1. ‘For sale’ or trade publishing: print and ebooks

All credible new publishing proposals for ‘for sale’ or trade publications received by the Publications Branch will be taken to the Publications Committee for consideration with a provisional budget for the publication, including estimated unit cost and revenue potential. All new publishing proposals will be assessed according to the following guidelines:

    • credentials of the author or authors
    • standards of writing and research
    • extent to which primary source material in the National Library’s collections has been or will be used
    • extent to which the proposal supports other Library activities, including current or potential future acquisitions and other public programs such as exhibitions
    • extent to which the proposed publication is likely to highlight the Library’s collections, services or role
    • extent to which the proposed publication will assist the Library in meeting its strategic directions
    • extent to which the proposed publication complements the rest of the Library’s publishing program
    • projected costs and, in the case of trade or ‘for sale’ publications, potential revenues
    • opportunities for fruitful collaboration through publication.
  • If the proposal is endorsed a contract for the publication will be drawn up. Once this contract has been signed by the author and representatives of the Library the publication will go forward.
  • A publication proposal may be taken back to the Publications Committee for further consideration, for example.-if the manuscript failed to meet the Library’s publishing standards or if publication would result in a significant budget issue for the Library.
  • Publication dates of ‘for sale’ titles will be determined after considering a range of factors including the need for reliability, regularity and frequency in the appearance of titles intended for book trade distribution and the need to publicise such books well in advance of their release dates.
  • Coordination of release dates of ‘for sale’ publications with the activities of the Library’s sales and promotion area, and the activities of the Library’s external distributors, are important. This will be achieved through integration of publications processes, including graphic design elements, with sales and marketing strategies. Regular liaison with the Communications and Marketing Branch will also be a priority.
  • Once a ‘for sale’ proposal has been approved by the Publications Committee and, when considered appropriate, an ebook version may be produced and sold through online third party providers. The decision to create and sell an ebook will be made in the light of the distributor’s recommendations.

2. Promotional and corporate publishing

  • Promotional publishing includes all Library information or promotional material in printed or electronic formats. Promotional publishing proposals will be considered at meetings of the Publications Committee following an annual bid process coordinated by Publications staff. Prior approval for such proposals must be obtained through the Head of the Division from which the proposal comes.

  • Only those publications approved by the Committee will be produced by the Publications and Events Branch, in accordance with approved procedures disseminated to staff. However, urgent requests between meetings may proceed with the approval of the Assistant Director-General, Public Programs. Such requests will be reported retrospectively to the Publications Committee.

3. Exhibition-related publishing

  • Where appropriate, the publishing program will support and complement Library activities, including exhibitions. This support is in addition to the promotional materials, such as posters, which are provided by the Exhibitions Branch.
  • This support may include the publication of exhibition catalogues for 'blockbuster' exhibitions or room brochures.
  • The Publications Committee will consider proposals for exhibitions-related publishing on a case-by-case basis. In considering new proposals, the Committee will address the following issues:
    • the target audience for the exhibition and the most appropriate means of delivering information to that audience
    • the way in which the proposal supports and promotes the goals and objectives of the Exhibitions and Publications programs, and the wider goals of the Library
    • the relationship between proposed exhibition publications and other elements of the Library’s overall publishing program
    • total available resources, including those being contributed by the Exhibitions Branch and/or exhibition sponsors, the overall level of subsidy being provided by the Library and the potential to earn revenue.
  • Only those publications approved by the Committee will be produced by the Library’s Publications and Events Branch.

4. Merchandise

  • All new merchandise proposals received by the Publications Branch, including those supporting the Library’s exhibitions program, will be brought to the Publications Committee for approval.
  • Merchandise proposals will be assessed according to guidelines including:
    • extent to which primary source material in the National Library’s collections will be used
    • size of the potential market for the proposed merchandise
    • extent to which the merchandise complements the Library’s publishing program
    • extent to which the proposal supports other Library activities, including current or potential future acquisitions and other public programs such as exhibitions
    • available resources.