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Criteria, subscription fees and how to apply

How to apply

Subscription fees

Subscription fees are based on your annual UK publishing turnover, calculated either at a fixed (Bands 1-3) or variable rate (Bands 4-5a). Please read the definition of turnover and criteria before applying. Subscription rules can be found here

You can apply for membership online or by post.

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Before you complete your application, please read the membership criteria below. Please submit your application online or by post along with the following within 30 days:

  • a sample publication;
  • a current catalogue or intended publishing programme in the UK.

Not a publisher? Join as an Associate.

Membership is open to non-publishers through our Associate Membership.

Looking to renew?

It's easy to renew your membership online. If you would prefer to renew by post, download and mail the completed form to the Publishers Association: First Floor, 50 Southwark Street, London SE1 1UN. Contact Mark Wharton if you have any questions.

Subscription Fees 2019
Band Turnover Upper Band Limits Base Subscription Rate 2019 (excl VAT) Rate per £1,000 over Base Turnover
1a £250k £250
1b £500k £495
1c £1m £995
1d £2.5m £1,995
2 £4.5m £3,085
3 £9m £5,145
4 £18m £14,740 £0.945
5 £34m £23,257 £0.675
5a Over £34m £34,072 £0.460

Membership Criteria

Membership of the PA is open to bona fide publishers carrying on the business of publishing within the UK. The Council, which meets five times a year, decides on all applications for membership. When considering membership applications the Council is required to satisfy itself that the following criteria have been met.

  1. The applicant should be engaged in the United Kingdom in the business of commissioning, producing and issuing original works of copyright in a form and quantity suitable for sale to the general public;
  2. The applicant by virtue of its business practice must be deemed to be more than just a subsidy or vanity publisher;
  3. The applicant must have an office in the United Kingdom; and
  4. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that the United Kingdom market is a principal or significant focus of the applicant's publishing activities.

The Council normally shall not grant membership to an applicant who does not satisfy each of the above criteria, but otherwise, the Council has absolute discretion to grant or refuse membership to any applicant.

Definition of Turnover

For the purpose of calculating subscription, the turnover that must be declared is that resulting from:

  • Book sales: Home and export sales by member companies (including sales to overseas offices, subsidiary companies and agents) of books, learned journals, book-related materials, including audio-visual aids, software, and electronic publications; book and/or printed sheet sales to book clubs, other publishers (including foreign publishers), etc.; remainders and all other special sales; packaging activities.
  • Sublease Income: This includes the publisher's share of all income deriving from subleasing of volume, electronic and reprographic rights*
  • Learned Journals: For subscription purposes, a learned journal is defined as one that exists mainly to publish the results of original research, discussion, analytical papers and associated materials, such as reviews and the current state of subject knowledge, for academic or other scholarly readership and whose primary source of revenue is not the sale of advertisement space.
  • Electronic publications: including software. 

*Paperback rights; book club rights; special editions (e.g. educational, large print, library); extract, anthology and quotation; digest; one-shot; second serial; picturisation; right of entry into publisher's market; translation rights; mechanical reproduction and reprographic rights; electronic and software publishing rights.

Financial year for subscription purposes

For subscription purposes, the financial year in respect of which turnover must be declared is the member's accounting year that terminated during the twelve months up to September of the previous year for Bands 2 to 5a and the closest financial year for those in Band 1.


Subscriptions are liable to VAT at the standard rate.