Big news! My undergraduate dissertation, I Ink, Therefore I Am, has been picked up for publication. But, sadly, that’s not the full story.
So I got an email a few weeks ago from a publisher, asking me to send my full dissertation, as they were interested in publishing it. First reaction? Excited! Second reaction – wary. I think those of us who have grown up with the internet are wary of scams, and so one of the first things I do when somebody contacts me out of the blue is, of course, Google them.
LAP Publishing. What a bad reputation.
Tales of poor, almost non-existent editing, the staff attempting to bully people into buying hundreds of copies of their own books, extortionate prices, and so on and so forth.
While all these articles put me off slightly, I decided to go for it anyway. Why?
Because I’m no fool. I’m an academic, how dare you.
No, really, because, what else am I going to do with my dissertation? I don’t work in the industry, I didn’t discover anything groundbreaking during my research, and it’s just going to be sitting around gathering dust (on my laptop, so that’s figuratively speaking). What did I have to lose? Nothing. So I went for it.
They then did try to bully me into buying multiple copies of my own book. A bunch of friends and family actually did want a copy, so I did buy some, but none of it came out of my pocket. I don’t need copies for “job interviews” or other places to show it off, as suggested in the multiple emails I received. They didn’t bother with a particularly hard sell with me, probably because I did buy a few copies, but I’ve heard they can get a bit pushy. Let them try.
I’m not expecting to make my millions from this. I’m not expecting copies to fly off the (virtual) shelves, or for various opportunities to suddenly come my way. But I am excited to have my name (and face!) on a book. And it means I can shove it in the face of my third year adviser, Mr Dreamcrusher, who said my paper wouldn’t even pass. How you like me now? (I got a firm 2:1, in case you were wondering.)
tl;dr – LAP Publishing may be a bunch of gits, but if you just want a shiny book with your name and face on it, and publishing it this way won’t negatively affect you in any way, why not go for it.
If you want to support a bright, young author – or if you’re an academic and need a well-paid assistant to help with new research, ahem – you can find my dissertation here. Yay!
Also available on Amazon.