Reports on the publishing world

The myth of the ‘book famine’ in African publishing, Elizabeth Le Roux, August, 2020

Read the article here.

References :
The myth of the ‘book famine’ in African publishing, Review of African Political Economy
DOI : 10.1080/03056244.2020.1792872
Elizabeth le Roux (2020)

Abstract :
The publishing industry in Africa is usually described in terms of ‘booklessness’, ‘hunger’ or ‘famine’. But does this language of scarcity reflect the realities of book production and consumption ? In this paper, the concept of ‘book famine’ is analysed as a central frame of discourse on African books, using a survey of existing documentation. Two ways of responding to book famine – provision and production – are identified, and the shortcomings of book aid (provision) are contrasted with strengthening local publishing industries (production). It is argued that the concept has become a cliché that is no longer relevant and that African publishing, while variable, is responding to local needs.

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« To be a publisher in Marocco », by Kenza Sefrioui, RELIEF, 2020

“Être éditeur au Maroc : la pensée au triple défi du marché, du droit et des libertés” / “To be a publisher in Marocco”
Kenza Sefrioui (En toutes lettres, Marocco)

In Morocco, it is very difficult to be a publisher, due to the conjunction between the lack of economical development of the sector and a long history of hostility of the authorities toward intellectuals, which destructured the fields of knowledge and culture. En toutes lettres’s experience, a young independent publishing house based in Casablanca and specialized in narrative journalism and humanities, proves the need to take the triple challenge of market, law and freedoms, and to invent new forms of solidarity between publishing, press, research and civil society, in order to rebuild a pole of production of critical thinking.

Read here the article (in French).

RELIEF – Revue électronique de littérature française 14 (1), 2020, p. 32-48
DOI : doi.org/10.18352/relief.1065
ISSN : 1873-5045 – URL : www.revue-relief.org

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Report of African publishers on Covid 19, APNET (April 2020)

Download the report produced by APNET (African Publishers Network) in April 2020.

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Publishing & the Book in Africa : A Literature Review for 2019, by Hans M. Zell

Publishing & the Book in Africa : A Literature Review for 2019
The fifth in a series of annual reviews of select new literature in English that has appeared on the topic of publishing and the book sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Extensively and critically annotated and/or with abstracts, the present list brings together new literature published during the course of 2019, a total of 156 records.

Read the pre-print version here.

The final print/online version to be published in The African Book Publishing Record, vol. 45, issue 2 (May 2020).

Reprinted with permission of the author.
Copyright © Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2019

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Indigenous publishing in sub-Saharan Africa : A chronology and some landmarks, October 2019, by Hans M. Zell

This chronological timeline sets out some of the key dates, events, and landmarks in the history and development of indigenous publishing in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also includes details of the major conferences, meetings or seminars on African publishing, held in Africa or at venues elsewhere, since 1968. An earlier version of this chronology first appeared in The African Publishing Companion : A Resource Guide, and has now been updated through to the period up to 2019, and considerably expanded to also include publication of a number of benchmark studies, conference proceedings, journals, and reference resources on the African book world.

Read here the pre-print version on Academia.edu, 21 October 2019.

Final version, to be published in African Research & Documentation. Journal of SCOLMA (The UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa), no. 136 (2019)

Reprinted with permission of the author.
Copyright © Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2019

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Publishing in Africa : Where Are We Now ? An Update for 2019, by Hans M. Zell

Read here the pre-print version uploaded on Academia.edu 21 May 2019

Final version, to be published in two parts, in Logos : Journal of the World Publishing Community (https://brill.com/view/journals/logo/logo-overview.xml)

Part I : Volume 30 (2019) : Issue 3, Part II : Volume 30 (2019) : Issue 4

Reprinted with permission of the author.
Copyright © Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2019

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Les éditeurs d’Afrique francophone sur l’échiquier du « glocal » (1980-2019), by Raphaël Thierry

Abstract :

In terms of languages, markets and labels, African publishing represents a field of constant discourse. It also continually questions not just the way we look at books, but also our relationship with them and with the international publishing industry. The time has long passed when the leading discourse on publishing in Africa was devoted primarily to a “book famine” related to the African economic crisis of the 1980s. Over the past three decades, the African book market has done nothing but grow on the continent, diversifying its increasingly dense and transnational production through the circulation of books and of publishing information. Nonetheless, quite often African publishing is presented in terms of the difficulties faced by its stakeholders, rather than those stakeholders’ agency, their capacity to develop their markets. Indeed, history has shown that the African publishing industry is a mirror of the globalisation of publishing and of its economic flux. That being the case, the economic challenges that one can observe in the African industry is thus a reflection of the imbalances, alternatives – also margins – of a world of books that is increasingly concentrated. In this sense, African publishing invites a two-fold interrogation : in Africa it must advocate a cultural and economic legitimacy within evolving socio-political situations and an outward-looking educational market. Internationally, it must position itself in terms of non-African publishing of literature and non-fiction that makes up the majority of African intellectual production in the world. By examining the discourse around African books, African publishers’ discourse, and the evolution of African books in French since the 1980’s, this article aims to question the relationship between the book industry in Africa and the globalisation of books phenomenon in order to bring to light a network of exchanges, tensions, and influences that turns the African book market into a veritable “glocal” space.

Read the article here (in French).

Thierry, R. (2019). Les éditeurs d’Afrique francophone sur l’échiquier du « glocal »
(1980-2019). Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture, 10 (2).
https://doi.org/10.7202/1060972ar

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Publishing & the Book in Africa : A Literature Review for 2018, by Hans M. Zell

Publishing & the Book in Africa : A Literature Review for 2018
The fourth in a series of annual reviews of select new literature in English that has appeared on the topic of publishing and the book sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

Read the pre-print version here.

To be published in The African Book Publishing Record, Volume 44, Issue 2, (May 2019)

Reprinted with permission of the author.
Copyright © Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2019

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African Book Industry Data & the State of African National Bibliographies, by Hans M. Zell

African Book Industry Data & the State of African National Bibliographies :
Read the Pre-print version here.

Published in The African Book Publishing Record, Volume 44, Issue 4 (Dec 2018) : 363-389.

Reprinted with permission of the author.
Copyright © Hans Zell Publishing Consultants 2018

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Publishers & Books, African Observatory of professional publishers (OAPE)

Publishers & Books, a monthly specialized magazine, produced and published by the African Observatory of Professional Publishers (OAPE). Articles are in French and/or in English.

See here the first issue (June 2018) ;

And below the second issue (July 2018) and the third issue (August 2018).

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