Guidelines for Fair Publishing Partnerships

Over the past few years, the predation of large companies from the North on the book trade in Africa has undergone some partnership-related changes. An evolution of practices is observable amongst the large publishing companies from the North, who do not solely rely on local publishing houses’ acquisitions, but also on establishing partnerships with local publishers. How can we guarantee that these partnerships are balances and fair ? How can we ensure that publishers from the South do not “sell their souls” through collaborations with large companies from the North ? To complement these changes, the Alliance has drafted a little handbook of common-sense for its members, which serves as a reminder on essential checkpoints to look out for.

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The Alliance thanks Double ponctuation for writing the vademecum.

The “Fair Trade Book”

The label the “Fair Trade Book” is attributed by the International Alliance of independent publishers to works published in the context of international publishing agreements which respect each other particularities : solidarity co publishing. These solidarity copublishings enable the sharing of costs linked to intellectual and physical production of books and therefore implies an economy of scale ; an exchange of professional know-how and a common experience, while respecting the publishers’ cultural context and identity ; distributing works on a broader scale by adjusting prices for each geographic zone. The label the “Fair Trade Book” is a symbol of this solidarity amongst publishers – solidarity which also indirectly mobilises readers : because a book is sold 20 Euros in France it can be bought at half this price in West Africa, for instance.