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Acronym Scrabble: Understanding your royalty statements

Publishers love acronyms. They take up less space in their software programs and they are convenient to use in daily conversations. Royalty statements are not easy to interpret. When publishers use abbreviations, it can add to the already confusing task of understanding your statements.  To help authors better understand and navigate their statements, here we outline some of the most common abbreviations and terminology.

“ISBN” – International Standard Book Number.  You use this every day, but you may not have known for what it stands.  These numbers are purchased from the Library of Congress.  Any product sold by someone other than directly from the publisher must have an ISBN.

“ITD”  or “LTD” – Inception  or Life to Date.  A running grand total of net units and net revenue for a particular ISBN.  An “ITD Adjustment” implies that sales being reported are from a previous royalty statement period.

“ACP” – A Custom Publication.  This is generally a version of your book that is made to satisfy the demand for a particular customer or university.

“IE” or “ISE”–International Edition or International Student Edition.  These products are sold internationally. They often have a different cover, title, paper and/or binding options than your domestic print version.

“EBK” or “ETX” – eBook or eText.  These are typically a digital version of your book without all the bells and whistles of enhanced learning system.

“3P” – Third Party.  Assists Publisher to know product is only sold via a third-party provider.

“LLF/LSLF” – Loose-Leaf.  These products are a less expensive paper option with 3-ring binder holes.  Some publishers call these a la carte or “ALC” versions.

“PAC” or “SAC” – Printed or Student Access Card. These cards contain web links and passwords for access to online content.

“SSO” – Single Sign On.  Access to multiple platforms via one user ID and password.

“LMS” – Learning Management System. Optimized to work with particular learning system such as Blackboard or Canvas.

“DDL” – Data-Driven Learning.  This is used by Kindle for their eBook.

“ABR/CUST” – Abridgement/Custom Sales. These are usually portions of chapters requested by an instructor and put together in a way suitable for their student’s use; similar to the ACP listing.

“HS” – High School. Sometimes high school sales are at a different rate than college sales.

“SUB” – Subscription. This is usually an online package of several eTexts, purchased via subscription by students.

Juli SaitzJuli Saitz, CPA, is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura Consulting Group. She leads the contract and royalty compliance practice at Ankura and has extensive experience serving clients including several textbook authors as well as multi-national corporation licensors. Her work in this area includes developing and implementing royalty compliance programs and performing audits of licensees around the world. Juli has helped authors and corporate clients recover millions of dollars in asserting their audit rights related to licensed copyrights, trademarks and patents. She is focused on the shift in the publishing industry to electronic content delivery methods and adaptive learning platforms. In addition, Juli has served as a damages expert in matters involving royalty disputes in the publishing industry.

Richard WesslerRichard Wessler is a senior director at Ankura Consulting Group, based in New York. He has more than 20 years of experience in the higher education publishing market in matters related to author royalty calculations, intellectual property compliance, and accounting/finance analysis and reporting.