A trip through the shadowy, surreal world of an academic book mill

via Slate

LAP Lambert, I learned, is the print equivalent of a content farm: a clearinghouse for texts that generate tiny amounts of revenue simply by turning up in search and appearing to be legitimate, published works.

So, naturally, I replied to Holmes, telling her I was interested in hearing more.

LAP Lambert’s real plan finally became clear: They make money not by selling arcane tomes to readers, but by selling the books back to their authors after they’ve already signed away the rights. The company isn’t technically a vanity press, because it doesn’t charge authors publishing fees, but its model is essentially the same. Getting an author to buy tons of copies (presumably to give or sell to family and friends) guarantees enough profit that it’s willing to sell the books at a lower price.

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