Volume 10 . Number 1
Many publishers who might once have hosted a collating party to put out a new literary magazine are turning to the Internet to help them present new, experimental or marginalized literature. In recognition of the increasingly important role that publishing in these new technologies plays in American letters, CLMP's Board of Directors has approved a proposal to expand CLMP's membership to online and electronic literary publishers.
CLMP's service to the field of independent literary publishing demands that the organization recognize the world of online publishing. Though the printed word remains important to literature, it should not define literature, and publishing more often connotes the distribution of work to readers rather than simply producing a printed page. These new media are home to increasing numbers of publishers who share the commitment to literary freedom and cultural expression that marks the members of CLMP.
CLMP also has recognized that the worlds of print and online publishing are quickly converging. As many current members begin to plan for online and electronic publishing initiatives of their own, online publishers realize that print editions and anthologies can attract readers and attention to the online work. By bringing online publishers into CLMP's programs of technical assistance and publisher connections, CLMP can only enrich the value of its services to all.
While membership standards of editorial and professional commitment remain the same, online publishers will have a separate application form that reflects the difference in technologies of content delivery. The application form will be available in print and online at www.clmp.org by late April 2001, and CLMP will make an effort to reach out to these publishers in the coming months.
With generous funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, CLMP has joined forces with Small Press Distribution (SPD)the nation's leading nonprofit wholesalerto create "New Readers for New Writers". This one-year program will offer up to 50 literary magazines subsidized distribution contracts plus inclusion in national marketing initiatives designed to increase the availability of literary magazines to bookstores, libraries and individual buyers.
Because literary magazines have relatively small circulations and rarely publish more than four times a year, they are generally overlooked by the major distributors because they don't meet certain "bottom-line" requirements. And even when literary magazines are picked up by big distributors, they are often neglected and sometimes viewed as a drain on resources. CLMP and SPD counter that increasing the availability of literary magazines has a greater value than any profit and loss spreadsheet could ever show. Literary magazines are increasingly the "proving ground" for new writers, and expanding their reach through targeted distribution and marketing efforts will benefit not only the field but the reading public.
"New Readers" will select up to 50 magazines through a rigorous application process overseen by both CLMP and SPD. Successful applicants will then receive a one-year, subsidized, non-exclusive distribution contract with SPD. Magazines will benefit from the full range of SPD's marketing services and will be featured in a special section of its biannual catalogue.
The program's marketing activities will also include the Literary Magazine Kiosk, an independent single-copy sales Internet catalogue linked directly to the CLMP and SPD web sites, with SPD handling point of sale transactions and fulfillment. Further, the magazines will be featured in national advertising and direct mail campaigns designed to promote the magazines to individual buyers and encourage booksellers to order magazines through SPD.
The final aspect of the program is intended to educate booksellers about the importance and value of carrying literary magazinesand how they differ from other mainstream magazine titles. At the 2001 BookExpo America in Chicago, CLMP will host a panel discussion for booksellers on how to successfully carry literary magazines in their stores. Both CLMP and SPD will feature the magazines prominently in their booths at BEA.
Susan Kenny, director of CLMP's successful Literary Journal Institute, is coordinating this initiative for CLMP. Not only does she bring her experience of literary magazine's needs and potential from LJI, she understands the complexity of magazine distribution from her time at The New York Review of Books, Granta, and Index on Censorship. For more information on "New Readers for New Writers", please contact Kenny at email@example.com.
Dear CLMP Members and Friends:
As anyone who knows me well will tell you, there's nothing I enjoy more than meeting colleagues and friends over lunch in New York City. Over the last few months, I've had the pleasure of sharing caesar salads, grilled cheese, hummus and lots of coffee with dozens of new acquaintances in literary publishing.
Pricey places are not my speed. It's the small, out-of-the-way luncheonettes and ethnic restaurants that intrigue me. And New York is filled with them, especially downtown. With two little boys and a restaurant of my own (my husband is a chef), there is precious little time for evenings out or any kind of coast-to-coast travel. Lunch is my favorite way of conducting business.
Meeting and eating with publishers, writers, board members, staff from other literary organizations, and friends of the field has been the most enjoyable education I could have asked for. There's something about breaking bread with people that brings out the best in everyone. I've learned so much about the fascinating world of literary magazines and presses from the people who know it the best.
Just a few of my recent lunch companions: Bob Hershon (Hanging Loose Press), Allan Kornblum (Coffee House Press), Phil Fried (Manhattan Review), Rebecca Wolff (Fence), Josh Cohen (Boston Review), Bob Holman (the one and only), George Gibson (Walker & Company), Michael Coffey (Publishers Weekly), Lee Briccetti (Poets House), Nancy Shapiro (Teachers and Writers), Mary Bisbee-Beek (Beeksbee Books), Fiona McCrae (Graywolf Press), Thatcher Bailey (Copper Canyon Press), Sheryl Carlson (Barnes & Noble), Sheila Murphy (Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds), Willard Cook (Wendling Foundation), and the list goes on.
Over lunch, my questions are often the same, but the answers I get couldn't be more varied. I always open with "What do you think this field needs the most?" and "How can CLMP help?" Everyone has a different idea about what's most important, and without exception everyone agrees that the field needs more reliable, sustainable funding sources. But that is where the similarities end.
Enthusiastic cases have been made for everything from radio programs, national convenings, media kits, and statistical studies to branding campaigns, vendor collaboratives, syndicated book reviews, and even a "History of the Literary Magazine in America" road show. What all of these ideas seek is greater visibility for this field, a world of entrepreneurial publishers who produce what they do as labors of love.
So no matter what project we're considering or launching here at CLMP, I always return to that basic theme: visibility. How do we get more eyes reading what we publish? How do we make the world aware that we're here? How can we invite more people into this rich cultural world of ours? Whether it's our first membership conference scheduled for early 2002 (Wallace Institute III) or our pilot magazine distribution project (New Readers for New Writers), our CLMP Newswire, our revamped Ad Brokerage Program, our new Development Strategist for Literary Publishing, or our extraordinary website (www.clmp.org), our efforts are all pointed in that direction.
If you have any ideas on this score and plan to be in New York anytime soon, I'm probably free for lunch. Name a place and I'll meet you there. I'll be the one with the notepad and pen in hand.
CLMPages is pleased to introduce its newest feature "A Publisher's Counsel", a regular column on legal issues affecting literary publishers written by Alan J. Kaufman. Kaufman, an attorney with the firm of Frankfurt Garbus Kurnit Klein & Selz—a preeminent entertainment/media/ publishing law firm, has more than 25 years of legal expertise and a thorough knowledge of the business of publishing. Kaufman served 20 years as senior vice president and general counsel for Penguin Books. He focuses on representing publishers in negotiating and drafting publishing and distribution agreements, and corporate, copyright and libel counseling.
The first column addresses the subject of subsidiary rights. Kaufman has generously agreed to act as counsel to CLMP, and is offering his legal services to CLMP members at a 20% discount. If you have any questions or comments, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 826-5579.
Subsidiary rights are publication and related rights that are in addition to the right to initially publish a book in volume form. In a standard publishing agreement some rights are automatically granted to the publisher while others are negotiable. The following are the basic subsidiary rights:
Reprint Rights. These are the rights to republish a book after it has been initially published. Most subsidiary rights editions of books are, in effect, reprint rights editions. Reprint rights include hardcover reprint, anthology, and large-print rights, but most commonly refer to paperback reprint rights. Although some books, especially genre books (i.e., romance, sci-fi), are first published as paperbacks, the majority of books are initially distributed in hardcover. Publishers usually require the right to determine whether the book will be published first in hardcover or paperback.
If the publisher decides on hardcover, it will also want the right to determine whether to publish subsequent paperback edition(s) itself or to license reprint rights to another publisher, in which case the paperback rights become a subsidiary right. The licensing proceeds, which include an advance against royalties and all subsequent royalties once the advance is earned out, generally are split with the author on a 50/50 basis.
When the publisher offers up front to publish both hardcover and paperback editions, this is known as a hard/soft deal. The advantage to the author in this scenario is that the publisher pays full paperback royalties, rather than splitting licensing proceeds received from the paperback reprint publisher. The disadvantage to the author is that there is no advance to share, as there would be from a license to a paperback reprint publisher.
Book Club Rights. The publisher is always granted book club rights in a standard publishing agreement. Any licensing proceeds are generally split 50/50 with the author. While potential proceeds are determined by the book and by the size of the club, even small book clubs can provide income to publishers and authors. Some prominent books clubs are the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Literary Guild. Smaller ones include Quality Paperback Book Club and special interest clubs, like the History Book Club.
Serial Rights. First serial rights grant the right to publish all or a portion of the book prior to the publication of it in volume form. Second serial rights grant the same right but after publication of the book. Because very few magazines and newspapers serialize entire books anymore, serial rights are less valuable than they used to be. Still, magazine and book publishers have a symbiotic relationship when it comes to serial rights.
Magazines can save money by excerpting portions of books rather than commissioning original material. By licensing the first serial rights for a modest fee, publishers and authors gain free promotion for the book. The publisher is always granted second serial rights but not always first serial rights. The standard split is 90/10 in the author's favor for first and a 50/50 split for second serial rights.
Foreign Language Rights. These are the rights to translate a book into various foreign languages. Whether the publisher gets these rights is negotiable, and the usual split is 75/25 or 80/20, in the author's favor.
Foreign English Language Rights. These rights grant permission to republish the book in English outside the United States, its territories and possessions. As with foreign language rights, whether the publisher acquires this right is negotiable. The split is generally either 75/25 or 80/20, in the author's favor.
Audio Rights. Most publishers like to acquire audio rights, either to develop an audiobook themselves or to license the right to an audiobook publisher to do the same. If audio rights are licensed, the split for audio rights is usually 50/50.
Commercial/Merchandising Rights. These are the rights to make non-book products such as posters, toys, coloring books, and stationery derived from a book or one or more characters contained in a book. They are rarely licensed, but when they are they can be extremely valuable. Whether these rights are granted to the publisher is negotiable, but other than in juvenile publishing they are usually reserved by the author.
Performance Rights. These are the rights to create motion pictures, television/cable programming, theatrical productions, videocassettes and disks, and related rights based on a book or one or more characters contained in a book. As with merchandising rights, other than in juvenile publishing performance rights are usually reserved by the author.
Electronic Rights. The industry norm is that the publisher is entitled to create its own electronic version of the book and to license others the right to do so, but that interactive multimedia rightswhich would be used to produce a CD-ROM, for exampleare often reserved by the author. If the publisher licenses electronic book rights the split is 50/50; the royalty rate is negotiable if the publisher creates its own electronic books and products but is increasingly negotiated to be fifty percent (50%) of net receipts.
Subsidiary rights can be an important source of income to both publisher and an author; sometimes making the difference between a profitable publishing venture and an unprofitable one.
Development Assistance for Members and the Field
A New CLMP Initiative
In an effort to centralize foundation funding information for independent literary publishers, CLMP has established the position of Development Strategist for Literary Publishing, with support from the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds. This new initiative is intended to provide information about foundation funding for the field directly to CLMP's members.
CLMP has hired Beth Harrison for this position, a skilled freelance grant-proposal writer and book editor with 10 years of experience in editorial, marketing, and successful grant writing for publishers and museums. Harrison has worked at independent presses and literary magazines, including the Quarterly and Oxford Magazine. She founded her own literary magazine, Spinning Jenny, in 1994. "Literary magazines and presses are doing some of today's most important culture work," she says. "I'm thrilled to be working at CLMP in service of literary publishing."
In the coming months, CLMP will develop a database of foundation funding sources for literary publishers and will make this database available to its members through the CLMP website. Since many publishers duplicate efforts when researching funding for literary publishing, such a centralized source of information and exchange is expected to streamline those processes and provide a venue for the exchange of expertise.
Harrison will also keep abreast of changes in funding for literature and will disseminate appropriate grant announcements to the field. She will be available to members via phone and e-mail to field questions and provide guidance and advice, and will be CLMP's major advocate for funding for literary publishers nationwide.
Second Annual Literary Magazine Fair
CLMP at AWP
Celebrations of Literature
National Poetry Month
Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry
Small Press Month
Members News and Notes
The Antioch Review
The Ohio Review
The Worcester Review
New Features on www.clmp.org
The development of web-based services to the field and the public continues apace. Many of the following features are designed to connect publishers, writers, readers and other interested parties around the country with literary resources and knowledge nationwide. Check out these new features:
This free job book is available to CLMP members and the public to both post and search for jobs in the field. With categories to list jobs and internships at publishers, bookstores, literary agencies and an array of other industry-related organizations, this resource will become an invaluable tool for recruiting interested and passionate people to the field.
Please make use of this tool: post open positions, tell your interns, students, and friends about it!
The Literary Landscape is designed to connect people with literary venues and events around the United States, from literary-friendly bookstores, to reading series, to hometowns of famous American writers. Publishers can use the Literary Landscape to plan regional author tours, readers can find out where to pick up a good book on their travels, and everyone can see the rich geography of literature in our country.
The Literary Landscape is a work in progress. It is designed so that any visitor to the site can suggest a new venue to be added. Is your favorite local bookshop not listed? Let us know! Did a local organization start a new reading series? Tell us about it! The Literary Landscape will be as complete a resource as all of us can make it.
Want to share a tip or experience with other publishers? Have a burning question? Check out the discussion forums on Marketing, Technology, Fundraising, and more.
Need a private space for an online meeting? Use the CLMP chat space.
A nation-wide event calendar to help publicize literary events and keep up to date with activities across the country. Publishers, writers, and readers can post announcements of conferesnces, exhibits, readings, and deadlines. Access the calendar at the Literary Landscape.
In reporting CLMP's coordination of the Borders literary magazine display at the 2000 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, it was incorrectly stated that this was the first time literary magazines had this opportunity. In 1998 Douglas Messineo of Sensations Magazine coordinated a similar display for literary magazines. CLMP apologizes for the misstatement.
CLMP Thanks Our Friends and Funders
CLMP gratefully acknowledges the following individuals, foundations, corporations, and publishers for their generous support over the past year.
CLMP would like to extend a welcome to the publishers who have joined our membership since the Spring of 2000.
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