It is always nice to share good news. A German publishing house, VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, is publishing my dissertation research as a book. It is in the works right now, and I’m sure I’ll post when it is available. Here is the cover I just received:
It was double good news when I found out that one short article I published from this research was chosen for an award to be presented at AECT this year – as the best article of the year in the International Section of Educational Technology, Research, and Development (ETR&D).
That’s fun. Not fun like snowboarding or hang-gliding, but still fun. Just a different kind.
Would you be willing to say more about your book contract with a German publishing house, VDM Verlag Dr. Müller?
I have actually had several requests like this now. Although my experience is too new to say much, I now have a cover for my book. I will post it soon to this blog, and I will try to keep you updated as my experience continues.
Updated info – and advice for others who are considering publishing with VDM Verlag:
I just received my copies of the books in the mail. I was very pleased with how they did the cover.
I don’t think it is a scam – I just think it is a novel business idea to print on demand.
I have not yet got a royalty check, but I am still in the begining stages, and I think they only cut you a check once a year.
I’m not a lawyer – so I don’t know much about the contract they offer you, but I had some professor friends of mine look at it and give me the green light before I signed anything.
You don’t get much of a percent actually, but maybe later down the road you will be in more of a position to bargain.
I hope that might help you. If I know any different than I have posted here, I will add another comment.
They are printing my thesis and I was just a little curious about the timeframe (I just submitted my document). How long of a process has this been? A couple weeks for the cover design? Did you have any input? You cover looks great by the way. How long did it take to get your copies?
Are you expecting to recieve a check or direct deposit when you do get commission?
For those who have been emailing me – my book is now already listed in German catalogues (see http://www.buchhandel.de). It can also be found under amazon.de (click here). The publisher says it will sooner or later also appear on amazon.com.
Hi Dr. Rogers: I’ve been trying to get in touch with you. I was fascinated to read your dissertation and some of your articles on the cultural competence of instructional designers. My fascination was chiefly based on the fact thet the topic is very similar to my interest, what I intend to do in my doctoral work at Howard University. I intend to go beyond the cultural competence and get the opinion of the users of the instructional materials as well as interview some of the designers. My ultimate goal is to come up with guidelines for cultural competence in designing intructional materials that will yield maximum effectiveness. And this will chiefly involve inclusion of ideas from the educators who will use the material. I need your help. May I have the contact of the educational designers especially those that export their material to Africa. I am originally from Nigeria and would appreciate your help. You can reach me at my school e-mail (above) or at Bellarmine777@yahoo.com. Thanks for your help.
I think this topic area is one that will grow in interest over the years. I was pleased when I recently discovered that the article I wrote as a synthesis of my dissertation was featured in a news article: http://education.byu.edu/news/2007_features/etrd_award.html
Anyway – it is always nice to hear kind words.
I am currently coordinating the next TEDC 2008 (Technology for Education in Developing Countries) workshop in Kampala Uganda which you might be interested in. It would be ideal if you could join us there. If nothing else, I will try to get you some of the information that you requested.
OK – someone told me that they found my book on Amazon.com. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Cross-Cultural-Online-Instruction-Analysis-challenges-solutions/dp/3836424487/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204911478&sr=1-1
My first royalty check is on the way – prepare yourself for the excitement of it. 4.98 Euros! 🙂
Here is the statement sent to me by VDM:
According to the agreement we will credit your account:
Title: Cross-Cultural Online Instruction , Euro 55.14 (selling price)
Period: Annual statement 2007
Copies sold: 6
6 x 27.57(Publisher’s revenue) Euro x 3 % = 4.98 Euro
The royalty settlement does not contain VAT (MWSt.), as,
through their own admission and as described in sales tax law,
the recipient is not an employer and/or self-employed.
Congrats, Clint. I know you did not publish for the money. My book will be out in three weeks. I am rather excited
Got an email from them yesterday, too – that’s how I ended up in this blog. It’s not a scam – that’s pretty clear – but rather a way (for them) to make money with the minimum investment possible: the researcher contributes the research & probably also the typesetting; they print some copies at small cost & sell them for US$50-100… Makes absolutely no sense for people who want to spread their work (just put it online), I’m afraid. As a grad student, after all, I appreciated the publishing work done by scientific societies, instead of commercial publishing houses – good quality at 1/3 the price :).
I’m glad I found this blog. I got a similar email from VDM a few days ago & I spent some sleepless nites wondering if they were legit. It appears legit in every way & I haven’t found any loopholes so far. IMHO, this is probably not something that would make you rich or famous, but something that would add weight to your CV & give you some visibility for the future.
It is a scam. They make their money on your friends and family buying copies at those ridiculous prices. They will not promote, give advances or market your thesis in any way. It’s very much like Poetry.com in that way.
And if you are giving your work away to a non-paying market you are worse than a scab who breaks a strike.
I can only speak from my own experience, but they have actually promoted my book by putting it on Amazon.com. I gave a couple of my free copies to friends and family, but no one else has bought one, and I don’t expect or encourage them to.
I do think the price is a bit ridiculous, especially considering the incredibly small percent they give to authors (3% of their profit – not the sale price). I have no problem with people who chose to go the route of making their work free online, I actually support it. Especially as I work so much in the developing world, that is often the only material they can get access to.
I also think there are other ways to spread the ideas in your dissertation, as you remain the copyright holder of the work. I received permission, for instance, to publish adaptations of certain sections of mine into journal articles with leading journals. One even won an award.
I really appreciate that you started this blog. I have been contacted by them and also wondered about their legitimacy. My advisor says that the company is in Mauritius. Do you know anything about that?
I do not know anything about that. Does anyone else?
I believe the company is based in Germany, but my only guess is that being technically in Mauritius offers a certain favorable tax status?
But I really don’t know. Is anyone wiser on this issue?
I hope you had nice holidays. I was just contacted by VDM and while researching it, came across your site. Thank you for your honest commentary. The last post regarding VDM was Aug 2008…is there anything else you would like to add? Anything new you have learned about the company or anything I should be wary of? How’s the book doing?Thank you!
Thanks for your comment. Not much more to say really. Just make a decision based on your goals, and understand that you won’t get much money out of this deal.
WARNING: Has the publishing house asked for your bank account number? If so, that should be a red flag for you to proceed with caution. No legitimate publishing house or other business would ever ask for your personal banking info in order to deposit payments, or for any other reason. Legitimate companies pay “royalties” by mailing checks or through a reputable electronic third-party (like Paypal). There is absolutely no reason for them to ask for private banking info. They can keep this info and use it or sell it (years later even) for identify theft or other malicious purposes.
howdy, I read all your blog posts, keep them coming.
I received the VDM email some days ago and have been reading all sorts of comments in blogs and other sites. And I still cant make up my mind as all the advice is neither here nor there. Clint, could you confirm or not whether this BOOK (not the research or other articles from it) you published has gained you any further academic credit or respect among your academic peers? For me, a university lecturer, that is the real question. Also, if their books are so ridiculously priced, then eventually very few people will even get to read it, and that also defeats the purpose of getting some visibility out of it. What do you think?