In a globalised world, megacorp publishing is all about numbers, about sameness, about following a formula based on the latest megasuccess. Each book is expected to pay for itself and all the externalities of publishing such as offices and CEO salaries. It means that books which take off slowly but have long lives, the books that change social norms, are less likely to be published.
Independent publishers are seeking another way. A way of engagement with society and methods that reflect something important about the locale or the niche they inhabit. Independent and small publishers are like rare plants that pop up among the larger growth but add something different, perhaps they feed the soil, bring colour or scent into the world.
Bibliodiversity is a term invented by Chilean publishers in the 1990s as a way of envisioning a different kind of publishing. In this manifesto, Susan Hawthorne provides a scathing critique of the global publishing industry set against a visionary proposal for organic publishing. She looks at free speech and fair speech, at the environmental costs of mainstream publishing and at the promises and challenges of the move to digital.
A translation from English into French followed by a co-publishing between 5 publishers in France (éditions Charles Léopold Mayer), Switzerland (éditions d’en bas), Mali (Jamana) and Cameroon (Presses universitaires d’Afrique).