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 2017 from the Latin American independent publishers!

WHY A HOTLIST?

In 2009, together with the members of EDINAR (Argentinean Alliance of independent publishers), we decided to launch a promotion strategy, following the “Young independent Germans”: a HotList.

Against the tendentious ranking of the most sold out books published in the newspapers, every member of the collective had to choose one book among her/his new books -the one that she or he saw as the most outstanding, for whatever reason. With all EDINAR publishers, we thus formed a list, promoted at the same time by a group of booksellers from Buenos Aires who arranged a special table dedicated to this list in their bookshops during one month.

In 2010, Argentina was Guest country of Frankfurt Book Fair and the Argentinean National Book Chamber had a spacious booth with a strong presence of local publishing, which did not include many independent publishers. However, the Hotlist had an outstanding exhibition space in this Fair: thanks to a German colleague, curious publisher, philoanarchist, employed by the Fair, we got a well-situated booth and the possibility to exhibit our HotList.

Because a lot of Latin-American publishers cannot travel every year to Frankfurt, we have reminded this adventure and decided to implement it again this year, extended to Spanish-speaking publishers from Latin America, in order to give a better visibility to the vibrant Latin-American independent publishing, in the biggest commercial Book Fair of the World.

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This HotList presents a selection of about 40 books published in Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile… exhibited in the “Reading Island for Independent Publishers” (Pavilion 4.1) of the Frankfurt Book Fair, thanks to the cooperation of the Kurt Wolff Stiftung, group of German independent publishers.

We hope you will appreciate!

Guido Indij
Argentinean publisher, coordinator of the Spanish-speaking network of the International Alliance of independent publishers

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Meeting of the International Committee of independent publishers (ICIP), Paris (France), 7-9 October 2017

The 9 coordinators and vice-coordinators of the Alliance’s 6 language networks, the Board and the Alliance team gather for the ICIP, an essential annual meeting in the governance of the association. On the agenda: public book policies in West Africa, Latin America and in the Arab world; the Europe and the Alliance; strategy and governance; the Alliance of tomorrow...

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Frankfurt in French: Call for more coherence towards a strengthened bibliodiversity

As the Frankfurt Book Fair (11-15 October 2017) opens in a few weeks’ time, with a special focus on France and French languages, the International Alliance of independent publishers takes the opportunity to revisit some key issues for independent publishers and bibliodiversity, as expressed by 400 publishers from 50 countries, in the International Declaration of independent publishers of 2014.

France wished, in the context of Frankfurt’s invitation, to provide a space for publishers from the South and we are grateful for this opportunity. We hope this openness will contribute towards meaningful networking, discussion, and exchanges among Francophone publishers. These mutual trust and interest, at the heart of the Alliance, have indeed proven themselves over the past 15 years, leading to unprecedented co-publishing and translation projects between continents.

However, other aspects of “Frankfurt in French” are counterintuitive to this dynamic. Book donation initiatives from France to Africa are indeed planned in Frankfurt this year. More specifically, the 30 000 books to be displayed in the French Pavilion will be distributed to foreign countries after Frankfurt – and this while some twenty African publishers are invited to participate in the Fair, in an “African/Haiti” stand. As mentioned in several reports and in the Frankfurt programme (see here), book donations, while underpinned by good intentions, can disrupt the local book economy.

We therefore call on the accountability of each involved — public authorities, associations, and professionals, for these donations to be made in close collaboration with participating African publishers, but also in consultation with local African booksellers. These are the basic conditions for balanced and respectful exchanges in the actors’ respective environments.

It is critical to rethink book donation. Encouraging and supporting sustainable and fair editorial partnerships must be a priority.

We hope that the readiness to showcase Francophonie’s diversity and plurality in Frankfurt will be paralleled with constructive actions by public authorities, both in the North and South. It is indeed essential for political will to accompany a change of perspective and relations among Francophone countries.

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Solidarity with the Mexicans, 22 September 2017

On 21 September, all around the world, we have celebrated the International Day of Bibliodiversity. Meantime, in Mexico, the terrible earthquake occurred 2 days before, on 19 September, turning streets into dust, causing victims, hundreds and hundreds of roofless people…

The International Alliance of independent publishers expresses –in these days of celebration of cultural diversity, ideas and texts flows– its solidarity with the Mexicans.

The Association of Mexican independent publishers (AEMI), member of the Alliance, proposes to collect Latin-American books to offer especially to children and young Mexicans –so that their imaginations do not focus on this disaster, and that stories and words coming from abroad can help them in these painful moments.

This is also bibliodiversity: be careful about the surrounding world, keep awake and conscious, in solidarity.

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International Bibliodiversity Day, 21 September 2017

Readings, book releases and piñatas in the public space, meetings, picnic, posters, and postcards: all ideas are welcome to participate to this day.
In Perou; en Colombia; en Argentina...

* 36 stories unveiling the names of independent publishing houses from all around the world
* 36 catchphrases by publishers on bibliodiversity
* Because behind the books… there are (also) publishing houses, publishers…
* Because on 21 September, they celebrate the International Day of Bibliodiversity!

See the activities of the B Day on the blog el dia B, on Facebook and Twitter.

Here the video of the B Day, made by the Latin American publishers!

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Independent publishers from all over the world in Frankfurt (Germany), 11-15 October 2017

Workshops on solidary publishings partnerships and on freedom of publishing (an initiative of the Alliance), “HotList” (space dedicated to independent publishing in Latin America, an initiative of the Spanish-language network of the Alliance), meetings on publishing in the Francophone space (organised by BIEF), Party Time for Indies (an initiative of ODEI and IPG, in collaboration with the Fair)… Bibliodiversity will be there, with independent publishers from all over the world!

Click on the book to discover the HotList 2017 of the Latin American publishers in Frankfurt!

See below the publishers in Frankfurt and the activities of the Alliance... as well 3 focus proposed at this occasion!

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Palestine

Author(s) : Hubert HADDAD
Publishing countries : Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Central African Republic, Senegal, Chad, Togo, Tunisia
Language(s) : French
Price : 3 500 F CFA ; 10 DT ; 52 DM ; 550 DA

Co-publishers: Apic (Algeria), elyzad (Tunisia), Graines de Pensées (Togo), Le Fennec (Marocco), Proximité (Cameroon)
Year of publication of the Pan-African version: 2017, 11,5 X 19 cm
First publication in France: Zulma (2007), Cinq Continents price 2008

A Fair Trade Book co-publishing.

Collection Terres solidaires

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

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Ceux qui sortent dans la nuit

Author(s) : MUTT-LON
Publishing countries : Republic of Guinea, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Chad, Togo
Language(s) : French
Price : 3 500 FCFA ; 700 DA

Co-publishers: Amalion (Senegal), Apic (Algeria), Eburnie (Ivory Coast), Ganndal (Guinee Conakry), Graines de Pensées (Togo), Proximité (Cameroon), Sankofa & Gurli (Burkina Faso)
Year of publication of the Pan-African version: 2017, 11,5 X 19 cm
First publication in France: Grasset (2013), Ahmadou Kourouma price 2014.

A Fair Trade Book co-publishing.

Collection Terres solidaires

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

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From Frankfurt to Conakry, via Paris and Togo… overview of the Alliance’s activities for the second semester 2017!

Workshops, exchanges and knowledge sharing

  • In situ training on e-publishing of illustrated and interactive books, in Lomé (Togo), 10-14 July 2017: two Togolese publishing houses member of the Alliance benefited from personalised support in the context of a training facilitated by Gilles Colleu (Vents d’ailleurs publishing house, France). A programme of the Alliance’s Digital Lab, supported by the International Organisation of the Francophonie.
  • Meetings of the European collectives in Paris (France), 19 and 20 July 2017: 4 European collectives (Kurt Wolff Stiftung in Germany, Contrabandos in Spain, ODEI in Italy, IPG in the United Kingdom) and the Alliance met to strengthen their relationships, and find ways of collaborating, exchange tools and experiences…
  • Conakry, UNESCO’s world book capital (Guinea Conakry), 23-29 November 2017: Ganndal publishing facilitate, during Conakry’s Children’s Book Fair, a colloquium on African children’s books, and a focus on African languages publishing… The Alliance will participate to this event by organising a workshop on digital publishing in African languages.

Book Fairs

  • Frankfurt Book Fair (Germany), 11-15 October 2017: workshop on fair publishing partnerships and workshop on freedom of publishing (an initiative of the Alliance), “hot list” (space dedicated to independent publishing, an initiative of the Spanish-language network of the Alliance), meetings on publishing in the Francophone space in the context of the invitation to “Frankfurt in French”, Party Time for Indies (an initiative of ODEI and IPG, in collaboration with the Fair)… Bibliodiversity will be there, with independent publishers from all over the world!
  • Salon de L’Autre Livre in Paris (France), 17-19 November 2017: several publishers member of the Alliance will participate to this edition, an opportunity to share and have a roundtable on independent publishing on the international level (Tunisia, Iran…).

Celebrations

  • International Bibliodiversity Day, 21 September 2017, throughout the world! Readings, book crossing and piñatas in the public space, meetings, picnic, posters, and postcards: all ideas are welcome to participate to this day. Of course, do not forget to support independent bookshops and other relevant networks to reach as many readers as possible! See activities of the previous year here: blog el dia B and the Alliance’s website.

Bibliodiversity Observatory

Governance

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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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