Cooperation and Fair publishing

Studies

« ’It’s a real battle’ : African authors fight for publishing independence », The Guardian, May 2020

“Francophone African books are still very often published by French imprints, which can make them hard to get at home. But there is a growing push for change...

When Cameroonian author Daniel Alain Nsegbe first saw his debut novel for sale in his home city of Douala, the price was so high “you would have to ask someone to stop eating for two days in order to buy the book”. It was around 16,000 CFA francs (£20) ; the average monthly salary in Douala is £150. The book, Ceux qui sortent dans la nuit (Those Who Go Out at Night) was published by Grasset, a French imprint. [...]”

Read here the article by Olivia Snaije, published in The Guardian, 14 May 2020.

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Proposals and activities to develop solidarity publishing partnerships

These recommendations and proposals are taken from the 80 recommendations & tools in support of bibliodiversity ; they are built on the principles upheld in the 2014 International Declaration of independent publishers.

These recommendations are based on the experiences and practices of the International Alliance of independent publishers : they mainly focus on publishing partnerships between publishers from the South, given that support for publishing in these countries is often weak or inexistent, and between publishers of the South and North, given that these exchanges are few.

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Manual de edición. Guía para estos tiempos revueltos

Auteur(s) : Manuel GIL
Pays de parution : Argentine
Langue(s) : espagnol

Nouvelle édition publiée en 2017 par la marca editora (Argentine), en coédition avec EDINAR (Argentine) et le CERLALC.
Ouvrage de référence publié initialement par le CERLALC.

ISBN : 978-950-889-299-7
264 pages / 20 X 25 cm

Pour en savoir plus.

Voir également ci-dessous l’édition péruvienne du Manual de edición, éditée par La Travesía Editora, maison d’édition péruvienne, membre du collectif EIP au Pérou.

« Manual de edición », La Travesía Editora, Perú

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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 realities and practices of Francophone publishers from sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Finally, it discusses the feasibility scenarios for the establishment 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 University Institute of Technology « Book Trade » in 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 in the Digital Lab of the Alliance (tutorials, 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

“Terres solidaires” collection

The “Terres solidaires” collection was created in 2007, to strengthen the circulation of African literature in the Francophone space. Publishing houses that contribute to the collection are based in sub-Saharan Africa and in North Africa. Initially created to republish books written by African writers published in France and make them accessible to an African readership through the solidarity co-publishing process, it is now republishing books originally appearing on African publishers’ lists. Such is the case with Munyal, les larmes de la patience, by Djaïli Amadou Amal, the 13th title of the collection, originally published in 2017 by Proximité publishing, based in Yaoundé, Cameroun.

Publishers select texts and work in close collaboration throughout the editorial process. The principle of a selling price adapted to the buying power of the readership (on average 3 500 FCFA, or 5 Euros) remains one of its pillars.

Read more here...

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The “Fair Trade Book”

The label “Fair Trade Book” is attributed by the International Alliance of independent publishers to works published in the context of international publishing agreements that respect each other’s particularities : fair co- publishing. These fair copublishings enable the sharing of costs linked to intellectual and physical production of books and therefore ensure an economy of scale ; an exchange of professional know-how and a common experience, while respecting the publishers’ cultural contexts and identities ; and a distribution of works on a broader scale by adjusting prices for each geographic zone.

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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 balanced 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 accompany these changes, the Alliance has drafted a handbook of practical guidelines 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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