Publishing Partner Conduct Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to protect customers’ shopping experience, to promote the interests and business goals of all partners, and to ensure that our team is protected from bad actors.

Our goals are to operate in a fair, ethical environment where you can sell your titles and have a professional relationship with us built on trust, cooperation, and mutual respect. 

Quality of Titles

The quality and content of your titles and cover images directly affects the quality of our store and our customers’ shopping experiences. 

Please see our Product Standards Guidelines for details.

Pricing

We expect fair treatment on the pricing of your titles. Please price your titles as low on our marketplace as you do anywhere else. We understand that short-term sales on back-list titles can vary between stores temporarily (for up to a week or so), but having titles constantly reduced elsewhere for cheaper, or pricing them differently upon initial release, does not constitute fair treatment in our view. Likewise, including extra content for no extra cost in alternate versions made available only elsewhere is not fair treatment. 

Release Schedule

We expect that if you create a title that you wish to sell at our store, you will release that title on our store within 24 hours of releasing it elsewhere. 

We expect that once you release a title on a particular date, you will not try to manipulate or maximize marketing exposure by re-creating or re-releasing that same title at a later date. Any unethical manipulation of site features or algorithms to get more front-page exposure for a title is unacceptable.

Links

We ask that you put a link to our store on your website. In turn, we offer consumers a link to your website from each of your titles’ product description pages. We currently allow some links to social media and news sites. All allowed URLs can be found under "Product Page Text" on the Edit a title listing page, and in our Help Center article, Allowed URLs for Product Descriptions and Emails

Aside from the links described above, we do not allow external links on title product description pages or when using the customer email tool. URLs linking to third-party marketplaces should not appear in the PDF Preview of your title. You can adjust your preview using our Manage previews of my titles tool.

An exception to this rule is that titles listed within the "Publisher Resources" category may contain external links to a license or licensing guidelines or to external reviews in their descriptions. Another exception is in the Purchase Note, which can be edited on the Edit a title listing page, and is delivered to every customer once they purchase your title. 

You may not add links or suggest even vaguely that customers should go to other websites to acquire or purchase your titles. 

If you have any questions regarding links within product descriptions, please feel free to contact us by submitting a request through our webform.

Trade Dress

We expect partners to respect one another’s trade dress, designs, and motifs. It is not acceptable to copy the look and feel of other partners’ titles. 

Front-Page Flooding

Please do not flood the front page of our site (under New Releases) with many releases on the same day. Our research indicates that partners typically see more sales from regular releases over time than from a large group of them launched all at once.

We will attempt to back-date any more than three (3) titles released on the same day. If you would like to release several titles at once, please notify us so we can adjust the release dates for you. 

Reviews

Partners may not review their own titles or those of other partners. Similarly, those with a professional relationship with a partner, such as authors or illustrators, are also barred from leaving reviews of associated partners’ titles. 

Sending complimentary copies of your title to an alternate customer email that you have created so that you can review your own titles is also not allowed.

We periodically check for partners who abuse our marketplace review system and have suspended partners from our marketplace for such abuse.

Note that titles listed under the “Publisher Resources” category or any subcategory thereof are an exception to this rule and may be reviewed by partners or contributors, since such titles are meant to be purchased by other partners. 

POD Process and Print Proofs

When you upload new files for print-on-demand (POD) to a title listing, once they are approved, you must order a proof copy of your title, at cost, to make sure that everything is working as intended.

After your POD title is activated, if you make changes to the print files and upload a new version, then that print format of your title is deactivated automatically. Without exception, you must go through the entire premedia process again, regardless of how minor the changes to your files, and you must then order a new print proof before we can reactivate your title for sale. 

Treatment of Staff

We do not expect our staff to deal with partners who demonstrate abusive or threatening behavior, whether personal or professional, either in business communications or on social media.

We consider any of the following behaviors to be grounds for immediate closure of a partner account: 

  • Threats of physical harm or violence
  • Threats to disseminate or share anyone’s personal information on the internet
  • Threats or derogatory comments that are homophobic, sexist, or involving other forms of discrimination based on a person’s protected characteristics
  • Inappropriate comments or insults regarding religion, culture, or race

Social Media Behavior

We know we are not perfect. When we make mistakes, we hope that our partners will bring it to our attention first. Partners who make derogatory or defamatory statements on social media about DriveThru or our staff may be subject to modification or termination of their partner account. 

Hostile Marketing

Our policy regarding potentially offensive content (see Product Standards Guidelines) reported by customers is to deactivate such titles while they are being reviewed. Partners who deliberately court controversy by making public declarations or accusations of censorship resulting from this process in order to draw attention to their products will be considered to use hostile marketing. 

Partners who direct or support public accusations of impropriety or censorship toward DriveThru when their controversial titles are rejected or removed from our marketplace will also be considered to use hostile marketing. 

This behavior will not be tolerated. We have adopted a strict one-warning policy for those who engage in hostile marketing: The first incident will prompt a warning, and after a second incident, their accounts will be removed from our site permanently and immediately.

Was this article helpful?
5 out of 6 found this helpful