I'm in the process of applying for a paid ibooks account on itunes. I'm new to the publishing scene and was hoping someone could explain some of the vocabulary used in the form. Terms I am unfamiliar with- active print catalog, digital rights and frontlist titles.

I've searched google, but the information is confusing (particularly about digital rights).

Question - what does active print catalog, digital rights and frontlist title mean in relation to this application form?

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Update: My research

I've worked out Frontlist. Frontlist is a publisher's list of new or current titles.

I'm assuming digital rights is much like copyright. If I have digital rights to a book, I have copyright of that book?

2 Answers 2


You've pretty much sussed out "frontlist"--the older titles, by comparison, are all "backlist". And yes, digital rights are similar to copyright. Basically (and IANAL), the author has copyright to the created work, and can then assign/give/sell some or all of those rights to other people. So "digital rights" means that you either have copyright, or the author has assigned you the right to publish digitally. So it's not quite the same as copyright, but it does mean "yes, I'm allowed to do this".

Active print catalog simply means "how many print titles do you have in current rotation?" If you're doing exclusively ebooks, that number will be zero.


Contact Apple directly.

They have a support email and phone numbers.

See the FAQ "I cannot find the answer to my question. Where can I get additional help?" in:


  • I had to give this answer -1. It doesn't answer the question at all. The link provided doesn't contain the answer either(plus linking without posting the relevant information leads to link rot).
    – TryHarder
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 0:10
  • Well, if you had read the FAQ I pointed to, you would have learned the email and phone numbers of Apple, where you could have asked (for free!) for any clarifications about the vocabulary used in their form. But of course you are free to prefer someone else's interpretations rather than asking directly Apple's customer service. Commented Feb 16, 2014 at 21:26
  • 1
    You've missed the point.
    – TryHarder
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 0:49

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