Sunday, February 11, 2018
For all you Lovers of Lambert
Last May, I received an email from Lambert Publishing. One of their editors, Marta, wanted to publish my MFA thesis from 2011.
Before you get ahead of me and if you have heard of Lambert, I'm not going to focus this blog on the horrors of Lambert publishing. If you search for Lambert, you can find some amazing blogs and information about them.
One great article:
I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm
This article is great, too, but what really amazed me were the comments. If you can make it through towards the end, Sophia, a representative from Lambert responds, and a great back-and-forth ensues. It's a little ripe.
Lambert Academic Publishing Continues to Spam
Instead of bashing Lambert, I want to tell about what happened. In May, I naively looked at the marketing material from Lambert and decided to rework my MFA thesis, which is a collection of stories. I was excited, thinking that a publishing company had read my work and wanted to print this collection.
I sent Marta an email telling her that I wanted to revise my work. She could expect a new manuscript the first of January 2018.
I sent the stories through my writing group. The collection has changed since my MFA and has evolved even more in the last eight months. The email from Lambert inspired me to rework this into a more holistic group of stories, and I'm much prouder of the work. With the feedback from my writing group, the stories are more interesting and more fluid than they were back in 2011.
Over the holidays, I worked on the revisions, wanting more time. I got another email from Marta asking for my manuscript.
This time, I googled Lambert and spent time reading some of the blogs like the ones above.
Lambert has a bad reputation for spam emailing academics to publish their work without reading even the titles. According to their own marketing material, they do not edit or alter work even for online formatting. Many of the blogs report that they are unreliable in paying royalties. You can read the blogs for more of the negatives.
After the initial shock of finding out the negatives about Lambert, I felt ashamed of myself for believing a publishing company would read my work and pursue me for publication. My pride got the best of me, and I was ashamed that I got pulled in by this.
I also realized what a blessing this was. Had it not been for this email from Marta, I would not have reworked and rewritten these stories. I had ditched this project years ago, calling it "franken-revision."
Now, I'm not working on them as much as I would like. I will not use Lambert to publish anything, and I will research any publisher who contacts me thoroughly. On the other hand, I am grateful for the chance to work on this project again.
During a time in my life (as many other writers like me) when it is difficult to find the time and the energy and the focus to write, I am grateful for the motivation to work on a project. This is a good thing.
I may try to self-publish this in the future. We shall see. Who knows?