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.
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 balanced 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 accompany these changes, the Alliance has drafted a handbook of practical guidelines 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.