The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) plans to spin off its digital services into a separate non-profit organization in the new year. ACP’s Canadian Publishers Digital Services will then be known as ebound Canada.

Although ebound Canada will still provide similar services to Canadian publishers such as negotiating deals with e-retailers, promoting sales of Canadian e-books, licensing digital rights and providing support and funding for digitization, it will have its own board of directors.

“As we’re building the [digital] licensing activities and the purchasing activities for that matter, I suppose, we’ve really determined that there’s a need for a dedicated board that’s reviewing those issues and business plans,” said Diana Barry, ACP’s director of digital services, explaining the decision to create a separate organization. She noted that ACP has also been negotiating the purchase of digital conversion services and looking at digital asset management systems. “There can be quite a large outlay of money, and … it’s the financing of those activities and funding arrangements that the board will also be involved in.”

Further growth is anticipated in licensing activities for libraries. “Certainly, we understand that Canadian libraries want to have Canadian e-books, but there are a variety of issues for both publishers and libraries to figure out how best to make that happen. So that’s going to be a focus going forward,” said Barry.

ACP currently receives funding from the department of Canadian Heritage as well as the Ontario Media Development Corporation, which Barry said she hopes will extend to ebound Canada, but the legal details of the new organization’s incorporation are still being worked out.

One of the first things that has to be done is to hire a new CEO for ebound Canada. ACP executive director Carolyn Wood said ACP would have been happy to have Barry step into that job, but she has decided to leave ACP at the end of December to spend more time with her young children. Until then, she is assisting with the search for an ebound CEO.

ACP’s digital services manager will move over to a manager’s position at ebound Canada. In addition to filling the CEO position, there are also plans to hire a staff member devoted to academic libraries as well as a consultant who will focus on public libraries. One more staffer will be hired for a more junior position of marketing and digital services coordinator.