1. Introduction

1.1 The National Library of Australia’s publishing activity relates to the Corporate Plan 2017–18: ‘to make access happen’. The Publications Guidelines are intended to complement the Publications Policy and provide more detailed advice to guide the Publications Committee and potential authors.

2. Guidelines aims

2.1 These guidelines provide detailed advice to guide the Publications Committee and potential authors.

3. Definitions

3.1 ‘For sale’ or trade publication: A commercial publication for sale.

3.2 Promotional and corporate publishing: All Library information or promotional material in printed or electronic formats.

4. Guidelines

4.1 ‘For sale’ or trade publishing

  • Credible new publishing proposals for ‘for sale’ or trade publications received by the Publications Branch will be taken to the Publications Committee for consideration. A marketing plan and a provisional budget for the publication, including estimated unit cost and revenue potential will also be provided to assist the committee’s decision-making. All new publishing proposals will be assessed according to the following guidelines:
    • extent to which primary source material in the National Library’s collections has been or will be used to highlight the Library’s collections
    • standards of writing and research; credentials of the author(s) and their ability to promote the book
    • the sales potential and recommended print run from feedback provided by the Library’s distributor, independent industry advisers and/or the Children’s Book Advisory Panel
    • projected costs and potential revenues assessed in the light of a commercial imperative and expectation that titles will be profit-making
    • extent to which the proposed publication will assist the Library in meeting its strategic priorities
    • extent to which the proposed publication complements the Library’s overall  publishing program
    • opportunities for fruitful collaboration through publication
    • for exhibition-related books: the relationship between the proposed exhibition publication and other elements of the Library’s overall publishing program; available resources to cover costs, including those being contributed externally by exhibition sponsors or through a grant; the potential to earn revenue; and other considerations.
  • If the proposal is endorsed, an author 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.
  • An approved publication 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 there have been changes in the publishing environment that have budget implications for the Library.
  • Publication release 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 with sales and marketing strategies.
  • Eighteen months to two years after initial release, individual publications’ performance against projections will be reviewed by the Publications Committee.

4.2 Promotional and corporate publishing

  • Promotional publishing is produced as required, in accordance with approved procedures.

5. Key roles and responsibilities

5.1 Publications Committee 

  • The Publications Committee will make publishing decisions in relation to these Guidelines and the Publications Policy.

6. Implementation process

6.1 Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of these Guidelines rests with the Publication Committee.

7. Revision

7.1 These Guidelines will be reviewed at least every two years or more often if deemed necessary.

8. References and related documents

8.1 The following documents are related to this policy: