The Alliance

Presentation & orientations

Vandana Shiva, author and activist (India), Bibliodiversity Ambassador of the Alliance

“I wouldn’t have written the many books if I didn’t have publishers who were sensitive, publishers who had their own networks, publishers who worked with my philosophy of smallness is beautiful, smallness in self-organised form is largeness—it is largeness of mind, it is largeness of heart, it is largeness in terms of expanding the possibilities of humanity and the earth in a time where the dominant economy would like to shrink those possibilities.”

“If you were not as diverse as you are and if you did not publish the diversity of ideas that are necessary for our times not only would you as a publishing network not have the resilience and robustness that is needed, but wouldn’t be providing that amazing robustness to society in a period where, like monocultures are destroying the fertility of the soil and creating deserts (...)”

Read the speech by Vandana Shiva at the closing of the International Conference on Independent Publishers, Pamplona-Iruñea, 26 November 2021.

This speech is also available in audio on the Alliance’s Youtube channel.

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Djaïli Amadou Amal, author (Cameroon), Bibliodiversity Ambassador of the Alliance

“More than ever, the future of the book—namely its diversity and promotion of minority and alternative voices—rests on the shoulders of independent editors, who give life to the book’s cultural necessity through their commitment, convictions, and attachment to causes that break with the lone dictature of capitalism.”

“My third novel, Munyal ; les larmes de la patience (forthcoming in English translation in October 2022 as The Impatients), is now available in many Francophone African countries because of the Alliance’s ’Terres solidaires’ collection. Many African authors feature on that list, but the part that brings me the most pride is to have such a recognition from Sub-Saharan Africa, where I live and work. This is truly the spirit of diversity that is so dear to the Alliance, and what represents the values that we writers and editors must defend and promote. The Alliance plays such a fundamental role in this sense, mitigating as much as possible the issue of book distribution in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Francophone countries.”

Read the speech by Djaïli Amadou Amal at the closing of the International Conference on Independent Publishers, Pamplona-Iruñea, 26 November 2021.

Translated from the French by Allison M. Charette.

This speech is also available in audio on the Alliance’s Youtube channel.

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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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Objectives 2022-2025

1/ The Alliance, a place for experimentation and reflection through the Bibliodiversity Observatory

  • Continue the analyses, reflections and advocacy via the thematic working groups set up during the 2014 Conference and set up new working groups on the themes and issues discussed during the 2021 Conference
  • Providing tools and documenting international independent publishing

2/ The Alliance, a space for collaboration and sharing

  • Share practices and know-how (on regional, national or even international levels, depending on the needs expressed) between publishers
  • Meet and strengthen the flow of exchanges

3/ The Alliance, a tool for promoting independent publishing and the circulation of books

  • Encourage the visibility and promotion of independent publishing
  • Promote the circulation of works and productions of independent publishing houses

4/ The Alliance, a laboratory of alternative editorial practices

5/ The Alliance, an evolving governance and operation

  • REthink
  • Get involved

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Pamplona-Iruñea Declaration ’for independent, decolonial, ecological, feminist, free, social and solidarity-based publishing’

Gathered in the city of Pamplona-Iruñea from 23 to 26 November 2021 at the fourth International Conference of Independent Publishers, organised in partnership with EDITARGI (Association of Independent Publishers of Navarre), we, the publishers of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (IAIP), reaffirm our commitment to:

  • the cultural, social and political character of books and reading;
  • the democratisation of books in our societies;
  • reading as an emancipatory practice that strengthens the critical thinking of citizens and stakeholders within their society.

Read the full Declaration here:

This Declaration is in line with the discussions and work of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, in particular the Declarations of 2003, 2007 and 2014 and the 80 recommendations in favour of bibliodiversity. It will be complemented by a Guide to Good Practice (collective work in progress, for publication in the first half of 2022).

The round-table discussions of the Conference are available in replay on the Alliance’s YouTube channel.

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Objectives 2015-2021

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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Activities

’Typography, composition, correction’ workshop and meetings on editorial partnerships, 7-11 November 2022, Conakry (Guinea)

As part of the Conakry International Children’s Book Fair (7-10 November 2022), initiated and coordinated by Ganndal in Guinea, some twenty publishing houses from French-speaking Africa are meeting in Conakry for a training programme tailored to the needs of the finalists of the Orange Book Prize in Africa and the members of the Alliance.

These meetings are designed through a partnership with the Orange Foundation and the support of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

The meetings in Conakry will be structured in several stages:

  • a workshop on “Typography, composition, correction”
  • a workshop on publishing partnerships in the French-speaking world followed by exchanges on publishers’ catalogues
  • working sessions between the publishing houses involved in the “Terres solidaires” collection (deliberations of the Reading Committee and choice of the next titles in the collection in particular)

The participants will also take part in the inauguration of the Fair and will exhibit their country’s children’s books during the Fair.

Read the programme and see the list of participants here!

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Meeting of the International Committee of Independent Publishers (ICIP), 25-27 October 2022, Paris

The International Committee of Independent Publishers (ICIP), composed of the coordinators of the language networks of the Alliance, will meet face-to-face in Paris from 25 to 27 October.

This meeting is essential in the life of the Alliance: it is an opportunity to define the activities of the Alliance for the period to come; to work on the governance of the association; to take decisions on strategic issues for the association.

The programme is available here!

Visual: Mariette Robbes

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Babelica, from 21 to 22 September 2022!

From 21 to 22 September 2022, in support of International Bibliodiversity Day, join the 1st edition of Babelica online – the international book fair for independent publishers!

The Babelica Fair, via its online platform, will be showcasing the diversity of international independent publishing over three days. More than 65 publishing houses from 37 countries present a selection of 200 titles (literature, children’s books, humanities, comics, etc.) in Indonesian, Arabic, Portuguese, Basque, Spanish, Kinyarwanda, German, Creole, French, Italian, English, Malagasy, etc., to be discovered at Babelica and purchased online.

Babelica also offers a host of meetings, webinars and round tables, to be followed live and in several languages: see here the programme of the 5 round tables scheduled between 21 and 22 September.

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Tehran Book Fair, Uncensored, 11 May - 12 June 2022, Europe and North America

The sixth edition of the Tehran Book Fair, Uncensored takes place from 11 May to 12 June 2022, starting in London and then travelling through several European and American cities!

This book fair is timed parallel to the Iran Book Fair, hence the name: Tehran Book Fair, Uncensored. The aim of the exhibition is to provide an opportunity for authors and publishers who would be censored or banned in Iran to speak out freely and present their work.

Participating publishing houses:

  • Forough Book (Germany)
  • Naakojaa (France)
  • Gardoon (Germany)
  • Nogaam (UK)
  • Satrap (UK)
  • Dena Book (Netherlands)
  • Red Intellect (Netherlands)
  • Aftab Publication (Norway)
  • Roonak Publication (Netherlands)
  • Pendaar Publications (UK)
  • Arzan (Sweden)
  • Ferdosi (Sweden)
  • Iran Academia (Netherlands)
  • Pegah Books (Canada)
  • Ketab Corp (USA)
  • Saraye Bamdad (Canada)
  • Ketab Corp (USA)

For more information: www.uncensoredbook.com / #UBF22

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In solidarity with the Ukrainian people and all other people facing wars, March 2022

In the aftermath of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the invasion of its territory, the International Alliance of Independent Publishers expresses its support and solidarity with the Ukrainian people and cultural professionals and reiterates its commitment to the right of self-determination of each population.

We, independent publishers from over 55 countries around the world, members of an international solidarity network, condemn in the strongest terms the violence committed against the Ukrainian people and call together for a return to peace. We also reaffirm our support for all people on all continents, facing wars and conflicts, fighting for their freedom and emancipation.

We strongly oppose stigmatizing and dehumanizing discourses, and we recall here the essential role of culture, in particular of books, as a tool for dialogue, analysis, understanding and discovery of plurality and diversity.

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Les 700 aveugles de Bafia

Author(s) : MUTT-LON
Publishing countries : Republic of Guinea, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo
Language(s) : French
Price : 3 500 FCFA

Co-publishers: Eburnie (Ivory Coast), Ganndal (Guinee Conakry), Graines de Pensées (Togo), Proximité (Cameroon)
Year of publication of the Pan-African version: 2022, 11,5 X 19 cm
© Mutt-Lon, 2020.

A Fair Trade Book co-publishing.

Collection Terres solidaires

Created in 2007, the “Terres solidaires” collection is a collective experience. It proposes literary texts from African authors, published by a collective of publishers in Francophone Africa, Through the principle of solidarity co-publishing, texts circulate, are available and accessible for African readers: the local book ecosystem is protected and strengthened.
The “Terres solidaires” collection is supported by the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

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Pamplona-Iruñea Declaration ’for independent, decolonial, ecological, feminist, free, social and solidarity-based publishing’

Gathered in the city of Pamplona-Iruñea from 23 to 26 November 2021 at the fourth International Conference of Independent Publishers, organised in partnership with EDITARGI (Association of Independent Publishers of Navarre), we, the publishers of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (IAIP), reaffirm our commitment to:

  • the cultural, social and political character of books and reading;
  • the democratisation of books in our societies;
  • reading as an emancipatory practice that strengthens the critical thinking of citizens and stakeholders within their society.

Read the full Declaration here:

This Declaration is in line with the discussions and work of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers, in particular the Declarations of 2003, 2007 and 2014 and the 80 recommendations in favour of bibliodiversity. It will be complemented by a Guide to Good Practice (collective work in progress, for publication in the first half of 2022).

The round-table discussions of the Conference are available in replay on the Alliance’s YouTube channel.

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For a decolonial, ecological, feminist, free, social and solidarity-based independent publishing: preliminary conclusions of the Pamplona-Iruñea Conference and perspectives!

Illustrations and video: Mariette Robbes (https://marietterobbes.fr/)

The International Conference of Independent Publishers held in Pamplona-Iruñea brought together more than 100 book professionals from 40 countries and was attended by more than 300 participants connected to the Babelica platform.
6 round-table discussions and 3 collective workshops in 4 languages of communication; B2B meetings; closing speeches by Vandana Shiva and Djaïli Amadou Amal...

The round-table discussions of the Conference are available in replay on the Alliance’s YouTube channel.

The conclusions of the Conference are currently being drafted and will be available on the Alliance’s website in early 2022. They will present the highlights of the Conference, the proposals and recommendations of the independent publishers for REthinking, and the Alliance’s perspectives for the period 2022-2025.

The declaration of the Conference “For an independent, decolonial, ecological, feminist, free, social and solidarity-based publishing” is also being finalised (proofread by the different networks of the Alliance, in several languages). This declaration will be completed by a guide of good practices - the first drafts of this guide were elaborated during the Conference and are the object of a collective work within the Alliance, for publication during the first quarter of 2022.

The photos and press review of the Conference can already be found here!

The Alliance would like to thank once again all the partners of the Conference (see here) and especially the association EDITARGI, co-organiser of this unique meeting!

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Follow the International Conference of Independent Publishers in Pamplona (23-26 November, 2021) on Babelica, the Alliance’s virtual space

International Conference of Independent Publishers, round tables and workshops: the international independent publishing online on Babelica!

All information about the Pamplona Conference is available on Babelica in English, French, Spanish and Basque.

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Governance

The Assembly of Allies

Click here to see the list of Alliance member publishers.

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A guide to the Alliance

The Alliance has adopted an original method of internal organization, respecting both the democratic principles and the functioning of an international network. The Alliance rests above all on its member publishers, who gather together in the Assembly of Allies and are represented by the International Committee of Independent Publishers (ICIP). It also relies on a Board – charged with upholding and respecting the publishers’ decisions – and a permanent staff. Additionally, some faithful volunteers make it possible to implement activities that would not exist without their help.

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