"Dear Christopher Collins ,A quick internet search for "LAP Lambert Academic Publishing" leads to some interesting blog hits of other people challenging this shady practice. Apparently if you follow through with their invitation, the first thing they ask for is your banking information, ostensibly to deposit funds from all those sales. To be fair, from their Amazon.com listings (which I won't link to, they don't deserve the hits), and from many experience reports on blogs, they do actually turn your PDF into a 'book' and send you 5 copies. So, if you want five free copies of your thesis, maybe this is a good scheme.
I am writing on behalf of the International academic publisher, LAP Lambert Academic Publishing AG & Co. KG.
In the course of a research at the Library ofUniversity of Toronto , We came across a reference to your thesis on Head-driven probabilistic parsing for word lattices. .
As we would like to make your work available to a larger audience, I am wondering if you may be interested in publishing your thesis in the form of a printed book.
Your reply including an e-mail address to which I can send an e-mail with further information in an attachment will be greatly appreciated.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
However, since my thesis is available freely on my website [pdf] in full format. I can't imagine why I would want to sell it on Amazon for an hugely inflated price. It won't be a bestseller. I won't make money. It would just be a rip-off for a couple (at most) of people. I guess now that we have print-on-demand publishing, which is what LAP Lambert uses, anything can be a book. It ushers in a new age of vanity publishing. I can't say I have much respect for people who feel their research gains legitimacy because they put a hard cover on it and charge US$100+. In case my website ever goes offline, my thesis is also freely available forever at the Library of Canada. So, LAP Lambert, no I don't need your services to make my thesis more widely available.
"LAP Lambert Academic Publishing" is the English language division of VDM Verlag. At first I thought 'oh, that must be related to Springer-Verlag', a well-respected academic publishing house. It turns out that 'verlag' means 'publishing house' and they are not affiliated.
[Edit 2015 - an earlier version of this post called out the Acquisition Editor's name as being funny. This was insensitive and offensive, and I apologize. Please everyone stop talking about the names of the editors - it is irrelevant to the issue.]