Reflections on the 33rd International Publishers Congress

Photo of all the women attending the 33rd International Publishers Congress Credit: Nabs

What a feeling - the exhilaration (and a little relief after chairing the programming committee) – following the end of the 33rd International Publishers Congress. After nearly 2 years of preparations we had over 600 delegates and speakers registered from 63 countries to Jakarta to discuss, dissect, analyse and celebrate our international publishing sector. 

Continue reading
  198 Hits

Tbilisi – ‘Multifaceted and Chaotic’ World Book Capital

Tbilisi-WBC-banner

UNESCO’s World Book Capital City programme is one of the most acclaimed international literary projects. Various cities from different parts of the world strive to win this honorable status annually. The project originated Madrid. Six years after the launch of World Book and Copyright Day (April 23), IPA President, Pere Vicens had the idea, inspired by the successful experience of the city of Madrid, to nominate the best city programme aimed at promoting books during the period between one "Book Day" and the next.

Continue reading
  213 Hits

4 lessons from launching the First Carbon -Label Prototype

IPA-Sustainability-Summit-2022

At Frankfurt Book Fair, I was really happy to present a prototype for a carbon label for books as part of the presentation of the Publishing 2030 Accelerator during IPA’s Sustainability Summit.

Continue reading
  1048 Hits

The Path from Literacy to Freedom

International-Literacy-Day-Poster-crop

September 8 is UNESCO’s International Literacy Day intended to ‘remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.’

After the sunny days of summer, we should probably begin the fall publishing season by thinking about the positive outcomes that literacy promises us; thinking about those hopes that a literate society will hold onto; thinking about those books that are vitally important to readers in these challenging times of pandemic and war; thinking about those books that readers expect from us—the publishers. The world is moving faster than ever. Can we keep up? Can we still satisfy and surprise our readers?

In my region – the so-called post-Soviet space, currently in focus due to the ongoing brutal war in Ukraine – representatives of the cultural sector are often asked: "Should culture interfere with politics?!"

Answers vary but we cannot escape our recent experience of the nature, price, and consequences of the dictatorship we have lived through, fought, broken its strong walls, and emerged, scarred, from the ruins. This region knows that such regimes target the ability to think freely in order to achieve their objectives. People living here clearly understand that under dictatorships, politics will never ignore culture; they will never let it grow into an island of freedom. Dictatorship strives for "order". Freedom causes diversity, a kind of "disorder", which is vitally important for art but potentially disastrous for dictatorship. Therefore, a logical question arises: how can culture ignore such a dangerous opponent as politics?!

In reality, culture does not ignore politics. For centuries human minds have fought against slavish obedience and for the main purpose of human existence—continuous creation, continuous development, and continuous innovations. Bringing our learnings to the written page through books is a historic part of forming healthy societies but also the fight against the book and literacy. It is why two important focus areas of the International Publishers Association are so relevant: the freedom to publish and literacy. In the post-Soviet space (and other similar regions), independent thought and literacy are expected of people to resist relapse. Dictators in waiting imagine: "Once conquered, easily conquered again." But is this possible with people who have seen slavery, then tasted freedom, and have personally experienced the good and the bad of two completely different lifestyles?!

Continue reading
  974 Hits

What can data tell us about publishing? The Latest Global Publishing Industry Report from WIPO

WIPO-Publishing-Report-2022

There is no doubt of the importance of the wider publishing sector for society. We contribute not only to the development and preservation of our cultural identity, fostering empathy, understanding and knowledge but as a sector we contribute to the economic development and jobs of millions across the globe. Gathering an accurate picture of what the publishing sector looks like from an international perspective is one of the biggest challenges that the IPA has been working on for the past five years.

Continue reading
  1316 Hits

It’s time to put accessibility concerns at the heart of how we publish

LauraBrady_headshot_creditRonEckel_LR

There is a lot of chatter about accessibility and born accessible content these days, and for good reason. But what does it mean in practice for IPA's members and individual publishers? The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is due to have a seismic impact on that marketplace which will ripple out to markets around the world, whether we are ready for it or not. In much the same way that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules have impacted internet use around the world, the EAA will impact any publisher wanting to sell digital content in the EU and its supply chain.

Continue reading
  828 Hits

How can publisher associations tackle diversity and inclusion?

Dan-COnway-crop

On 25 March 2022, the Publishers Association in the UK published its latest Diversity survey of the publishing workforce. Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee spoke to Dan Conway, the incoming CEO of the Publishers Association in the UK about their longstanding work in this area.

Continue reading
  1787 Hits

SCCR 42 Blog Day 5 : The best of the rest

SCCR-sunset

The final day of this SCCR began with the Chair recognising a cloud of fatigue in the room and encouraging delegates to press on through the day to finish the week.

Continue reading
  5259 Hits

SCCR 42 Blog Day 4 : Where’s the limit?

Pranav-Gupta-and-Uchenna-Cyril-Anioke-at-SCCR4_20220512-164733_1

Day 4 of this 42nd meeting of the SCCR picked up exactly where Day 3 left off, with discussions on exceptions and limitations and observer organisations continuing their statements.

Continue reading
  1234 Hits

SCCR 42 Blog Day 3: And so the exceptions discussion begins

IPA-Delegation-SCCR42

Day 3 of SCCR 42 opened with further discussion and analysis of the new text on the broadcasting treaty with the afternoon reserved for discussions on exceptions and limitations.

Continue reading
  1468 Hits

SCCR 42 Blog Day 2 : Broadcasting treaty continues…

IPA-SCCR-Delegation-Prep

Following the eventful first day of SCCR 42, day 2 saw a slightly emptier conference hall pick up the SCCR 42 agenda. The broadcasting treaty was the agenda item of the day. Delegates seemed impatient to move on to this discussion after two years of delay and with a new text in front of them. 

Continue reading
  1271 Hits

SCCR 42 Blog Day 1 : We’re back !

SCCR-photo

A blue sky welcomed back delegates to Geneva for the first face to face WIPO SCCR since 2019. An information session on the impact of COVID on the copyright ecosystem, election of a new officers and approval of observers were the headline discussion points for the day but the Russian invasion of Ukraine cast a shadow over the morning’s proceedings. 

Continue reading
  1390 Hits

UK and Irish University Presses Commit to Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity

evenuplogo

On 11 January a group of University Presses in the UK and Ireland launched EvenUP, a forum for EDI information collection, benchmarking, and training, with the goal of developing and sharing best practices for the recruitment and retention of university press publishers and authors from under-represented groups. Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee spoke to a spokesperson for the group about the initiative.

Continue reading
  2380 Hits

International Day of Education – Publishers constantly adapting to transform education

SdeValk-Crop

The theme for UNESCO’s fourth International Day of Education is Changing course, transforming education and the last two years have shown how educational publishers have been able to pivot quickly, changing course, to keep pupils learning.

Continue reading
  2494 Hits

Partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

SDG-17-1024x478

The SDG Publishers Compact, launched by the International Publishers Association and the United Nations back in 2020, has continued to gather momentum for the wider publishing sector. In practice, the compact requires aligning our daily practices, our content, and measures of success to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One sector accelerating progress has been academic publishing.

Continue reading
  4553 Hits

'What happened with my books underscores the importance of books that reflect the world in all its diversity'

Lawrence-Schimel-Small

Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee talks to author, translator and publisher Lawrence Schimel about his children's books, their reception in different markets and the shared borders of freedom to publish and inclusivity.

Continue reading
  3001 Hits

Every Story Matters - an EU project on diversity

header-ESM

Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee talks to Yannick Geens about the European project Every Story Matters.

Continue reading
  2504 Hits

Dutch publishers embracing accessibility

paul-and-sanne

Hugo Setzer, IPA Past President and head of the IPA's Accessibility Working Group spoke to Paul Gillijns and Sanne Walraven of the Dutch Educational Publishers and Dutch General Publishers Associations respectively about their 18 month programme to train publishers in accessibility ahead of the implementation of the European Accessibility Act in 2025.  

Continue reading
  2477 Hits

Changing of the guard on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium

Michiel-Kolman-and-Laura-Brady-Composite

The term of IPA Past President, Dr Michiel Kolman, on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) came to an end last month. The ABC is hosted by WIPO and is part of the practical implementation of the Marakesh Treaty. Michiel has been succeeded by Laura Brady of Canadian publisher, House of Anansi. I asked Michiel about his work on the ABC board and to Laura about her background in accessibility and her hopes for the future.

Continue reading
  7354 Hits

Publishers have helped us inspire 290,000 children to read – but there is still work to do

Inspiring-Readers-student

Our charity, Book Aid International, works for a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve, and change their lives. Every year, we provide around one million brand new books to thousands of libraries, schools, universities, hospitals, refugee camps and prisons around the world where people would otherwise have few books, or no books at all.

The support of publishers is vital to our work. Publishers donate all the books we send, and we hear again and again from our partners and readers around the world that the quality of the books we provide is what makes our charity unique.

We know that simply making books available is not always enough – particularly when it comes to supporting education. That is why in addition to providing books, we also work with our partners to create reading spaces for children in libraries, train teachers and librarians, create school libraries and fund the purchase of local books.

Our largest education programme, Inspiring Readers, has put over 372,473 brand new, publisher donated books into the classrooms of over 290,000 African primary school pupils in Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe and funded the purchase of 50,237 locally published supplementary books for schools. We have found that when vibrant and up to date books are available children are attracted to reading, then learn to read more easily and that reading confidence helps them in other subjects as well.

In addition to supporting pupils’ reading directly, a well-stocked school library creates a world of new resources for teachers and allows them to teach in an exciting way. For example, we’ve heard about teachers using picture books to teach counting and non-fiction books about topics like volcanos or dinosaurs to enrich science lessons.

Continue reading
  2599 Hits

International Publishers Association

23, avenue de France
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
+41 22 704 18 20
info@internationalpublishers.org

Subscribe to our newsletter