Please share your experiences working with these presses! Feel free to add other presses and publishers to the list. Please use "Heading 3" to format the names of presses or publishers. Use bullet points to add responses under each heading.http://humanitiesjournals.wikia.com/wiki/University_Presses_/Academic_Publishers?feed=rss&action=history
American University of Beirut Press
- Dealt with them early 2019. Received positive initial response, they encouraged me to ask any questions re the process then did not respond to me for many months. Was told manuscript went up for discussion in a meeting late 2019 ( a month later than originally planned), was then promptly rejected. Don't mind the rejection but some kind of decent communication along the way, especially after I received positive feedback initially, would have been nice and respectful. Get the feeling things are a bit dysfunctional in the office as someone was always on leave or holiday.
Bucknell University Press
- Even though the editor told me they could not handle the massive book I submitted, he was very gracious and quick to reply.
- Head of press was very interested in my proposal/idea; sent in the book, but then was told could not find any reviewers; sent to another press and, lo and behold, 2 reviews within months.
- Efficient and professional.
- Published with them in 2006. Initial read took about 8 months, resulting in revise/resubmit; book was accepted about 6 months after resubmission. On acceptance, it was handed over to Associated University Presses for publication, and I found the editor and staff there very easy to work with.
- I have worked with them twice. They have a strict review process and are very professional.
- I wrote an essay for one of their essay collections. Received excellent, detailed anonymous feedback through peer review. They asked to revise and resubmit, which I did and it was accepted. The book was published quickly and efficiently thereafter.
Cambridge University Press
- STAY AWAY! (May 2018) The editor I dealt with asked for my full manuscript to send out for review. I sent my manuscript as requested and she didn't reply. When my follow-up email didn't get a reply I almost moved on, but I happened to see her in person at a conference and asked about it and she said "thank you for reminding me" and then she sent it to two reviewers. In an email the editor said that it should take 3 months and promised to update me. That is when I started hearing stories from other colleagues about how badly they had been treated by this particular editor. After 4 months I sent an email to ask whether there was an update about the reviews. No reply. Tried again after 5 months, no reply. In my last email, 6 months later, I asked whether my project was still under review or whether it had been dropped. No reply ever came. You can't work with an editor who doesn't answer emails so I moved on. I may never know if the reviewers submitted their reports or not, but you can't work with an editor who treats your emails like a twitter feed (and scrolls past them). Stay away from this press. They don't require their editors to behave professionally.
- July 2017 - sent prospectus for a planned book - and from the very beginning, until the point i signed a contract - it was all very good experience. things went really quickly, with the editor updating me at any stage of the process. very good experience.
- Rather hopeless. 3 months after initial submission and not a peep regarding whether or not manuscript has been sent out for review, despite numerous emails to several assistant editors. very discourteous
- STAY AWAY - this publisher is a fraud. They messed up my 2-3 year work and decided (without my agreement) to publish a wrong version of the article with mistakes added by their copy-editors. I complained to arrogant CUP editors (they behave like CU academic snobs) and indicated my intention to take a legal action. They removed my article from their website (well, they were earning by selling the article attached to my name, although I never signed any contract to grant CUP permission to publish my work) but no apologies whatsoever.
- Fast, efficient, and thoroughly professional (working with the US office): prompt response to the proposal; all readers' reports delivered in four months; production process took around 7 months. All editors (acquisitions, assistant, production, etc.) respond to e-mails in 24 hours or less.
- Editor "misplaced" first copy of manuscript. I only discovered this three months in when I sent an inquiry about the current status of the review. I sent a second copy of the ms, as the editor requested. I started checking in every three months, then every six weeks. Every time, I was told the ms was about to be sent out for review. I finally pulled the ms from Cambridge after it had sat there more than a year with absolutely no movement and no external reviews. From what I hear, this sort of inaction is common with Cambridge (I worked through the UK office).
- Did the editor ask for an exclusive review of your manuscript? There should be some accountability for such unprofessional conduct.
- I had an equally bad experience with Cambridge's US office that very nearly cost me tenure. I submitted the ms in February 2010 at which point it was sent out to one reviewer. In May I received a "revise-and-resubmit" from the reviewer and a promise from the editor that he would send the ms to two reviewers after I revised it. I resubmitted an extensively revised ms a year later and was told that it was going out to two reviewers. Six months later, after having heard nothing, I sent an email to the editor checking on the status of the ms. The next morning he forwarded the second report from the first reviewer which now urged publication. Remarkably, for reasons that he didn't explain, the editor had never bothered to send the ms to a second reviewer. (To make matters worse, I latter learned from the first reviewer who agreed to reveal his identity that he had submitted his report in July which meant that the editor had it for four months without doing anything with it!) At this point, I very politely explained that my tenure timeline required a book contract by the coming spring. The editor promised to solicit a review that would be due by January 1. In March, the editor forwarded a "revise-and-resubmit" report from a reviewer who---based on her/his utter lack of knowledge of the topic and field---had no business reviewing the book and told me that---after two years of being jerked around---CUP were going to pass on the ms. I would strongly recommend caution with CUP.
- CUP took my ms. for review, had it for several months, stopped responding to my calls and emails. I know a guy who had his ms. out with them for over a year and they wouldn't email him back, then finally after a year rejected it and in the process mentioned that he had always been free to have it under considertation elsewhere. Beware.
- BEWARE indeed. CUP had my manuscript for 2 years before they finally told me 'no'. I quickly took it to another excellent publisher and had a contract to sign within 6 weeks. At no point during the long-haul with CUP did I feel that they were at all interested or concerned about what was happening. I would never go to them again. My promotion has been delayed by years because of them. Terrible.
- CUP took my proposal for a book on theatre for consideration (after telling me to send it in) but despite numerous emails to the commissioning editor over 18 months I have never managed to get a response as to what they think about it. Have now got a contract with a commercial - rather than university - publishing house. I was warned not to bother with CUP but their name still has a certain cachet I guess.
- 2014 (summer): two colleagues just had books published through CUP. Reader reports were an issue for both, more due to nonresponsive reviewers than anything the press had done or not done per se, but the more disconcerting thing was that there was effectively no copy-editing at all done to the manuscripts. At least in my field, the general consensus is that CUP is for all intents and purposes the "acceptable" vanity press, but an especially good home for esoterica that you don't want too many people to read.
- 2014: CUP (UK office) took several chapters of my book for consideration, took seven months to review them and then rejected them with 1 A4 side of unconstructive comments from one reader, who admitted to having no knowledge of the topic!
- 2014-15: Having had a chapter of the book published by CUP a few years before, I was shown great interest by the editor. He took the book and found only one reviewer (they normally have two), who rejected it. I have no problem with rejection, only with the claim that even if the problems were corrected the book was not publishable. I discovered by the oddest of chances, through an Eastern European journal, that the reviewer was a UK professor who had published a paperback on the topic, one of the popular paperbacks still. If my book, which is revolutionary, was published (and it has been since), then his own paperback would be utterly out of date. How CUP could allow someone with a vested financial interest to determine the publication of the book is stunning. Utterly unethical and unprofessional in my view, and I'll never deal with CUP again.
- 2013-14: For being rejected, had a fairly positive experience. Editor asked to see entire mss. based on proposal; did not hear back for about 3 months, emailed, they asked for a little more time. Finally heard about 5 months later. Was sent to 2 readers initially, then apparently a 3rd was desired (delay was due to end of term grading, I was told). First two reviewers were cautiously positive and incredibly constructive and gracious in their comments, with suggestions for research and issues to work out. Third reviewer (suspect I know them, but can't prove it) was obviously the tie-breaker. Despite valid points for the most part, withering and condescending tone. I have to say that all of the feedback (except for a few points had validity), even though the bar was set high and frankly I have had my work cut out for me. This was not an R&R but I may approach it as such and send it back once I've addressed the critique. To anyone submitting, I would suggest emailing at 3 months if you have not heard, and if you do not get any referee feedback at 6 months, pull the mss. and send elsewhere. Suspect that they are understaffed (believe it or not). Editor was not down right rude, but he was not particularly warm either.
- Given their practices, I will not buy from them any more, -- if I absolutely have to read one of their authors, I will borrow from the library. No money any more from me goes to the press or to their authors, and I hope others who are unprofessionally treated realize that only by hitting them in their pocketbook will they perhaps change.
- I sent a proposal and heard nothing for nearly nine months—when I sent a nudge, I received a rejection the next day with a hastily written note.
- Not even willing to respond
Central European University Press
- I have begun discussions with an editor about submitting a manuscript for the CEU classics series, and would welcome feedback/praise/complaints from anyone who has worked with them.
Columbia University Press
- Very quick and polite rejection as others have mentioned, which is much appreciated. However, given that the rejection is received only a few hours after the proposal sent, I do not think the editor actually looks that carefully. Still better than no reply.
- Excellent, professional, and prompt response. I blind submitted my ms. to a number of presses (after being on "hold" at another press for so long that my tenure deadline was near). I got affirmative responses from 3 (2 of which had more involved submission requirements). I decided to go with CUP. From submission to editing, the entire process was done via email and worked smoothly. The CUP editor rushed readers' reports so that I had enthusiastic, reasonable responses quickly. The revisions requested were serious but doable. I think they greatly helped the book. The editor responded to every message quickly, even when inevitable delays in the process set things slightly back on occasion. The ms. was efficiently brought before the faculty board and a contract issued without delay. All my other encounters with the press, with copyeditors to Index and cover design people, were most helpful. Book came out in a timely way and has been responsibly marketed. Couldn't ask for more after the initial frustrations with other press. I would work with them again in a heartbeat; recommend CUP most highly.
- quick and polite rejection by email (x4)
- March 2019: Unfortunately my experience does not match that of those below & above. Sent proposal following request (from years earlier). And radio silence. No response whatsoever. Am I the only one with this experience? Field: literary studies.
- I also got a quick and polite rejection by email--very professional
- So did I.
- Me too!
- Likewise, myself -- they quickly let me know they didn't cover my area any more in ancient philosophy and suggested some other presses. Much appreciated, and one of the few university presses to reply in a professional manner, quickly. Contrast this with Oxford, who never replied at all, even though a chapter of the book had been published by Oxford Studies relatively recently.
Cornell University Press
- Quick and polite rejection by mail.
- Friend had a very bad experience with an editor here; extremely slow, then finally rejected the ms. after more than a year.
- I have had a very good experience with the press. They responded within a week to my cover letter and sample chapter, and were prompt with getting me reader reports. I have heard that this press can be "mercurial" but I have not had this experience.
- My book is now under contract. Reviews took a while but the editor was in touch throughout the process. I was told when I was approved for a contract, first by the editorial committee, and then by the faculty board. The actual contract came later, delayed mainly by the logistics of planning for production (and I have some hearsay evidence that another author had a similar lag). In the end, the time between approval and the actual contract was the golden opportunity to revise the MS and prepare for a final submission very shortly.
- My experience was very similar to the above. Slow on the reviews, but exceptionally responsive acquisitions editor and series editor. And the reviews were quite helpful. Contract issued quickly after board approval. Overall, a terrific experience.
Dartmouth College Press
- Submitted proposal for an edited collection to one of their series in summer 2015. Acquisitions editor forwarded proposal to series editor within a week; series editor then responded within another two weeks. Rejected proposal, but provided extremely useful feedback.
Duke University Press
- Although a rejection, very professional and timely (x4).
- Rejected in a quick and professional manner via personalised letter. Kudos to them.
- Oh please. Infamous. They lost my ms/package (proposal and sample chapters), or so they say after repeated queries over 12 months. Resubmit and 8 weeks later a form letter rejection. Very feudal. If you dont have a personal connection then forget it. A very American pomo PC brigade.
- Had a terrible experience with "good cop/bad cop" reviews. The advice of the positive reviewer (who suggested publication and wrote glowing praise) was ignored, and I was asked to gut ALL the "theory" in the manuscript based on the advice of the second reviewer, who was hostile to the very premise of the project and clearly had an axe to grind. After pulling the book I had a very positive experience elsewhere.
- Rejection letter said that they are moving away from publishing books on literature in favor of cultural studies.
- Very professional attention to detail by my Duke UP acquisitions editor, Miriam Angress. I cultivated a relationship with this Duke editor over several years of having coffee at academic conferences, pitching my manuscript-in-progress, giving them cover letter, written proposal and brief sample chapter, and verbal progress reports. I also visited with the editor at adjoining UNC Press press booth. Both Duke editor and competitor expressed interest. (FYI: My project has broader than just academic appeal, is written in accessible language--20th & 21st c. history, cultural studies-y, offers theoretical glosses that structure the project and emerge organically from its historical presentation, so my book is propelled by narrative rather than being heavily theory-driven.) Both acquisitions editors told me to keep in touch and submit. I also contacted Duke UP series editors before submission (I encourage aiming for a series--smaller volume of submissions, more approachable colleagues who "get it," easy to explain how your project relates to series' sub-field). I also caught series editors' interest, and submitted. Prompt reply from Duke series editors--which is totally hit-and-miss, as I discovered in my previous submission to Stanford UP series editors 3 years ago. I still never received so much as a response from Stanford UP. Miriam then took over from series editors, ably walked my manuscript through 3-month first review stage. Outside reviewers were positive, but told me to cut word length, and Duke editor agreed, requiring 30% cut, a 6-months-long, painful process (my fault), but Duke editor's firmness on 100K-ish word limit (classroom sales appeal) definitely made it a better book. 2nd round reviews were prompt and positive. Duke UP editor was good with contract negotiation (though I only got one of my three requests), proposing book to Duke UP board, and offered lots of encouragement and guidance through every step as I prepared the book for final stages. Marketing team seems very dedicated. I had a very good experience. My advice: face-to-face meetings with both acquisitions editors and series editors, prior to submission to a series. Insist on dual-submission.
Duquesne University Press
- About six weeks after submitting a proposal for my medievalist book "Ogling Ladies" (since published with UP of Florida) to Duquesne UP, I received a friendly generic email from the editorial assistant Brock Bahler. The only problem was that the subject line of the email read: "Standard Rejection."
- Very positive experience with Duquesne. Quick turnaround on all stages of review and a prompt publication schedule. I received very helpful readers' reports promptly and was able to make the required edits over about two months. Copy-editing (very good!), proofs, etc. all done in about one year, which seems fast in the UP world. Editor and series editor are both professional and easy to work with. The final book looks great, too!
- The Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies Series is now published by the Penn State University Press.
Edinburgh University Press
- Had a great experience working with this press on my first book. Was a bit surprised at how quickly the peer review process turned around, but have been told by several colleagues that UK presses are often less exacting due to the volume of publishing demands on faculty there.
- Very fast reaction (two workdays). The proposal was rejected citing changes to their publishing program and a limited budget. (2019)
- Prompt form rejection in response to an email query (2015)
- Excellent team so far (2013)
- form rejection letter received from editorial assistant a month ago email query (2013)
- Very rigorous peer review for a scholarly collection published in a series (2014) made my contribution stronger.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
- Published my first monograph with FDUP in 2016; the process was reasonably smooth as it was overseen by their parent company Rowman & Littlefield, whose editorial staff are very helpful. I didn't get a strong impression that the FDUP director was really "on top" of things or understood the project, but the experience was positive: the MS was sent out for review promptly; reports were returned within a reasonable timeframe; the press accepted the reports and my response to them. The production process was easy - again, managed through Rowman - and the book looks good.
- Utterly unprofessional. Asked for manuscript (expressing "keen interest") in the project. Several months later--and only after being contacted--the editor admitted that he had never even sent it out for review. Avoid, unless you have world enough and time to have your time wasted, and your work ignored.
- Will not count for tenure at many R1's.
- Publishing with FDU does indeed count. I'm at an R1 ranked in top 10-15 and have published with them twice. Both were received well by promotion and tenure and widely reviewed in journals. My work with FDU in fact has been cited more often than books I've published with other presses. I can't understand this libelous comment would be here, though it's possible some R1 ego might have had a manuscript rejected there and has some bad feelings. (Wouldn't be the first time.) I would say that FDU is superior to some of the so -called "top" R1 presses as they are more open to vanguard ideas.
- very thorough readers reports,constructive and helpful.extremely judicious advise, indeed sage advise from a long experienced Director of the Press whom I have come to trust.
- FDUP published my book on an aspect of early modern culture in late 2013. The Director was patient and kind. And the editorial standards are really very high. The whole experience of publishing with FDUP was profoundly positive: I thoroughly recommend this thoroughly reputable, serious, responsible Press to any ambitious scholar.
- FDU Press published my book. I agree the editorial standards are very high. I received a very careful and detailed editing process...very professional.
- I submitted a proposal and got an invitation to send the whole manuscript, which I did. Then I waited three months to find out they lost it. When I resubmitted, after another month I got a standard rejection. I thought that after losing my manuscript they would at least have the decency to send me some personalized rejection letter.
- Great experience here. The editor responds quickly and the review process was very thorough.
- I have published several books with FDUP, in large part because the director has been exceptionally supportive and my work is ready to be useful to others in about one-third the time other presses take to bring out my books. At my age, I like to have some confidence that a book I publish will be in hand while I still can read the author's name and remember who he is!
Fordham University Press
- I sent them a hardcopy manuscript by post in summer 2014 (as per instructions on their website). I waited a few months for a response but got gone. Follow up emails have received no response.
- 29 June 2013 sent a detailed proposal (literary studies) and rec'd a response (negative) 5 July.
- Published a book with them, which wound up looking nice and am generally satisfied with it. But during the process, my efficiency was met with lags on their end, and I would learn of delays in the publication of my book through Amazon and other sources before I would hear anything from them (and I would hear from them only after I contacted them to ask about it). Overall, a mixed experience.
- After having a proposal for five months, they wanted to see my MS (under exclusive consideration), which they sent out for peer-review. The reports came back after sixteen months. The reports were generally positive, but in many respects unhelpful and mutually contradictory, and their decision was R&R with no guidance as to how to reconcile the contradictions between the reviewers. Revised MS was rejected (without going back to reviewers) for financial reasons, with reassurance that it is good work, and publishable by a good press, and statement (I don't know how meaningful) of keenness to work with me on future projects.
- Think they've become consumed with their own ego. Sent them a proposal and got a boilerplate rejection two weeks later. My book went on to being published by a press with a stronger rep.
Harvard University Press
- They produce great books but there is necessarily an elitism and cronyism in their approach. I'd still try the press out, as I do think their referee process is largely fair.
- Bad experience with Lindsay Waters, the Director. He seemed interested in my manuscript and requested 7 chapters (exclusively). 3 months later asked me for peer reviewer suggestions. 3 months later, after a bit of pushing and prodding, told me it was "best to drop" to manuscript as he'd taken on too much work and couldn't give me the attention my work deserved. Very annoying.
- Brushed off with a form letter. Oxford gave my project thoughtful consideration, and Yale accepted it. I wonder if Harvard looks at anything that doesn't come from insiders.
Indiana University Press
- At first, very professional and helpful. Book was sent out for reviews, both reviews were positive, but editor lost interest in the project, stopped emailing, and then just sent a rejection email out of the blue. Perhaps it had to do with a shift in the acquisitions editorship?
- IU Press drags out the review process so long that it can endanger junior scholars' tenure cases.
- Highest praise I can give them: after working with their editors, the book of mine that they published was a better book than the one that they initially accepted. Professional, highly competent, open-minded, and printed a stunningly beautiful book.
- I and one of the series editors wrote several emails to Rebecca Tolen (editor). Never received any response to a proposal. Very annoying and humiliating. Forget this press. (2013)
- Long review process for manuscript. Helpful feedback. Careful copyediting. And a very nice final product. (2015)
Johns Hopkins University Press
- I had a terrible experience with JHUP. They lost my manuscript for several months after confirming receipt, which delayed its review. They changed expectations for citations (from cite only secondary literature to cite everything); thankfully, I kept careful notes. During production, important emails went unanswered and required multiple follow-ups. For such a highly rated press, it was an awful experience, one I don't intend to repeat. (Aug. 2019)
- Professional, standard rejection after three weeks of waiting, suggesting other publishing houses with no sign of the publishing houses being mentioned in reaction to the content of the proposal. (April 2019)
- Spoke with an editor at a conference, was encouraged to submit a proposal, did so and received very kind and thoughtful response. Five months later, no word; sent a follow-up email, still no word. I know it's not uncommon, but honestly, a form rejection letter would be preferable to being outright ignored.
- Had very professional dealings with this press over the years. They published my first book: had readers' reports within 3 months, had book published within one year of its final revision. They did not, however, ever put the book into paperback, even though it met the sales requirements for doing so.
- Received a prompt and polite rejection within days of email submission of proposal. Even though it was a rejection, I felt I was treated with respect and consideration, which is saying a lot!
- Never received any response to a proposal or follow-up email (both directed at the appropriate editor).
- The same thing happened to me (no response). Not cool, really.
- A piece of advice. It's not unusual for JHUP or any press not to respond to "over-the-transom" book proposals, since they get so many. I've worked with several editors at JHUP, and they've alwasy been very professional. The best thing to do is to try to have face-to-face contact with a press's editor. If you're an academic, that menas speaking to them at such venues as the MLA book fair. And have a copy of your propsoal with you to give to the editor after you've talked to him or her.
- I talked with acquisitions editor at a conference re: new series (edited by two of my grad school advisers, no less). Though my advisers were encouraging during dissertation process, after I submitted proposal, I never got a response. Humiliating.
- Quick response to initial inquiry, and although it was a rejection it was polite and encouraging.
- Prompt rejection letter after meeting with junior editor at MLA.
Louisiana State University Press
- Excellent UP all the way around! Professional, prompt, and will keep you in the loop throughout the entire submission, review, and production process. Quality copyediting and book cover design. Great choice for history, literary studies, and African American studies.
- I can't say enough good things about LSU Press. Published 2 books with them and they were spectacular (really can't find a better word) from beginning to end.
- Great experience thus far (2017). Responded positively to a submission inquiry in one business day.
Liverpool University Press
- Professional, fast and helpful. They rejected my proposal for an edited volume, but the acquisitions editor had read it thoroughly and recommended a publisher that might be more interested in my book. (2019)
- I flew to England to meet with the editor in person. LUP was quick to issue a contract to secure the book, but it was pending positive peer review. It was to be part of a special series, which I was excited about and the series editor was very positive and enthusiastic. The general editor (for art history), however, ghosted me. He didn't reply to emails usually, and if he did, it was with a promise to move on it when he returned from wherever. Finally, I had enough and phoned (from the USA) only to be told that he'd retired! A new editor came in a month later but could find no evidence that my manuscript had been sent for review. So he sent it out--to the one person (I suspect) who heavily paraphrased portions of my dissertation (on which said book was based) without citation, and so, of course, it was a negative review. I canceled the contract and went somewhere else. What a waste of time and energy!
- While they rejected the proposal I sent in, they got back to me very quickly and explaining the reasons why and also suggested other publishers to contact. Granted I was disappointed with this news, but they were very professional to deal with.
Manchester University Press
- 2017: I have had an excellent experience with MUP. Quick response times, constructive peer review, complete transparency and fantastic attention to detail. As mentioned by others below, the effort they put into cover design and copy-editing was impressive.
- So far excellent experience. Fast and friendly, forthcoming about the way they work.
- An excellent publishing house. They have good quality copy-editing and made me aware throughout what the process was, and they stuck to their timeline. And, best of all - I love the book jacket they designed for me.
- Outstanding publisher. The commissioning editor responded quickly to all my email queries. Reviewers' comments were appropriate and thorough. MUP has subject specific (in my case multi-lingual) copy-editors who carefully go over the manuscript, and a lot of care is given to the book design and reproduction of images.
McGill-Queen's University Press
- I've published two books now (one monograph, one edited collection) with MQUP, and the experience has been great. The acquisitions editor responds within hours -- if not minutes -- of my emails. (To be fair, my turnaround time is never that quick!) The only drawback is the extra funding that MQUP, like other Canadian presses, needs, since it is not subsidized by its parent universities in the same way as US presses. This adds a second layer of peer review (first for the press, then for the funder), which can be frustrating. But beyond that, I've been very pleased -- my books have been widely marketed and well reviewed.
- Only have a small budget for anyone who's not either Canadian or working on Canadian things, and was told that they tend not to use this budget on edited collections.
- The acquisitions editor is great but he process is agonizingly long. I'm in year 4, and just got peer reviewed... but the reviews are excellent and the quality of their publications is very good..
Mercer University Press
- Very quick, very nice. Small, personal group of people. Excellent at the reviews process; sometimes lines can cross, but then they are quickly straightened out.
- First draft of my manuscript was sent to four referees, three of whom enthusiastically recommended publication, & the fourth of whom advised publication contingent on (minor) revisions. I was asked to make the revisions without first signing a contract, which I proceeded to do. Manuscript was then sent to three more referees, all of whom also recommended publication. Acquisitions editor informed me that this did not constitute sufficient positive feedback to proceed any further. The whole (2+ years) experience felt like a vast, slightly insane practical joke.
- Very enthusiastic initial response from editor to a pitch about an Irish topic. I duly sent in the proposal and then the editor changed - the response from the new editor was that my topic was 'not American enough'! Seems to be geographically limited to American topics only, and ignoring the rest of the world.
- Slow to non existent responses to inquiries.
- When I sent my proposal it was punted between one, two, three editors, who then passed it on to a fourth. Or at least, so it was claimed, because after several months of inquiries, I have received no further response. I will not be bothering with them again.
National University of Singapore Press
- This press wasted a lot of my time. I sent them the book because of the Singapore-related subject matter. The editor responded enthusiastically, but requested extensive cuts and revisions before the book would be contracted. Some months later, she followed up to inquire how the revisions were going, suggesting in this e-mail that the book would be contracted. I submitted the revised ms, and the following week received a rejection e-mail a couple of sentences long, saying the press didn’t have the resources to see the book through the (undefined) changes required to make it publishable. The press did not send the book on to an external reader, as they said they would, and there were no actual reports on the ms, just the short and vague e-mail.
- I had a terrible experience with this press. They put my book through peer review but held off on offering me a contract. One of the reviewers had clearly misunderstood the purpose of the project and when I pointed this out to the editor she told me that the reviewer was 'very senior' at NUS and that I should just try to acommodate the feedback anyway. When I told them I was ready to resubmit they asked to see the bibliography first and then asked that I add some other sources, none of which were particularly helpful for my argument. I did so, resubmitted, and then a month later received a three sentence email telling me that they were no longer interested in my manuscript. It was bizarre and frustrating in equal measure.
Northwestern University Press
- Sent NUP a proposal (2014) as requested by editor. No reply. I followed up a month later. No reply. I followed up three months later. No reply. Now it is two years later (2016)--still no reply. Go elsewhere.
- I have a ms. under review here and am hugely impressed with the professionalism and promptness of the editors.
- I just put my book under contract with NUP, and I would second everything the previous poster says. In my experience, the whole process so far (from solicitation of manuscript to review to contract) has been marked by exemplary care and consideration on the part of the editors. (Summer 2012)
- Professionalism: yes. Promptness: no. Great press but very slow answering queries, which can slow down the whole publication process.
- experience similar to that described by a few others here. Sent prospectus a year ago. Heard nothing. Chased a few times, managed to get an email reply once saying that they are considering it and will be in touch soon (after a few months of ignored emails), waited, followed up, and again, heard nothing. Eventually gave up and also went elsewhere.
- Solid rejection experience, though I was disappointed by the editors' appraisal of the one reader report that scuttled the thing, which is now at another press. That reader's (pretty sure I know who) objections to the project were facile and focused on only one chapter; the level of rancor, pettiness, and absent intellectualism probably called for another reader--treatment I've gotten from other houses when readers went off the rails on self-interested crusades. Still, I don't regret approaching them: great press and good people. Just try to gauge your acquisition editor's enthusiasm for the project before committing to them over another interested house while at desk.
- Another solid rejection experience, through their SPEP series. They responded promptly to my initial proposal (response within 24 hours) saying I should send it in when complete, then again when the manuscript was finished. They were good at responding to queries when it subsequently went out to reviewers. When the first round came back as one yes and one no, they invited revisions but said they'd understand if I wanted to try elsewhere. The negative reviewer still wasn't satisfied after revisions (I think there was some misunderstanding of exactly what I was trying to argue), but that's not the publisher's fault. Their policy seems to be that they need two unambiguous endorsements from the reviewers before going for approval by the board; if they reviewers disagree (as in my case), it seems that they don't send it to a third reviewer for an additional opinion. Overall: fast, courteous, professional responses throughout the whole process, even though it didn't work out.
University of Notre Dame Press
- Solid experience, if personally disappointing. Response for full ms. to unsolicited roposal came within three weeks; desk rejection with kind words just over two weeks after submitting ms. Very transparent process: quick and professional throughout.
- Beware. Poor quality for a university press. They publish dissertations as-is. If you look at rankings, and are trying to make a vertical job leap, this press can hurt your chances. I sent my mss to them and didn't hear back for over a year and received a random email asking about the status of my work, which tells me their resources are poor. There are significant gaps in their offerings on a particular topic, which also brings to light their inability to run the press with rhyme or reason. Many academic presses are ranked much higher than this place so take your precious work elsewhere.
Ohio State University Press
- Ana Maria Jimenez-Moreno is one of the most organized acquisitions editors that I've encountered. She lets you know when she receives your materials and encourages you to contact her again if you haven't heard from her in three weeks. She responds to questions quickly with the information that she has. She sends polite rejections! I imagine that a lot of the rest of the process depends on the series editor that you want to work with, but they certainly have someone diligent keeping things running. I didn't place my book there this time, but I was very impressed with her.
- Honest, fair, professional. I submitted a proposal for an edited volume focusing on a single author. I received an e-mail acknowledging submission and promising some feedback in three weeks, informing me at the same time that they do not normally publish either edited volumes or studies focusing on a single author. My follow-up inquiry about the realistic chances of being published by them was answered straight away, saving weeks of unnecessary waiting for me and my contributors and extra backlog for other projects. The editor even recommended more suitable publishing houses for the project. All this sorted out within a day. I am definitely going to send any book on a broader project to them first if I write one. (February 2019) PS: A quick look at the list of editors shows that the editor criticized below is no longer with them.
- Beware! I'm not sure what's happening there, but I and two colleagues in my department have had very negative experiences with them in the past year. I worked with Sandy Crooms, who solicited my manuscript for a series. My two colleagues also worked with her and found her utterly unprofessional. My experience: After receiving two enthusiastic R&R letters, Sandy indicated that the changes should be easy to make and that she hoped to be able to get the manuscript to the board promptly. Then, when I submitted the revision, everything went awry. Instead of sending back to one of the original readers, she said she was sending it to someone new. Okay. It sat for three months, then she said she'd placed it with a reader. Two months later I got a rejection in the mail with no warning, and it included two readers' reports. I still have no idea why there were two. One recommended acceptance and one rejected. The reader who rejected hadn't read much of the manuscript and made bizarre comments about the field. Neither letter referenced the revisions I'd made at the request of the first two readers. Since then, I've learned that OSUP apparently treats R&Rs as new submissions, so they don't give the second-round readers your letter explaining revisions or the first two readers' reports. What a waste of readers' time and a spectacular waste of valuable pre-tenure time!
- I had the opposite experience with OSUP. I submitted my manuscript in June. Sandy Crooms kept me posted about when she'd received it, when she'd placed it with a first and a second reviewer, and when she thought she'd get the reports back (October). I sent my revisions back to them by January and they published it within a year from the editorial board approval in February. The whole process was very efficient and smooth, and I felt well-informed throughout. The book has been well-reviewed and I also appreciate how they continue to promote the book even a few years out.
- Quick rejection with helpful suggestions for other presses. Personally disappointing but professional and kind-hearted: this is better treatment than I've gotten elsewhere.
- I have a book forthcoming with OSUP. Sandy was extremely professional throughout the process. Although the reviewers were quite slow, she handled it very well!
- I know that academic books aren't written for the royalties, but the OSUP terms seem especially meager. No royalties on the first 1000 clothbound copies and the 2000 paperbacks sold, then 2% thereafter. Most academic books won't ever reach those thresholds. Other university presses offer much more generous royalties.
- I have had a positive experience with OSU Press thus far. Former Penn State University Press marketing director Tony Sanfilippo was named director of the OSU Press in December 2014, replacing Sandy Crooms, who received a position at University of Pittsburgh Press. So far, Tony has been a joy to work with and has been very quick in response to my proposal. After sending in my book proposal, I received a positive response the very next morning asking me to submit the entire manuscript for closer review. Tony himself undertook an in-house review of my manuscript in only three weeks, giving me detailed feedback and recommendations for editing. Less than a week after the in-house review, Tony found two peer reviewers. The review process was from September 2015-November 2015, when I received an email saying the Board of Directors decided to offer me a contract. Incredibly efficient.
Oxford University Press
- Frustrating. I was approached by OUP to submit a proposal. I did so. After hearing nothing for four months, I wrote to follow up. Still nothing. Ten months(!) after submission of the proposal, I received a letter asking if the project is still available. (Of course it's not.) I am a "mid-career scholar," and I found another publisher. So no harm done to me. But if tenure is riding on getting your book published in a reasonable amount of time, I would recommend looking elsewhere.
- Very unprofessional. No response for months to proposal--despite several email exchanges with the series editor.
- Completely unprofessional. No reply for weeks, indeed months, to a proposal for a monograph, a chapter of which had been published by Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy before. If you don't want to evaluate my book, fine, but at least reply in a reasonable time and let me go elsewhere. From now on I submit to multiple presses at once, and hope someone puts together a web-publishing business that makes most of these traditional university presses extinct (pay the reviewer fairly, and not use blind reviews so the process is transparent). OUP is rude, to say the least, and deserves to go the way of dinosaurs. I will not buy from them any more also, and if I absolutely have to read one of their authors, I borrow from the library. No money any more from me goes to the press, and I hope others who are unprofessionally treated realize that only by hitting them in their pocketbook will they perhaps change.
- Two year wait with one particular editor (NY).
- 2016: Expect 20-24 months to see your book in print and virtually no communication during that period to add to your stress (NY office). Best to look elsewhere if you're coming up for tenure.
- I just wrote an article that will appear in an anthology and found the endnote limit to be extremely difficult to work with--especially given that part of the article focused on the critical reception of an author. A total word count limit is far easier to deal with. I also was recently plagiarized by an OUP author and am now wondering if that scholar had an endnote limit and if that may have been a factor.
- Going through the process now (2016) and it took less than 3 months from submission to acceptance, which I think is amazing. We'll see about the rest of the process, but pretty happy so far. The commissioning editor has been friendly and helpful and really timely. Dealing with UK.
- Summer 2015. Got a polite three-sentence rejection 4 weeks after submission. The rejection was polite, but nothing indicated that my proposal was seriously considered (as three sentences would indicate).
- Summer 2014: Took 3 years to get a contract thru the NY office, have burned through 4 assistant editors, and the press' choices in editors were not appropriate for the subject matter (reader reports were utterly useless, but that's not wholly Oxford's fault of course). The press still has a certain cachet amongst university adminstrative types, however, so even will all this it might be "worth it" for the book to have been held up.
- Spring 2014: One editor in the American section was kind and polite, the second was horrid. Arrogant and angry it seemed. I would not waste my time with a press that is publishing based on attractive rather than good or needed topics.
- Spring 2014: very positive experience. Though the process was long--about a year from query to acceptance--I was provided excellent readers' reports that improved the book immeasurably. Editorial team was thorough, responsive, and helpful.
- Summer 2013 - rejection with no reader reports; explanation that "there's too many books to publish so we can't possibly publish them all" (paraphrased)
- August 2012--My experience (Americanist) with the press has been fanastic. From initial query to manuscript submission was a month; from submission to readers reports was four months. Reports were positive, thorough, and very helpful.
- Sept. 2012--Excellent experience, start to finish. Editors are very on top of things and respond quickly, get good reports. Ask for a good copyeditor, though, some that they use via contract are substandard.
- 2011 - query to UK office produced snooty response that OUP unlikely to publish book based on a PhD dissertation
- Terrible, tenure-threatening experience. Generally wouldn't respond to my calls or emails. Didn't send the ms. for review for many months, I later learned, despite what they led me to believe. After more than a year, I pulled it because they were moving so slowly that I feared I wouldn't get tenure.
- No response at all to my proposal/sample chapters after nearly a year.
- Could anyone who has published with them comment on whether they are good in terms of marketing? Is the book promoted after it is published, or forgotten?
- British office personnel were aces. There were quite a few editors to deal with, and this sometimes meant that I didn't know who to email to when I had a question, but they were all very professional from beginning to end. Main problem is that the book prices are just ridiculously unreal, so beware of ending up with a book that nobody will be able to buy.
- The key thing re: marketing is that most OUP academic titles make the A-list given to university libraries by the big book distributors (= more or less automatic purchase by most US, Canada, and UK libraries, and many in other countries - good for a few hundred, anayway). For many types of academic title, this is worth more than any kind of traditional marketing could be. I was contacted by a marketing person at OUP with a form to fill out to help them develop a marketing plan (pls list journal contacts, upcoming conference appearances, etc.), but fewer journals reviewed the book than I might have expected, and I didn't see it at an OUP stand at a biggish conference 2 years after publication. I don't know how that compares to other similar titles at other presses, however - it could be quite normal - or my book might have been objectively less enticing, or have sold out quicker.
- Polite rejection, with a good explanation. It was clear that my proposal had received thoughtful consideration, which is all one can reasonably ask.
- Spring 2016: waited one year to receive feedback on proposal and sample chapters. Unprofessional peer-review process by a series committee where the two reviewers knew my name and they also knew each other. No useful comments; just an email of boilerplate statements (e.g. not analytical enough; argument not intriguing enough). Editor would not answer emails for months. Arrogant and unethical is how I would describe OUP.
- December 2017 - took 8 months from submitting proposed manuscript, readers' reports and contract. Had difficulty finding reviewers. May be due to my topic. Had one mixed review and one very excited reviewer. I waited because this editor is well known and worth it for my topic. Painful wait. Readers are often a problem for presses.
- I have served as a reviewer for OUP and I have also published a volume with them. Excellent experience all around. They are professional, helpful, and know the field (at least in philosophy).
- 2016/17 (UK office, literature). Exactly four months from submission to (excellent, thorough, helpful) readers' reports and approval. Editor is available and helpful, and the office functions well.
- Question: writing a book on South Asia. Are regional offices, e.g. the Delhi India branch, considered less prestigious than the UK branch? Will it count equally towards tenure at a major US university? Any drawbacks in going through OUP India vs UK or US?
- same question as above--just got a polite rejection from US editor, with a suggestion that I should try OUP India. Is the status (for tenure cases) and peer review process generally deemed similar, or not?
- They only want to publish 'household names' — read white, western patriarchs that middle class little englanders love
- It took six months for a general response to the proposal, and even then the main editor I was trying to reach ignored the proposal for an additional two months before a hasty rejection. One of the bases of the rejection was that I was not 'established', even though I have over a decade's worth of experience and over 20 publications on the topic
- Tom Perridge thinks he is god's gift, cocky as such and is to be avoided at all costs.
Penn State University Press
- •I've had an extremely positive experience so far. Excellent communication from each individual involved at PSU. I know they had some turnover a while back, and I wonder if this led to some dropped balls in the transition, but I have never worked with a more positive and organized group.
- Very positive experience so far. There was a very short wait from the submission of the book proposal to its acceptance. The review of the manuscript was a bit longer than I expected - it took almost one year from submission of the manuscript to delivery of the reviewers' reports. I had two recommendations with major revisions. The reports were quite useful. I had to work hard on my revisions, but it paid off and the manuscript was officially accepted after the second round of reviews. For the second round they also secured a third reader who was enthusiastic about the project. Overall I think that the process has helped me much in improving the manuscript.
- Submitted a proposal in September 2018 (co-authored book, not first-time authors) - no acknowledgment or response (now February 2019). Not very professional.
- Submitted a query, no response; submitted proposal in case the query had gone atsray, also no response (Spring 2016).
Princeton University Press
- Whatever the quality of their books, they are in the Dark Ages in terms of the process. You have to snail mail your proposal, wasting stamp, envelope and paper. They seem to have never heard of the web/email and I'm surprised to read the one other comment about a "polite email."
- quick and polite rejection by email
- Polite rejection of proposal by snail mail.
Purdue University Press
- Excellent experience with Purdue. Published an edited volume with them. Very prompt response to the initial proposal. We made it clear we were short on time and, after some negotiations, managed to speed up the typical publication process. All in all, from submission of PROPOSAL to book 1 year. Submission of manuscript to book - 8 months. Very receptive to all queries; the copyeditor did an excellent job and responded to e-mails even in the middle of the night. Can't say enough good things about them.
- Initially my experience was good-- they reviewed my proposal and got back to me quickly. I signed a contract within a few months. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. My manuscript went through four rounds of reviews even though the first round was mostly positive (mostly organizational edits needed) and the second round was very positive (all three reviews saying publishable as is or with minor edits). Each time I responded to the reviews, I had no idea that my manuscript was being sent back into review. After 2 years of working with them, they changed directors and dropped my book based on the Board's decision.
Otago University Press
- Fantastic experience (2016). Kept me informed of progress through the peer review stage, and provided me with a great copyeditor. I learnt much about my own writing from her close read of my work. I would have preferred the process to be a bit quicker, but compared to so many experiences elsewhere it was quick (2 years from first contact to publication, and I always received a sound explanation for deadlines and delays). The book they produced is of the highest quality, and priced affordably, though I think it could and should have been reviewed a bit more widely. Also, perhaps notable that they paid for the indexing, when so many other presses in Australia and New Zealand do not.
Rutgers University Press
- Terrible, beyond word experience. I have been under contract for one year with them. I sent a full manuscript which was sent out for a second round of reviews, the reviews came back positive, with some changes. I sent the manuscript back with the changes a few months later. The editor was positive all along and then I get an email out of the blue saying that the book does not meet the guidelines. I had been working with an editor who retired and the new editor never deemed to return my emails. I was then passed on to a new junior editor, who had little to say about the outcome.
- I have had a very good experience with Rutgers. The initial response to my proposal was a little slow, but since then everything has moved at a brisk pace, with quick review turnarounds and prompt responses to all of my questions.
- Makes no sense to me. I contacted them because they publish in the field in which my book fits - but in response to my query they said they don't publish in that area. Duh?
Southern Illinois University Press
- I’m very pleased to have published here, since this press is the top press in the world in my field. The review process helped a great deal and the editor was very supportive and prompt through the entire process. My book is now in over 800 libraries worldwide, so I’m thrilled.
- Very happy with my experience. Acceptance was prompt. The finished product looked great and sold surprisingly well.
- Chief Editor said that the only literary-studies publishing they're continuing to do is on the Beat writers.
Stanford University Press
- It took approximately 12 months from submitting my proposal to receiving a physical copy of my book. The readers' reports were superb. The entire staff is a joy to work with. They are excellent, serious, and professional.
- Was not impressed that proposal was misplaced - in fact it appears from the correspondence received that it was never sent out for any review at all. Granted these presses get many proposals, but there are ways to stay organized.
- Series editors encouraged me to submit my proposal, said my project would fit well with the series. I submitted proposal and sample chapter three years ago, but never heard back, not even a rejection letter.
- I was very impressed with the speed with which SUP got reports from readers and with the efficiency of my editors. It took about 1.5 years from submitting my proposal to seeing the book in print. When I had questions about the process, I heard back quickly. And compared to a friend's experience at another, equally reputable UP, I felt I was treated very well (given some choice about the cover, not nickel-and-dimed over small changes at the proof stage). It's a small press but my sense is it is very well run.
- Was put in touch with a series editor at Stanford UP. While my proposal was ultimately rejected, response was quick, professional, and polite.
- I've had a very good experience with an editor there. Responsive, efficient, direct, helpful, and professional. I'll let you know more when I reach the final stages of publication but so far, an excellent fit for me.
- Excellent experience, echoing the above. Decided very swiftly (within a week) that they wanted to see my full MS and send it out to review after I'd been messed around elsewhere. Reviews came after 8 months, and were both very positive and very helpful in their suggestions (which were both aligned to the aims of the project and easy to act upon). Was asked to write a swift response in order to expedite the project's going before the Editorial Board. Will also write more when in the final stages, but so far my experience has been wholly positive: as above, professional, efficient, helpful and responsive.
- Absolutely horrendous: given inaccurate information, misled about status of mss.
- Also bad experience here, tenure threatening timing. Solicited my manuscript, then submitted proposal. Editors changed, then on top of that, 5 months until received email of rejection.
- I had a good experinece with SUNY Press. The editor was very responsive and the process flowed smoothly.
- Great experience so far (2019). Editor is responsive, professional and genial. Two constructive reviews came back within 4 months, at which point I was asked to draft a letter to the Editorial Board specifying my intended revisions. I received confirmation of contract within a few short days.
Syracuse University Press
- So far my experience has been absolutely horrendous. It took them over 2 years to accept a ms., and the current projected pub date is 2014, over 2 years after submission of the final ms. I would strongly advise against dealing with this press for anyone under time pressure to publish.
- A hot mess. Save yourself while you still can. See third point under Cambridge U: virtually my experience at Syracuse. Perhaps the editor has two part-time jobs.
- I'm sorry to read the above. My experience was very different, but there have been some major shake-ups at the press since my book came out (2009).
Temple University Press
- They lost my manuscript (I emailed after 3 months of no word). I resubmitted and they lost it again. I resubmitted and they rejected. This all took six months.
- Similar experience to me.
- I received a prompt "no thank you"
University of Alabama Press
- [3/17] Agreed with everyone here: excellent, professional, and thorough. In under six months from proposal submission to contract, they secured noteworthy (and qualified!) readers who gave encouraging and helpful feedback. Publication process should reach completion in just over a year from submitting revised draft incorporating readers' feedback. The whole house, from cover art to indexing, invest great care and attention to the finished product.
- My experience with this press has been wonderful. They respond quickly at all stages, send the ms. to two established scholars for review, and always keep in touch. They also don't obligate you to publish your next book with them, which many presses do. However, I am going with them for my second book, since my first experience was so good.
- Just FYI, the contract I was offered on my first book (with a different press) had the clause requiring me to give them right of first refusal on my next book. I asked them to take that clause out of the contract, and they did without hesitation, so don't be afraid to ask them to take out parts of the contract you don't like!
- I'm in the discussion phase with them on my second book, and I've been very pleased with my interactions as well. Very prompt, very professional.
- Editor was helpful, courteous, and very responsive to emails, but reviews ended up taking 7 months instead of the 3-4 promised. I have very strong suspicions that one review had been hastily done over a weekend after sitting on someone's desk(top) for several months. Frustrating process but yielded some constructive suggestions for revision.
- Incredibly professional and helpful at all stages, from nuts to soup. They even paid for cover art rights, something I asked for but didn't expect.
University of California Press
- We sent UCP a proposal for an edited volume in spring 2016. While the email we received in response to our proposal suggests that the editor read our proposal and understood its significance, s/he stressed that UCP could only publish a limited number of books in the field in question. So far, so good. However, it took UCP no less than 14 months to get back to us. We had signed an advance contract with another UP about half a year earlier.
- I received a notification of rejection only eleven days after submitting my query. The UCP editor (Eric Schmidt) was very professional, as well as encouraging, stating the decision was one of publication. Clearly he read my proposal, and understood its place in scholarship as well as the value.
- Summer 2015: Sent proposal to Maura Roessner, same-day rejection but she was very encouraging and had obviously considered it. Very rare to feel so appreciated from a rejection. CUP then liked my proposal and sent it to two reviewers - first one loved it, second one hated it and they rejected it. I resubmitted it again in 2016 to UCP. She actually remembered me and wrote another polite rejection email. I bet she would be great to work with, sigh.
- Summer 2015, professional same-day rejection.
- 7/20/15: From start to finish, cold email query to contract in hand for first monograph in the humanities: 4 months. Very professional and kind throughout. Promise to deliver book within 9 months of final submission. Obviously, specific editor and their list priorities matter.
- Pretty disorderly over there, from my perspective: Had face-to-face meeting at conference with an editorial assistant. Submitted proposal, all acc. to guidelines. Then nothing for 4 months, so I wrote to him. Seems that the relevant editor departed and the new one has not yet come on board. He apologized for his failure to inform me of this. So I humbly asked him to place it on the new person's desk when she arrived. Another 4 months went by, nothing. So I contacted the new editor. She said she never got it. So I re-submitted.
- Had face-to-face meeting at conference with acquisitions editor Reed Malcolm. He told me point-blank that they don't really like historically-driven books. In looking at their list (at least in my field, Religious Studies), they do seem heavy on contemporary treatments.
- Summer 2019, professional and kind rejection in response to a cold email query. They took only a little over a week to respond and said that they are no longer publishing edited volumes (art history).
- I'm considering submitting a book manuscript to UC Press, but I've heard through the grapevine that they are really slow in publishing humanities book manuscripts (I'm in history). One friend had a book that was supposed to go into production in late 2011 and still hasn't come out yet. Can anyone confirm or deny extreme lag at UC?
- My sense is that this is quite variable; I know of at least two books published in the past 18 months which made it through production very quickly and the authors were happy with their experience overall, but YMMV.
- Submitted a proposal after getting a positive response to an email inquiry. After six months, I was contacted by the editor (who was new) to say she was leaving the press.
University of Chicago Press
- Polite rejection within an hour (!) from the time of submission. (April 2019)
- boilerplate rejection indicating no real evaluation for merit
- spring 2018: polite rejection same day as submission.
- spring 2017, things have changed after departure of previous editor of anthropology and humanities in 2016. Very offensive treatment of ms submissions and proposals by well known scholars. Responses are delayed for months and positive reviews are ignored by editor and Board that seem to be drifting to an old fashion, conservative bunch of ignorants.
- Summer 2016, another polite (if boilerplate) rejection one week after query letter.
- Summer 2015, polite rejection one week after submission.
- Received a fast and professional rejection (art history). Much preferred to not hearing anything for a year.
- Ditto to the previous post. I received a rejection hours after submission, saying that they only publish certain types of art history books & suggesting other presses that might be interested in my project. The editor probably didn't even read my proposal & sample writing, but the speed & courtesy is appreciated.
- Same here. Sent my introductory letter as body of the email with a proposal and CV attached, and heard back (negative) within a few hours. Much better to know that it just isn't the sort of thing they have room for on the list than to be left hanging for months on end.
- I met with an editor at a conference after arranging a meeting via e-mail. Editor was very pleasant and professional. They were interested in the project, so I sent a prospectus. But, they moved very slowly compared to other presses, and I wound up withdrawing it in favor of a contract elsewhere. I tink they reject quickly but are backed up quite a bit for projects they might be interested in. Not terrible, but if you have a clock ticking on your project, you might be better served by another press.
- Tried to talk with editor at conference. He seemed disinterested. I submitted proposal, which was promptly rejected with form letter.
- Submitted a proposal after meeting with the editor at a conference. Received a rejection, but it was prompt and professional.
- Spring 2016, boilerplate rejection stating that the manuscript didn't suit their present needs.
University of Delaware Press
- Great experiences, both with a rejection and an acceptance. The first was handled with gentleness and understanding; though they passed on the project, their readers helped improve it immensely. In the case of the second, their Board decided to solicit another reader after a cranky, hostile reader responded caustically and with little hope that any literary study could have value. Their commitment to the book was impressive.
University of Georgia Press
- Great experience, very fast, always responding, helpful reviewers, good editing.
- Good communicative swift experience. Edited collection - discussed idea with editor at conference: about 4 months later submitted official proposal with sample essays. 2 reviewers, 1 instantly positive, 1 with many reservations. Conditional go-ahead and contract issued after 1 month. Submitted full manuscript 8 months later. 3 months, 2 reviewers, both giving detailed feedback, including negative on some essays. Overall accepted with some major revisions to individual essays. 1 year from final submission to print. They also do a very good job with the physical book. Have to do your own indexing, though.
University of Massachusetts Press
- Excellent experience, start to finish, for book released in 2016. The acquisitions editor solicited my proposal based on a conference paper and then requested the ms, which was promptly sent out for review. Editorial staff members were always responsive to queries and pleas for help, and the marketing team seems to have done a good job getting the book reviewed. I would not hesitate to recommend these folks.
- Kind rejection email recommending another press approx. 6 weeks after submission of proposal.
- Never acknowledged receipt of my proposal. Fortunately, a different and better press had taken it by then.
University of Michigan Press
- Terrible experience with one of their editors who initially showed enthusiasm for the project and confirmed through email that he would send out my proposal and sample chapters for review. Yet not a word from the guy again. Very unprofessional.
- Very professional. Submitted a proposal that was rejected, but they were prompt and encouraging.
- Overall, a wonderful experience. They were prompt at the initial stages and accepted my manuscript relatively quickly. I enjoyed working with most of the editorial staff and the book looked great. I would recommend UMP to any academic author.
- I guess it depends on which editor you work with. But overall I would not recommend this press. I knew two authors who had negative experiences working with them, but still decided to go with them, thinking I'm of better luck. Nope. The editor simply does not reply months after you send your initial inquiries, or your entire manuscript as requested by the editor himself. Very unprofessional.
University of Minnesota Press
- Responded to query for a conference meeting promptly. Subsequently reviewed prospectus quickly (within 2-3 months of submission). Worked with me to arrange an editorial process that would suit the particular project.
- Submitted a proposal over a year ago and have yet to hear back. I have sent a couple follow up emails and am always told that the editor will get back to me as soon as he can.
- I have recently published an edited collection with Minnesota press. They were incredibly prompt at replying to emails and gave generous advice, and everyone I have worked with through the process has been very professional and excellent at their jobs.
- In 27 years of academia (dozens of articles published and three other books), I've never had a worse experience -- editors who didn't respond to emails for months (even after we signed a contract), and an incredibly slow publication (even for a university press). Would never work with them again.\
- Sent proposal after meeting editor at MLA in 2011, prompt rejection.
- Very unprofessional. I sent a proposal, waited, then contacted them about the status of the submission, but never heard back.
University of Missouri Press
- Polite rejection received within weeks of query submission.
University of Nebraska Press
- Excellent press of course, but unfortunately after a few months they dropped my project out of the blue with a series of poor explanations, then paid me off to not make a fuss, I suppose. (This was after promising to find a reviewer who could approve a prospectus that would lead to an advance contract.) Still have no idea what happened.
- Polite rejection received promptly.
- Great experience with them. Responded quickly, commissioned two readers (who I later found out are big figures in my field) and was straightforward the entire way. A little slow on getting the project copy-edited, but was done really well and things sped up after that. From submission to publication, 18 months. Would recommend.
- Great experience with UNP on my first monograph. It took about 2 years from my first query to print. The only negatives were that the peer review could have been pushed through a bit faster and the copyeditor missed a few conspicuous typos (well, so did I). These are outweighed by the positives. UNP's production values are very high (such a relief having just had Palgrave bungle an edited volume): with Nebraska, I really felt that the MS was being "cared for." They were communicative and professional throughout, dealt graciously with my anal retentiveness regarding figures, and are sending out a lot of review copies. As a good balance between prestige and realism, I'd recommend them.
University of North Carolina Press
- Highly recommend! Quick turnaround on book proposal submission to contract decision (~6 weeks). Detailed reader reports and in depth conversations with editors to develop manuscript. Entire staff is knowledgable and supportive. Joe Parsons is a saint. So is Mark Simpson-Vos.
- Also recommend. Had a smooth and quick process, total time from submission of proposal to contract about six months. Reader reports were timely and staff was very responsive.
University of Oklahoma Press
- Wonderful people, helpful reviews, much helpful advice. Magnificent press, just slow in getting books out after they have been reviewed. This is true of most University Presses, of course. Nonetheless, I would very happily publish with them again, and the book looked marvelous.
University of Ottawa Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
- Terrific to work with, very good to their authors. And Jerry Singerman may be the best scholarly-press editor working in the humanities.
- Be careful. After five months of review time the editor (not the same as above) led me to believe the manuscript was moving toward an invitation to respond to positive reports. Got a rude shock a week or so later. Instead of the invite he emailed an apology for being delinquent with the process and declined to invite a response even as he presented a second positive report. I have no idea what transpired between him and the series editors but this experience left me with a poor impression of the press and the two series editors.
- Q. ^^^When was this? Which series?
- I had almost precisely the same experience as the person who wrote the above "Be careful" post. Singerman was courteous, kind and yet entirely melba toast in the face of his mercurial series editors.
- Editor rejected my proposal, but did so in a considered, timely fashion. That shows respect to authors, unlike what transpires at some presses I could name (I'm looking at you, Hopkins and Oxford...)
- Similar experience as above, winter 2015. Thoughtful, timely rejection from series editor.
- Had a great experience with Penn Press. 6 weeks from initial submission of manuscript to receipt of readers' reports. Best readers I could hope for. Acceptance within weeks and publication about 15 months later.
- Absolutely terrific press! Robert Lockhart in particular is a terrific editor who prides himself on working very closely with first time authors. Even at the best presses editors can be quite distant, but Lockhart is warm, timely, encouraging, rigorous, and incredibly helpful. Better than I could have hoped for!
- Agreed! Robert Lockhart is just the best. I don't know of anyone who has had a better, more encouraging, helpful, and no-nonsense experience with a press. I can't say enough about the editor or the press.
University of Pittsburgh Press
- Very positive experience working with them so far. Review process was prompt, received a contract and editorial board quickly after responding to comments of reader reports, which helped strengthen the final manuscript.
- A joke. It took several months to hear any response, and finally I was sent a rejection with a really short list feedback. To my surprise, the larger share was positive, and the reasons some of the editors rejected the proposal were outrageously trivial.
- Has an editorial board that is full of themselves
- The editorial board is a bunch of older faculty out of touch with contemporary research. It's not worth the effort unless you happen to be connected to one of the elders on the board.
University Press of Mississippi
- polite and timely rejection received in a couple of weeks with suggestions for other presses
- A very happy experience. Contract was in hand eight months after initial inquiry. Staff turnover caused a few months of delay and confusion, but then everything moved along quickly and smoothly, so that publication came within two years of first contact. Editing and production people were wonderfully cordial and cooperative, as well as totally competent and professional. I heartily recommend trying this press if your project falls within one of its areas of interest (some of which are surprising!)
- Really great press to work with. I have published one book with them and have another on the way. The whole process flowed very well both times and the proof-reading was very professional. When, with the first book, my co-editors and I did not like the first cover they presented us with, they sent us more options without complaint. I would recommend them very highly.
University of South Carolina Press
- An excellent experience thus far for an edited edition. Excellent and quick communication. Enthusiastic, good sense of humor while maintaining professionalism. Reviewers took some time, but upon acceptance, things move quickly.
- try to avoid working with the history editor, who is slow and uncommunicative
- Had good experience publishing with them, though the people I worked with are now all gone.
- I also had a poor experience with a history editor at this press. In 2007 I submitted a proposal and promptly got asked to submit the full manuscript. I immediately did this but heard nothing for a year. I inquired again and was told to send yet another copy of the manuscript. Despite repeated inquiries, I never received a rejection or an acceptance. Uncommunicative is an understatement. Finally in 2011 I withdrew the manuscript. I hope that this is now "old" news and that there are now new personnel in place.
- Winter 2015, no response to proposal submission.
University of Texas Press
- (spring 2016) Rejected proposal for edited volume within a week, but in a very courteous manner. Suggested presses (and even specific acquisition editors) who might be more interested in the proposal.
- terrible. I sent them my manuscript to which they responded in one day that they are not interested. Then, a couple of days later, senior editor contacted me saying that she loved it. I was greatly encouraged but what I received after was silence for the longest time. Then it turned out that editor no longer worked with the press. I met a new one at a conference, she was excited about my project, we exchanged emails and then she went silent. Never responded again. Overall, I dealth with them for a year and eight months! Unprofessional and total waste of time.
- same bad experience (after two previous books published by them with good experience). New editor kept the ms. for about 7 months and would not answer emails until I insisted with strong subject line (RESPOND!). Editor did ffinally read ms. and quickly rejected. It's been warmly accepted by another university press.
University of Toronto Press
(2016). So far an excellent peer-review process, with very prompt exchanges: it took less than a year from proposal submission to contract, and the process was much better and faster than at CUP or Oxford. Highly recommended!
- weird peer review process. To me the strangest part is that it is not a blind peer review! The reviewer knows your name (i.e. can look you up), refers to you by your name in the review, and may even comment on your other published work. Quite unusual IMHO. We'll see.
- send your ms if you are willing to jeopardize your tenure by dealing with a very long and unclear process, extremely strange peer-review system (that may include a change of reviewers mid-course), and possible contract termination on the grounds of 'not being able to wait (!) any more' after you wait for years to get the process moving, as I have heard of one case. Not to mention the nightmare of the SSHRC funding process.
- I fully agree about the very strange and unreliable peer-review process. I peer-reviewed one of their manuscripts and the editor tried to convince me to recommend publication even though I had felt otherwise. I have also heard of cases in which they have switched reviewers (as it was observed above) midway the process.
- very frustrating process for a large co-edited collection with two dozen contributors. everything took forever. Canadian academic presses basically only publish books if they get SSHRC funding for them. this means that after initial blind peer review process (which took 6+ months for us), there is an entire second round of similar peer reviews set up through SSHRC (another half year). basically, publishing with them takes about twice as long as with many American presses. something else to consider: University of Toronto Press has some of the most conservative and restrictive copyright contracts for their books. the absolute opposite of open access.
- The funding process of Canadian presses is more complicated than that of US presses, as the comment above makes clear. But my experience with UTP has been very different in every other respect. The acquisitions editor has given me great feedback on my proposal (for a monograph rather than an edited collection), and we've strategized about how to find the funding necessary for publication. (There are more options than just SSHRC.) I'll be submitting my manuscript in August, and we'll see how the review process goes.
- I strongly advice against sending your ms to UTP, especially if you are in Early Modern Studies. They are very unprofessional and do not respond to inquiries in a timely manner.
- Send your ms if you are willing to wait for years before you see it published (with a questionable peer review process).
- Interesting -- in response to the two above that advise against UTP, I want to say the response times for me have been very quick (perhaps because I met the acquisitions editor at a conference first), and the peer review process has been rigorous, even tough. But I'm in film/TV studies, not early modern studies.
- My experience with UTP press has been top-notch. Very quick turn-around time. Extremely rigorous peer-review process with in-depth and constructive comments. Exceptionally strong and helpful editor. I highly recommend them.
- I agree with many of the comments above. I submitted a manuscript, went through a bizarre peer review process, waited around for year (literally years!), and found it almost impossible to get in touch with the editor assigned to my ms. I eventually went to another press, which promptly published the book.
- I had a wonderful experience with Toronto: the reviewers for my book were very well-known established scholars who were very generous with feedback. I don't know that the process was especially long: I know of presses who have been faster, but sloppier; and I know of presses who have taken much longer without any noticeable difference in quality. The press did a great job promoting the book as well, with ads in venues like the London Review of Books!
University of Virginia Press
- I've published two book with the UVA Press. For the most part, the process for both books was prompt, professional, and thorough. One book received a less than stellar copy-edit, but said copy-editor is no long with the press. Otherwise, the editors and outside readers did a great job of improving the original submissions.
- Wonderful experience from start to finish. Professional and very prompt replies from editors, useful and clear feedback from reviewers, keen-eyed copy editing, did a stellar job accommodating a whole bunch of images that required tweaking. Sent me formal, letter-head updates on the process for my tenure file and grant proposals as needed, which was a nice touch. From proposal to proofs in a little more than a year. Very happy with the beautiful advertising so far as well.
University of Washington Press
- I was contacted by two series editors and asked to submit a proposal and sample chapter. I was told that they would "love" to work with me on the project, and that once they received my materials they would either ask me to revise or issue a sample contract. 3 weeks after I submitted, they scheduled a meeting with me for an upcoming conference. I met with them, and got the total cold shoulder and a subsequent rejection email. My request to presses - if you contact potential authors, do not mislead them about the process going forward. I never would have contacted this press on my own, and wasted 2 months waiting around for one of the outcomes they promised to materialize.
- submitted a book manuscript to a series run by the press January 2011. I had been in contact with the series editors previously, and had been encouraged to submit a full ms. Received two positive reader reviews November 2011 with an invitation from the acquisitions editor to submit a plan for revision. I submitted that quickly and moved ahead with the revisions, which were fairly minor. Resubmitted late January 2012. Received email acknowledgement from a different acqusitions editor saying the previous one had retired, and that I would receive a full response soon. Heard nothing for two months. Emailed in April 2012 and three days later received a response telling me that the manuscript was now rejected. No explanation whatsoever. No communication from the series editors, whom I know personally. What happened?
- Alarmed and very sorry to know about your disappointing experience with UW Press. How unfortunate that authors have no protection against such callous work ethic. Matters seem to be taken seriously only when a contract is issued but we all know authors spend enough time and resources before the contract. For many their tenure clock ticks away and is catastrophic if they were to have the UW Press experience above. Will keep this post in mind when I look for a press for my next manuscript. Thanks. Regarding the silence--my experience shows that some (not all) editors are initially (very) polite and inviting. After receiving the manuscript and proposal, they change gears and move into an "automated reply" mode or the "ignore and keep mum" mode. Initially this was annoying now it is predictible, and makes me laugh and strategize accordingly.
University Press of Florida
- Contacted the acquisitions editor with a query letter and she informed me that the press had a keen interest in publishing an edited volume. After submitting a CFP based upon my query, then presenting a proposal to the press adhering to the outline in the query, the editor then informed me that the press had no interest in reviewing the volume in the present form and that I would need to expand the volume's focus to include a wider range of texts.
- I have had a couple of great experiences with this press (monograph and edited collection). The acquisitions editor I worked with was exceptionally friendly and helpful, the review process is really thorough but still moved quickly, and they were supportive and helpful with getting permissions for photos and other things. It took about a year in each instance from submission of final manuscript to book publication.
University Press of Kansas
- Excellent press. They move very quickly on projects, from refereeing to copy editing to publication. They are also far more flexible on illustrations than most presses, and place very few restrictions on the backmatter they allow. They produce a very attractive book, and price it in such a way that it is actually possible for people to buy. I've published three books with them, and I've been happy with the experience every time.
Wayne State University Press
Wesleyan University Press
- My experiences with them have been extremely positive, and I have been very impressed by every aspect of the books recently published by them (especially the production quality). As a manuscript reviewer, they were very responsive and helpful, and unlike some of the larger presses don't have the same employee turnover problems; the editors know the market well, and will only take books they feel confident in. Perhaps not the best choice for a pre-tenure book if you're at a R1 (no fault of their own, just the realities of promotion committees), but I'm hoping to publish my next manuscript with them.
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
- Had conversation with editor at a conference; submitted proposal. The next year, at the same conference, saw editor again, and they assured me the proposal was in her bag to review on the plane. Two years later, the book is coming out with another press--and I still haven't gotten a reply to either my submission email or the note I sent pulling the book from consideration!
- I would love to send a copy of your book to the Wilfred Laurier Press editor and say it dropped from her bag. Although I am one-book old in the book publishing game, my experience so far: (a) when editors embrace the book proposal with enthusiasm, don't take them too seriously. Chances are once you submit your manuscript and/or sample chapters they are either "out of office" or suffer amnesia; (b) several editors do not disclose details of the review process--ask them and they demure or curtly retort along the lines that it is none of the author's business; (c) no matter when you submit your manuscript, for editors there never is a good time to submit a manuscript for peer review: Jan and August submissions are definitely bad timing because faculty are busy with the start of the new semester. June-July is also not helpful because faculty are pursuing their own research plans. This leaves the rest of the year: faculty teach large classes and have complicated schedules. (d) Well, now lets say the review returned two positive responses. Hold your horses, those reviews don't mean a thing. The editor might casually inform you there have been some unexpected developments and decline the manuscript or she/he might blame the marketing department for not being enthusiastic. Most might wonder why the marketing folks were not consulted before the long drawn review began. At this point of rejection and dejection don't hold hopes of a meaningful dialogue. The editor's decision is final and they are not courting you any more. It is in your best interest to rein-in your lost time and hopes, and seek another publisher. A well-published academic once advised me, "keep your cards close to your chest" i.e., have an interested publisher firmly in place before any rejection.
Yale University Press
- There is no way they thoughtfully considered my proposal, based on 10+ years research, within the short time it was under consideration.
- I've had an extremely positive experience with YUP. They published my second book in 2012, and my acquisitions editor was very good. A bit rushed at times, but Yale issues more than 600 titles/year, so perhaps understandable. Prompt and responsive, and generally a warm, professional staff. They also have the right of first refusal to my current book manuscript (late 2015), so I'll report back after that.
- Though my proposal was rejected, the editor was kind enough to suggest other presses who might be interested.
- I was also impressed with Yale's efficiency and professionalism (2011-2013).
- My experience also was extremely positive. First reviewer, the top person in the field, gave a wonderful thumbs up. Second reviewer was fiercely negative, having misunderstood (or perhaps deliberately misrepresented) the book's arguments. Fortunately, the press then went to a third reviewer, who agreed with the first one, and acceptance followed immediately.
- Submitted a proposal to Yale UK four years ago and have yet to hear back. Follow up emails were always answered with a "thank you for your patience."
- Submitted a proposal and manuscript draft to editor years ago and also have yet to hear back. Only reply was that the editor would read it when she returned from Italy. I waited for two years, during which I reached out to the editor and got nothing back. I imagine that my manuscript was used as a door stop or, worse, perhaps shared with competing scholars and so intentionally delayed (?). The editor was sacked last year or so during a restructure. I hope things have improved now.
Other Academic Publishers
- Published both monograph and edited collection here. Easy to work with, and the director is responsive and helpful. Nicely produced books, and in hundreds of academic libraries.
- Yes, easy to work with. Still in the peer-reviewing phase, but so far impressed.
- Any views regarding this publisher? They are independent, not university-affiliated, but publish academic books. I was invited to edit a book series for them and am eager for views regarding their reputation and experiences working with them.
- Had an excellent experience publishing in art history. My book sailed through peer review, editorial board review, and the copy-editing phase. They out-sourced copy-editing, but the person hired was very good. And the book was pushed through printing to be out in time for CAA conference table. BUT... then it was sadly bought out by Routledge (Taylor/Francis) shortly after my book appeared, so it has languished in limbo without any substantial scholarly review.
- Disastrous experience at the copy-editing and printing stage at Ashgate. The editor made continuously time pressure to "skip" one of the proofreading stages and pass directly to the PDF version. I did not understand why. When I received the final PDF it was full of newly introduced errors: The page numbers in the content where confused, some paragraphs appeared twice. The copyeditor had introduced new errors and inconsistencies in form. I asked to corrct all these, but in the printed version another huge mistake was introduced in a major headline on the first pages, confusing words and altering the meaning as well as mixing up upper and lower case letters. As excuses, some "sorry" email arrive, but it took another round of five emails before an "error slip" was provided and the e-book version was corrected. - In sum, I am very surprised and deeply disappointed by such a lack of professionalism or whatever might be the reason, especially since I was told that they give the "highest" standards of attention to each book.
- Not good experience. Editor looked at proposal and sample chapter, it took months to hear back. After prodding, they requested the full manuscript for review. Another year passed, I get practically one 'revise and resubmit' , generally positive review that was enthusiastic about the project but suggested some revisions. At this point editor decides that ms does not contribute enough to the field and rejects it (despite the reviewer commenting that 'it does contribute to the field') . Why they bother to send the ms to review if they disregard those suggestions, is beyond me. And why waste over a year of my life in the process. Not happy.
- At proofing stage for monograph & so far, so good. Excellent communication throughout, useful reports from external reader. Has adhered to all promised turnarounds to date
- Fair and professional. I decided to work with a UP Press instead, but the peer review process was transparent and helpful. They clearly explained to me how they worked.
- Excellent support, quick turnaround. Gave me freedom to choose jacket design resulting in a highly professional-looking book.
- Same good experience here as mentioned above. Excellent editorial support and professional and timely communications. (Musicology)
- Same as above: excellent support and peer-reviewing process (Security Studies), and they got top-notch researchers in the field to write advance praises. There was a 3-month delay in the publishing of the book, but I guess that is rather common.
- Bad experience. My proposal was initially looked at by the theology editor, but was passed onto the history editor - who failed to answer or acknowledge any of my emails. Lost in the trash bin perhaps?
- Excellent experience. They have an remarkable team of highly qualified editors who will promote your book once they acquire it. I thoroughly enjoyed publishing my book with them and would do it again in a heartbeat.
- Ashgate is a decent publisher, but since they too have abandoned copyediting and proofreading, many of their books, espeically by first time authors have several typos.
- Positive. Met the subject editor (Tom Gray) at a conference, he made encouraging noises and I sent a proposal, along with an article I'd published on the subject. They asked me for suggestions for peer reviewers and sent it to them. Two or three months later I got a contract and about 8 months after that I was handing the finished product to the editor. Final review went smoothly, as did copy editing & proofing. I had a bit of a fight holding out for what I wanted when it came to the dust jacket and endpaper artwork, but ended up with an acceptable compromise, and the book came out just as scheduled some 20 months after the signing of the initial contract and about one year after submission of the final manuscript. They also sent review copies to all the journals I suggested. I didn't get the advance praise mentioned above, but all in all it was a positive experience and I'd go with them again.
- In 2014 I had an excellent experience with Ashgate (literary studies collection). Great double blind peer review process, first at the stage of the proposal and then again of the full manuscript. The editor I worked with was helpful and engaged throughout the process.
- RIP, Ashgate...
- Excellent experience with Ashgate in musicology in 2014 and 2017. Thorough editorial and peer review, conscientious copyediting, and great production standards. My only quarrel with them is the cost of their books.
- I submitted a proposal, and never ever got a reply.
- Fantastic to work with the editorial staff. Published my first book with them and found them efficient and professional. They also get paperback editions out fairly quickly after the hardcover.
- Some good and some bad. Edited volume in media studies. Up to typesetting, it was a great experience--quick responses, updates on peer review status, even a change in their editorial team went smooth as silk. However, typesetting (outsourced, of course) introduced some nasty errors, which is why we had to go through four rounds of page proofs (there were new--and in part very obvious--errors added in rounds 2 and 3, like page breaks in the middle of pages and sentences/words that were added rather than replaced text). Took over 8 months (and repeated nagging) to get them to distribute contributors' copies (have had similar issues with books I wrote chapters for--for one, I never received my contributor copy).
- Courteous and encouraging rejection. (April 2019)
- Prompt and personal rejection from the series editor within a reasonable time frame (2015)
- I didn't receive any form of acknowledgement of my submission to the art history editor at Bloomsbury. Over a period of a few months, I sent two follow up emails out of courtesy, to advice Bloomsbury of my proposal advancing through peer review at Routledge. By the time Routledge had efficiently and rigorously taken my sample chapters and proposal through peer review and offered me a contract, all I had received from Bloomsbury was two 'out of office' replies, and no acknowledgement when I let them know the book was under contract elsewhere. Very poor!
- Bloomsbury is courteous, professional, and will give your project a fair chance. It is not the most prestigious press in the world, and may not get you tenure at an Ivy, but it is a respectable press that should get you tenure at most places.
- Negative experience. They rejected my manuscript despite two positive reviews!
- Excellent experience: thorough, efficient, and forward-thinking, with a firm hold on UK/European markets as well as, increasingly, the US. Great choice if you're trying to reach multiple readerships, with strong offerings in literary theory and philosophy in particular (they acquired Continuum a few years ago).
- VERY impressed so far. Six months from initial proposal to Editorial Board presentation. Some lovely editors. Am eager to continue working with them. Plus, they care about cover art and presentation, while not being so slick and self-obsessed as to standardize everything for a press-branded look.
- I have worked with Bloomsbury twice now, starting the first book with Berg, just before they bought it.The transition from Berg to Bloomsbury was smooth, despite a later change of editor, and they have been generally excellent, efficient and responsive throughout. There were some issues with the (subcontracted) copyeditor for the first book, but the second one was spot on. Little room for negotiation on colour images rather than b&w, but they really do pay attention to the production values otherwise, especially the cover art. Very active in promoting their titles, and keen to support new work. Would definitely work with them again.
- Some turnover in staff during the proposal stage caused delays, but otherwise - courteous, professional, responsive to questions and curve balls (such as author dropping out of edited volume, another having contract issues with an image-copyright holder). Time from proposal to publication was about 2 1/2 - 3 years. Pagination/indexing/production went smoothly, although a few of the requested changes did not end up in the final draft. (I caught this, thankfully.) Overall, though, editors and publishing houses are humans, and things happen. Just go into the experience with this attitude and you'll find the experience with Bloomsbury quite pleasant. I would gladly work with the same team of editors again.
- Overall, a very positive experience. Bloomsbury have a big team and so come with the capacity to turn things round pretty quickly. The editors I have worked with have been helpful, thoughtful and very efficient. The process moved very smoothly overall. My only criticism is about the final production process, which is outsourced. This is, increasingly, the case among presses, but the overseas company which Bloomsbury used was not, in my experience, up to scratch. Copy editing was poor - it was helpful in standardising the manuscript and making it comply with Bloomsbury's style guide, but also introduced a number of problems into the manuscript which were a result of poor copyediting work. I didn't have much confidence in the final stages of book production, but this was not a direct reflection on the work of Bloomsbury's staff, but the result of contracting aspects of their production process out.
Boydell & Brewer
- They were quick to respond to my proposal but slow to place my sample chapters with a reader. That took them 2 months. The reader was also slower than expected (4 months). They only worked with one reader at a time, so when the first reader panned the project, I was out. This was especially frustrating when the process took so long. If you're on the tenure clock, this is probably not the place to go.
- Submitted proposal after an acquisition editor approached me to do so at a conference. It took seven months for the proposal to be read and rejected. The reason was suspiciously thin, so when I asked for some details the acquisitions editor admitted that he, too, felt that the process wasn't "good enough." The entire experience was absurdly ridiculous and the acquisitions editor seemed like he had one foot out the door himself. I would never recommend this press as a potential venue for publication.
- Submitted a proposal that was initially lost (while the publisher's staff were in transition), but was later found. Communication since then has been excellent, as the editor has tried to make up for the initial issue relating to misplacing my proposal. I submitted the monograph shortly after and received a reader report from a reader who was happy to provide his name. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he is one of the leading scholars in my field. Received a contract after minor changes were made, and the final product will take around 10 months (which is typical). There were a number of images used in the book, so I was required to pay a subvention fee, but the editor assisted in trying to attain subvention from outside sources.
- Quite a bad experience. An almost complete lack of communication. Editor did not answer any emails. A sub editor of some sort would reply assuring me that the editor was going to look but to have patience. I suspect they have a very small staff and can only give attention to well established authors.
- On balance, had a positive experience publishing a monograph here. The commissioning editor was truly fantastic--very organized and responsive, and I always had prompt replies (including to my initial query/proposal). Things went downhill a bit once I got to the production side of things. To be perfectly honest, the copyediting was so minimal (and so many obvious errors were missed) that I was nearly convinced that something had gone awry and my work hadn't been copyedited at all. The typesetting was also sloppy, and numerous corrections had to be made. That said, I've had similarly frustrating experiences with poor copyediting/typesetting elsewhere, as well (seems par for the course with most presses these days). In terms of the positives, I was pleased that the publication process was quite swift overall--roughly 16 months from query (for completed manuscript) to book in hand. Also, the quality of the book itself is high and it has a great cover.
- I submitted a proposal to Brill for an edited volume in the early Spring of 2016. They took 6 months to get back to me and I had already found another publisher. They explained that I had gotten lost in the shuffle and they really wanted to do my book. Eventually, I relented and sent them the manuscript. It was with them about 3 months before going out to review--the shuffle thing again--but then I got two positive reviews in the next three months. This was now Spring of 2017. I am very happy I published with them, because the book took just 6 months from receiving reviews to printing (December 2017), the quality was good, and everyone I worked with was fantastic and kind. I got three rounds of proofs, so only a few typos made it in. They were so efficient by this point that I felt rushed--much different than an experience with an American university press. Yes, the books are expensive so you won't sell many, but I would publish with Brill again without reservation, and recommend the press to anyone who wants a quick publication within a year's time.
- Wonderful experience at every stage. Quick replies to emails. Received two reviews. The series editors hired the copy editor. Excellent advice on preparing illustrations. Two stages of proofing. I prepared the index. The book was released slightly ahead of schedule.
- Excellent experience so far (November 2014), contract signed a mere two weeks after initial enquiry; prompt replies to most emails.
- I've had a book published with them. Overall, very good experience, though they have abandoned copyediting and proofreading in the traditional sense. Authors are the only eyes that will see it, unless you hire out someone to do it (which is too expensive for newbie scholars not in a professorate). As such, a few typos made it through.
- I submitted a proposal, which was initially accepted (in less than two weeks). After I submitted the whole manuscript I didn't hear from them for a few months. I asked about the future of the book, and then I received a document with 10 reviews. Majority were positive and favourable (asking for minor revisions in the introduction study, only), however, there were two negative reviews, and these reviews made no sense. However, these reviews were taken into account, and I couldn't publish the book with then.
- I was approached by a series editor who had heard about my book project. We met at small conference and discussed my project, which was essentially complete but very long (the published book came to 700 pp., including front and back matter). Queried on the latter point, the editor drew himself up and declared, "Brill is not afraid of long manuscripts!" I got only one reader's report, which was detailed and very positive ("wonderfully rich book") but pointed out the need for an index. I spent about a year on final revisions and a detailed index, working with a very helpful and quick to respond editor--but they only check format, no copy editing in the old sense. Author submits a camera ready copy or a PDF file. I felt just a little pressure to hurry up toward the end of the process. The book appeared within a couple of months after that. My only complaint would be that they didn't seem much interested in getting the book reviewed.
- I've had an excellent experience so far. Aquisition editor contacted me immediately. Sent my proposal to the series editor straight away. I got a favourable reply two months later informing me that my proposal was going to be peer reviewed. I got my reader's report about three months after that. I had six months to get a manuscript ready. Final decision made by the series editor was positive and a contract was issued. Pity about the high cost of the books, but very professional, speedy and thorough in the review process. Given previous experiences with some publishers not even answering emails, etc., very impressed.
- I submitted my magnum opus to them in 2015-16. They got one reviewer who gave the silliest, one-paragraph review one could imagine. I doubt he even read the whole chapter synopses much less the entire book. Given their practices, I will not buy from them any more, -- if I absolutely have to read one of their authors, I will borrow from the library. No money any more from me goes to the press or to their authors, and I hope others who are unprofessionally treated realize that only by hitting them in their pocketbook will they perhaps change.
- Small but innovative publisher; one of the few with true 'progressive' values. Mainly publishes editions of old books in the public domain but does do some manuals, handbooks, and overviews that are through-written by one author.
- Quick and professional response (within a week). The proposal was rejected as they do not publish edited volumes in the series the project would fit into thematically. (March 2019)
- Cambria asked to review a manuscript I proposed in 2016. They were kind, professional, and prompt throughout the process, but I decided to go with another more well-established publisher after they told me after 2 months that they could not find reviewers, but were still trying. It was a tough one to find reviewers for, I should add. If I had not had another offer I would have stuck with them.
- I've just had a pretty terrible experience with Cambria. Went back and forth with the one, hostile reviewer over three rewrites. Submitted the final rewrite; heard nothing for months. Was rejected finally with comments that indicated the reviewer hadn't read the book properly. Press refused my request to go to a different reviewer.
- Fantastic PRess. Quick, good, kind, professional.
- Has anyone had any experiences with Cambria? They appear to be doing some really innovative things with their publishing platform, but I'd be interested to hear from people who've worked with them.
- I was a contributor for an edited collection that they recently published. Much to the dismay of the collection's editors (who misunderstood the terms of the contract), it turns out that Cambria does not give out any contributor copies for edited collections.
- They published my book, and I had great experiences with them. They're still a fairly young press, which, unfortunately, affects their reputation. However, my book had to undergo rigorous blind peer review before it was accepted. Cambria is definitely a legitimate academic press in this regard. They worked much faster to see the book to publication, too, than what I've experience with university presses. I've also received much more royalties with them than with publications at university presses. I think very highly of them. They're a legitimate academic press, but they strike me as being much more author-supportive than university presses. They just haven't been around long enough to build up enough of a reputation--to distinguish themselves from vanity presses.
- I published a heavily revised and updated version of my dissertation with them in 2012. The MS was a refugee from Liverpool University Press, which sat on my manuscript for nearly two years (under contract) with very little communication and the lamest of peer reviews. In the meantime, my diss heavily summarized without credit, leaving me with few options. CSP had my book out in print within a year of the first contact.
- My department would never look at one of their books as acceptable for tenure.
- Published an edited volume with CSP in 2008. Good experience except that I had to format the text and images myself. It was my first book, so I didn't know any better. But in the end, it came out okay.
- A friend of mine published his dissertation with them in 2016. Unfortunately the book they produced was of extremely poor quality and had unevenly cut pages, which made the whole thing look lopsided. I can't believe they then priced the book at 100 USD...
- This press is great for good work that can't quite find a home elsehwere, but it will be hard to land a job or tenure publishing only or mainly with them.
- Pleasant working experience with CSP - although no editorial service is offered. Gratis copies for authors. Black & white and color illustrations. The price of books is reasonable (compared with Brill...). CSP is particularly useful for publishing edited volumes (including conference proceedings), but perhaps not for monographs.
- Wonderful to work with, fast and simple. This is a relatively young but promising publisher.
- This is a decent publisher. They will arrange for blind peer review if requested. I agree that this should not be the only thing on your CV when you go up for tenure, but an essay in a collection with them is a nice complement to other works.
- Is this publisher legitimate or a glorified vanity press? I've heard mixed things.
- They're legitimate in that they don't charge for their services (the definition of a vanity press); they don't even have a subvention fee, which is more than can be said for several other academic presses. They also don't consistently peer-review, however; it seems the editorial team has maybe a bit too much faith in their own judgement, and only makes recourse to reviewers reports when they have some doubt about a manuscript. On the upside, they have a quick publication turnaround, and are much more pleasant to work with than Peter Lang (who always seem to want to hit the author with huge typesetting fees at the last moment).
- The first question is really two questions, First, does a book from Cambridge Scholars count toward promotion at your current job? (You can find out the answer by asking.) Second, would a book from Cambridge Scholars help you get some other job that you want down the road? (You can get a sense of this by looking at departments where you'd like to be and seeing where people there have published their books.)
- I recently received two unsolicited emails from CSP--one at my work email; the other at my personal email. Both messages requested my interest in writing about a "forthcoming" conference that I am supposedly organizing for next year. First, the title the sender mentioned was not a conference but a panel that I chaired. Second, as is implied by the previous sentence, the conference is not forthcoming but has already passed. Third, acting as panel chair was my only role in the conference. I simply introduced the speakers and let them have the floor. In addition to this mixture of inaccurate information, I am puzzled as to how the sender even discovered my role in the conference. The website that once included the program is no longer active. I have only listed my role as chair in the "Service" category of my CV, which is not available online. Finally, with the exception of Academia (which does not include my academic service), I do not use social networking sites. All in all, I am not impressed with CSP. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but unsolicited emails do not count as a call for publications
- Kind of rude to deal with. Not sure the arrogance on their part is totally justified; they are okay but not leading publishers by any stretch of the imagination.
- I published an edited volume with Intellect back in 2013. The proposal was accepted within 2 weeks, and we received an advance contract 2 weeks later (they are small, with barely any bureaucratic delays). Everything from then on was smooth as silk. It took only about a year from manuscript submission to publication (including peer review, of course). According to Worldcat, there's more than 500 copies of the book in U.S. and Canadian libraries alone. Do note that Intellect asks for financial support (if possible)--not in the vanity press-type way, though. We secured about GBP 2,500.00, which led to Intellect cutting the book's price to USD/EUR 19.95.
Lexington Books (Rowman and Littlefield)
- I am contracted with Lexington for an edited collection in their Ecocritical Theory and Practice series. Their series editor was great during the proposal process (the proposal was reviewed and accepted within about 3 months). They seem to be publishing a lot of interesting theoretical work in the environmental humanities and are a happy home for edited collections. The editorial staff from Rowman are very professional and prompt with their answers to queries. So far a positive experience. Will update after the manuscript is submitted.
- I published a book with Lexington in 2016 and was very impressed by the clarity and organization of the editor. The proofing was adequate, but I also produced a clean and well-formatted final manuscript. My unusual and creative book was published with enthusiasm promptly. They do not charge authors; this is not a vanity press or a press that requires a subvention fee.
- Could not have had a better experience with them. Quick and positive response by subject area editor; rigorous, pertinent, yet timely refereeing by someone who was clearly a world expert in the field; smooth production process. They comprehended both the nature and importance of my project. No subvention or fee was ever mentioned. As the more traditionally prestigious publishers become more cliquish or unresponsive, Lexington is going to benefit by its continuing dedication to supporting research monographs in the humanities.
- Any experiences with this press? I have been offered a contract with them based on my proposal and chapter submission. Thoughts?
- Question: I, too, have been offered a contract for Lexington based on my proposal and selected chapters. Do they honor original terms of the contract, or do they do what Mellen (see below) allegedly did to author(s), sending a new contract demanding the author(s) now pay a fee? Do they copyedit well without subvention fees? Also, how are they at promoting a book for reviews and sales and at conference book fairs? Anyone been through publication with Lexington who can give some information? Rowman & Littlefield, the parent company, seems to have subsidiary presses of rather uneven quality. Please help, since I have their contract but am also awaiting responses to my book from other presses.
- I had a book published in their "Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series." A great experience with Lexington, and it "counted" for promotion at my R-1. Of course, the Harvard name didn't hurt, so best to check. They were excellent in my case at getting copies to the right journals for review, including American Historical Review.
- I published a book with R&L in 2015. The process was smooth and the editor was efficient. I would recommend them.
- Good, quick feedback. My proposal didn't make it, though
- I published in an edited anthology for them on a fantasy theme. Good and timely production; obviously a book with them will not get you tenure at an R1 institution, but as always ask your dean.
- I have worked with them twice (one book published, one currently under contract). Both books were/will be peer-reviewed. Their peer-review was not terribly robust, but I got valuable comments from the feedback and it made the manuscript stronger. They are timely when it comes to production, and the quality of their books is pretty decent. Not the world's best copyeditors, but that's a given in this climate. This is a great publisher if you, for instance, have a pet project that you'd like to work on.
- Mellen suing librarian who questioned quality of Press - academic freedom concerns raised (Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 2013)
- Chronicle of Higher Ed article on Herbert W. Richardson, the founder of Edwin Mellen Press: April 15, 2013 "Herbert Richardson v. the World"
- Changed terms of previous signed contract without any prior notification; sent me a "new" contract just when my ms was at their office, requiring all authors to now pay a fee ($1000/volume, $5 for every page over 100) to offset loss of revenue due to ebooks.
- Stay away! Never received a penny in royalties. Never received a yearly statement of sales as per contract. I was an emerging scholar with no experience or advice from my advisors. One of the worst misgivings of my career. Self-publishing is a better route than Mellen.
- I had the same experience with Mellen. The original contract was violated with a " "new" contract.
- Me too. I suppose they are trying to offset their losses resulting from the boycott imposed by US librarians on account of the Press's rush decision to sue the librarian who questioned the quality of its books...
- I have had works published by Mellen (before the introduction of any charges to the author) and had no problems whatsoever. Basically my experience was that they publish books which are often incredibly specialised (such as mine), and many are university theses which would never sell many copies and therefore mainstream publishers would not be interested. My contracts stated, basically, (from memory) that royalties were payable if more than 500 copies were sold, and as there was no way my books would ever sell more than 500 copies, there were no false expectations. I was happy with them, and happier when they improved their cover designs. I have also bought books from them by friends. They are not cheap but were cheaper and much better produced than University Microfilms which, for many years, was the only other way of publishing theses.
Modern Language Association
- I co-edited a pedagogical volume for them, the process took forever, but it was fair and when the book came out we were gratified with the result.
- Edited collection with pedagogical focus started with proposal and CFP in 2006 and moved through two reasonable years of abstracts, writing, revisions, but then came the brakes. There's a backlog in their (otherwise excellent) copyediting department, which resulted in a very long delay. There was talk that it would be out in 2010, 2011, and just got the same promise for 2012. Here's hoping.
- submitted query for Approaches to Teaching World Literature series to email@example.com on Nov 6, 2013; no response as of Nov 11. Any thoughts regarding how long worth waiting or whether it would be a better idea for me to contact someone I know on the editorial committee about this? My general sense from dealing with other MLA journals/publications (like Profession) is that they do not respond to queries.
- [9/2019] I can't say neither that I liked my experience with them, nor that I didn't like. Editor was professional, but very cold and very distant (I'm talking about the UK office, here). I submitted sample chapters in mid-July. She sent the chapters for the famous "External Reviewer," who, it seems returned them in September. Now, the editor sent me an email explaining that (1) the External Reviewer found the proposal interesting, but (2) wished that his comments remained confidential (?!), and (3) they reached the conclusion that my proposed book wasn't fit for their series, since they preferred works that were built upon previous research from other writers (as if mine weren't).
- [9/2019]. Yes, agree with the author below who recommended "run, don't walk" from these people. Interestingly, as others here have noted, my initial experience of the UK PM office and its editorial staff was largely positive and they were good communicators. Disaster struck when -- just as I was submitting my full ms -- I was swapped out to an editor in the NY office. Said editor sent one greeting email and disappeared for five months with no word on whether my ms had been sent to clearance review or not. I only managed to reactivate the NY editor by starting to cc the UK head of publishing on my emails (their EA is very nice by the way). After receiving a glowing review (which had no doubt been sitting somewhere for months) I returned the finalised ms within 3 weeks -- no acknowledgement and back to me chasing them. The promised 12 weeks turnaround from receipt of accepted ms to publication for this list is up and I haven't even seen a copy-edited ms. As I have already paid a professional to copy edit my final ms before submission -- based on horror stories here -- I dread what their production team will do to my beautiful ms. These people are beyond cowboys and beyond disrespectful of authors -- I wish I had withdrawn my ms. We're basically providing free content in their business model and they can't even be polite about it. DON'T GO WITH THEM. UPDATE: writing here again 1/2020. Well, the book eventually went into production. I can't fault the quality of the copy editing and typesetting: that team produced a quality set of proofs and responded well in correspondence. BUT the proofs did arrive with a 2018 copyright and I again had to write to the UK head to get a guarantee that this would be changed. However, it's now a couple of months since I returned the proofs and despite receiving a chirpy email last month from someone in marketing in the UK congratulating me on publishing the book, it still isn't available and the website still says expected publication date 15 December 2019. So a year after submitting my ms for the super fast Palgrave Pivot list I have no book.
- [2/2019]: My first experience with Palgrave was fine; but that was a previous iteration of the editorial team and management. (Former head in my field is now at Cambridge UP -- everything? downhill since she left.) Now, they don't know what they're doing, editorially speaking, they lack transparency and I'd even go so far as to say they are literally dishonest at times. I can't agree more with the review (two down from this one): "Run, don't walk, from Palgrave." And, re: with the 2016 note, three down from mine: "very low level editors, endless delays and confusion following proposal submission and childish excuses after my complaining to the appropriate dept. I withdrew the ms." --- I had EXACTLY that experience. Also see the review I believe six down from this one that begins "Very good initial experience." Continue reading it. My experience mirrors much that is detailed there. I don't know if the problems are mostly in the NY office (rather than London) but either way, it appears this press has little respect for its existing authors and/or potential authors. As for me, I would never work with Palgrave again.
- It's unbelievable how long they take to provide feedback on a decent proposal from an established author. I suspect they choose external reviewers who are either not competent, or think they are too good to provide a prompt response for the compensation provided. Either way, it's very professional for the editors and reviewers, considering this is a commercial press and means little in terms of academic esteem.
- *Run, don't walk from Palgrave. Published a two volume series of edited essays with them. Volume 1 was a terrific experience, excellent communication, feedback, and work from proposal to production. Vol 2 started out the same way, then suddenly they swapped over most of their editorial team. Worse is that they have outsourced their final production (copy editing, proofs, etc) to India -- poor communication, misunderstandings, delays, &c. We'd wait weeks to get a response only to receive copy-edits and given a madly short turnaround time to respond or to carry out requests. The production editor's English was so poor that we had to contact the main office in the States to get things sorted out. Disappointing, as the experience from 2015-16 was great, but from early 2016 onwards, nope. A colleague currently working with them is going through the same hassle with the production team that we did. They've also changed their royalties scheme -- no more quarterly royalties, but instead a lump sum payment up front.
- 2016, very low level editors, endless delays and confusion following proposal submission and childish excuses after my complaining tp the appropriate dept. I withdrew the ms.
- I found the editorial staff very prompt and businesslike to deal with. The refereeing was good and extremely useful. Feedback after I submitted my manuscript was minimal. I very much needed to get my work into print in order to apply for various positions and the speed with which they worked would undoubtedly be extremely useful for people who are in a similar situation. Be prepared to be your own proofreader though. The production process is based in India and the people working with my manuscript had very little idea of the normal conventions in my specialism.
- Between having the proposal accepted and submitting the manuscript everyone I dealt with churned over at least once, sometimes more. My final editor was very responsive and helpful, but the copy-editing was abysmal and introduced numerous errors (while simultaneously skipping over things they should have caught). Plus, I was appalled at the price of the book when it came out, which was more than double what I'd been led to expect when we were discussing this back at the proposal stage. I don't think I would publish with them again, to be honest, although in general it was not the worst experience one could have.
- Pretty good experience. The anonymous reader feedback on our essay collection was helpful and the turnaround was pretty quick.
- Very good initial experience. The UK office got back to me right away with interest in my manuscript, as did the New York office after they received it from the UK. The New York office turned around the first stage of the peer review process in five months, but that was because of a bit of nudging from me. I made most of the suggested revisions, although some of what one of the readers said was pretty unhelpful and sounded like they were commenting on someone else's work. Now that my manuscript has gone in with the revisions (about eight weeks ago), the editor I had been communicating with has ignored my emails. Seems very strange to have great initial handling and now total silence. I plan to give this second round of reviews another few weeks, as Palgrave would have had my manuscript for nearly eight months now with no firm indication to me if they are going to accept it. I hate to start the process all over again with another publisher, but I will if this editor I am dealing with keeps giving me the silent treatment, especially after he had promised to push things along once I sent in my revisions. Why do some editors and publishers have to be so passive aggressive? It serves no useful purpose except perhaps to stroke their egos. Bottom line is that my experience with Palgrave so far has been mixed, so watch this space. (Update - June 2017) - It's a good thing I have not been holding my breath waiting for Palgrave to get in gear on my project...going on almost two years now with no indication of a 'yes' or a 'no' on my project. I am already researching other, hopefully more switched on and responsive publishers. (Another update - June 2017) - After nearly two years of getting the slow tease from Palgrave, they came back to me and requested that I start the process all over again: revising, sending my work out for more peer reviews (it's already three and counting), and then maybe getting a final decision from them on if they want the project. They are ridiculously slow, very unprofessional, and seem completely incapable of making any decisions contrary to, or independent of, peer reviewers. Do not waste your time with these guys.
- Since being folded into the current management structure that places them within Nature Publishing Group, the company has experienced tremendous turnaround, according to my editor at the press. Gone are many of the editors who worked to build prestigious lists, as the company has pursued a new, profit-driven business model. Peer review is minimal, and prices are astronomical. If given the choice to publish with them and competitors such as Routledge or Bloomsbury, I would have published with any house but Palgrave.
- Published a book and an edited volume with them. In both cases, initial refereeing was great; copyediting was rushed and imperfect, however. They are in too much of a hurry to get the books out. Still, a good press and publisihng there should get you tenure at 95 percent of institutions.
- Very bad experience. The acquisitions editor was all excited, and two reviews were already in hand. But then that editor suddenly left, and the replacement based their decision apparently entirely on the third review, which was quite a joke. Don't take me wrong: I have had rejections before; but this third review was totally prejudicial and illogical. Yet, the new editor simply followed it--instead of even consulting the original acquisitions editor. Thankfully the editor who had left referred me to another academic press, and that press offered me a formal advance contract within a month. The way Palgrave Macmillan handled this after the departure of the original acquisitions editor--whose emails would have been enough to indicate to them that the submission had been held in high regard by that editor anyway--was shocking. (I am trying not to reveal the gender identities of the editors involved.)
- They rejected our proposal quickly and, therefore, there were no delays that would ruin our prospects to publish the book with someone else. However, they sent it to one reviewer, and they disclosed our names as editors, but we do not know who the reviewer was. The person is either not working in the field, or it was someone who knows us in person, and abnormally hates us. The reviewer said, for example, 'I don't understand why they did not include chapters on the EU's role in xy since there is a large number of books, chapters and articles dealing with that issue.' Hello? There is a large number of books, chapters and articles dealing with the issue and, thus, we have to do it too while at the same time answering Palgrave's questionnairre stating why our book presents a contribution to the field, and what is new in the book. Also, the reviewer expressed some really strange comments about the structure (i.e. we should not have it divided into sections, but put it all together, etc.), and the editor from Palgrave rejected it saying that we should publish it as a special issue of some journal.
- i had exactly the same experience. rejected my proposal based on one review (even though the editor herself seemed quite enthusiastic) by a reviewer who acknowledged they weren't an expert in the field but who still felt ok making some extremely negative (but not useful) comments and others that were quite strange, like "it would have been better if it was based on three countries rather than two" and also suggested it would be better published as a journal article....
- quick rejection for a translation on the grounds that "they do not publish novels" (2011); this was a work of scholarship, so the grounds for rejection seemed rather odd.
- Sent in proposal for edited anthology. Received reader's report quickly, which was generally favourable, but suggested re-write. Proposal was accepted very quickly after re-write, even though we only had abstracts, no finished chapters. Editors have been very friendly and helpful.
- Publication process moved quickly, with the MS sent to one reader report who recommended some changes. In all, it was 8 months between sending in a proposal and signing a contract, then 8 months from submitting a final manuscript to having the book in print. The copyediting and production was a bit haphazard, though; an author needs to have a good eye for detail since I've seen other Palgrave books with mistakes in them. There's also Palgrave's tendency to publish scholarly books only in expensive hardcover editions. Even a well-received book may not get re-issued in paperback. I decided to take my second book to a university press, which gave me a much more favorable contract and had better attention to detail in the production process. Palgrave's only advantage was in speed (which for an Assistant Professor can be the most important factor).
- I agree with the poster above about the friendly, helpful editors, and the poster who made the comment about speed. I am on the job market so the speed factor is important to me, as I have been having issues with some academic presses' very slow response time. Palgrave has been professional, helpful, prompt (for me, proposal to contract was about 4-5 months), and my colleagues have had similar experiences. I suggest researching carefully to see what the press has published in your field and how those books have been received.
- My experience with PM (UK) has been nothing short of exceptional. From ms to monograph, it took about 1 year for the hardcover to be published. I was allowed the maximum freedom to work the ms in the way I thought best and given full freedom to design my own cover. They also had a very good copyediting team (although a couple of typos in the ms still missed all our collective eyes) and although, I don't know whom they sent the ms out for review, the reports by the reviewers were overall, positive and with constructive feedback. [posted Oct. 2012]
- Great experience with my first book. Proposal to acceptance was rapid. The editorial team showed considerable patience when I had to renegotiate deadlines due to personal and work circumstances. I submitted the manuscript in February 2012 and the book was out in early December. The copyediting process was very thorough. Dozens of copies have been sent out for review. Palgrave have also sent me two manuscripts to review in the last year, so it looks like the beginning of a fruitful relationship ...
- Horrible experience with Palgrave! Sent proposal in June, first editor enthusiastic about the project, sends it for review which comes back mostly positive, recommending publication and praising the project for its originality, insightful readings, etc. with some changes suggested. Dilligently revised the Book proposal and the Intro., including a title change-very significant in my rather niche-field! First editor then has to hand on some of her/his projects to second editor who, probably swamped under the extra burden, claims he cannot 'get hold' of the first reviewer, normally the one to take on a second round of reviews, as the revised work was based on his/her initial suggestions. Finally, second editor manages to find a second reviewer (who saw no sample chapters at all) and who, as I realized (and I must confess to my shock) was actually sent the first version of the Intro. and Book proposal, the unrevised one (I could tell that because the title of the monograph was the same with my original title which the first reviewer suggested should be changed). Second reviewer recommends 'treading carefully' and specifiying the ideal audience, for the book, implying publication. Both reviews disclosed my name to the reviewers (my name appears on both reviews), so there is not double blind-reviewing process in Palgrave (or there was not any, in my case!) Sent an email to both editors, presenting my case and hoping for a fair hearing, and a word of apology, have heard nothing since...Do not think I ever will. The whole process took seven months and it DID cost me tenure! Really beware of Palgrave!
- Sent a polite and simple email query (with clear subject line) to a series editor, since my project seems to (but does not quite) fit. Just wanted to know if submitting a proposal would be a waste of everyone's time. No response, so I take that as a no (or is it a tacit invitation to submit the proposal for review?). Unprofessional attitude. Sent an email to the director of another press asking if simultaneous submission of proposal would be acceptable - no response.
- My experience with PM has been good, very much along the lines of the positive posts above. I've just signed my fourth contract with them and have found the editors that I've dealt with in this and the three previous books consistently professional, helpful and prompt.
- My contract pays 0% royalties on the first 500 copies sold, then 2% thereafter. The book's initial run was 500 hardcover copies, priced at $75; it took four years for almost all of those copies to sell and a paperback to be published, and now, five years later, I'm finally seeing some royalties.
- Sinking ship, largely due to the fact that it has just been bought by Springer. Published edited collection with them. We thwarted their attempts to replace the book's elegant title with a bundle of keywords (they were unconcerned about whether titles actually bear a relation to books' content, only that they are searchable online). Although we submitted to a series with beautiful bespoke covers, following Springer's takeover they imposed an awful, irrelevant, vomitty template cover, which I can only assume was targeted at colourblind readers. Amusingly incompetent production staff, who inserted mistakes that we editors had to pick up. It's just a failing factory: next time, I'll only approach publishers that take books seriously.
- PM is traditionally a solid academic press that prints many interesting monographs. My own experience with the press has been mixed. My first monograph, published years ago, had a proficient outsourced (Indian) copy editor, though the New York PM contacts were sloppy (editor couldn't write a complete sentence, and they were slow to answer questions and concerns), but the book ended up OK and with very few errors. The book cover was bland, though. My second monograph, published not long ago, had an AWFUL outsourced copy editor who mucked up my MS very badly, setting me back by weeks. I had to go back and correct his or her mistakes. I corrected the proof meticulously, yet some of the editing errors persisted, and while the final copy is not terrible, it is not nearly as error-free as the first. I guess it is a crap shoot that depends largely on what kind of copy editor a writer is assigned. Yet, for what it is worth, the cover of the last book is much nicer. I received a lump sum for the second book and a small percentage for the first one. Overall, I think PM has gone down in quality, perhaps b/c of Springer.
Paul Holberton Publishing
- I found them wonderful to work with, informal and efficient at the same time. Paul Holberton went with me to the National Gallery three times to compare proofs with paintings, so we could get the images right. He also proof-read the text meticulously. I was a refugee from Yale University Press, who took a year to reply to my e-mails, and never regretted taking my book to PHP. The result is superbly designed, with very high quality images, and has been well promoted.
- They won't pay royalties, and they lie about checks they never send. Every time I complain by email, they tell me that "next month" will be the right one. They don't value their authors and, by not paying royalties, they break the contract. I suggest you find someone else to publish your book.
- Not very good. Worked with them in 2013. Very pushy editor who sometimes disappeared when help needed. Regret publishing with them, in fact, because only later did I learn their reputation was not exactly sterling. They do nothing to promote the books and from what I can tell, don't give you accurate royalty reports, if any at all. They told me I had sold 33 books when I can see on Worldcat that the book is in 400 libraries. Huh? Do the extra work and look elsewhere. I must say the physical quality of the books is quite good, but only use them as a last, last, last resort...
- Very positive experience. It only took two months to hear back about my manuscript and it was published in less than three months. The production costs were covered by a grant from my university so that wasn't an issue in my case.
- In Europe, Peter Lang is considered as a decent publisher, from what I know. I published an edited volume with them, and I had to pay for formatting. Other than this, I had an outstanding experience with them. My emails were answered promptly, and when I had some issues and asked for assistance, they were friendly and cooperative. The book was published in less than 3 months (contract says in 3 months), and I received copies, as promised. When review of my book was published, they sent me a copy of it via email. Generally, a very, very pleasant experience.
- Make sure that your department and university count a Peter Lang book toward tenure before you decide to publish with them. Some schools do, but others do not.
- Unless you are prepared to provide camera-ready copy, Peter Lang will ask for a subsidy to cover publication costs, as do some other university presses. It will charge for editing, composition, etc. (What it calls "Vendor Services"). Peter Lang's promotion is comparable to some other university presses, but don't expect a great deal of money to be spent on advertising your book.
- I published my first book with Peter Lang and had the best experience so far (I have since published with Routledge and Palgrave). They were quick and they did not ask for any fees for any services like typesetting. This was in the U.S., and perhaps it is different in other countries. They are good with communication and liberal with providing reviewer and discounted copies. Their reputation has improved greatly, although it will depend on the discipline and sub-discipline.
- Re: the above, I have certainly never been asked for a subsidy by a university press, let alone by a "top" press. Peter Lang books are reviewed in some leading journals, but not at the rate of the best presses. Peter Lang books are generally only advertised in the catalogues and emails they send out.
- A colleague of mine published a book with PL while on the T-T. Turns out that enough people in our College (Arts and Sciences) knew about the (*ahem*) "subsidies" mentioned above, and as a result this colleague didn't accumulate enough scholarship to earn tenure. This happened in 2011-2012. I've asked around, and folks all over our region (southeastern U.S.) are aware of this. Nothing wrong with getting published by Peter Lang, but if you're counting it for tenure you should ask around first.
- I've never not heard of Peter Lang being treated as anything but a subpar press that publishes unedited theses (horrifying) and does not have peer review. Peer review is the key to legitimacy, regardless of fees or subventions or "subsidies" or whatever you want to call "pay-to-publish." I've read some truly bonkers theories in Peter Lang books, and that's why they have a poor reputation: no peer review, no standards.
- A friend of my mine published with them and told me he had to pay a subvention fee. He was able to publish his thesis without any changes (other than changing 'thesis' to 'book', ect.). They still seem to have a reputation as a legitimate scholarly press, but they seem to be verging into vanity press territory if you ask me.
- The above only applies to paperbacks, it seems. Expensive hardbacks remain subsidy free - at least that was what I infered from the email I got from them.
- Just a brief explanatory note: All academic publishers based in the German-speaking world are "vanity presses" in the sense that they charge authors for publication. They are not "vanity presses" in the sense that they are not selective about what they publish. That being said, Peter Lang certainly have a reputation for being less selective than other publishers (De Gruyter or Winter, for instance, who also publish in English).
- Recently acquired by Brill.
- Experience with them has been very good so far - efficient series editor, quick reviews (3 in all), and responsible in-house editor
Rowman and Littlefield
- 2015, first-time author, impressed with the three-month (Oct.-Dec.) turnaround on the decision. Very professional so far.
- Good experience working with them on anthologies, but publishing with them will not get you tenure at a 'prestige' place unless you have published a book with a Hopkins or a Cambridge.
- Wonderful experience throughout, at least when I published my book with them in 2003. Fast, friendly, professional through the review, contract and publishing process. I loved my editor and copyeditor. Fantastic experience. I am writing my second book now, am considering sending the proposal to them again.
- I have not published with them, except in edited collection. [Fine] but just a note to say that at my 'prestigious' university R&L does indeed count for tenure. As always check with your Dean etc. if you are in those shoes.
- Yes Rowman and Littlefield does indeed count for tenure at "prestige" x2. I'm in a top-ranked R1 department and my book with R&L counted in my promotion file and made a stir in the subfield.
- Very positive experience here with a monograph (literary studies). Three reviewers with helpful comments returned in about 3 months, quick & clear communication from acquisitions editor, good copy-editor, and a nicely produced book. A very large publisher with perhaps some variation across series/disciplines.
- Not particularly pleasant experience with Routledge. In the edited book to which I contributed, copy-editors added numerous errors to my chapter, and other chapters got serious mistakes in pagination ... I doubt the professionalism of this publisher. I may not consider Routledge for my own work.
- They treated me like a trash. :( But never mind.
- The most arrogant publisher I have ever working with (law).
- Negative experience. Publisher to AVOID!!! if you are not from english-speaking country. I am a senior professor in France (3 books published by top french publishers) and they treated me worse than a student. Editorial review contained numerous personal comments not related to the contents of the book. The average response time from editor was 2-3 weeks
- They are very friendly at the proposal stage. Routledge is considered relaively good trade press. However, my friends experienced some difficulties with this publisher
- Low quality of copyediting (copyediting adds mistakes). - Long waiting time for peer review and unresponsive editors. - Weak marketing - Publication of the book only in hardcover instead of paperback and hardcover - Poor distribution of books to libraries (according to worldcat matrics) Last year (may 2015) I published a book in Germany which is available in 174 worldcat libraries. Similar book published by Routledge (april 2015)is currently available in 62 worldcat libraries.
- Positive experience here. Thorough review process with three top readers in my field (Renaissance studies) and very helpful copy editor input. (I have had positive and negative copy editor experiences with other presses; it is probably luck-of-the-draw in some ways.)
- Terrible experience. Bullies. Rude. The copy editing ADDS mistakes. Author royalties terrible 3.5%. The good side is, they do undertake thorough peer-review, at least the US-UK branches do. The others like Routledge India have different standards, as do some of the series. Also they get the word out--but even that is screwed up. Your name might be misspelled in the official ISBN data or your contents blurb altered. If you really nurtured your book and want a "partner" rather than a bully boss, then go somewhere else.
- Very positive experience overall, though there are things I'd do differently next time. The only thing they really did poorly was the copy editing. Don't expect a lot of hand holding. I was lucky to get a paperback version from the start, the hardcover is prohibitively expensive.
- Very helpful at proposal and manuscript stages. Three readers who were all prestigious in my field (Literature). Good copy-editing. It's unfortunate the company's model has been expensive, library-targeting books in the past, but they're now offering eBooks as well, and mine has sold quite well that way. I would work with them again.
- Great at the proposal stage. And I received good reviews from academic readers. But production is a nightmare. The process is outsourced--the copy-editor inserted errors rather than finding and correcting them. I dread seeing what the final outcome is for my book.
- My proposal was rejected, but a quick, thorough, and fair process.
- Worst experience ever. Rude, tardy, and simply money hungry.
- Awesome experience with Routledge. Within two months of sending the ms, I had a half dozen reader's reports and a contract. Book sped through the process and into print in less than a year from my initial proposal.
- Ditto. I have a ms under contract and the editor was prompt, enthusiastic, quick in producing four external reviews of the proposal and thoroughly professional. I have also sent a query for another book manuscript to Routledge and that editor too has been prompt and professional. I am told their production time is eight months.
- I had an incredible experience at every stage. Readers reports came through quickly, I had so much help and support from the editorial staff while I made revisions and prepared the manuscript, and the final book looks amazing. I would work with them again in a heartbeat.
- Very positive experience here. The three external reader reports on the manuscript were thorough, rigorous, and quite helpful. It took about 10 months from submitting the initial proposal through revisions and add'l materials to obtaining contract.
- This is like the IBM of presses. They could give a crap about the production of your book but they will get it out there and distribute it widely because they have a global reach that few if any more prestigious presses exceeed. They are everywhere. That is a good thing. They wont promote it or offer it for a decent price (over-priced) but will get it in libraries. I had overall a decent experience with them. They farmed out reviews to proper academics. Very slow but steady from their own end. A big old for-proft company so it takes some time to even find all their editors/series--poor web front. But yes totally worth checking out and submitting to.
- Very quick and professional. Rejected my proposal but, nonetheless did not make me wait more than a few weeks.
- I have very bad experiences with Routledge (social science division). I was waiting seven months for the peer review to finally get very unprofessional "review". The general conclusion of this "review" was "I would be very suspicious because I don`t know the author in person. The manuscript is goo but It is strange". Unprofessional attitude!
- Quite poor production values; expect to pay out-of-pocket if you want a cover or internal graphics. Copyediting for books submitted to the US office is done overseas and is often abysmal. But certain series are well edited, and certain acquisitions editors are excellent with communications and follow-through.
- They maliciously prolonged peer review process (7,5 months) and sent me private opinions instead of objective peer reviews. Worst experience ever! (legal division).
- Contacted Routledge over a year ago for a book I was finishing - never even responded (and the book is soon coming out with another press, ha, ha); I have a new proposal and contacted a different editor at Routledge (foolish me), and guess what - no reply at all (yet).
- I published with Routledge and had a good experience. The editor was efficient and kept everything moving.
- Extremely thorough peer review processes, 4+ reviewers at each point in process. Lengthy time from first proposal to final print. Reputable and useful for promotion, not recommended if deadlines involved for a grant output.
- Thorough and professional but slow. 3-4 years from proposal to print. Polite and responsive.
I received an acceptance note after six weeks together with a contract, pending a positive peer review. The whole process of production was efficient and enjoyable. My book Nietzsche, Tauma and Overcoming, was issued in a beautiful format. I recommend this publisher highly.
- I sent them a proposal and a copy of my manuscript and waited nearly a year for a response. Although my work was in the same area as titles already on their lists it was rejected as not being in a subject area that they covered. I was subsequently told by more than one person that it is rare for them to publish authors that are not personally known to the editorial staff.
- Have now turned to largely very functional, pedagogical books or books that they think will have an immediate mass market, I submitted a project to them that had its own flaws but was also somewhat caught in that transition. It was rejected but the editorial staff was fair.