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 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), Cape Town Declaration (2014) and the Pamplona-Iruñea Declaration (2021). 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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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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Babelica (20-22 September 2023) is here!

Babelica, the international book fair of independent publishing, is online!

Find more than 85 publishing houses from 40 countries in the “Publishers” space; a diverse range of titles (in fields including human and social sciences, literature and children’s books) in a multitude of languages in the “Books” space; and 22 events that will take place between 20 and 22 September on the Babelica platform (see “Program”).

Don’t miss the opportunity for exchanges of rights on 21 September 2023 at 4 pm (UTC+2), where publishing houses who are members of the Alliance will present 1 or 2 titles from their catalogues to attendees. This event is open to everyone.

See you on 20 September at 10am (UTC+2) for the opening of Babelica!

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Unidad versus el 1%. Rompiendo ilusiones, sembrando libertad

Author(s) : Vandana Shiva ; Kartikey Shiva ; Rodolfo Lastra Muela (trad.)
Publishing countries : Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia
Language(s) : Spanish

In Latin America, Unidad versus el 1% is co-published simultaneously by Econautas Editorial (Argentina), LOM ediciones (Chile), Editorial Mate (Argentina), Plural Editores (Bolivia) and Taller de Edición Rocca (Colombia).
For translation © Editorial Popular, S. A., Madrid, 2019.

The original version of this book was published in 2018 as Oneness vs. the 1% by Women Unlimited in India (co-published with Spinifex in Australia and New Internationalist in the UK).

Find here the interview with Vandana Shiva on the occasion of the launch of the Latin American co-publishing on 19 June 2021.

ISBN Argentina (Econautas Editorial): 978-987-46301-9-3
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ISBN Chile (LOM ediciones): 978-956-00-1379-8
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ISBN Argentina (Editorial Mate): 978-987-9199-29-x
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Babelica, 20-22 September 2023, online: discover the Babelica program!

Babelica, the international online book fair of independent publishing, will take place from 20 to 22 September - 21 September is the Bibliodiversity Day!

Babelica is a unique and original project to promote bibliodiversity, conceived and hosted by the International Alliance of Independent Publishers.

Discover the Babelica program here!

Babelica is a book fair dedicated to books published by independent publishing houses. It is designed to raise awareness of the variety of voices in international publishing and ensure they are heard, so as to promote diversity and creativity. At Babelica, a selection of titles from the many books published by independent publishers are being presented.
The Babelica book fair is available online throughout the year, from 20 September 2023 until the next edition in 2024.

Babelica is also a space for debate, exchange and discussion between book professionals, academics, readers, those who are simply curious, and more. The program of round tables, talks and readings offered in 2023 has been developed by publishers who are members and/or close of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (see program).
To listen again to the round tables from Babelica in 2022, click here.

Babelica is an opportunity for exchanges of rights: join us on 21 September for the event dedicated to literature and human sciences, opportunities for publishers to present the titles from their catalogues to the book professionals present.
Away from this event, if you are interested in buying or selling rights, you can contact publishing houses directly via the Babelica platform.

Finally, Babelica is a place for exchanging know-how and practices, a place for experimentation: therefore, from October 2023 workshops will take place to complement Babelica’s talks and round tables, to delve deeper and develop themes such as digital, discoverability, artificial intelligence and book ecology in small working groups.

For this second edition, the Babelica platform, which will be revealed in September, has been entirely redesigned and updated to reduce its environmental footprint.

Babelica is supported by the Agence française de développement (AFD Campus) and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

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Tehran Book Fair, Uncensored, Europe and North America, 4 May - 6 June 2023

The 7th Tehran Book Fair, Uncensored, will be held from May 4 to June 6 in 17 European and American cities.

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.

All the information can be found here.

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’Independent publishing: meeting, showing solidarity and acting together in Latin America’, round table, Buenos Aires International Book Fair (Argentina), 27 April 2023

Several independent publishers from Latin America will attend the 47th edition of the Buenos Aires International Book Fair, 27 April-15 May 2023, where the guest of honour city this year is Santiago de Chile.

The Editoriales de Chile collective and the Alliance are organising a round table event there on 27 April at midday (local time): “Independent publishing: meeting, showing solidarity and acting together in Latin America”, with the participation of Maria-Paz Morales (Dudo Ediciones/Editoriales de Chile) and Germán Gacio Baquiola (Corredor Sur Editores / Editores independientes de Ecuador) and Andrés Bracony (Tinta Limón, Argentina), moderated by Paulo Slachevsky (LOM Ediciones / coordinator of the Alliance’s Spanish-language network).

Find out more: The Buenos Aires International Book Fair

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Workshop on promotional tools and creating communities of readers, and a focus on solidarity co-publishing, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), 9-13 May, 2023

At the Salon International du Livre d’Abidjan/International Book Fair of Abidjan (SILA), the Alliance is organising a workshop targeted at book professionals from some fifteen publishing houses from francophone Africa. The workshop, led by Tchonté Silué, will cover the following themes: creating and managing a community of readers, using social networks, creating audio-visual content (videos, podcasts) and hosting book groups.
There will be a project fair where publishers will be able to present their catalogues with the intention of agreeing transfers of rights and establishing co-publishing projects. This project fair will be accompanied by an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience of solidarity co-publishing.

These events, organised thanks to the support of the Orange Foundation and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, will be attended by the finalists of the Orange Book Award in Africa as well as by some ten publishing houses from francophone Africa who are members of the Alliance. The winner of the Orange Book Award in Africa will be announced during the book fair.

See all the SILA’s activities here.

See the programme of events organised by the Alliance here:

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Alliance’s programme for 2023

Among the Alliance’s flagship projects in 2023:

Bibliodiversity Observatory
• Bibliodiversity Observatory thematic working groups (book ecology, digital, freedom to publish and public book policies)
• Adding content to and updating the Guide to Good Practice
• Developing a logo/label illustrating the principles of the Guide to Good Practice
• Publishing the next issue of the Bibliodiversité review “Transmission and renewal. How to secure the future of companies in the book world?” (March 2023)

Workshops and meetings
• Workshops (virtual format) held by the Observatory’s thematic groups (throughout the year)
• Training in situ at the International Book Fair in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (May 2023)

Visibility and promotion of independent publishing
• Babelica, second edition: international independent publishing fair online, meetings and debates, webinars (September 2023)
Tehran Book Fair, Uncensored (date TBC)

Editorial partnerships
• Project fairs for literature, humanities and social sciences, and children’s books within groups with complementary catalogues (throughout the year)
• Pan-African co-publication of the 16th and 17th titles in the “Terres solidaires” collection: Bel abîme by Yamen Manai (published by Éditions Elyzad in Tunisia) and Vautours enchantés by Yamba Elie Ouédraogo (published by Sankofa & Gurli in Burkina Faso)
• Co-publication of the illustrated book of calligraphy by the Syrian artist Mouneer Alshaarani by the Alliance’s Arabic-language network
Terra Viva. My life in a Biodiversity of Movements by Vandana Shiva (co-published by Women Unlimited in India with Spinifex Press in Australia): works translated and co-published in different languages through the Alliance’s networks

See the full 2023 action plan here:

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Happy New Year 2023!

In 2023, let’s continue building a world with more solidarity, sharing ideas and defending bibliodiversity!

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Illustration by Mariette Robbes

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’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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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, 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.

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