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, and 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 publishing capital and 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 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 risktaking, they participate in discussions, distribution and development of their readers’ critical thinking. In this regard, they are key players in bibliodiversity.