Cultural diversity

Cultural policies and measures - Best practices

Cultural diversity applied to the world of publishing: the Fair book

“Bibliodiversity’ describes cultural diversity applied to the world of publishing; echoing the term biodiversity, it refers to the necessary diversity of the editorial output made available to readers.” This excerpt from the International Declaration of Independent Publishers for the protection and promotion of bibliodiversity, adopted in 2007, inspires and guides many of the projects undertaken by the Alliance of Independent Publishers (AIP), including the co-publishing process and Fair Book.

The Alliance of Independent Publishers is a non-profit-making association governed by French legislation, set up in spring 2002. It brings together some 80 publishers and publishing collectives from 45 countries. It recently presented its activities at Paris’s Salon du livre.

By progressively developing an international network, the Alliance of Independent Publishers is contributing to the circulation of ideas and the building of an international civil society. According to the organization’s website, “The Alliance is committed to promoting solidarity-based commercial agreements between its members, in particular by inspiring and developing co-publishing processes.” Linguistic networks (French-speaking, English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, Arabic-speaking, etc.) have been set up for some aspects of its work. Many publishing projects have got off the ground, including international co-published collections: Global Issues, Near and Far, Keywords.

The Alliance of Independent Publishers' co-publishing program empowers minor publishers to join forces for a collection or work, allowing for economies of scale in a spirit of association that allows them to preserve their identity. The exchange of knowledge and professional skills is an important issue for the future of independent publishing.

To publish books that they like and show that alternative publishing is possible, publishers from all continents have decided to come together to co-publish works. For certain co-publications, a sharing system has been implemented in order for publishers in developing countries to bear much lower costs than those assumed by publishers from developed countries participating in the same operation. As a result of this commercial solidarity, a book with a 15 euro price tag in France will sell for 8 euros in Morocco and 5 euros in Cameroon, for example.

This breakdown according to geographical zones guarantees the fair sharing of costs between the various publishers and offers an affordable price to consumers, who are also citizens and readers. The books thus produced will henceforth be identifiable by the "Fair book" label. ”

For more information on the activities of Alliance of Independent publishers, please visit their website.

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