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

HotList 2019 (Frankfurt Book Fair, 16-20 October, 2019)!

Discover here the HotList 2019!

Thanks to a partnership with Kurt Wolff Stiftung (the German collective of independent publishers, member of the Alliance) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, independent Latin American publishers in Frankfurt will be exhibiting at the “Reading Island for Independent Publishers” stand (Hall 4.1), twenty books of various genres: novels, short stories, art books, essays, children’s literature... from Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Mexico!

Context:
- 2009: The members of EDINAR (a group of Argentinian independent publishers) present a selection of the best books from their list at the Buenos Aires Book Fair. This selection is then promoted in independent bookstores across Buenos Aires.
- 2010: Argentina is the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. To make sure Argentinian independent publishing is well represented, the Argentinian independent publishers, in partnership with the Frankfurt Book Fair, present a HotList at the stand of independent German publishers, showcasing the diversity and quality of their books.
- 2017: The HotList 2017 opens to independent publishers from Latin America! Thanks to the collaboration with the collective Kurt Wolff Stiftung, a selection of about 40 titles from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay is exhibited in Frankfurt on the “Reading Island” (Hall 4.1 / D36).
- 2018: Following the success of the 2017 edition, the HotList 2018 is back and opens to Brazilian publishers. In addition, a thematic and international selection is launched: this year, the theme of “women’s struggle” is selected in the “WomenList”, showcasing more than 30 titles edited by independent publishing houses from all continents.
- 2019: The International Alliance of independent publishers and the Kurt Wolff Stiftung collective offer a new edition of the HotList. Some twenty books (novels, essays, children’s books, comics, art books) will be exposed at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019. A colourful and powerful HotList this year!

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Here is the B Day, September 21, 2019!

Here is the 9th edition of the B Day, let yourself be hooked by the books!
Share the video of the B Day 2019!

B Day, September 21, 2019

B Day_instruction manual!

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Upcoming celebrations in the second half of 2019...

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  • The 2nd meeting of the International Conference of Independent Publishers 2019-2021 in Chile, bringing together Spanish-language (Spain and Latin America) in Santiago de Chile, on 1 and 2 October 2019. This meeting will be followed by the Primavera del libro (Spring of the book) from October 3 to 6, offering an opportunity to showcase the mapping and analysis of public book policies in Latin America.

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  • Meeting of the International Committee of Independent Publishers, 12-14 October 2019, in Paris: one of the objectives of the ICIP will be to map out the next International Conference of Independent Publishers and to deliberate on the choice of city where the closing meeting will take place in 2021. The steps to come in 2020 and 2021 are under way... and will be announced in the second half of 2019.
  • Frankfurt Book Fair, 16-20 October 2019: among other activities, the 3rd edition of the Latin American Hotlist; the “Nonfiction Editor’s Networking Event” (19 October), on the theme: “Publishing Serious Nonfiction: It’s a Woman’s World” with the participation of Muge Sokmen (Metis Publishers in Turkey) and Kenza Sefrioui (En toutes lettres in Morocco).
  • Publication of the next title of the “Terres solidaires” collection: Munyal, les larmes de la patience, by Djaïli Amadou Amal, originally published by Proximité in Cameroon; reissued by 8 publishers in French-speaking Africa. Djaïli Amadou Amal received for this title the Orange du livre en Afrique award!

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Can Islam still be saved? (آیا اسلام‌ را می‌توان نجات داد؟)

Author(s) : Hamed ABDEL-SAMAD ; Mouhanad KHORCHIDE ; B. BINIAZ (translation)
Publishing countries : Germany, Canada, France
Language(s) : Farsi
Price : 15 €

Hamed Abdel-Samad and Mouhanad Khorchide discuss controversially central issues of the religion of Islam. They address burning issues such as sharia, violence, jihad, freedom of expression, human rights, the role of women and religion in democracy. Can Islam still be saved? is a polemic that allows two different perspectives on the future of Islam in the western states.

Publishers from the Persian network of the Alliance have translated and co-published this book in Farsi: Forough Book (Germany), Naakojaa (France), Khavaran (France), Pooya Verlag (Germany), Pegah Publishing (Canada).

2018 - 332 pages - ISBN : 978-3-96531-007-0

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Video of workshops - International Conference of Independent Publishers (2019-2021)

The first Conference workshops were held in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) in May 2019 during the International Book Fair of Abidjan, and brought together 40 French-speaking publishers, as well as representatives of the Portuguese and Arabic-speaking networks.

Here the video!

Youth literature and typography were the main focus of these workshops. A mapping of publishing public policies in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar (the Alliance’s flagship project since the last Conference of 2012-2014) was also presented on this occasion. The next workshops will most probably be held in Chile in September 2019, gathering mainly Latin American and Spanish publishers - a mapping of publishing public policies in Latin America will also be presented on this occasion.

The complete program of the International Conference 2019-2021 will be available in a few months!
For any questions, contact the Alliance’ team (equipe@alliance-editeurs.org).

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Tehran Book Fair Uncensored, Europe and North America, April-May 2019

For its 4th edition, the Tehran Book Fair Uncensored will move in the following countries: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, United States, Canada...

For the fourth year, Farsi publishers outside of Iran, organize the Uncensored Tehran Book Fair, all around the world. The goal is to provide an opportunity for the authors, whose works are censored in Iran, to speak out freely and present their works. Each year many authors and publishers in Europe, Canada, and the United States meet their readers and discuss the status of persian literature all around the world. This is an unique opportunity to know, support, and promote the uncensored persian literature.

More information here: https://uncensoredbook.com/

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“Shifting the limits”, independent publishers meeting in Madrid (Spain), 4-5 April 2019

Two days of discussions, reflections and workshops to which will participate, amongst others, LOM Ediciones (Chile), En toutes lettres (Morocco), Metis Publishers (Turkey), Critique and Humanism (Bulgaria), Masarykova Univerzita (Czech Republic), éditions d’en bas (Switzerland), Sophie Noël (University Paris 13)… these sessions are organised by La Oveja Roja (member of the Alliance), in partnership with Contrabandos bookshop. Topics include book ecosystem, other forms of production, community of readers…
Consult the programme here!

The meeting will be followed by the second edition of the Political and Critical Books Fair.

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Indie Book Day, 30 March, 2019!

On Saturday 30 March, 2019, it is the Indie Book Day!

Independent publishers and booksellers propose readers to celebrate Indie Book Day. The principle is simple: you just need to go in your favourite independent bookshop, to buy a book published by an independent publisher. Then, you are invited to share a picture of the book on the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…), with the hashtag #indiebookday.

Indie Book Day aims to highlight the creativity, diversity and dynamism of independent publishing and make readers aware of the essential aim played by independent bookshops in favour of bibliodiversity.

Indie Book Day website: www.indiebookday.de/english

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The programme 2019 & an overview 2018 !

To read here, the 2019 programme and an overview of the activities carried out in 2018.

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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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