Tackling the Unthinkable: Digitizing the Backlist Laura Young Bost, Rights Manager, University of Texas Press Kathleen Kornell, Rights & Permissions/Award Manager, University of Illinois Press Claire Lewis Evans, Editor for Digital and Electronic Publishing, University of Alabama Press
Digitizing the BacklistUniversity of Texas Press’s Process
Things to Consider Contracts Royalties/rights payments Authors Where do you start? Permissions How do you keep track? ESTABLISH YOUR RULES BEFORE YOU START
First Things First What is the first thing? The first thing is your AUTHOR CONTRACTS All publishing rights, all formats, all media Book and related forms Aggregated databases and disaggregated content, chapter sales, short-term loans, pay- per-view Apps, future developments, etc. Will you write contract amendments?
What Is Next? What is the second thing? EBOOK ROYALTIES / RIGHTS PAYMENTS If your new books are in eBook programs, how do you pay authors? Will you pay backlist authors the same way/s? What is a sale? What is a license? Do you pay a per-unit royalty? Do you pay aggregated content as a sale or as a license? Do you set different rates for sales and licenses? Do you set a flat rate for sales and licenses?
What Do You Tell Authors? What is the third thing? AUTHORS Do you send contract amendments or information letters informing them their book will be made available in digital formats if you are not sending contract amendments? If so, who will do this?
Ah, Permissions… What is the fourth thing? PERMISSIONS Do the permissions you have for third-party content allow for digital editions? What about permissions from years or decades ago? If you determine that a permission needs to be re-cleared, who is going to do that? The Press or the author? If an additional fee is asked for, who is going to pay for that? If you aren’t sure of the permission, will you redact content? Establish your rules before you start
And Then… What is the fifth thing? WHERE TO START ON YOUR BACKLIST We started with the books that were currently in print. Then we did a second round of books that were out of print but that we still held publishing rights to and that we were bringing back into print via POD.
Keeping Track of Things It is absolutely essential to keep track of what you have checked, approved or rejected, and what still needs to be checked You also should keep track of which eBook programs receive which titles A presswide database is a great tool for this; if you don’t have one, you probably should! Let others at your Press know what you are doing, especially editors and royalty folks
Thank you! Laura Young BostUniversity of Texas Presslbost@utpress.utexas.edu
Digitizing the BacklistHow the University of Illinois Press Tackled the Unthinkable
Where to Begin?• 2300 titles live in the Google Search/Partners Program• Removed those titles which were out of print, rights reverted, distributed titles, and acquired reprints for which we wouldn’t have e-rights• 1700 titles to check• Once you have a list of titles to check, you need volunteers!
Volunteers• 25 staff volunteers• Shift schedules – 2 two-hours shifts a day with two to four volunteers per shift, depending on their availability• Training sessions – provided an opportunity to go over the various contracts they might encounter, clauses, what permission/contractual issues to look for, explain the process• Checklist
Our Process• Ten red contract folders per volunteer for each shift• Check author/publisher contract with the Press, territory rights, and existing royalty for digital sales• If the author/publisher agreement granted the press full rights, move onto 3rd party permissions• Post-it notes! (lots of post-it notes)• Note any permissions with a post-it that might be problematic – for example; no electronic rights, print rights only, restrictions to the format/print run/term, etc.
Our Process continued…• Keep checklist with contract folder• Place contract folder in boxes labeled either “approved” (no issues other than royalty addendum) or “not yet approved”• How long? – six weeks to check every title
Keeping Track• Press-wide database• If a title is approved, “Yes” is added in the appropriate e-book field• If a title has contract/permission issues, “No” is added along with a short explanation in the comment field• Status applies to all e-book vendors• Approved about 80% of our titles for e- book
• Additional fields for royalty percentage and keeping track of which vendors received what files and when• What material did we redact?• Fair use and public domain material• Author information letters and royalty addendums
Thank you! Kathleen KornellRights & Permissions/Awards Manager University of Illinois Press firstname.lastname@example.org