I have just been reading about the new Swindon facility of the Bodleian Library http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-16325727 which has just recieved its 7 millionth book. It got me thinking and I did a little bit of research on the Internet which suggests that self-published books also have to be deposited (within one month of publication) to the five legal deposit libraries in the UK. Is this something that Completely Novel have done for Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (my book) or is it our responsibility as authors to do such a thing?
In my opinion the legal deposit is a relic of the days when a few books were printed but in huge (10,000+) runs. The repositories acted as a cultural and historic record. But now that books are digital the repositories seem somewhat redundant in their archiving role.
CompletelyNovel don’t send books to the deposits. CN provide publishing, printing and distribution services but don’t own the publishing or copyright to books. This means books can be published elsewhere (such as on Kindle) at the same time. The right which are granted to CN is a non exclusive distribution right so we can produce and sell books on your behalf.
The legal deposits ask each publishers for a physical copy of each book to be sent to them. The easiest way to to this is through ALDL. ALDL will send books to Bodleian, Cambridge University Library, The National Library of Scotland, The Library of Trinity College, Dublin and The National Library of Wales. The British Library operates independently and a book can be sent to them directly.
We’ve done this before so if you want to send your book out and need a hand then give me a bell.
All the best, Oli
Thanks for that Oli. I’m hopefully going to update the manuscipt in the next week or so so once that is done, I’ll arrange for copies to be sent out. I have to say that I disagree with your opinion expressed in the first line of your response (do you have any legal advice to back up what you say or is more of a ‘hunch’?). I think you are correct that the deposit libraries acted as a ‘cultural & historic record’ but I would argue that they continue to do so. Why else would the Bodleian be investing in facilities such as the one I mentioned in Swindon? However, you do make a good point about, in the case of books published with the help of CompletelyNovel, that it is our responsibility as author-publishers to organise the deposit rather than your good selves.
Thanks & happy new year!
My statement about archiving are just my opinions, please don’t take them as conclusive. There are benefits to such a repository such as making information public. However, I feel the archiving role is becoming out of touch with modern publishing. I can understand the rational a physical store before the 80’s; there was no other way to store the information. But nowadays dragging yourself to one of these deposits is somewhat of a last resort in finding something. I think if the British library were to accept digital files and somehow allow the public to access them (say through local libraries) it would create a much more useful (and cost effective) service for the public.
So I don’t think they are a bad thing, the have their benefits and the correct intention. I just think if they are to stay relevant they must move with the times.- Oliver 03 Jan 16:22
My understanding of this is that as publishers of books offered for general sale (rather then private distribution) we have a legal duty to deposit a copy of each title with the British Library (at our expense). The other legal deposit libraries are also entitled to receive a copy, but it is up to them to request one. Personally I think depositing a copy of your works with British library is a useful way of protecting your copyright.
It is a good point – any public time stamp on your work helps protect copyright. The act of publishing it on an external site such as CN also helps back up your case.- Oliver 03 Jan 15:54
To send your book to the legal deposits:
6 copies should be sent to the ALDL. The ALDL act as a distribution agent collecting books on behalf of the publishers and sending them to the various libraries. It can take them 4-6 months to do so though. The ALDL address is:
Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries
5 of the books are for the legal deposits and the other will be sent to the British Library.
I have been told it is best to include a cover slip asking them to ‘acknowledge upon receipt’. Which means they should expedite the delivery of your books.