Memorandum of Understanding between Flying Islands Poetry Community and its Authors

Authors being published in the Flying Islands Pocket Poets’ series are entitled to fifty free copies of their book, in lieu of fee. They are further entitled, at the time of the initial print run, to as many more copies as they wish to have, at cost (averaged for series), provided they are responsible for relevant shipping or other related expenses. Copyright in the printed material always remains with the author, and authors are free to organise their own reprints from the original files Flying Islands sent to the printers. They are likewise free to repackage their own work in any form and for any purpose that suits them. It is hoped that any such activity will bring glory to Flying Islands as well as to the authors themselves.

Authors are free to dispose of their own copies as they wish (including giving them away and/or swapping them) provided they do not:

  • sell copies for more than the recommended retail price of $10
  • compete for sales with Flying Islands in any context where Flying Islands is selling as a corporate entity (e.g. group booklaunch, literary festival, libraries, bookshops)… (note that at an individual booklaunch or reading, or placing books in locations not approached by the organisation, authors may keep all proceeds)
  • inflate the cost of package and post for profit. That is, charge more than the actual cost incurred for packaging and postage or shipping.

The hope is that authors will work together collectively to support each other and the organisation. In other words, it is hoped that authors may choose to approach libraries and bookshops, festivals and other venues, on behalf of Flying Islands, in order to benefit the organisation, so that it may go on publishing.

Authors agree, by virtue of the benefit they receive through free and at-cost hard copies, to make no claim on remaining copies in initial print runs (generally of a few hundred). Authors likewise agree not to make any claim on the e-book sales of the organisation (typically at $5 per copy, as sold mainly through the Flying Islands website). On the other hand, authors are free to dispose of their own e-copies as they choose, and may keep the proceeds of any such sales they make through their own website, through social media, or by e-mail offer. Subsequent hard copy print runs would involve a renegotiation of rights, were they ever to happen. (They have not happened so far, but rather a number of authors have organised their own reprints at their own expense and from which they have kept all proceeds.) Once again, it is hoped that authors will think of the collective good and try to work with other Flying Islanders to benefit the organisation.

This memorandum reflects a pattern of practice that evolved over the eleven years and nearly ninety books of the press’s operation thus far. It is a general guide and is likely to be added to. None of these terms is set in stone but can be expected to continue to evolve over time.