Self censorship, diversity & inclusion, and ‘American Dirt’: on stage with Jeanine Cummins at Lisbon’s Book 2.0


Actors have an amazing profession: on stage or in a movie they become a character, someone else than their own personality. The sky seems the limit on the roles you can play as an actor: rich or poor, introvert or extrovert, young or old, anything goes. But there are limits: White actors cannot play Black roles, male actors cannot become women on stage. But what about dimensions of diversity which are not so obvious? Can gay actors play straight roles, or the other way around? Not long ago the generally accepted answer would have been: absolutely. But today there is a diversity of opinion here.

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'Challenge each other to do better' - UK Publishers Association on its Inclusivity Action Plan


Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee spoke to Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association (UK) about their Inclusivity Action Plan and their past work on diversity and inclusion. 

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Discussing Women in Publishing at Rio de Janeiro Book Fair 


In September, one of the most significant book events in Brazil took place, the Rio de Janeiro Book Fair (Bienal do Livro do Rio de Janeiro), with record-breaking numbers of attendees and sales, and for the first time, featuring an international Summit for the publishing industry.

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UNESCO World Literacy Day – Literacy for sustainable and peaceful societies


The 8 September marks UNESCO’s World Literacy Day. The theme chosen by UNESCO for this year is Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies. Literacy is the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.

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Pride 2023: time to reflect on the LGBTIQ+ community and our publishing industry

Pride Amsterdam

Earlier this month, the Pride season arrived in my hometown Amsterdam where Elsevier is also headquartered. Two weeks of events to celebrate Pride but also a moment of protest as the LGBTIQ+ community is increasingly under attack globally. We started with a Pride Walk where many Elsevier colleagues joined. Earlier this month we participated in the London Pride Parade and our CEO Kumsal Bayazit also took part. Visibility is important, today more so than ever before. 

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Informing print disabled readers of ebooks accessibility features.


Books are playing a major role in spreading ideas, enriching the culture and turning our democracies into flourishing debated places. No matter whether they are used to escape from our reality or to dive into it, access to books remains a fundamental human right. This right is reinforced by the application of the European Accessibility Act that urges the ebooks ecosystem to comply with accessibility obligations for products and services. This directive creates an inclusive society by ensuring access to ebooks for all European citizens, regardless of their disabilities.

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EDRLab: A digital innovation laboratory for the publishing industry


The European Digital Reading Lab (EDRLab) is a digital innovation laboratory by and for the publishing industry. We are an international, non-profit development laboratory, working on the deployment of an open, interoperable and accessible digital publishing ecosystem, worldwide. We develop technology to accelerate the adoption of digital reading in different forms: text, audio and image.

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10 years of Marrakesh


I write this post while returning home from a board meeting of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) and the celebration of the Marrakesh Treaty’s 10th anniversary at the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, in Geneva.

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Are book returns essential to the book business or is it time to rethink?


No one gets to net zero by themselves. We all recognize the need to work together across the entire book value chain to make our processes more efficient, to reduce waste and recycle and reuse. Yet, one curious area of the book business are book returns. Returning unsold books for credit or refund is considered an essential part of the bookselling business. In the process, we ship books between retailers and warehouses, try and resell return copies and ultimately end up pulping unwanted titles. The latest report from RISE Bookselling, a project led by the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), investigates seven case studies of how book returns work in European and international countries. We reached out to Daniel Martin Brennan and Tora Åsling, Policy Advisor and Policy Officer at the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) for more details. 

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Supporting an industry-wide shift towards universally accessible reading experiences


Arthur Thompson and Martin Klopstock of Kogan Page share their thoughts on the evolution of accessibility following the publication of EPUB3.3.

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10 Years After the Marrakesh Treaty in Mexico


On June 21st, the Mexican Association for Intellectual Property Protection (Asociación Mexicana para la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual) celebrated the discussion forum “Marrakesh Treaty in Mexico. Its Application and Publishing Tools for Accessible Books” (Tratado de Marrakech en México. La aplicación del tratado y herramientas editoriales para ediciones accesibles). The event was hosted by the National Chamber for the Mexican Publishing Industry (Cámara Nacional de la Indistria Editorial Mexicana, CANIEM). It gathered a wide variety of professionals and institutions that talked from different points of view about the current state of the treaty´s provisions in Mexico. 

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Measuring workplace equity – the work of the The Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications


The Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) is running the second implementation of the Workplace Equity Survey (2018) . The 2023 survey is now open and is scheduled to close on 17 July 2023. MIchiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA’s Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee spoke to Simone Taylor, PhD, Publisher and Chief of Publishing Operations at the American Psychiatric Association about the latest survey.

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Sustainability takes centre stage for Dutch publishers

Dutch Publishers Association Seminar on Sustainability

On a bright, sunny day in the centre of Amsterdam, Dutch publishers gathered together to be inspired to take action on climate change. In a historical 19th Century wooden warehouse, in a completely sustainable venue, publishers discussed their own actions and challanges to reach Net Zero. Whilst some were further ahead in their journey, installing solar panels in offices and using sustainabile materials in their book designs. For others, it was the perfect venue to be inspired and launch the new knowledge platform,, to help give practical resources and tools.  We heard from the co-organizers, and sustainability leads, Sanne Walraven and Nienke Bakker about the event and sustainability for Dutch publishers.

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How many ebooks in Europe need an accessible life and how to make it happen?


In the context of the European Accessibility Act publishers are producing more and more accessible ebooks. But many titles were produced before and are still on sale, this is what we call the backlist and it is particularly important because the sales generated by those books can be very low but they remain on sale thanks to the low cost maintenance of digital warehouses. Making backlists accessible can quickly become expensive and challenging when millions of ebooks are concerned.

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Accessible Books Consortium Call for Fellows


The Accessible Books Consortium, a secretariat of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, has an open call for application to their fellowships. Find out more!

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Diversity and Inclusion - A conversation with PRH UK's Val Garside


Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee, spoke to Val Garside, Human Resources Director at Penguin Random House UK about their work on diversity and inclusion.

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Diversity and Inclusion - A conversation with AAP's Jonathan Walker


Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee, spoke to Jonathan Walker, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Association of American Publisher (AAP) about his work.

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World Book & Copyright Day: the origin

Generalitat de Catalunya  |  Credit: DGAC

On 23 April, the world celebrates books, in the words of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), as "one of the most beautiful inventions for sharing ideas and embodying an effective instrument to fight poverty and build sustainable peace.”

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IPA at LBF23: Day 3


A calmer but still bustling Day 3 which was no less important for IPA with the announcement of the 2023 IPA Prix Voltaire shortlist and a vital session on ‘lawfair’ that stifles freedom of expression.

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IPA at LBF23: Day 2


Day 2 of London Book Fair kicked off in two places for IPA. At the fair, IPA President, Karine Pansa, welcomed the Mayor of London for his opening keynote. Just outside the Fair, IPA Vice President, Gvantsa Jobava, was welcoming the IPA’s Copyright Committee, which is chaired by Jessica Sänger and had much to discuss following recent copyright developments around the world. 

Pansa welcomed Khan and his commitment to both London as an international level cultural hub and a more environmentally respectful city. She underlined the dual nature of publishing in tackling the climate crisis - through the books it publishes and the way publishers conduct themselves as businesses. Khan, speaking in conversation with Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association, was keen to underline the need for urgent actions and that Mayors of cities in many countries could be ‘doers’. He spoke of his forthcoming book as a sort of guidebook to move from fatalism and apathy to a action focused approach.

Sustainability was on the Main Stage programming with Sustainability in Books Publishing – What has Been Achieved to Date and What Still Needs to be Done? Back at the Sustainability lounge, there was an update on the progress of the 2030 Accelerator - an initiative of multiple individual publishers and service providers looking to make concrete progress on a number of sustainability issues by June this year. Jörg Engelstädter summarised the session as sharing ideas about the sustainability impact of a book. No two books are the same and not every book is a sustainably produced book.

The Copyright highlight of the day was the prestigious Charles Clark Memorial Lecture. A cooperation between the IPA, FEP, the Publishers Association, the CLA and PLS, the lecture celebrates the memory of the brilliant Charles Clark who spent much of his career focusing his critical mind on the intersection of copyright and technology. 

This year’s lecture was delivered by Dr Andres Guadamuz. In a fascinating (if Llama infested) lecture, Dr Guadamuz had the opportunity to evoke the work of Charles Clark when considering different copyright regimes around the world, noting Clark’s involvement in the development of the CDPA (1988). In his self-deprecating style as an AI TDM Copyright geek whose underground band just became famous, he focused on the questions around authors, authorship and what works can be protected. He shared his belief that licensing would be the solution to limiting litigation, particular around the content used to train AI systems, although he recognized that case law in different jurisdictions could impact that. It was a thoroughly successful lecture and Q&A to a standing room only Focus Theatre.

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