383: Publication Project Planning Guidelines for NMLA Units
A. Proposed publications should be listed in the unit’s objectives for the upcoming year. If the publication is of book length, its preparation may be a part of the unit’s objectives for several years. The Goals and Objectives for the current year are included in Procedural Handbook Section 127:1.
B. Include an allocation for preparation and publishing in unit’s budget request for each applicable year. See Procedural Handbook Sections 600-604 concerning the budget approval process.
C. The unit chair or a delegated representative of the unit should meet with the Public Relations Committee in planning the publication, promotion and distribution of the proposed publication
D. The Committee may make suggestions for the printing, financing, promotion and distribution of the publication. The draft must then be brought to the N.M.L.A. Executive Board meeting for approval. Any communication to be issued to the public bearing the name of the New Mexico Library Association or one of its units must receive prior approval by a vote of the N.M.L.A. Executive Board.
II. Considerations for Planning
A. Have a clear statement of purpose before proceeding. The title should express that purpose.
B. Identify the audience for whom the publication is intended. Is it for other librarians, the general public, parents school-age children, etc.? The writing style should be appropriate for the reading level of the audience.
C. What is the intended “life span: of the publication?
1. If it is intended to be an enduring document, what arrangements will be necessary to keep it in print?
2. Are there plans for future revisions to keep information up-to-date?
D. When the text is presented to the Executive Board, the unit chair should include recommendations on the format to be used. These recommendations should reflect considerations by the unit and by the Public Relations Committee, and should include suggested number of pages, size and form (book, pamphlet, folder, etc.), artwork or photography, possible binding, style and reproductive process. If the publication is to be submitted to a professional printer, the professional may be able to make some of the recommendations.
E. Cost of Production and Financing
1. The unit chair should indicate the recommended number of copies to be produced and the approximate cost of their production.
2. If the cost of production has been included in the unit’s budget request, this should be indicated.
3. Funds may be available from interested organizations or individuals to assist in the cost of production. This is especially true in the publication of a book-length manuscript. The unit chair’s recommendations should include suggestions of possible sources of funding.
4. If the publication is to be a joint venture of N.M.L.A. or one of its units and another organization, such as another library association or another professional organization, there must be a clear written agreement concerning financial responsibilities, promotion, and use and distribution of funds.
5. If the publication is to include paid advertising, this must be cleared through the Administrative Services Coordinator to ensure that there is no violation of the N.M.L.A. advertising policy.
F. Completion of Necessary Forms for Publication
1. If the publication is to be copyrighted, this should be indicated so that the necessary form for obtaining copyright may be completed. Final decision on whether or not a publication should be copyrighted is determined by the N.M.L.A. Executive Board.
2. Some publications, especially those of book length, may be issued with cataloging-in-publication information included. If this seems advisable, forms must be secured from the Cataloging in Publication Division of the Library of Congress. The final decision should be made by the N.M.L.A. Executive Board.
3. A book may be more easily marketed with an ISBN. If the N.M.L.A. Board deems this advisable, this will need to be obtained from the Standard Book Numbering Agency.
III. Marketing and Distribution
A. Whether a publication is distributed free to a small segment of N.M.L.A. or sold to a wide audience, the Public Relations Committee will need to be involved in its distribution. A mailing list will need to be compiled. It is possible that some publications will be distributed through bulk mailing. Possible postage costs will need to be included in the unit’s budget request.
B. A publication in book format will usually be an item that has a market beyond N.M.L.A.’s membership. If it is of a bibliographic nature, it will probably be marketable to libraries generally and to individuals and organizations having an interest in its specific subject matter. Any publication of a New Mexico organization has a geographic market in the Southwest.
C. Promotion of a publication is essential to its success:
1. Advertising in appropriate publications should be provided for. Even a small free item may be brought to the attentions of library periodicals which regularly feature them in certain sections and as filler.
2. Flyers should be prepared for any substantial sales item, including order blanks with specific pricing, postage and handling information.
3. Review copies of books should be sent to appropriate book review columnists, Any major publication of N.M.L.A. should be sent to the New Mexico Book League, Books of the Southwest, New Mexico Magazine, and to several newspapers that include book reviews. Major library periodicals and some professional journals that review books should receive copies. An estimate of the possible number of review copies should be included in recommending the number of copies to be printed.
D. Pricing of a publication offered for sale should be carefully considered. Although the actual setting of prices is an N.M.L.A. Executive Board responsibility, the unit chair may make recommendations. As librarians who purchase books regularly, we should be familiar with regular discounts of the book trade–not only pre-publication rates, but quantity rates and discounts ordinarily offered to book dealers and bookstores. Pricing of any sales item should indicate such rates and discounts.
E. The responsibility of taking orders and shipping publications will need to be assigned to a specific individual or members of the Public Relations Committee so that the distribution is accomplished smoothly. All money from sales should be sent to the N.M.L.A. Treasurer, who is responsible for the bookkeeping of the Association. The person receiving orders should keep careful records and should work very closely with the N.M.L.A. Treasurer, but no special accounts should be established outside of the Association’s treasury.
F. If revenues from the sale of a publication exceed costs of production and distribution, provision should be made for the use of these excess funds so that the non-profit status of N.M.L.A. is not endangered. Whether such money is used for a specific project of the Association or is placed in a revolving “publications” fund, must be a decision of the N.M.L.A. Executive Board based upon recommendations from the publishing unit, the Public Relations Committee and the N.M.L.A. Treasurer.