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

The independent publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016!

From October, 19th to 23rd, meet the independent publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair: more than 25 publishing houses from all around the world will be there!

You can find the publishers’ contact on the attached document. Do not wait to make an appointment!

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Call for freedom of speech and publishing in Turkey, 22 August 2016

The International Alliance of independent publishers demands that Turkish authorities immediately release publishers, authors and journalists currently detained. It is necessary to guarantee freedom of speech and publishing in Turkey. The Alliance joins the Turkish Publishers Association’s condemnation of the summary closure of publishing houses and media as a clear human rights violation, and urges the Turkish authorities to rescind those summary closures.

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Digital workshop in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), 23-27 May 2016 – during the Abidjan Book Fair (26-28 May)

Through the support of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the partnership established with the Ivorian publishers association (Assedi), the Alliance’s Digital Lab will convene 18 publishers from Sub-Saharan Africa from 23 to 27 May, to a workshop focusing on:
* the production and marketing of digital books (session facilitated by Gilles Colleu, Vents d’ailleurs, France);
* management of the Alliance Press web template developed by the Alliance for publishers who do not have websites (session facilitated by Mouhammed Diop, Senegalese developer and designer of Alliance Press).

The workshop follows on the series of meetings/training workshops designed and implemented by the Alliance since 2010, and is aimed at publishers in particular from French-speaking Africa. In order to share knowledge and encourage ownership, all workshops and meetings of the Alliance are complemented by factsheets published on the Digital Lab website, and personalised online tutorials.

The workshop will be held at the occasion of the Abidjan Book Fair (26-28 May, Palais de la Culture), and will provide the opportunity for publishers to share the collective stand of the Afrilivres association. The Afrilivres Prize will be awarded on that occasion, in the presence of the recipient of the 2015 prize: Valesse publishers from Ivory Coast.

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Primaverinha dos livros, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 21 and 22 May 2016

The Brazilian publishers collective LIBRE will host, on 21 and 22 May, the 3rd edition of the Book Fair for independent publishers focusing on children’s books. Gathering 40 independent publishers, this event takes place at Tom Jobin Theater, at the Botanical Garden’s area.
On this occasion, and through the support of the Alliance, Portuguese publisher Carla Oliveira (Orfeu Negro) will go to Brazil to share her experience with Brazilian publishers, and strengthen solidary partnerships between Portugal and Brazil. Read more information here.

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African Languages Book Fair – SAELLA, Bamako, 20-23 January 2016

Organised by Afrilivres Association, through the support of its partners and the support of OMEL (Malian book publishers organisation), the first edition of the African Languages Book Fair will convene professionals, academics, institutions, NGOs, and the general public for 3 days of discussions, sharing, exhibition, and sale of books in African languages. An unprecedented and unique event, not to be missed!

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Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing

Author(s) : Susan HAWTHORNE ; Bilal ZAITER (trad.)
Publishing countries : Egypt, Lebanon, Syria
Language(s) : Arabic

In a globalised world, megacorp publishing is all about numbers, about sameness, about following a formula based on the latest megasuccess. Each book is expected to pay for itself and all the externalities of publishing such as offices and CEO salaries. It means that books which take off slowly but have long lives, the books that change social norms, are less likely to be published.

Independent publishers are seeking another way. A way of engagement with society and methods that reflect something important about the locale or the niche they inhabit. Independent and small publishers are like rare plants that pop up among the larger growth but add something different, perhaps they feed the soil, bring colour or scent into the world.

Bibliodiversity is a term invented by Chilean publishers in the 1990s as a way of envisioning a different kind of publishing. In this manifesto, Susan Hawthorne provides a scathing critique of the global publishing industry set against a visionary proposal for organic publishing. She looks at free speech and fair speech, at the environmental costs of mainstream publishing and at the promises and challenges of the move to digital.

A translation from English into Arabic followed by a co-publishing between 5 publishers in Egypt (Elain publishing), in Lebanon (Dar Al Farabi and Al Intischar), in Syria (Atlas publishing) and in Tunisia (Med Ali).

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Children’s books’ graphic design and illustrations – Africa-Europe perspectives, Paris, 29-30 November 2015

In the margins of the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse de Seine-Saint-Denis (2-7 December 2015), the Alliance convenes, through the support of the Centre national du livre (CNL), twelve independent children’s book publishers from Africa and Europe (Benin, France, Madagascar, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Togo). During this two-day workshop, publishers will share their experiences and knowledge of the strategies developed in terms of graphic design and illustration choices within their publishing house, which will be an occasion to address evolutions and innovations in the field of children’s books (new graphic design and digital techniques, etc.).

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Call for freedom of speech and publishing in Bangladesh, November 2015

Extract from the Communiqué by the Alliance for a call for freedom of speech and publishing in Bangladesh, 10 November 2015:

For several months, authors, bloggers, publishers and booksellers have been the victims of violent and deadly attacks in Bangladesh.

The International Alliance of independent publishers, representing 400 independent publishers from 45 countries in the world, condemns these murderous attacks and assault on freedom of speech and publishing. The Alliance also reaffirms the essential role needing to be played by public authorities, in Bangladesh and throughout the world to enable the emancipation of its citizens, and to guarantee a public space conducive to dialogue and peace. Plurality and diversity of ideas constitute the foundation of democracy. It is urgent that the Bangladeshi government protects and supports actors in the book industry, thus safeguarding the foundations necessary for their work and freedom of speech.

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Meeting of the International Committee of independent publishers - ICIP- (Paris), 9-11 October 2015

ICIP, composed of 6 representatives from the Alliance’s language networks, will meet in Paris. To be discussed in this 3-day meeting: impact of the International Assembly of international publishers, and way forward; freedom of speech and publishing; copyrights in Europe and around the world; meeting with partners of the Alliance (Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, UNESCO, Relais Culture Europe, Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs, Ile-de-France region, Centre national du livre, AILF, SGDL…).

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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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Jérôme CHEVRIER, member of the Board

Jérôme Chevrier has been working for 20 years in the book and reading sector. As a librarian, he has worked at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Ministry of Culture, the Centre national du livre and the French Institute of South Africa. He is currently in charge of cultural mediation at the Bibliothèque publique d’information du Centre Pompidou. He joined the Alliance Board in July 2021.

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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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