More on FAQ

Funny how ‘FAQ’ sounds so much like ‘get stuffed’.

Many BFI authors may be relieved that the Palgrave Macmillan/BFI partnership is going ahead — at least it looks as though their books will continue to be published, marketed and distributed effectively. Academics in the UK are particularly vulnerable at the moment as the 2008 research audit approaches. Most academic publishers operate on the assumption that authors are desperate to get their work published, and this may well be true, up to a point. But there are longer-term considerations, glossed over by the recent FAQ issued by the BFI, that are likely to have an impact on authors. In the absence of hard information and detail about the partnership, we’ve compiled an alternative FAQ list.

Q: Why is the Palgrave Macmillan/BFI Publishing partnership necessary?

A: The BFI has overspent on the BFI Southbank refurbishment and the re-branding process and cannot afford to invest in its publishing activities.

Q: If the BFI is experiencing severe financial difficulties, why was Amanda Nevill paid a £25,000 bonus in 2006? (See p. 47 of the 2006 BFI Annual Report and Financial Statement, available online at: http://www.bfi.org.uk/about/review.html)

A: Amanda Nevill dreamed up a brilliant realignment plan that is worth every penny of her £25,000 bonus. Although she probably had help.

Q: Why were BFI authors not consulted about the publishing partnership plans?

A: BFI management is in a hurry and there wasn’t time. Besides, authors may have questioned the partnership plans.

Q: Will the working relationship between authors and BFI Publishing be affected by the partnership?

A: Yes — but this isn’t BFI management’s problem.

Q: Palgrave Macmillan is located in Basingstoke, Hants. Will BFI Publishing staff be relocated outside London from January 2008?

A: Umm …

Q: Will the integrity of the BFI Publications list, its high production values and its cultural remit be protected under the partnership agreement?

A: BFI management says so, so it must be true.

Q: What if BFI authors do not like the partnership plan?

A: They can always terminate their BFI contracts.

Q: Is the partnership plan a stitch-up?

A: Of course not.

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