Bowker Launch Curious Manuscript Submission Service for Trade and Self-Publishers (Updated)

On a day that was certainly significant, and just when I was about to pull the shutters down, Christy Pinheiro over on Publishing Maven explained and blogged on a curious email she received from RR Bowker about their new program for publishers. It is called Bowker Manuscript Submission.
Why Bowker Manuscript Submissions was created? was initiated as a cooperative effort between Bowker and the Publishing community for Publishers looking for new authors and desiring an efficient way to discover and evaluate new manuscripts.

Bowker has been servicing the publishing community for over 130 years and we are expanding our offerings to help ease the burden and streamline the process of sorting through the overwhelming volume of unsolicited manuscripts you receive.

Built off the success of Christian Manuscript Submissions, Bowker will now provide this service to the trade and higher education publishing communities.

Who will use Bowker Manuscript Submissions?

All traditional publishers will enjoy free access to hundreds of new manuscript proposals every month. Vanity presses and self-publishers will also have access to the system through a subscription basis.
Authors can easily expose their proposals to our member publishers through our efficient and streamlined process.

What are the membership options available for Publishers?

Platinum Member
Full Access to
Member will only use BMS for unsolicited manuscripts
Member will direct all unsolicited manuscripts to BMS from their website and mailed copies – will co-promote with our help
Member will allow BMS to promote their usage on the BMS site – name/logo
Membership comes at no cost to the Publisher

Gold Member
Full Access to
Member will use BMS as an additional source for unsolicited manuscripts
Member will allow BMS to promote their usage on the BMS site – name/logo
Membership comes at no cost to the Publisher

Silver Member
Access to for self-publishing authors who have elected to share their proposals with on-demand publishers
Member will allow BMS to promote their usage on the BMS site – name/logo
On-demand option will be promoted to authors upon initial proposal submission and again when proposal is up for renewal
Membership will be charged annually

When will this resource be available to you?

The initial release of Bowker Manuscript Submissions is planned for June 2010.
This is a curious program for Bowker, and right now, I have not had a proper chance to get my head fully around why they see it as their responsibility or role to provide a service like this to the trade and also allow author solutions services and vanity presses to subscribe to the service:

“Vanity presses and self-publishers will also have access to the system through a subscription basis.”

While I try to make sense of the reasons and motivations going on here, you are welcome to comment below. If I did not know better, I would say that this looks like some form of affiliate program.

Without a doubt. there will be more to come on this.

Christy Pinheiro has been doing some more detective work on this and she reveals what happened when she registered her own small press to the Bowker service. You can find out here.

Friday Noon UPDATE
Mike Cane has now picked up on this piece of news over on his iPadtest blog. The sting in the tail here seems to be that authors will have to pay a $99 membership fee per six months to submit a manuscript. Publishers will be offered a three-tier membership plan – Platinum, Gold and Silver – two of which will be free to the publisher!

Cane’s ultimate assessment of this Bowker Manuscript Submission program is:

“It wants to be to manuscripts what Amazon has become to eBooks.”

I can’t say I disagree with Cane, but worse, this Bowker Manuscript program has the potential to become a haven for the most unscrupulous vanity presses and author services in the industry.

About Bowker
As the exclusive U.S. ISBN and SAN Agency, Bowker® receives the most authoritative title and publisher information available, making it the world’s leading source for bibliographic information. Founded in 1872, public, academic, research and government libraries rely on Bowker’s wide range of reference and reporting products and services. Publishers and booksellers rely on Bowker’s supply chain services and the information that drives their transactions on a daily basis.

Bowker’s diverse brands include AquaBrowser®, Books In Print®, Pubnet®, PubEasy®, PubTrack™, and Syndetic Solutions™, among others. Worldwide, Bowker UK serves customers in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, while Thorpe-Bowker is the exclusive ISBN and SAN Agency for Australia and New Zealand. Bowker is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey.

Related articles by Zemanta

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply