Publisher profile: McFarland

Publisher profile: McFarland

Thinking about movies right now?  Gee, I can’t figure out why that might be.  😉  If you are, you might want to my coverage in my blog, The Measured Circle.

Well, even though the movies are a visual medium, there is a grand history of literary criticism about them.  Sometimes, the scholarship and attention to detail is amazing…sometimes, not so much.  🙂

One of my favorite publishers for movie (and other pop culture) books is McFarland. 

Their reputation is for very high quality production: attention to typography, high quality paper.  Their market is primarily libraries, but also enthusiasts. 

Let’s say you have a friend who likes zombie movies…and likes solidly-researched, comprehensive works.

You could get your friend

The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia

by Peter Dendle.  The author is an Assistant Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University.  The book covers 200 movies from 16 countries…as well as TV episodes.

That gives you the idea of the approach of McFarland…but not the range. 

Just so you don’t think it’s all geeky, genre stuff, how about

Francophone African Cinema: History, Culture, Politics and Theory 


Paper history

McFarland was founded in 1979 by Robert McFarland Franklin.  Since that time, they have published over 4,000 books.  They aren’t all about pop culture: there are also books on military history, for example.

Company contact information



Mailing address:

Box 611
Jefferson NC 28640

Phone & Fax:

Tel: 336-246-4460
FAX: 336-246-5018

Order Lines:

Orders only Tel: 800-253-2187
Orders only FAX: 336-246-4403

In the e-book world

I was a little surprised to see that McFarland had so many books in the Kindle store :

McFarland books in the Kindle store

There are 433 at time of writing.

That’s a fraction of the total number, but I think of McFarland as keepsake books…the kind you wouldn’t think would do well in e-book form.

Their top ranked one is #11,535 paid in the Kindle store…that’s great with something like 800,000 in that category.

For those of you who have set a hard and fast ceiling of $9.99 for an e-book, you may be disappointed in some of these.  While there are certainly books at that price and lower, they also range as high as $44.00.

I personally don’t think that’s unreasonable, for a work of massive scholarship (and micro-market), as some of these are. 

I mean, someone who wants a book on The Shadow Puppet Theatre of Malaysia: A Study of Wayang Kulit with Performance Scripts and Puppet Designs doesn’t expect to pay ten dollars for it. 

They do get a discount over the paper version, by the way….on that particular book, it’s twenty percent.

I did download a sample: Active Table of Contents, nice cover image…what you would expect from a company with an attention to detail.

However, the sample I downloaded was a Topaz format book…I’m not crazy about those.  I did guess they might do that, since they like to contol the typography, and that’s what Topaz is supposed to do.

Overall, these books aren’t going to be for everybody…but they could be the perfect gift for some people.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

One Response to “Publisher profile: McFarland”

  1. Publisher profile: McFarland « I Love My Kindle - - Money On Demand Says:

    […] See the original post: Publisher profile: McFarland « I Love My Kindle […]

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