Palgrave Macmillan/BFI Publishing FAQ

The BFI Director of Press and Public Affairs circulated the following list of FAQ (a revised version of the previous FAQ) to BFI authors today. The document raises a number of other issues for BFI authors that we’ll return to. It’s unlikely that any further questions will be covered on the BFI website, so if you want answers, address them to those responsible for the partnership agreement, Amanda Nevill and the BFI Board of Governors.

BFI Publishing and Palgrave Macmillan Partnership Plan


8 August 2007

The Partnership

Q: Why is the BFI proposing to move its Publishing list from its direct management?

A: By working in partnership with a large publisher we can secure the investment needed in BFI Publishing that we can no longer make on our own. The BFI has received no increase in public funding for four years. Publishing is a valuable activity which the BFI believes could be provided effectively in partnership.

Q: What is the detail of the proposed partnership with Palgrave Macmillan?

A: Palgrave Macmillan will assume management responsibility for the BFI imprint, taking over worldwide sales, marketing and distribution as well as editorial and production functions. The BFI will continue to own its imprint and copyright in all titles.

Q: When do you expect to make a full statement on the terms of the agreement?

A: When it is signed, which is expected to be the end of September?

Q: What was the process to find a potential partner and how many parties were involved?

A: The BFI had discussions with 15 organisations of which 6 proposed how relationships might work. These were assessed and the BFI Governors approved Palgrave Macmillan as having the best cultural and business fit.

Q: What happens next?

A: Details of the working relationship will be fine-tuned during the contractual phase.

Q: How will the BFI protect the integrity of its imprint and future list?

A: The proposed joint Editorial board will be charged with ensuring that the BFI imprint is not compromised in any way and that looking forward, the BFI’s high production and scholarly values are retained in future book projects.

Q: What happens to BFI Publishing Staff?

A: All staff directly affected are covered by TUPE regulations and transfer to Palgrave Macmillan with the business.

Q: How many staff are affected by this announcement?

A: Five staff are involved

Q: Where will they be located?

A: Until the arrangement begins all staff affected remain BFI employees based at BFI Stephen Street offices.


Q: I have a contract with the BFI for a book that’s currently in production. Will it still be published?

A: Yes, work on all books currently in production is continuing and we will make every effort to ensure that publication dates are not affected by the proposed transfer of the list. We are already working with Palgrave Macmillan to ensure a smooth transfer of all work in progress.

Q: I have a contract with the BFI for a book that I’ve not yet completed. Will the contract be honoured by the new publisher?

A: Yes, as long as the manuscript is delivered by the agreed delivery date the contract will be honoured by Palgrave Macmillan. As soon as an agreement is reached we will be meeting with them to brief them on all books under contract.

Q: I have a clause in my contract that specifies my consent must be obtained before the rights in my book are assigned to another publisher. Why hasn’t the BFI consulted me about its plans to transfer Publishing to Palgrave Macmillan?

A: The BFI retains all rights in current and future titles.

Q: I’m the author of a BFI title that’s still in print. How will my book be affected by the transfer of the list?

A: Once an agreement has been reached in principle we will make arrangements for stock to be transferred from our distributors’ warehouses to those of Palgrave Macmillan. They will begin marketing and selling backlist titles once the contract is completed. They will also take over responsibility for royalty accounting. Reprints and new editions of backlist titles will be managed by Palgrave Macmillan as part of the new arrangement.

Q: I proposed a new book to the BFI but it was not commissioned because of the current uncertainty affecting BFI Publishing. What should I do?

A: Rebecca Barden (Head of Publishing) will be making contact in due course to discuss taking projects forward.

Q: I would like to submit a new book proposal to the BFI. What should I do?

A: Please contact Rebecca Barden at BFI Publishing –

Q: I am not a BFI author but I would still like to be kept informed about what happens to BFI Publishing. How can I find out the outcome of the current discussions?

A: Please check our website at for information about the BFI.

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