Editorial Policies

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publishes books about Krishna and devotional service to Krishna. We take great care to ensure that whatever we publish is in accord with the conclusions of the Vedic scriptures, as understood through the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.

In all our publishing efforts, we strive to follow the guidelines and instructions given by our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada intended the BBT to be the sole publisher of his works, and publishing his books – in a multitude of languages – is our main purpose.

We occasionally publish works by other authors, and we welcome qualified authors to submit proposals. The works we publish are exclusively those of Krishna devotees. We don’t pay royalties, although we may compensate authors for their costs and may provide for their basic needs while they are working on projects for the BBT.

New works for consideration are first reviewed by our editorial board. The BBT secretaries, who make the final decision on what to publish, usually follow the board’s recommendations. Our magazine, Back to Godhead, functions separately under its own editor. Our review board deals only with works we ourselves may wish to publish. We play no role in approving or disapproving books published outside the BBT.

Except for archival publications, in which text is preserved verbatim, we edit all our books to strive for a high standard of devotional scholarship and linguistic quality. For books in English, Srila Prabhupada appointed editors to see to this.

Like all responsible publishers, when we find editorial errors in our published books we correct them in later printings or editions. This policy has brought the BBT some criticism, much of it, unfortunately, uncivil and badly uninformed. For an extended discussion of why and how we publish revisions in BBT books, please visit bbtedit.com and/or view the booklet Responsible Publishing. [PDF, 421KB]

Of special interest to some readers are the revisions made for the Second Edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. For a detailed discussion of many of these revisions, with the published versions and the version of the original manuscripts shown side by side, please see Gita Revisions Explained.

Srila Prabhupada completed his education in the first decades of the 1900s and wrote his books in the 1970s or earlier, before gender issues in the English language reached the level of attention they have lately assumed. He therefore used the pronoun “he” not exclusively as the masculine pronoun but also as generic and inclusive for both sexes. Out of respect for Srila Prabhupada, the BBT does not intend to retrofit Srila Prabhupada’s English to bring it in line with more recent usage. We hope sensitive readers will read Srila Prabhupada’s books with the same spirit of broad-mindedness that they extend toward any author who wrote in previous days.