email them back asking about their business model (I teach courses about new technology and changing business practices). This is the reply I received:

Thank you for your reply. I am glad to send you further information about our publishing house (see attached). VDM Dr. Müller publishes about 2000 books yearly, mainly in the fields of economic and social sciences and is thus one of the leading scientific publishing houses in Germany, being an associate member of the American Booksellers Association (www.bookweb.org), the national trade association for independent booksellers in the USA, and the Booksellers Association (www.booksellers.org.uk) of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

We would like to publish your dissertation in the form of a monograph, which means that it would be handled as a scientific book distributed by global wholesalers. You can review our published theses under www.amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com or www.bookbutler.de (please select publisher: VDM Dr. Müller Verlag or click on the direct link to amazon through our website: www.vdm-publishing.com). ...

I did a quick search through bookbutler and found a couple of thousand books, mostly in German but also a quite a few in English. It looks legit and I'm now seriously considering publishing my thesis (it wasn't on my list of things to do).
22nd-Apr-2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
Hey, i'm just wondering if you ever ended up publishing with VDM...i got an email from them today and was wondering if it ended up being worth it?

22nd-Apr-2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
Ended up publishing my MA thesis with them and was a relatively painless process with no real complaints. Great line for the CV (although Im going to be looking for a North American publishing house to, hopefully, eventually publish the Diss. :)
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