I've received an email from Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP Publishing), offering to publish my manuscript.

I heard that they are a scam, but is there any reason to refrain from publishing with them?

Note that my math book is published online as open source (with a free license) LaTeX (and PDF). I have almost no hope to publish it conventionally with a serious publisher (some publishers said my book didn't have enough readership, some declined because it is already available online.)

I won't lose the copyright because they do not require copyright transfer.

So my question: Enumerate all reason (or is there none?) not to publish with them.

Note that I am not a professional scientist and have no degree.

  • 5
    Remember that they have to make money somehow. I don't expect many people to buy from disreputable publishers. The typical business practice is to take money from the authors. So beware and read all the small print at least twice together with your lawyer. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:37
  • 11
    Advertisement from a disreputable publisher is likely to do more harm to the reputation of your book than good... Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:38
  • 5
    If they don't charge you, they may charge unaware readers selling them a book they could get for free. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:43
  • 15
    You lose your own reputation. If I learned about your book and saw that it was published there, I would automatically assume that you are a crackpot, or at the very least gullible. In any case I would not eve bother to open the book. And if you think this will help with advertising even a little: when was the last time you learned about the existence of a good book directly or indirectly because it had been published by a predatory publisher?
    – user9646
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 15:54
  • 3
    How is it different from self publishing (eg on Kindle)? If there is no review or editorial help, i see no advantage to publish through them. A bad publisher can be worse than self published Kindle or just and open access on your website.
    – Greg
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


(These comments are not intended to be specific to the named company, but to any that are generally considered to be suspect.)

  1. By publishing with a company, you are partnering with them. Associating yourself with something you know to be dodgy is not a helpful contribution to your 'personal brand', in any respectable career.

  2. It's unlikely they are being honest with you about the associated costs. They may not actually mean it when they say it's free for you, despite their advertising. Or, as suggested in comments, they may intend to use your work as bait to convince someone else to give them money.

  3. Depending on the exact terms of the free licence you used, not giving them some copyright permission might mean they don't actually have the permission they need. If they don't need any permission from you, why did they bother to ask you rather than just going ahead? Alternatively, if you haven't used copyleft, perhaps they think they can try and limit what others can do with your work.

  • 1
    I totally agree with 1 and 2 but regarding I think that "transfer copyright" is usually not the same as "give right to copy". A publisher needs the latter of the author to publish anything, but often also requests the former to be able to permit that the same work can be published again (ensuring their profit from the work) and also to be able to legally fight against misuse (e.g. tracking down free digital copies of your work - partly also ensuring the profit of the author).
    – Dirk
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 19:44

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