Solidarity co-publishing : history and mechanisms (2023)

“Co-publishing is a reminder of the extent to which solidarity is the main factor in the successful realisation of any project. It is a symbol of the strength that can be found when several publishers unite together. The book becomes much cheaper, accessible to the maximum number of readers and reaches several countries at the same time.” Lilian Thuram

For more than twenty years, independent publishing houses that are members of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers have collaborated, sharing resources and know-how and developing solidarity co-publishing.

To record and preserve this expertise, the Alliance is going back to the beginnings of solidarity co-publishing and presenting the history of a pioneering collection, “Terres solidaires”, as well as the story of the publication of one of its titles.

With this document, the Alliance also wishes to reaffirm the need for solidarity co-publishing in order to :
disseminate texts (thereby helping expand the literary ecosystem) ;
strengthen local book industries ;
make books more accessible to readers (adapted price).

Thank you very much to Armand Jamme for writing this document and to Mariette Robbes for its graphic design and illustration.

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« ’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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ASA and ASAUK endorse statement of principles for the sale of rights in African territories for non-African scholarly publishers

A study published by African Studies Association (ASA) and African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK), to read here !

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