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Guide to good practice, September 2022

Why have a Guide?
This Guide is based on ideas, discussions, round tables and workshops prior to and during the International Conference of Independent Publishers in Pamplona-Iruñea (23-26 November 2021).

The objectives of this guide are to:
• suggest lines of approach and actions for publishers who are members of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, and to book professionals more broadly;
• help implement and put into practice the principles and values defended by the Alliance’s members;
• illustrate these principles using examples (experience, projects, ideas, etc. from professionals) which may serve as sources of inspiration.

How?
The “entries” in this Guide are thematic. Given that the intention of the Guide is to present in a practical way the principles of the Pamplona-Iruñea Declaration, the main entries are currently as follows:
• decolonial publishing
• ecological publishing
• feminist and LGBTQI+ publishing
• free publishing
• social publishing
• solidarity-based publishing

This Guide will evolve; its form is not fixed. Indeed, several of the Guide’s entries require input that will come from the work of the thematic working groups which will be tasked with making suggestions and enhancing these entries. It will then be possible to update and adapt the Guide over time in line with the evolution of practices and ideas inside the Alliance (in particular through post-conference thematic working groups).

Prerequisite
The Alliance is a unique intercultural network, whose specificity and strength lie in respect for diversity.

Kindness, curiosity, listening and respect for points of view, as well as equal opportunities for speech, must be the basis of every exchange within the Alliance. There can be no place for hate speech or non-inclusive discourse, which would be against the fundamental principles of the Alliance.

This prerequisite is the basis on which the Alliance’s members organise themselves and work together – on the creation of this Guide, among other things.

Read the Guide

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Independent Publishing Glossary

The Independent Publishing Glossary is a collective project led by publishers from the Spanish-language network of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers.

It shows the meanings and definitions of words commonly used in publishing. It is an evolving project, which will be enriched over time in order to include new concepts and to take into account other proposal for definitions. The idea is not to freeze or petrify the concepts, but to open them up to enhance their multiple meanings.

Each term is signed by the person who worked on the definition. The glossary was edited by Germán Gacio Baquiola (Corredor Sur Editorial, Ecuador / Colectivo Editores independientes de Ecuador), Teresa Gottlieb, (Editorial Maitri, Chile), Paulo Slachevsky (Lom Ediciones, Chile) and Miguel Villafuerte, (Editorial Blanca, Ecuador).

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80 recommendations & tools in support of bibliodiversity

These 80 recommendations are built on the principles upheld in the 2014 International Declaration of independent publishers, an important document promoting bibliodiversity, signed on September 20th 2014, by more than 400 independent publishers from 45 countries.

They raise the necessary prerequisites, divided by themes, for the development, maintenance and strengthening of bibliodiversity in concerned countries. Some recommendations are accompanied by tools and projects (existing or to be developed in the context of the 2015-2016 Alliance programme of activities), enabling a practical implementation of independent publishers’ proposals.

Contents of the 80 recommendations & tools in support of bibliodiversity:

* Public policies safeguarding bibliodiversity
* Proposals and actions supporting digital bibliodiversity
* The Amazon system, a threat to bibliodiversity?
* Essential measures for publishing in local and national languages
* Methods for rethinking book donations
* Proposals and actions to develop solidarity publishing partnerships
* Activities to strengthen diversity in youth publishing

For all book actors to take ownership of these recommendations and tools, we invite you to contact us with your comments, suggestions, ideas, and proposals that could enhance and strengthen this document.

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Re|Shaping cultural policies 2018 (2005 Convention Global Report)

Re|Shaping Cultural Policies 2018 (UNESCO 2005 Convention Global Report)
Creativity at the Heart of Development
Excerpt from the foreword:
“This new UNESCO Global Report ‘Re|Shaping Cultural Policies’ is an invaluable tool for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This Convention, now ratified by 146 Parties, including the European Union, is leading UNESCO’s efforts to strengthen capacities for the creation, production, and dissemination of cultural goods, services, and activities. States are supported in their sovereign right to implement public policies for the development of strong and dynamic cultural and creative industry sectors. UNESCO is committed to developing more effective and sustainable public policies in these areas.
Our roadmap is clear and requires the cooperation of governments and non-governmental actors in four key areas: strengthening governance for culture, improving the conditions for the mobility of artists, integrating culture in sustainable development strategies, and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms. These four goals are closely linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Audrey Azoulay
Director-General of UNESCO

Read the report here.

Octavio Kulesz, member of the Digital Lab of the Alliance is the author of Chapter 3 of the report: “Cultural Policies in the Age of Platforms”.

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The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, 2005, UNESCO

Read the text of the Convention.
Read the Operational Guidelines of the Convention here.

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The Independent publisher

The socio-economic environment, historical approach and political context are only some of the factors to consider in appreciating, in all its complexity and diversity, the notion of an independent publisher. Independent publishers in Chile, France, Benin, Lebanon, or India work in specific contexts that have direct consequences on their activities. However, although the situation differs from one country to another, it is possible to agree on some criteria in order to define what is an independent publisher. Independent publishers develop their editorial policy freely, autonomously, and without external interference. They are not the mouthpieces for a political party, religion, institution, communication group, or company. The structure of capital and the shareholders identity also affect their independence: the takeover of publishing houses by big companies not linked to publishing and implementation of profit-driven policies often result in a loss of independence and a shift in publishing orientation. Independent publishers, as defined by the Alliance’s publishers, are originating publishers: through their often-innovative publishing choices, freedom of speech, publishing and financial risk-taking, they participate in discussions, distribution, and development of their readers’ critical thinking. In this regard, they are key players in bibliodiversity.

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Bibliodiversity

Bibliodiversity is cultural diversity applied to the world of books. Echoing biodiversity, it refers to the critical diversity of products (books, scripts, eBooks, apps, and oral literature) made available to readers. Bibliodiversity is a complex, self-sustaining system of storytelling, writing, publishing, and other kinds of production of oral and written literature. The writers and producers are comparable to the inhabitants of an ecosystem. Bibliodiversity contributes to a thriving life of culture and a healthy eco-social system. While large publishers do contribute to publishing diversity through the quantitative importance of their production, it is not enough to guarantee bibliodiversity, which is not only measured by the number of titles available.
Independent publishers, even if they consider their publishing houses’ economic balance, are above all concerned with the content of published products. Independent publishers’ books bring a different outlook and voice, as opposed to the more standardised publications offered by major groups. Independent publishers’ books and other products and their preferred diffusion channels (independent booksellers, among others) are therefore essential to preserve and strengthen plurality and the diffusion of ideas. The word bibliodiversity was invented by Chilean publishers, during the creation of the “Editores independientes de Chile” collective in the late 1990s. The International Alliance of independent publishers significantly contributed to the diffusion and promotion of this notion in several languages, including through the Dakar Declaration (2003), Guadalajara Declaration (2005), Paris Declaration (2007) and Cape Town Declaration (2014). Since 2010, International Bibliodiversity Day is celebrated on 21 September.

See the article “Bibliodiversity” on Wikipedia.
The article also exists in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The bibliodiversity, in pictures!

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Des paroles et des actes pour la bibliodiversité

Year of publication: 2006, 288 pages, 15 x 21 cm, ISBN 978-2-9519747-3-9

Collection État des lieux de l’édition

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Éditeurs indépendants : de l’âge de raison vers l’offensive ? (Independent Publishers: moving from the age of reason on to the attack?)

Far from being a caricature, developing a reasoning based on his personal conception of publishing, Gilles Colleu explores some of the characteristics of a typical independent publisher.
What do we mean by independent publisher? Are they necessarily small concerns? Can a major group be independent? In a context of concentration and increasing dominance of financial considerations, how can publishers remain independent while playing their crucial role of putting fresh ideas forward?

Gilles Colleu is a former student of Jean-Marie Bouvaist and has taught alongside him on the Master course at Villetaneuse University. He is now an associate professor in the publishing professions department of the IUT in Aix-en-Provence. He founded the Vents d’ailleurs publishing house and manages it with Jutta Hepke, and for the past 20 years has acted as a consultant to publishers.

In this work, he stresses his conviction that publishing needs to be rooted in a long cycle of cultivation, to build a coherent catalogue and long-lasting business.

NB: pages 94 to 97 of this work feature a full, fresh definition of independent publishing, suggested by the International Alliance of Independent Publishers.

Year of publication: 2006, 160 pages, 15 x 21 cm, ISBN 10: 2-9519747-2-8; ISBN 13: 978-2-9519747-2-2

Collection État des lieux de l’édition

La edición independiente_in Spanish

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