Will the books be restricted by geographical rights/territories?
Yes, they will. We have acquired rights to the SF Gateway titles from the authors or their estates, and in many cases the rights they were willing or able to grant us were only for the UK and Commonwealth countries (excluding Canada, which is usually
bundled with USA rights). It’s not that we don’t want to allow you to buy the books; it’s outside the terms of our contracts.
However, there are many titles – approximately one-third – in which we have World English Rights, and these will be available everywhere, subject to retailers’ ability to sell them.
Will the books be available outside the major English-speaking territories (i.e. UK, US, Aus)?
Yes. We have English language rights on all titles everywhere in the world except for the USA, its dependencies, Canada and the Philippines. And as noted above, we have English language rights everywhere in the world in one third of our titles. SF Gateway ebooks will be available from retailers in every country provided they have established commercial terms with the Hachette UK Group.
Will the eBooks have DRM? If so, what kind?
Yes, they will. The SF Gateway is owned and operated by the Orion Publishing Group, itself part of the Hachette UK Group. Hachette policy is that DRM is applied to all eBooks published by Hachette companies. Gateway titles are available from the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBookstore platforms, which have their own proprietary DRM schemes, or from a range of vendors using Adobe DRM.
What formats will the Gateway eBooks be available in?
SF Gateway eBooks will be available for the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBookstore platforms, and as ePub files secured with Adobe DRM from a range of digital partners.
What retailers will be selling SF Gateway eBooks?
Notwithstanding the above, any retailer which has satisfied Hachette UK’s contractual and technical requirements and reached commercial terms with us can sell our titles, provided we have the appropriate territorial rights.
Why can’t I buy direct from the site?
We have built up very good relationships with our retail partners over the years and see no reason to change that at this time. Retailers specialise in selling and publishers specialise in creating, and maintaining those roles currently gives our readers the best possible user experience.
Why aren’t you providing Print-on-Demand versions?
Like other aspects of digital publishing, print-on-demand is a technology that is developing all the time. We will be experimenting with POD on a limited basis in the near future, with a view to rolling it out across more titles. Keep an eye on the website news for more details as they become available.
Can I buy specific short stories? If not, why not?
We are currently considering how best to make available the significant short story output of the many classic authors on our list, but it is unlikely that we will be able to provide individual stories. Please keep an eye on the Gateway blog for updates as and when we have them.
Is there an affiliate scheme?
As SF Gateway is not selling directly, we cannot offer any sort of affiliates scheme. Many of the major retailers do so, but that is not something we are involved in anyway.
Why Isn’t Author/Book X in the Gateway List? | Will Author/Book X Be Published By Gateway?
There are many reasons an author might be absent from the SF Gateway list. In some cases the rights are simply not available. In others, an author or an author’s estate has decided that they don’t wish to make eBooks available; in these instances there is nothing we can do but move on and plan to revisit that author in the future, in the hope they will reconsider.
Sometimes, it’s just a case of us not having had time to approach an author. It’s also often the case that we are still speaking to an author or agent, and we obviously can’t discuss negotiations in progress. Given the scale of ambition for the SF Gateway project, author acquisition is likely to be a continuing process for some time; we announced SF Gateway with a list of authors agreed to that point, have added more since the announcement and will be adding even more authors over the coming years – but we will not announce an author until we have an agreement with their agent or estate.
If you are disappointed that certain authors are missing from the SF Gateway list, please bear the above explanations in mind, and be reassured that the least likely reason an author isn’t present is because we haven’t thought of
Why aren’t you publishing series in order?
After acquiring rights from the authors or their estates, the main factor that determines what we can publish is locating file copies from which to produce the eBooks. In manyinstances we found (and continue to find) ourselves in situations where we have some books in a series but not all; there are also times when we send a complete series for conversion and when the eBooks return, one of them fails quality control and has to be sent back for correction. In those situations we have two choices: to wait until we have a correct file for every book in a series – or at least the first x books – or to publish as we locate the files. In order to make as many eBooks as possible available for readers and to avoid creating a backlog of titles in our production processes, we choose to make books available as soon as we are able to. We are aware of gaps in some of our series and we are working diligently to fill them.
Why do you have some of Author X’s books, and not others?
We have endeavoured, in every instance, to acquire authors’ entire backlist. In some instances this has not been possible owing to some rights already being spoken for.
Will the SF Gateway be open to new and/or self-published authors?
No. The SF Gateway was established specifically to rescue classic SF & Fantasy titles from their mostly-out-of-print status and make them available again to a wider audience. There are many sites and publishers whose raison d’être is to facilitate the eBook publication of new and/or self-published authors, and it is not in our plans to join them.
How does one go about becoming a Gateway author?
Please see above, but if you happen to be an established author of SF or Fantasy whose books were published by a major house but have now fallen out of print, please ask your agent to get in touch with us.
The SF Gateway will be publishing thousands of titles over the course of the next few years, and it is neither feasible nor economical to track down the original artists or rights holders for every cover and, in many cases, pay permission fees to use those covers. Our goal is to make as many titles as possible available as quickly as we can and provide them at reasonable prices – tracking down and using original cover art is not compatible with either of those goals.
Why are the covers all yellow?
The SF Gateway covers are designed to reflect, and slightly update, the classic Gollancz ‘yellow jacket’ style that holds an iconic place in the history of British SF publishing.
What is the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction?
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (SFE) is the ultimate authority on all aspects of Science Fiction. The current online iteration is the third edition of the work; the previous two editions both won Hugo Awards in the Non-Fiction category.
What is the connection between the two?
Gollancz has facilitated and financed the development of the SFE website and in return the SFE provides links to the SF Gateway site whenever SF Gateway titles are referenced in SFE entries. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction remains editorially independent and neither SF Gateway nor Gollancz exert any influence over how authors or books are covered in the SFE.