The Alliance

Presentation & orientations

Objectives 2015-2018

Support bibliodiversity and independent publishing through a professional solidarity network

  • Support the creation and strengthening of memberships to national and/or regional publisher collectives (including in Europe)
  • Promote bibliodiversity, popularise the idea of bibliodiversity for the general public, for example through the (International Bibliodiversity Day on 21 September, )

Support the creation of national, regional and international book policies

Reaffirm and defend freedom and equity of speech

  • Create a censorship typology; draft advocacy plans in support of, and in solidary with, publishers

Strengthen collaborative spaces and innovate to respond to tomorrow’s changes and issues

  • Develop the Digital Lab, organize workshops, and sharing of experiences and tools (on digital publishing, editorial solidarity partnerships, national and local languages publishing, etc.)
  • Strengthen inter-professional collaboration (authors, librarians, booksellers, diffusers-distributors, digital actors, etc.): inter-professional meetings, joint lobbying

Reinstate equilibrium between book exporting countries and importing countries

  • Manage an online resource centre, complementing the Bibliodiversity Observatory
  • Modernize book donation practices: Book Donation Charter reviewed by professionals from the global South
  • Participate in book fairs (collective stands in book fairs in both the global South and global North), promotion of books from the South in the North

Develop and strengthen intercultural sharing

  • Develop and support copublishing/ translation projects: North-South and South-South editorial partnerships bearing the “Fair Trade Book” label, and research on economic solidarity models (social and solidarity economy)

Publishers collectively adopted the Alliance’s 2015-2018 objectives during the International Assembly of independent publishing (2012-2014). Projects and activities arise from each of these directions, and are implemented by the Alliance during the 2015-2018 period.

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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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International Declaration of Independent Publishers 2014

During the closing meeting of the International Assembly of Independent Publishers (Cape Town, South Africa, September 18-21, 2014), 400 independent publishers from 45 countries signed the International Declaration of Independent Publishers 2014.
Collectively drafted in three languages, on September 20, 2014, the Declaration 2014 is available in several languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Farsi, Italian, etc.).

Do not hesitate to share the Declaration and promote and strengthen bibliodiversity with us !

Read here the 80 recommendations & tools (on digital publishing, public book policies, youth literature, national and local languages publishing, solidarity publishing partnerships and “Fair Trade Books”, book donations).

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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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Predation

Container full of books inundating the market, books produced in another cultural setting given away free to readers or public libraries, the setup of local branches by publishing groups from abroad aiming to achieve monopoly conditions… Drawing on some examples of practices with damaging consequences to the publishing market in developing countries, Étienne Galliand (founder of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers) presents an overview of the predation to which emerging markets are subjected directly or indirectly. An edifying panorama.

As a complement to this article, you can consult the Guidelines for Fair Publishing Partnerships (in French).

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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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Fair speech

The notion of fair speech expands the idea of ‘free speech’ to incorporate the concept of justice. Indeed, in a context of media concentration, dominant powers (whether political, economic, religious, ideological, etc.) are the most represented and heard (because they are powerful or loud). Fair speech fosters speech equity for other voices that are often marginalised and/or censored to be heard. Fair speech therefore promotes an equitable access to expression (for example for women, historically marginalised groups, etc.), enabling an authentic diversity of voices. This concept was created by Betty McLellan in Unspeakable (Spinifex Press, 2010, Australia) and promoted by Susan Hawthorne in Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing (Spinifex Press, 2014, Australia).

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The Declarations of 2003, 2005 and 2007

The Dakar Declaration (December 2003) is the foundational text of the Alliance and birth certificate of the association. The Guadalajara Declaration (October 2005) is the outcome of a meeting held in Mexico between independent publishers from the Latin world.
The International Declaration of independent publishers for the protection and promotion of bibliodiversity (July 2007) was drafted and signed by the 70 publishers participating to the International Assembly of independent publishers held in Paris in 2007.
These three texts, as well as the 2014 International Declaration of independent publishers, are milestones in the history of the Alliance – they are a reminder, and bear witness to the present bearing testimony to the commitment of independent publishers, and serve as their policy guidelines.

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Activities

International Assembly 2012-2014, a guide

First step - 2013 preparatory workshops: from practices to propositions promoting bibliodiversity

Throughout 2013, independent publishers will meet in Latin America, Africa and Europe, in the context of preparatory and thematic workshops. The 2014 Assembly of Allies in Cape Town (South Africa) will close this process. These workshops have a trifold objective: develop and mutualise cooperative and innovative work practices between independent publishers; sustainably strengthen professional capacities and human relations amongst the book industry’s actors; formulate concrete propositions towards bibliodiversity.

The workshops will be held over three to five days, and are structured on a common template:
* Practical training (with the intervention of professionals and/ or specialists, depending on the themes) and knowledge and experience sharing based on concrete projects and little known initiatives;
* Formulation of propositions and recommendations towards bibliodiversity.

For workshops to meet expectations, publishers will design their own daily programme, based on the local context in which they operate and on their concerns. As beneficiaries and actors, the transmission of practical knowledge and practices is at the heart of these days.

To enrich these workshops and promote cooperation, some professionals from the book industry, associative structures, and private and public institutions are invited to share original projects and unique experiences that could be repeated in the publishing sector.

The conclusions of each workshop are centralised by the International Committee of Independent Publishers – and redistributed to participants – to collectively build the 2014 Assembly of Allies’ agenda.

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Workshops 2012-2014 to promote bibliodiversity

Bibliodiversity in action in Guadalajara
In the context of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (Mexico)
24 to 28 November 2012

Book donation: A system to review
In the margins on the Paris Book Fair (France)
20 and 21 March 2013

African Youth Literature: What visibility on the international market?
In the margins of the Bologna Book Fair (Italy)
23 and 24 March 2013

Local and national languages: What opportunities for publishing in Africa?
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
11 to 13 June 2013

Fair Trade book: A real issue for tomorrow / Co-publishing, rights transfers and other solidarity publishing partnerships
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
14 to 17 June 2013

Diffusion of human and social sciences works: What innovative strategies to get what you want?
In the margins of the Frankfurt Book Fair (Germany)
13 to 15 October 2013

Digital publishing: What issues for bibliodiversity in the Arab-speaking world?
In the margins of the Abu Dhabi International Book fair
30 April to 3 May 2014

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The 2014 Assembly of allies in Cape Town: 62 independent publishers united for bibliodiversity

After the 2013 preparatory workshops, an Assembly of Allies will be held from 18 to 22 September 2014, in Cape Town, under the patronage of UNESCO.

In order to achieve this, and in line with practical case studies and sharing of practical knowledge during the workshops, it is essential for publishers to discuss the evolution of bibliodiversity in their countries and publishing houses since 2007: How does bibliodiversity materialise itself on a daily basis for a Malian publisher, an Indian publisher, an Argentinian publisher? How does independent publishing empowers itself in the various countries? How does the publishing field in Madagascar, Peru or Afghanistan professionalise itself?

The Assembly of Allies, a unique intercultural and multilingual space in the field of publishing, is in itself a reflection of international independent publishing. For four days, publishers will discuss their background, for some their struggle, share their experiences and the risks they face. Communication digital tools offer the possibility for publishers to be in regular and quasi instant contact – but they cannot replace human exchanges, essential to trust and solidary relations characteristic of a network such as the Alliance’s.

The Assembly of Allies is moreover a decisive moment for the Alliance’s governance: directions for the coming years, and the ensuing programme of activities, will be decided upon there, collectively.

In the spirit of long term capacity building of its members, the Alliance therefore continues to work towards an international solidarity professional network – to promote the circulation and access to works and ideas.

As a unique meeting, the Assembly of Allies primarily serves publishers’ desire to federate around common wishes: to promote and strengthen bibliodiversity together.

We thank our valued partners: Jacana Media (South Africa), Modjaji Books (South Africa), Open Book Festival (South Africa), French Institute in South Africa, Alliance française du Cap (South Africa), National Library of South Africa, Goethe Institut (South Africa), Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer (Switzerland), Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, région Ile-de-France (France), Centre national du livre (France), Fondation de France (France), Direction du développement et de la Coopération (Switzerland), French Institute in Lebanon, French Institute in Tunisia, Cooperación Regional Francesa para los Países Andinos (Bolivia), Canarias Cultura “Canarias crea” (Spain), Copyright Agency Cultural Fund (Australia), Centro Estero per l’Internazionalizzazione (Italy), Centre Universitaire de Recherches sur l’Action Publique et le Politique (CURAPP) / Université de Picardie Jules Verne (France)… and the publishers themselves!

Contact: assises@alliance-editeurs.org

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Books donation: rethinking the system

Publishing countries : France

Preparatory and thematic workshop of the International Assembly of Independent Publishers

Although several debates and discussions on book donations were held, very few considered, complementary to the essential point of view of librarians’ professional collectives, the point of view of publishers and booksellers.
This workshop, facilitated in the context of the International Assembly of Independent Publishers, therefore has 3 main objectives:

To question existing practices and the impact of the “donation chain” on the “book chain”, from the perspective of local librarians, publishers and booksellers;

To question, promote and “complete”, if applicable, existing benchmark tools (amongst others, the Book Donation Charter developed by the Culture and Development Association, in partnership with several structures and institutions);

To propose realistic and sustainable alternatives to “classic” book donations, enabling us, hopefully, to enrich and built on current practices, through the input of local professionals.

The Alliance wishes to express its gratitude to the Ile-de-France Region for its support and trust and BULAC (Languages and civilisation University Library) for hosting us.

Read more about this worshop and about the International Assembly.

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Words and money (in Arabic), André Schiffrin

Author(s) : André SCHIFFRIN
Publishing countries : Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia
Language(s) : Arabic

Words and Money, initially published in 2010 by Verso publishers (United Kingdom) was translated and published in France by La Fabrique (L’argent et les mots). The book is now available in Arabic, co-published by three publishing houses: Al Intishar (Lebanon), Med Ali (Tunisia) and Atlas Publishing (Syria). This co publishing project bears the “Fair Trade book” logo.

Read the presentation of the book on the Verso books website.

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International Assembly of Independent Publishers (2013-2014), to promote and strenghten bibliodiversity

The International Assembly of Independent Publishers is starting now, with the beginning of 2013! Gathering publishers from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America, the Assembly will happen first, in 2013, with a series of preparatory and thematic workshops, and then in 2014 with an Assembly of Allies (general meeting) in Cape Town (South Africa).

A unique intercultural and multilingual event in favor of bibliodiversity, to follow on the Alliance website and facebook page!

For more information, contact the Alliance team.

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Spanish-language publishers meeting at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) (Mexico), 24-28 November 2012

Publishing countries : Mexico

From 24 to 28 November 2012, the publishers from the Spanish-language network will meet in Mexico, in the margins of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL). During this meeting, the Spanish network coordinator, Juan Carlos SÁEZ, will discuss the decisions taken at the ICIP Meeting (International Committee of Independent Publishers) in October 2012. Thereafter, the publishers will present a report on the state of bibliodiversity in their country since 2007 (progresses, obstacles, how does digital publishing shape independent publishing, how publishers collectives operate, what are the Alliance’s priority areas for the years to come). The publishers will then work in small groups on specific themes (copublishing, digital publishing, public policies...), to develop a network action plan for the next two years and prepare the Alliance’s 3rd International Meeting of the Independent Publishers.

Publishers will also participate to the Otra Mirada Forum, jointly organised by the FIL and the Librerías Cálamo.

Finally, on 28 November 2012, at 13h00, the Alliance will facilitate a roundtable in partnership with the FIL on “Changes in the book industry: the challenges of bibliodiversity. We look forward to seeing you are the Fair (salón José Luis Martínez), to participate in this discussion!

*The meeting of the Spanish-language network marks the launch of preparatory meetings towards the Alliance’s 3rd International Meeting (which will continue in 2013 in the various countries). The summary of these workshops will be drafted in 2014, during the Assembly of Allies.

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Meeting of the International Committee of independent publishers in Paris, October 4-6th, 2012

Publishing countries : France

The International Committee of Independent publishers will gather in Paris from 4th to 6th for the yearly meeting with the Alliance Board members. This year, some Alliance partners are invited on the first day, to think about the next International Assembly of independent publishing which will take place in 2013 and 2014. The meeting will be also the opportunity to make a report of the language networks activities since the last Committee meeting in June 2011, to talk about the Digital Lab, about governance issues…

The Alliance warmly thanks the Centre national du livre for welcoming the meeting on October 4th and 5th.

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On 21 September 2012, let’s celebrate B Day!

Follow on an hourly basis the activities held on B Day 2012 on the B Day Facebook page, on the eldiab blog and on the Facebook page of the Alliance.

The Arabic network to the SILA in Algeria_interview_September 2012

The Arabic network to the SILA in Algeria_September 2012

Posters campaign of the Colombian publishers collective REIC

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Meeting of the Alliance Portuguese-speaking network in Lisbon, September 27 – October 1, 2012

Publishing countries : Portugal

After Paris in 2007, and Rio de Janeiro in 2009, the publishers from Brasil, Angola and Guinea-Bissau are gathering in Lisbon. The event will be the opportunity to assess the network activities since 2009; to define a roadmap for the next years; to remind the stakes for independent publishing and bibliodiversity in the Portuguese-speaking area; to think about digital publishing and to share some experiences in this field… Beyond the internal meetings, the publishers will take also this opportunity to meet some Portuguese publishers and to consider fair partnerships between different continents (copublishing projects, copyrights transfer, etc.).

The Alliance thanks the French Institute of Portugal (IFP), the Portuguese association of publishers and bookshops (ANEL), and the bookshop Ferin for their warming welcome and their availability.

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Governance

Laurence HUGUES

After studying at the IUT Book Trade in Aix-en-Provence, Laurence Hugues went to earn a bachelor’s degree in Literature at Trois-Rivières University in Québec, and later a Masters’ degree in Book Marketing at Paris 13-Villetaneuse University. After several professionals stays in West Africa, she joined the International Alliance of independent publishers’ team in 2007. In July 2009, Etienne GALLIAND passed on management responsabilities to Laurence HUGUES.

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Camille CLOAREC

After a master’s degree in French Literature at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Camille CLOAREC worked at the Maison de la Poésie in Nantes and was also the coordinator of literary life at Ciclic (the center of book, cinema and digital culture for the Loire Valley Region), before being in-charge of the book and debates office at the French Embassy in Canada. In 2019, Camille began learning Telugu (Indian language) at Inalco.
Camille joins the Alliance team in July 2020; she is in charge of the management of the French-language network and the co-publishing and translation projects within the Alliance.

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Mariam PELLICER

Mariam PELLICER is a graduate from Sciences Politiques in Toulouse (specialising on the fight against discrimination and the struggle for equality), after an academic exchange at the University in Chile, stuying among other things, sociology of gender. Mariam’s early professional experiences were with the International Alliance of Women in Athens and then with the Fondation des Femmes in Paris.

Since joining the Alliance in January 2020, Mariam is in charge of facilitating the Alliance’s Spanish and Portuguese-language networks, coordinating the Bibliodiversity Observatory and the Alliance’s advocacy pole.

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Laura AUFRERE, president

After studying political sciences, Laura Aufrère was for 5 years coordinator of the French confederation gathering not-for-profit cultural professional initiatives from a variety of disciplines (music, theater, outdoor and circus, visual arts, etc.), rooted in the solidarity economy movement (UFISC). She is now a PHD student in management, looking specifically into critical approaches in the organisation theory and the digital humanities fields. She studies commons and social and solidarity economy initiatives, focusing specifically on work and labour organisation, cooperation and governance issues, and social protection. She joins the Alliance Board in 2016 and is now its President.

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Luc PINHAS, vice-president

Vice-President of the Board of the Alliance since the General Assembly of June 20, 2011, Luc Pinhas is a former student of the École normale supérieure in Saint-Cloud. He holds a PhD in Communication Studies and teaches at Paris 13-Villetaneuse University, where he is currently in charge of a master’s degree on “Book Marketing”.

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Thierry QUINQUETON, vice-president

Thierry Quinqueton has long experience in the publishing world and of intercultural dialogue. He was Literary Director at the Desclée de Brouwer publishing house (France) from 1991 to 1999, and then Director of the French Cultural Center in Khartoum from 2000 to 2004. After spending four years at the French Department of Foreign Affairs (department of written documents and libraries), he was responsible from May 2009 to July 2013 for the libraries network in the Châtellerault area; from 2013 to 2017, he was in charge of the Book Office at the French Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. Thierry Quinqueton also pursues his research on the links between market economies, public policies, and non-monetary aspects within the book economy (Law and Development of Social and Solidarity Economy - University of Poitiers). Author of “Que ferait Saul Alinsky?” (DDB, 2011), he was Chairman of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers from 2006 to 2013.

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Mariette ROBBES, member of the Board

Mariette Robbes is specialized in network facilitation, public relations and project management in the associative and cultural sectors. She has worked at Katha publishing (India), at the International Association of Francophone Booksellers and the International Youth Library (Germany).
Her growing passion for “third places” and innovative ways of working and creating (fablabs, coworking, shared workshops, etc.) led her to explore new horizons. She is now working as a Network Development & Animation Manager at myCowork, in Paris.
Passionate about publishing for youth in India, she is also an associate member of the academic project DELI (Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Literatures of India). In addition, Mariette works as a freelancer (support for fundraising, graphic design and layout).

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Georges LORY, member of the Board

Georges Lory was cultural advisor in South Africa from 1990 to 1994, and participated to the country’s democratic transition. Between 1998 and 2008, as Director of International Affairs of Radio France Internationale, he increased the number of its FM relays in the world from 76 to 169. From 2009 to 2013, he led the general delegation of the Alliance Française in Southern Africa.
He has written three volumes of poetry (including one in Afrikaans), edited a book published by Autrement on South Africa, translated poets including Breyten Breytenbach, Antjie Krog and Lebo Mashile, novels and short stories by Nadine Gordimer, 1991 Nobel Laureate, texts by JM Coetzee, André Brink and Kopano Matlwa, as well as the Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis. He is the author of four books, mainly on South Africa.

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David ELOY, member of the Board

A committed journalist with a special interest in international solidarity, sustainable development and human rights, David Eloy founded Altermondes in 2005, a media focusing on civil society’s actors, where he was editor-in-chief until 2016. He previously held positions in several international NGOs, including the Centre de recherche et d’information pour le développement (CRID), Peuples Solidaires – Action Aid France and the Association internationale de techniciens, experts et chercheurs (Aitec).

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