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

Bibliodiversity 3, May, 2006

Read: The third issue of Bibliodiversity, the newsletter of the Alliance of independent publishers, has just come out!

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Paris Book Fair, 2006

Publishing countries : France

The Alliance of the Independent Publishers cordially thanks all the people who contributed to the success of our collective stand at the Paris Book Fair.

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Bibliodiversity 2, February, 2006

Read: The second issue of Bibliodiversity, the newsletter of the Alliance of independent publishers, has just come out!

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Bibliodiversity 1, January, 2006

Read: The first number of Bibliodiversity the newsletter of the Alliance of independent publishers has just come out!

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Independent publishers from the Latin world and bibliodiversity, Mexico, 2005

Publishing countries : Mexico

November 2005, 27-30
International Book Fair of Guadalajara, Mexico

The book and the Publishing world are at the center of the current debate about the need for promoting cultural diversity in the context of globalization and concentration of cultural industries.

More information in French
More information in Spanish

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FILDAK 2005 - Dakar International Book Fair, Senegal

Publishing countries : Senegal

The Alliance of Independent Publishers, in partnership with the International French-speaking Booksellers Association (AILF), was glad to welcome you on their shared stand in the International Book Fair of Dakar – December 6 to 11, 2005. The Alliance started there a study on “Publishing in African languages”, under the authority of Jean-Claude Naba (Sankofa & Gurli publishing), with the help of Karine Lewkowicz.

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Children’s Book and Press Fair, Montreuil, 2005

Publishing countries : France


The Alliance of Independent Publishers was invited to the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse de Seine-Saint-Denis(Children’s Book Fair of Seine-Saint-Denis), between the 30th of november and the 5th of december, on the stand of Afrilivres. Béatrice Lalinon-Gbado were glad to meet you there. Béatrice Lalinon-Gbado is the president of the pan-African association “Afrilivres” and also publisher for children in Benin and author of “Maman“, selected for the Baobab Prize. LIBRE, Brazilian network of Publishers, partner of the Alliance of Independent Publishers, were also attend the Book Fair through the MACO publishing house.


Official website of the Book Fair

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The meeting of the Arab-language publishers, Beirut, 2005

Publishing countries : Lebanon

The meeting of the Arabic-language network was held in Beirut, December the 11, and 12, 2005, and brought together the editors of Lebanon (Dar Al Farabi and Intishar), of Morocco (Toubkal), of Algeria (Thala), of Tunisia (Med Ali), Libya (Tala) and Jordan (Dar Al Shoruk).

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The Alliance at the Centre Georges Pompidou

Publishing countries : France

On October 10th, 2005, at 19pm, the Alliance will be present at the Georges Pompidou Center (Paris,), to participate in a debate on bibliodiversity. This event, organized by Littératures Pirates Korporation (LPK, see www.litteraturespirates.org), is included in the Lire en Fête agenda.

Hélène Clémente from Inextenso (www.inextensodiffusion.com), Claire Mathon (LPK), Philippe Magnani (Paris Musées Diffusion), Jérôme Saliou (Alphagraph bookshop, Rennes) and Étienne Galliand (Alliance of Independent Publishers) will debate on concrete practices aimed at empowering the diversity of independent publishers.

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Meeting of the Portuguese-language network, September, 2005

Publishing countries : Brazil

The meeting of the Portuguese-language network of the Alliance of independent publishers was held in Rio de Janeiro, September 14th and 15th 2005, and brought together the publishers of Angola (Cha de Caxinde), of Guinea Bissao (Ku Si Mon), of Portugal (Campo das Letras), of Mozambique (Moçambique editora) and Brazil (Vozes and Pallas). These publishers of Brazil, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa also took part in the “Primavera dos Livros” of Rio de Janeiro, a book fair organized by the Brazilian publishers of the LIBRE network.

The following documents are available, do not hesitate to contact us:

1) The report from the meeting of the portuguese-language network of the Alliance of independent publishers (Rio de Janeiro, September 14th and 15th);

2) The participation in “Primavera dos Livros” (Rio de Janeiro, September 16-19);

3) Projects 2004-2005 (Year of Brazil in France, “Biennial” of Rio, French National Library);

4) List of participants and other contacts.

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Governance

Michel SAUQUET, member of the General Assembly

Michel Sauquet worked for more than 40 years in the international cooperation sector, based either in France or in countries of the Global South such as Ethiopia or Brazil, in missions with NGOs (Gret, Inades), the International Labour Board, and the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation. He is Senior Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, and regularly speaks at ENA, Langues O, the École Centrale, and University of Paris-Dauphine . He presided over the International Alliance of independent publishers from 2002 to 2006, and is the author of some twenty works of fiction and in the field of humanities.

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Gérard AIMÉ, member of the General Assembly

Born in 1946, after obtaining a degree from the Centre de Formation des Journalistes and a postgraduate qualification in political sociology, Gérard Aimé started his career as a journalist and photo-reporter in Canada. The co-founder of Alternatives publishing and co-author of its first publications, he ran the publishing house for 35 years until its takeover by Gallimard. Today he works as a consultant for various publishing houses. Gérard Aimé was a member of the Board of the Alliance between 2011 and 2016.

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Annie GOGAT, member of the General Assembly

Treasurer of the Alliance, Annie Gogat works for the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation as Accounting Manager. Passionnate about integration issues and involved in her neighborhood’s school life, she finds herself naturally acting as a mediator in many situations. After spending years in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, she now lives in Bouffémont (Paris region). She was the treasurer of the Alliance between 2002 and 2020.

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Hélène KLOECKNER, member of the General Assembly

Hélène Kloeckner is in charge of internal communication at Sciences Po. She is the author of a survey on textbooks in Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, published in the Africultures journal in 2003. She has worked for more than twelve years in publishing, and collaborated with Nouvelles éditions africaines in Senegal, Dakar. As a volunteer at the Alliance since 2004, she has been particularly interested in the pan-African collection “Terres Solidaires” . She was the president of the Alliance between 2013 and 2020.

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Marie HATET, member of the General Assembly

Marie Hatet has been working in the field of education and culture for the past fifteen years. Currently heading an artistic and cultural education project in Paris’ La Villette Park, she is also a member of the reading committee of the Tatoulu Association (youth literature), and founding member of Les Fondeurs de Roue Association. She joined the Board of the International Alliance of independent publishers in 2014. She served on the Board of the Alliance between 2014 and 2016 and is currently a member of the Alliance’s General Assembly.

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But also…

From 2002 to 2009, Étienne GALLIAND (founder of the Alliance) managed the association. He then created Double Ponctuation, with which the Alliance regularly collaborates. Double Ponctuation is, among other things, copublisher of the Bibliodiversity journal.

Alexandre TIPHAGNE joined the Alliance from 2002 to 2007, as manager of co-editions and the Portuguese and Spanish languages networks. From December 2012 to April 2014, Alexandre was vice-chair of Cabinet in the Ministry of Culture and Communication and technical councillor responsible of the book, and later chair of Cabinet. Formerly a parliamentary collaborator of Aurélie Filippetti at the National Assembly, he is currently in charge of Culture at Paris City Council.

Thomas WEISS worked for the Alliance between 2003 and 2006 as a logistician, administrator and Webmaster. He also coordinated co-publishing projects of the English and Arabic languages networks. In 2007, he became an independent consultant and web developer, and worked principally for the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation, Exemole Sarl, and the Research Institute, and contributed to discussions on governance. In 2013, he joined the French IT group, Netapsys Conseil, as central director. He is currently a consultant at OCTO Technology.

Between 2008 and 2010, Nathalie CARRÉ contributed her expertise to “Terres solidaires” and “Terres d’écritures”, both solidary copublishings collections. Nathalie continued facilitating the reading committee of the “Terres solidaires” collection. She is currently a Swahili teacher at Inalco.

Sonbol REGNAULT-BAHMANYAR contributed to the Alliance between 2010 to 2012, by developing the Persian language publishers group. Sonbol is currently in Iran, where she runs a French pastry shop.

Matthieu JOULIN joined the Alliance’s team in 2011, after a master’s degree in Hispano-American Language, Literature and Civilisation at Bordeaux University and a master’s degree in Book Commercialisation at University of Paris 13-Villetaneuse. Between 2011 and 2019, Matthieu was especially in charge of the Digital Lab of the Alliance; and maintaining and supporting the Spanish and Portuguese language networks.

Clémence HEDDE worked for 10 years at the Alliance, between 2010 and 2020. After a double degree in Geography/ Book Trade in France and the United Kingdom, and experiences in different publishing houses (Autrement, La Découverte, Phaidon), Clémence Hedde was Programme Manager at the International Alliance of independent publishers, more specifically responsible for overseeing the Alliance’s French-language network and the children’s books/youth literature thematic group, coordinating international co-publishings, organisation of meetings and workshops, as well as monitoring the research initiatives of the Bibliodiversity Observatory. She is now Literary Coordinator at Ciclic, the regional Agency of the Center Val de Loire for books, images and digital culture.

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Translators

Nathalie COOREN (French-Spanish)
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Danielle CHARONNET (French-Spanish)
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Rachel MATTEAU MATSHA (French-English)
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Rachel Matteau Matsha is senior lecturer at the Durban University of Technology (South Africa). Her research interests include book history, sociology of literature, Indian Ocean studies, and postcolonial studies. Born in Québec (Canada), she holds a BA in Literary Studies from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and a MA and PhD in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa). She is the author of Real and Imagined Readers. Reading, publishing and censorship under apartheid (UKZN Press, forthcoming 2018). She is collaborating with the International Alliance of independent publishers since 2013.

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Volunteers

Volunteers come from time to time to support the permanent team of the Alliance for the implementation of the action plan of the association: we thank them very much for their involvement and their commitment!

Céline ANFOSSI
Céline Anfossi is specialised in project management and consultancy. She has worked in the book sector, mainly in coaching professionals (International Alliance of independent publishers, Fill-Interregional Federation of Books and Reading). She explores these issues through different projects and audiences (women seeking employment, students) and is particularly interested in the topic of professional integration.

Djamilatou DIALLO
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Born in Tahiti, of Franco-Guinean parents, Djamilatou continued her studies in Paris in Lettres et Histoire (MA dissertation on Ancient History: “Patrons of cities in Roman Africa from the third to the fifth century: an epigraphic study”).
In the long term, Jamilatou would like to specialise in the protection and enhancement of heritage by working with different cultural organisations here or elsewhere.
Following a five-month internship at the Alliance (development of the 2018 WomenList and the HotList presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the study on the textbook market in French-speaking Africa), Djamilatou is now a volunteer of the Association.

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International Committee of Independent Publishers (ICIP)

The ICIP includes the coordinators and vice-coordinators of the Alliance’s language networks; the coordinators and vice-coordinators are nominated by the members of the networks. Since 2011, the ICIP has been an essential part of governing the Alliance, representing the voice of the Assembly of Allies. The ICIP meets once a year in the presence of the Board and the team of the Alliance. The agenda is based on the aspirations and objectives of the Alliance, considering above all the needs and expectations of the Allies.

Composition of the ICIP:

  • Coordinator of the Arabic-speaking network: Samar Haddad, Syria (Atlas Publishing)
  • Coordinator of the English-speaking network: Colleen Higgs, South Africa (Modjaji Books)
  • Vice-coordinator of the English-speaking network : Ronny Agustinus, Indonesia (Marjin Kiri)
  • Coordinator of the French-speaking network: Élisabeth Daldoul, Tunisia (elyzad)
  • Vice-coordinators of the French-speaking network: Paulin Assem, Togo (AGO Média) and Jean-Claude Naba, Burkina Faso (Sankofa & Gurli)
  • Coordinators of the Persian-speaking network: Tinouche Nazmjou, France/Iran (Naakojaa) and Anahita Mehdipour, Germany/Iran (Forough Verlag)
  • Coordinators of the Portuguese-speaking network: Mariana Warth, Brazil (Pallas Editora) and Carla Oliveira, Portugal (Orfeu Negro)
  • Coordinator of the Spanish-speaking network : Paulo Slachevsky, Chile (Lom Ediciones)

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The Assembly of Allies

Click here to see the list of Alliance member publishers.

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