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Blog posts of '2015' 'February'

Meet our Authors: Doaa Abdelhafez Hamada - February 2015 25 February 2015

Doaa Abdelhafez Hamada received her PhD in English from the University of Leicester, UK. She is currently a Lecturer of English Literature at Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt, and is particularly interested in hybrid American literature and identity politics. She has participated in several academic events on American literature, and has had two conference papers published, with another forthcoming.

Under Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Doaa has authored This Is Her Century: A Study of Margaret Walker’s Work.

Doaa describes her experience of publishing with Cambridge Scholars Publishing:

“I have chosen Cambridge Scholars Publishing to publish my book after I received positive feedback [about the publishing company] from several colleagues in my field. From my own experience, I can say that Cambridge Scholars is a reliable publishing house. During the publishing process, their professional team took very good care of my book. They provided advice and suggestions when needed. They were always cooperative and responsive to my enquiries, and were always ready to discuss my concerns. I had a very fruitful and rewarding publishing experience.”

As part of the Meet our Authors campaign, we are offering our readers a 50% discount on This Is Her Century: A Study of Margaret Walker’s Work. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code MOAFEB15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 31st March 2015.

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Meet our Authors: Clyde Forsberg - February 2015 20 February 2015

Clyde R. Forsberg Jr. is Professor in the Department of Western Languages and Literatures, Karabuk University, Turkey. He holds degrees in Religious Studies (Western Religions and the Nature of Religion) from the University of Calgary, taking his PhD in American, Canadian and European Religious History from Queen's University (Kingston).

A Civic Education Project and Open Society Institute Fellow of Central Asia and Mongolia, his published works include Equal Rites: The Book of Mormon, Masonry, Gender, and American Culture (Columbia University Press, 2004), as well as several articles and book reviews in the field of new religious movements.

Under Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Clyde has authored The Life and Legacy of George Leslie Mackay: An Interdisciplinary Study of Canada’s First Presbyterian Missionary to Northern Taiwan (1872 – 1901).

Clyde explains his reasons for choosing to publish with Cambridge Scholars Publishing, emphasising that the fair and responsible way in which authors are treated has led him to return and publish a second title with us:

Publishing has changed dramatically since I graduated with my PhD and then published my first book. The whole experience was a bit of a nightmare, due in part to the fact that I had written a controversial book. One may compare this to my experience with Cambridge Scholars Publishing, which from start to finish was nothing but positive. More than that, the general attitude and philosophy of the press, as well as the professionalism that I came to expect from one and all, was such a breath of fresh air. They did what they said they would and when they said they would do it. The review process was a far more humane business all round. Subsequent reviews proved very good indeed, and I think that speaks well of the press.

I have elected to publish with Cambridge Scholars again because I trust them to do a superior job and, although this may sound a bit strange, to treat me fairly and responsibly. Cambridge Scholars is the future of academic publishing in my view because the press treats its authors the way authors ought to be treated. I recommend them to any scholar engaged in academic research of a sensitive or controversial nature. Bravo and thank you Cambridge Scholars!”

As part of the Meet our Authors campaign, we are offering our readers a 50% discount on The Life and Legacy of George Leslie Mackay: An Interdisciplinary Study of Canada’s First Presbyterian Missionary to Northern Taiwan (1872 – 1901). To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code MOAFEB15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 31st March 2015.

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Introducing the Cambridge Scholars Publishing Blog 2015 09 February 2015

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is very pleased to announce the introduction of our new Blog series, which will provide regular insights from the Editor’s chair. Our Editorial Team will be compiling the latest views from the academic publishing industry, especially those related to the burning questions that both young scholars and senior academics and practitioners often ask of our team.

This February, we are kick-starting the debate with a discussion about VANITY PUBLISHING. We often receive letters and emails from confused and sometimes concerned authors, who have been approached by another publisher asking for an upfront 'contribution’ towards the cost of publishing their monograph. Many individuals enter into vanity arrangements because they cannot find a conventional academic publisher (either an independent publisher, such as Cambridge Scholars Publishing, or a University Press), but still feel that their academic research will be of value to others. Indeed, the term ‘Vanity Press’ has been further obscured by the recent growth of ‘self-publishing’, as well as the ambiguous terms that a vanity publisher often uses, such as “joint-venture”, “shared responsibility” or “subsidy” publishing. 

With our first blog discussion, we hope to dispel some of the ‘myths’ around Vanity Publishing and clearly present the options typically available to academic authors and editors. We hope that you will join in the debate as well, by contacting or by adding comments to our posts.

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Jewish Book Week 2015 - Cambridge Scholars Publishing 09 February 2015

This February, Cambridge Scholars Publishing is delighted to be supporting Jewish Book Week 2015 (21st February – 1st March).

We are pleased to be able offer you a discount on selected events during the week, using the promotional code BOOKS. Events are bookable both on the Jewish Book Week website or by calling the Box Office on 020 7520 1490. The promotional price is £6.50 (rather than the standard price of £10.50-£12.50). Click on the selected events below to read more:

The Contemporary Art Scene (

Philosophy Bites (

The Waley-Cohens: Life on and off the Stage (

Going behind Closed Doors (

John Lahr on Tennessee Williams (

Peter Day and Henry Hemming on Unlikely Spies (

The Writer’s Craft (

The Art of the Essay (

Frederic Brenner: Israel through 12 Lenses (

Based in London, UK, this festival has established itself in recent decades as a major event on the international literary calendar, and welcomes over 6,000 attendees each year, with an international mix of topical politics and current affairs, the latest fiction, and research, from psychology to economics, and from food to art. This year, there are two special themed series of events: ‘Fathers and Daughters’ and ‘The New Yorker’.  

Speakers will include award-winning author Howard Jacobson, historian Simon Schama, economist Mervyn King, Helena Kennedy QC, novelist Tracy Chevalier, psychologist Andrew Solomon, historian Yuval Noah Harari, food critic Jay Rayner, poet Elaine Feinstein, and actress Maureen Lipman.

To celebrate Cambridge Scholars Publishing’s growing number of books spanning Jewish culture, literature, music and history, we are offering our readers a 50% discount on 3 of our best-selling related titles. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code JEWISH15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 8th March 2015.

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Book of the Month - February 2015 09 February 2015

Our February ‘Book of the Month’ is 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf: The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell by Bob East.

With global terrorism on the rise, and the sinister increase in the taking of hostages by terrorist organisations, this book is particularly timely – making for essential reading across a range of disciplines, and for the general interested reader.

Documenting the kidnapping of Warren Richard Rodwell, an Australian university teacher and ex-member of the Australian Army, by a notorious terrorist/insurgent organisation, the Abu Sayyaf Group, the book describes a remarkable tale of survival. Held captive for 472 days in various jungle hideouts in the islands of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, Rodwell endured an untreated gunshot wound and an almost starvation diet, losing over one third of his body weight. When he was finally released in March 2013, he was emaciated, physically and emotionally at the lowest point in his life, and totally bewildered. During his period of obligatory debriefing by both Philippine and Australian authorities, an amazing tale of perseverance unfolded. Rodwell’s determination to overcome all obstacles in his path to eventual freedom is the quintessence of all that is dear in life – life itself.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMFEB15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 8th March 2015.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

On 5 December 2011, Warren Rodwell was kidnapped from his adopted home in Ipil, Zamboanga province in the southern Philippines by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group. Rodwell survived 15 months as a captive – a rare feat given the organisation’s reputation for beheading captives whose ransom is not quickly paid. This is the story of Rodwell’s ordeal, and how he survived against the odds.”

—Dr Damien Kingsbury, Professor of Asian Political and Security Studies, Deakin University, Australia

“Warren Rodwell's story is one of modern day survival. Kidnapped by Islamic extremists while living in the Philippines, Warren survived for 15 months in captivity being moved from location to location. How he maintained his sanity let alone his life is an incredible feat of courage, guts and determination. Warren’s story proves that where there is life there is definitely hope. A true inspiration.”

—David Richardson, Senior Journalist, 7 News Investigations and Features, Australia

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Editorial Advisory Board's 'Recommended Read' - February 2015 09 February 2015

This February, our Editorial Advisory Board member Professor Gerald Mars has chosen his ‘Recommended Read’: one of our best-selling titles, noteworthy for the contribution it makes to its field. An applied social anthropologist, Gerald is an Honorary Professor of Anthropology at University College London and a Visiting Professor of Organisational Ethnography at University Campus Suffolk.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is offering all of our readers a 50% discount on Gerald’s pick. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code EABFEB15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 8th March 2015.

Professor Gerald Mars’s ‘Recommended Read’:

Neither Good Nor Bad: Why Human Beings Behave How They Do

Author: Gerhard Besier

“This title is misleadingly simple. But to understand and explain this range of human behaviour, and especially 'evil’ behaviour, the author has had to mobilise formidable, wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary scholarship - both humanist and scientific. As a guide to the areaone the author has made his ownthe book is unrivalled. Despite the circa 1500 footnotes that take up a third of its length, the task has been achieved with style and an enviable clarity.” 

For further information on Professor Gerald Mars, please click here

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Vanity Publishing: Dispelling the Myths by Cambridge Scholars Publishing 06 February 2015

The Commissioning Editors at Cambridge Scholars Publishing are often asked by prospective authors about how to get published and for advice on being approached by a ‘Vanity Press’. Here is some guidance from our Editorial team. We hope you find it useful – let us know!

“(Vanity Publishers) will publish anything for which an author will pay, usually at a loss for the author and a nice profit for the publisher.”

Bill Henderson, ‘The Small Book Press: A Cultural Essential’, Library Quarterly 53, no.1 (1983): 61-71

The term ‘Vanity Publishing’ is inherently ambiguous, for, despite the efforts of publishing industry watchdogs, it is used haphazardly and confused with self-publishing or other types of author-subsidised publishing. The term is further obscured by the alternative terms that Vanity Publishers themselves use: “joint-venture”, “shared responsibility” or “subsidy” publishing. 

So what is the difference between Conventional and Vanity Publishing?

A Conventional Publisher (either a University Press or an independent commercial academic publisher) does not charge a fee to publish and sell a manuscript. The one exception to this is the Open Access (OA) model, which is now being explored by some conventional academic publishers; this is already an option for many academic journals (particularly in the Sciences). In the OA model, the published work is made freely available in digital form, and the costs of production and marketing are covered by what is often known as an ‘Author Processing Charge’. If you opt for an OA model through a conventional academic publisher, you should expect the same rigorous standards of peer-review, production and marketing that you would from a traditional publishing route. Your proposal will not be automatically accepted for publication simply because a payment is being made.

A further feature of conventional academic publishers is that large publishing houses sometimes pay an advance on royalties; an independent academic press typically doesn’t, although all should legitimately have a royalty structure in place. Click the following for an example of Cambridge Scholars Publishing’s Royalty Scheme. Conventional academic publishers are highly selective, publishing only a certain percentage of manuscripts submitted. A conventional academic press will handle the editing, typesetting, publication, distribution and marketing. Ultimately, they have an incentive to sell copies in order to make a profit, as well as to develop strong, lasting relationships with their authors.

A Vanity Publisher charges a fee to publish the author’s work, or may require the author to purchase something as a pre-requisite to publication (such as pre-ordering a number of finished books or purchasing publicity or other services). Vanity publishers ‘print’ work regardless of quality—there is no element of selection at the commissioning stage. They often provide little more than a print run that is shipped to the author. Costs for vanity publishing can easily rise into the five-figure range. 

What about self-publishing?

Self-publishing services are digitally-based, and the range of options can vary depending on the publishing packages that the service provides. At one end of the scale, some self-publishing services charge hefty amounts and may heavily promote costly extras (such as publicity and marketing); at the other end, the author bears the entire cost of publication but is not restricted in terms of publishing output.

I am keen to get my academic work published as a research monograph; will Vanity Publishing affect my career prospects?

There is a stigma attached to fee-based publishing, which has eroded over recent times due to the upsurge in self-publishing options, though it still exists.

The ‘rank’ of an academic publisher is sometimes viewed as tantamount to advancing your career, and young scholars often fix their sights on major University presses. Talk to others who have published in the same field as you.  It is useful to get a range of views, although you may find that opinions vary depending on experiences and expectations.  It is likely that some senior academics may steer you towards a University press.  Take into account that the decision-making processes within a University press are often longer than commercial publishers, which is important if you have a tight timeframe.

If you do decide to publish with a Vanity Publisher, it is important to check the quality of production and dust-jacket design, as these can be distinctly poor. Ask for examples of other books produced by the press or check on their website to review their back catalogue. Questions to ask yourself are: Does the formatting look professional? Are all the pages in order? Is the cover art attractive? Are the books sturdy?

A Vanity Press is unlikely to offer much in the way of book distribution, marketing or publicity support. It is good practice to ensure that the publisher distributes through at least one reputable wholesaler, such as Ingram. This will ensure that your books are available online, and, even if they are not available in certain bookstores, people will be able to special order them.

Many individuals enter into vanity arrangements because they cannot find a conventional publisher, but still feel that their academic research will be of value to others. If this is the case, seek feedback from those publishers who have rejected your proposal, and, if you have the money to spend, then consider self-publishing before vanity publishing.

What about Editorial assistance: what can I expect from Conventional vs Vanity Publishers?

Vanity Publishers are not selective about the quality of work they publish. You can expect no proof-reading, copy editing, or typesetting assistance. 

Reputable Conventional Publishers (both University and independent commercial publishers) will provide a variety of Editorial services throughout the publishing process. The terms and responsibilities afforded to these Editors can vary between publishing houses. At Cambridge Scholars Publishing, for example, you can expect to come into contact with:

Acquisition or Commissioning Editors: in charge of finding new academic potential, and potentially organising peer review channels;

Series Editors: typically more senior academics who oversee the publication of a Series on a specific theme;

Managing Editors: who deal with the practical details of publishing a book;

Copy Editors: often known as ‘proof reading’, and ‘mechanical copy editing’, who will review samples of a manuscript in preparation for publication;

Typesetters:  who will take your manuscript text and illustrative material, setting it out on the page ready for printing, in line with industry guidelines (such as the Chicago Manual of Style).

What about the relevance of peer review?

University press and reputable commercial academic publishers will facilitate varying levels of peer review. Peer review is noticeably absent from Vanity Publishing processes.

The level of peer review may range from having your proposal reviewed by external academic specialists and/or an impartial Advisory Board, to only reviewing the final manuscript. In addition, the review channels (typically credible senior academics with a strong reputation and publishing output within a specialism) may be co-agreed with the author, identified by the in-house Commissioning Editor, or a combination of both. As an example, Cambridge Scholars Publishers have an extensive network of peer reviewers with global reach, some of whom are on the Cambridge Scholars Publishing Editorial Advisory Board.

Last thoughts…

Ultimately, a good academic publisher should assist the author in producing a marketable and credible publication, in line with the expectations of the academic community. They should facilitate discovery through marketing, publicity and a variety of distribution channels. They should provide advanced copies to reviewers in key journals, look for opportunities to promote books through the media, and route books into sales channels. Reputable publishers are there to help and should have a strong vested interest in disseminating leading-edge research to the wider academic community. 

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