Fair publishing partnerships

Studies

Digital printing of books in West and Central Africa and Madagascar

Feasibility study on the establishment of digital printing structures for independent publishers, by Gilles Colleu (November 2017)

Among the 80 recommendations of the International Assembly of independent publishers (2012-2014), independent publishers called on public authorities and international organisations to “contribute and support the establishment of in-country digital printers and printing facilities, on demand (including in sub-Saharan African) to promote access to books”.

The Alliance thus launched a feasibility study in 2016, on the establishment of digital printing facilities in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Above all, the aim was to find out whether digital printing is a relevant alternative, and on what conditions. To do so, the study surveys the needs of local professionals, and discusses the potentials and benefits as well as limitations inherent to digital printing, based on settings and practices of Francophone publishers from sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Finally, it discusses the feasibility scenarios for the implantation of a digital printing hub.

By focusing on the technical aspect of digital printing as well as on the development potential in a Francophone African context, this study goes beyond a feasibility study and proposes reflection points on the economic and strategic models of independent publishing.

This study was supported by the International Organisation of Francophonie. A full version of the study is available to members of the Alliance.
For questions or comments, please contact the team of the Alliance.

Gilles COLLEU, author of the study
Former lecturer at the UIT of book trade of Aix-en-Provence, former Director of production and digital publishing for Actes Sud, Gilles Colleu established and manages, with Jutta Hepke, Vents d’ailleurs (La Roque d’Anthéron, France), member of the International Alliance of independent publishers. He co manages the digital printing hub Yenooa and incubator Rue des éditeurs and actively participates to the Digital Lab of the Alliance (tutorial, training).

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Call to French-language authors, publishers and institutions, March 2007

Pays de parution : Côte d’Ivoire

African literature in French is today better represented and better known in Europe than in Africa, where its distribution remains hampered by many obstacles. However, there are solutions, which require the mobilisation of various stakeholders in the book industry. One solution is co-publishing, based on a joint trade agreement. The publication of « L’Ombre d’Imana » by Véronique TADJO, a groundbreaking example of pan-African co-publishing, proves that it is possible, through joint action, to create the conditions necessary for a (re)appropriation by Africa of its literature. To make this possible, the Alliance is appealing to everyone, authors, publishers and institutions alike, to join forces and promote the bibliodiversity at the heart of the francophone spirit. This appeal is endorsed by many authors and book industry professionals.

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Toolbox

The “Fair Trade Book”

The label the “Fair Trade Book” is attributed by the International Alliance of independent publishers to works published in the context of international publishing agreements which respect each other particularities : solidarity co publishing. These solidarity copublishings enable the sharing of costs linked to intellectual and physical production of books and therefore implies an economy of scale ; an exchange of professional know-how and a common experience, while respecting the publishers’ cultural context and identity ; distributing works on a broader scale by adjusting prices for each geographic zone. The label the “Fair Trade Book” is a symbol of this solidarity amongst publishers – solidarity which also indirectly mobilises readers : because a book is sold 20 Euros in France it can be bought at half this price in West Africa, for instance.

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Guidelines for Fair Publishing Partnerships

Over the past few years, the predation of large companies from the North on the book trade in Africa has undergone some partnership-related changes. An evolution of practices is observable amongst the large publishing companies from the North, who do not solely rely on local publishing houses’ acquisitions, but also on establishing partnerships with local publishers. How can we guarantee that these partnerships are balances and fair ? How can we ensure that publishers from the South do not “sell their souls” through collaborations with large companies from the North ? To complement these changes, the Alliance has drafted a little handbook of common-sense for its members, which serves as a reminder on essential checkpoints to look out for.

Should you have comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Alliance thanks Double ponctuation for writing the vademecum.

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