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Agency terms in ONIX

During the first quarter of 2010, there was a great deal of discussion in the English-language book trade about the adoption of an agency model for ebook sales instead of the traditional supply model based on a list price and trade discount.

Thanks to timely action by the Metadata Committee of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), and in collaboration with an ad-hoc group representing BISG, the Association of American Publishers, the UK Publishers Association and EDItEUR, we were able to make rapid provision in ONIX for Books for a standard means of communicating agency terms for ebook sales.

New code values were assigned in Code Lists Issue 11, and details of the agreed approach, with examples, were included in a new guidelines document, How to specify different terms of supply in different territories.

This business requirement is fully supported in both ONIX 2.1 and ONIX 3.0, and the guidelines and examples cover both releases.

The document will also be helpful for those needing to specify different terms in different supply territories even if they are not adopting an agency model.

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