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It is often possible for publishers to serve some of the informational needs of their target audiences without contracting for original writing or translations. This essentially involves finding someone else who’s already created a useful information package in another format or medium (or even simply a prior edition) and then obtaining rights to offer it to your audience in some specified way — as a book, a portion of a book, an item in your catalog and/or a future adaptation in another medium.
The most obvious use for previously created material is in an anthology. It behooves the conscientious publisher to maintain a quick-reference bibliographic database of journal articles, speeches, conference papers, research reports, and other archived writings that might be combined selectively into anthologies as certain topics acquire new relevance.
Those databases should include brief summaries of chapters in other publishers’ books that bear on your subject area. Most publishers are fairly agreeable about licensing usage of single chapters from their books. But (as with most sources of previously used materials) you should bear in mind that the license will normally limit your use to that anthology and not give you the right to re-license translations, media adaptations, etc.
Beneficial Side Effects
A systematic program of identifying anthology components and negotiating with the authors, publishers or other rights owners for re-publication rig…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).
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