Join us

To join Open Press as a member, please fill in your details here and click ‘Join’. We recommend reading through the terms below first, so that you understand how Open Press works. If you ever join a print run or propose a book to print, these terms govern your responsibilities.

Membership terms

These terms govern the rights and responsibilities of members and Open Press. They were last updated on 23 October 2014.


Open Press is a print-run-aggregation service provided by Electric Book Works.

Membership of Open Press is free. Members can join print runs by placing orders for books. Members may also propose new books and print runs.

A member is a legal entity, usually an organisation. When an individual registers as a member of Open Press, they accept the terms of this agreement on behalf of their organisation. Open Press may update these terms from time to time, and give notice of the update to its members. Within 14 days of receiving notice of updated terms and conditions, members may cancel their membership or they will be bound by the updated terms.

Term and termination

Either party (Open Press or the member) may suspend or terminate this agreement by notifying the other in writing with 14 days notice. If that happens, the member will remain responsible for paying for existing purchase orders; Open Press remains responsible for delivering books the member has ordered, unless agreed otherwise in writing.

Open Press may suspend or cancel a member’s membership without notice for actions that prejudice Open Press or its members, such as not timeously paying for orders placed.

Operating policies and procedures

Open Press pools members’ purchase orders for books into large print runs to reduce overall unit costs. Each member who joins a given print-run pool does so by placing an order for a quantity of books at a per-copy price. This order is a binding commitment to purchase the books. As more members join the print run, everyone’s unit price drops as print-run threshholds are reached. Open Press builds its management fee into the total cost of each print-run.

  1. Open Press advertises the details of a given book, prices and print-run threshholds (e.g. R100/1000 copies; R80/1500 copies), minimum order quantities, a deadline for orders, and estimated delivery dates.
  2. Members will place official, binding purchase orders for a quantity of books.
  3. If total order quantities are too low to meet the lowest print-run threshold, Open Press may choose to postpone the print deadline to allow for more bids or propose a higher price for members to consider.
  4. Once enough members have placed enough orders for Open Press to print the lowest print-run threshold, and the ordering deadline is reached, Open Press will invoice the bidders at the relevant threshhold price.
  5. Once members have settled their invoices, Open Press will go to print.
  6. This process is completely transparent to members, including basic details of all orders placed.

Production and delivery

Open Press commits to produce high-quality, industry-standard editions, but all decisions about production quality, processes and providers (e.g. printers) are at the sole discretion of Open Press. It is in Open Press’s best interests to consult its members on these matters before making final decisions.

Members will be charged separately for delivery, based on location and size of order.

Open Press will do everything in its power to ensure books are delivered on time; but printing and shipping is unpredictable, so Open Press does not accept any liability for losses or damages resulting from late deliveries. Members will be kept informed regularly about the status of their orders.


Open Press will gather data about users, including its members, on its website in the normal course of doing business online. Open Press will not share any identifiable or contact information with third parties, but will collect usage data to analyse website usage.

Warranty disclaimer and limitation of liability

All services provided by Open Press are provided on an “as-is” basis. Open Press does not warrant that the services will be uninterrupted or error free.

Open Press’s total liability to a member for any damages (regardless of why the member seeks damages) shall not exceed in total the revenue received by Open Press from the member in the month before the incident giving rise to the liability.

To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will Open Press or the member, their parents, subsidiaries or affiliates, or any of their officers, directors, employees or agents be liable for punitive, consequential, incidental, exemplary, indirect or special damages, including without limitation damages for loss of profits, revenues, business, use, data or other intangibles, whether or not such damages were foreseeable – and even if Open Press or the member had been advised of the possibility or likelihood of such damages.


When a member contributes a book for pooled printing at Open Press, the member warrants that it is the owner of, or is authorized to licence, the rights to all content provided to Open Press. This content (a) is not libellous, slanderous, defamatory, obscene or pornographic; (b) does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property or other rights, such as their privacy; (c) does not violate applicable laws or regulations; (d) does not contain any harmful or malicious computer code. The member will defend, indemnify and hold harmless Open Press, its parents, subsidiaries and affiliates, and their officers, directors, employees, and agents against any third-party claims arising from a breach of this warranty.

Open Press will defend, indemnify and hold harmless the member, its parent, subsidiaries and affiliates, and their officers, directors, employees, and agents against any third-party claims caused by Open Press’s negligence in distributing content, unless those claims arise from the negligence or willful misconduct of the member.

If either party receives notice of a claim in respect of the copyright or moral rights in the works, or of alleged infringement, it shall notify the other party within five days. The notification shall be treated with appropriate confidentiality. If either party claims this indemnification, they will give the other prompt notice in writing. Each party shall be entitled to choose their own counsel.

As Open Press relies on the warranty of ownership or right to licence by the member in the event of any copyright or infringement claim, Open Press may settle or dispute or make any other arrangments in respect of the claim against Open Press without the consent or prior notice of the member. If a claim is made against Open Press on the basis that the member lacks ownership or the right to licence a document, then the member shall reimburse Open Press for the reasonable legal costs of assessing, responding to or defending the claim, the costs to be determined according to statutory tarrifs.

Open Press has no authority on behalf of the member to admit or settle or dispute copyright claims in respect of the documents supplied by a member.

Force Majeure

If either party cannot fulfil its obligations because of an event beyond their reasonable control (including any act of God, actions by any government authority, fires, floods, natural disasters, riots, wars, labour problems such as lockouts and strikes, or communications systems failures), any delay or failure will be excused until circumstances permit business to continue as before. This does not apply to obligations to pay money due.


Should either party intend to transfer this Agreement or any of its rights and obligations to another party, they will inform the other party with at least 14 days notice, so that they may have an opportunity to review or terminate the Agreement. After transfer, this Agreement will be binding on any successors and assigns. Written notice is not required where Open Press or the member assigns all or most of its assets to another party, in which case the acquiring party assumes all of the rights and obligations in this agreement.

Governing law

If there are any disputes between the parties, they will be governed by the laws of the Republic of South Africa.