The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Frequently Asked Questions

The object of the Embargoed Titles Code of Practice is to improve the launch of embargoed titles across the book industry supply chain to create a more controlled impact on consumers and hence more sales. The prevention of early selling is one method of achieving this object.

Part of the right to publish a work, enables publishers to determine when to allow access to it. In the case of embargoed titles, they will be subject to the Embargo Notice. Terms within the agreement state that parties are under a duty of confidentiality and that the title cannot be sold or displayed until the embargo date. For instance, embargoed titles may be subject to a serial deal with a national newspaper prior to full publication.

The vast majority of titles will not be covered by embargoes and consequently will only have a normal publication date. This website if for embargoed titles covered by the Code of Practice only and is not to be used to record new titles. 

In September 2003, The Booksellers Association (BA) and The Publishers Association (PA) formed an industry board, the BA/PA Liasion Group, along similar lines which had worked very successfully in the music industry. The Group has agreed this Code of Practice.

There is no specific day of the week for publication of embargoed titles. The publication date will be stated on this website.

All kinds of titles can be covered by embargoes, it is entirely at the discretion of the publisher, providing they have a signed up to the Code of Practice.

Publishers will inform key customers, distributors, wholesalers, the bibliographic agencies, the trade press and the BA about embargoed titles. The BA will publish and maintain a list of titles on this website. It is possible to have email updates sent directly to you. Subscribe

Publishers will ensure that their distributors use appropriate documentation to ensure that all their customers are fully aware of embargoes when the books are delivered. There will usually be a printed notification on the invoice, but they may also use stickers on parcels etc. Intermediaries, such as wholesalers, will also use similar documentation.

To submit a title, publishers must first sign up to the Code of Practice on this website and give contact details to which all correspondence should be addressed. They may then submit a title via the website, providing they have met all the criteria in the Code of Practice.

Anyone seeing early selling of an embargoed title should immediately inform the appropriate publisher using the contact details on this website.

Publishers are entitled to protect their work and will consider imposing sanctions or claim damages against those who fail to adhere to embargoes.