New itSMF newsletter - boon or burden?

itSMF is planning a new international magazine for itSMF members. What a fantastic idea... at last. It is great to see itSMF finally addressing the lack of international communications and cohesion. This magazine is calling for advertisers, so of course this magazine won't be an additional financial burden on the chapters, right?

itSMF International has a track record of initiatives that commit the local chapter to investment of time or money whilst itSMFI reaps the benefits:

  • Launching ITIL V3 - the local chapters did all the volunteer work while itSMFI collected the global sponsors.
  • Selling ITIL books - itSMFI took a 5% tithe for sod all.
  • Global members: itSMFI collects the fees, chapters provide all the services
  • Translations: itSMFI contracts to TSO, itSMF chapters do all the hard work, itSMF pays at least some of its cut back to the chapters, TSO is rumoured to collect 60% of the take that's an example of a different rip-off of the chapters, that's a blog for another day [Those in the publishing industry might like to share with us their experiences of what is considered a "normal" percentage for the copyright holder of a translated work]

So one line in a recent call for advertisers caught my eye: "This publication will be distributed to all chapters for free delivery to every member". Nothing is free. Our chapter gets less than a third of members coming to monthly local meetings. So we will have to post or electronically send the magazine. Email distribution will be one more administrative overhead for the local chapter, not such a big deal, but if it is intended to distribute hardcopy then the magazine will need to be posted.

I would hope the itSMFI will use the profits from advertising to fund distribution costs (electronic or hardcopy) like ISACA do when they post my hardcopy of their excellent magazine all the way direct to me in New Zealand every quarter (not via the local chapter at all). Of course itSMFI can't do that because there is no central database of itSMF membership. So it will fall to the chapters.

Given itSMFI's past history, I think the chapters should be enquiring about arrangements.


Publishing Norms

Skeptic - as a publisher I am not sure your question re makes sense in standard publishing concerns. Of course the ITIL books aren't standard in any way which doesn't help. If I understood how the translations worked, who is actually publishing them, who is translating them, who owns the copyright in the translations etc, I might be able to give you some idea of what is "normal" but again these aren't normal in any way.

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