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

Latin America and Arab World HotList, 2020 !

This year, on the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair (14-18 October), two HotLists will be presented... virtually !

The Latin American HotList - 4th edition : a selection of titles from more than 35 independent Latin American publishing houses from 8 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay) and from all genres : literature, humanities, youth/ children’s literature, comics... Find the Latin American HotList 2020 online here ! Previous HotLists are also online, here.

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The Arab World HotList - a very first : while the Arab world shares a language, the Arabic language, which has cemented its culture over centuries, it is far from being the only one. From the Maghreb to the Mashreq, from the Horn of Africa to Cham, this immense space covers a diversity of realities. Linguistic diversity is therefore inherent to it. More than 30 independent publishing houses from 7 countries (Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Syria and Tunisia) offer you an immersion in the literature, humanities and children’s literature of the Arab world ! Through this HotList, the independent publishers of the Arab world invite you to discover the 1001 facets of literary and intellectual creativity of their country, online here !

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The HotLists, while offering an opportunity to discover the creativity of independent publishers, are also tools facilitating the exchange of rights : books and authors are presented in the original language of the book and in English, the contacts of publishing houses are easily accessible and up to date – these lists are thus to be consulted and used throughout the year !

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VAT Changes for Books in Brazil, August 2020

Read here the IPA (International Publishers Association) support, and here the manifesto published by the Brazilian actors, to defend the book in Brazil.

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International Day of Bibliodiversity, 21 September 2020

During this unusual year, independent publishers around the world are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Bibliodiversity (B Day) on September 21, which is also Spring Day in the Southern Hemisphere.

© video : Daniel Aguilera and his team (Chili)
© music : Chill Acoustic, licencia de atribución de Creative Commons, proveída por Oak Studios.

A day to honour independent publishing and bibliodiversity, not to be missed !

See the previous videos here.

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Le dodo aux plumes d’or

Auteur(s) : Corinne FLEURY (texte) ; Sébastien PELON (illustrations)
Pays de parution : Côte d’Ivoire, Maurice

Dans un village de l’île Maurice vit le dodo aux plumes d’or. Son fabuleux pouvoir attire la convoitise des villageois. Le dodo est menaceì. Seule la bonne femme Mimine décide de le protéger. Mais saura-t-elle déjouer les ruses des cupides villageois ?

Une coédition panafricaine réunissant l’Atelier des nomades (Île Maurice) et les éditions Éburnie (Côte d’Ivoire).

Date de publication : septembre 2020

Cette coédition solidaire est issue d’un atelier sur la littérature jeunesse organisé par l’Alliance à Abidjan, en mai 2019, dans le cadre des Assises internationales de l’édition indépendante 2019-2021. Elle a reçu le soutien de l’Agence française de développement.

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Contes de l’Île Maurice

Auteur(s) : Shenaz PATEL (texte) ; Sébastien PELON (illustrations)
Pays de parution : Côte d’Ivoire, Maurice

Comment Tizan a transformé une sauterelle en vache ? Pourquoi un éléphant et une baleine sont convaincus qu’un petit lièvre est beaucoup plus fort qu’eux ? Autour de Tizan, du compère jaco, du lièvre et des personnages populaires de la tradition orale mauricienne, ce recueil réunit 9 contes rusés et drôles pour découvrir une île Maurice remplie de malice.

Une coédition panafricaine réunissant l’Atelier des nomades (Île Maurice) et les éditions Éburnie (Côte d’Ivoire).

Date de publication : septembre 2020

Cette coédition solidaire est issue d’un atelier sur la littérature jeunesse organisé par l’Alliance à Abidjan, en mai 2019, dans le cadre des Assises internationales de l’édition indépendante 2019-2021. Elle a reçu le soutien de l’Agence française de développement.

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Les quatre frères

Auteur(s) : Bienvenue GNIMPO N'KOUÉ (texte) ; Ayoutoufèï GUÉDÉGUÉ (illustrations)
Pays de parution : Bénin, Côte d’Ivoire

Une coédition panafricaine réunissant les éditions Ruisseaux d’Afrique (Bénin) et les éditions Vallesse (Côte d’Ivoire).

Date de publication : septembre 2020

Cette coédition solidaire est issue d’un atelier sur la littérature jeunesse organisé par l’Alliance à Abidjan, en mai 2019, dans le cadre des Assises internationales de l’édition indépendante 2019-2021. Elle a reçu le soutien de l’Agence française de développement.

Les illustrations de ce livre ont reçu, en 2018, le 1er prix de la première édition du prix Hervé Gigot pour l’illustration du livre jeunesse en Afrique, initié par les éditions Ruisseaux d’Afrique (Bénin).

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Le soir autour du feu

Auteur(s) : Sylvie NTSAMÉ
Pays de parution : Gabon, République démocratique du Congo

Une coédition panafricaine réunissant les éditions Ntsamé (Gabon) et les éditions Elondja (RDC).

Date de publication : septembre 2020

Cette coédition solidaire est issue d’un atelier sur la littérature jeunesse organisé par l’Alliance à Abidjan, en mai 2019, dans le cadre des Assises internationales de l’édition indépendante 2019-2021. Elle a reçu le soutien de l’Agence française de développement.

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La Forêt sacrée

Auteur(s) : Nicolas CONDÉ (texte) ; Irina CONDÉ (illustrations)
Pays de parution : Bénin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinée, République démocratique du Congo, Togo
Langue(s) : français

Koné a l’âge de rentrer dans la forêt sacrée pour en ramener un animal fantastique qui l’accompagnera toute sa vie. Mais la forêt est pleine de dangers et les animaux sont devenus difficiles et rares à trouver. Quand Koné rencontre enfin le camélion, comprendra-t-il le message et sera-t-il capable de mener à bien sa mission ?

Une coédition panafricaine réunissant les éditions Ganndal (Guinée Conakry), les éditions Éburnie (Côte d’Ivoire), Ruisseaux d’Afrique (Bénin), Graines de Pensées (Togo), les éditions Ntsamé (Gabon) et les éditions Elondja (RDC).

Date de publication : septembre 2020

Cette coédition solidaire est issue d’un atelier sur la littérature jeunesse organisé par l’Alliance à Abidjan, en mai 2019, dans le cadre des Assises internationales de l’édition indépendante 2019-2021. Elle a reçu le soutien de l’Agence française de développement.

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What to say, and where to say it ? Open Letter from Independent Publishers to authors and intellectuals committed to a fairer world, July 2020

Now that we have entered the 21st century, it is difficult to dissociate the end from the means : what to say, and where to say it ? Thus, we find that many authors seeking to promote debate, creativity and critical thinking, justice and equality are published by large conglomerates with multiple editorial labels. Isn’t the transformative power of these works reduced to nothing when they plunge into the workings of the entertainment industry ? It is a fact that transnational corporations, whatever their field of action, are the very expression of the system that dominates us. By choosing them as publishers, do we not somehow leave the world of transformative ideas in the hands of those who lay the foundations of the model we criticise ? Doesn’t that strengthen the control of big capital over the word and our daily lives ? Moreover, how can we not question the cross-industry investment of the business groups that own publishing houses ? And, are these investments neutral ?”

In this open letter, independent publishers invite all the actors of the book industry to reflect with them on their practices and the impacts that result from them. In particular, they call on authors, academics and intellectuals to work on projects whose vocation is to transform the order of things and not to consolidate the status quo, to publish their works in independent publishing houses in their own countries, and to give preference to independent publishing houses when it comes to transferring foreign and translation rights.

As the world suffers the health, social and economic consequences of the pandemic, book ecosystems and independent publishing houses are further weakened and, for some, are trying to survive. If solidarity between creators and book professionals is one of the foundations of bibliodiversity, this solidarity is vital in the current context.

Read the letter here.
This letter is also available in Spanish, French, Arabic and Portuguese.

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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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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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David ELOY, member of the Board

A committed journalist with a special interest in international solidarity, sustainable development and human rights, David Eloy founded Altermondes in 2005, a media focusing on civil society’s actors, where he was editor-in-chief until 2016. He previously held positions in several international NGOs, including the Centre de recherche et d’information pour le développement (CRID), Peuples Solidaires – Action Aid France and the Association internationale de techniciens, experts et chercheurs (Aitec).

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