The IPA's monthly newsletter provides insight and analysis of the global publishing industry.

IPA Newsletter, December 2013

Insight and analysis for publishers, worldwide

Welcome to the December newsletter

This month, we'll update you on copyright concerns in Ireland and Latin America, explore the outlook for India's publishing market, examine the pros and cons of a fixed book price and reveal how science-fiction is shaking up publishing in Saudi Arabia. We encourage you to share the newsletter with friends and colleagues, who can subscribe by clicking here. To receive breaking news stories and regular coverage, you can follow us on LinkedIn here and on Twitter here


Top Stories


Copyright under threat in Ireland, Latin America

On Monday, Ireland's Copyright Reform Commission proposed sweeping changes to national copyright law. Their report, presented at a forum attended by IPA Secretary General Jens Bammel, intends to give Ireland a "competitive advantage" by taking a softer line on copyright. Poorly crafted and unconvincing in its reasoning, the report sets out a new approach to "fair Use" and an "education" exception drafted to give sweeping exceptions for the free use of "work that is available through the internet". IPA will be supporting Irish publishers in their fight to avoid a new fair use doctrine - the Commission's report can be found here.

Meanwhile in Mexico, the Grupo Iberoamericano de editores (GIE) met on 2nd December in Guadalajara. Of major concern to Latin American publishers is the threat posed to their business by the continued widening of copyright exceptions. The GIE is fearful that governments will use the pretext of ratifying the WIPO Marrakech Treaty to bring in other, broader and more damaging exceptions.

Click here for more on these stories.


Jeddah knight: Publishing science-fiction in Saudi Arabia

It isn't easy being a science-fiction publisher in one of the world's most conservative societies. Shortly after Yasser Bahjatt's HWJN became a huge popular hit among Saudi youth, the book was pulled from shelves following claims that the novel promoted devil worship. We spoke with Yasser about his experience, about the challenge of establishing Arab sci-fi as a viable genre, and about using crowd sourcing to develop content and a fan base. 

It's an inspiring story, which you can read here.


London Book Fair is moving (but not far)

Squashing speculation about a possible move to Docklands, the London Book Fair is staying put in West London. With its current home of Earls Court due for demolition, the event's organisers Reed Exhibitions have announced that the Book Fair will move to neighbouring Olympia in 2015, allaying concerns of a relocation to the ExCel Exhibition Centre. Olympia has previously played host to the London Book Fair and the announcement was widely welcomed in publishing circles.

Click here for more details.


Market insight: Publishing in India

We asked Rohit Kumar, President of the Association of Publishers in India and Managing Director of Reed Elsevier India to detail the threats and opportunities facing publishers in one of the world's biggest markets. He described an upbeat mood thanks to double-digit growth and increased demand, and revealed significant differences between the country's trade and education sectors. Publishers' main concerns revolve around piracy, distribution channel issues, copyright infringement and taxation, but with Indians enthusiastically embracing tablets and smart-phones, there is huge potential to grow the digital sector in particular.

Click here to read Rohit's analysis of the fast-growing, fast-changing Indian market.

Fixed Book Price: exploring the pros and cons

In a bid to bolster Quebec's book industry, the province's Minister of Culture has proposed to table a bill for a fixed book price (FBP) law. Other countries have been down that road before. France and Germany are among the countries with an FBP in place, while the UK and Sweden abolished theirs for being anti-competitive. We spoke to Christine de Mazières and Catherine Blache at the Syndicat National de l'Edition about the French experience with FBP and how it has affected publishing, distribution channels and reading habits.

You can read the interview here. For a contrarian perspective from Mexico, click here


Survey: What it's really like to work in publishing

A new industry survey from Quill & Quire sheds light on what it's like to work in publishing in 2013. The survey, undertaken in Canada, shows people are largely content (78% describe their job satisfaction as "very good", "excellent" or "good") despite stagnating salaries and a lack of promotion prospects. Worryingly, 31% of respondents who have worked in publishing for 3-10 years expect to have left the sector in 2 years' time. The survey also reveals a disturbing gender bias: 75% of the publishing workforce is female but women only hold 52% of senior management roles, earning on average 18% less than men.

Click here for the full story.




IPA Freedom to Publish Prize 2014: last call for nominations!

Every two years, the IPA Freedom to Publish Prize is awarded for courage in upholding freedom of expression and freedom to publish. The 2014 award includes a cash prize of 20,000 Swiss francs and will be presented during the 30th IPA Congress in Bangkok on 27th March 2014. We need your help in ensuring it goes to a worthy recipient. If you would like to nominate a person or organisation who has made a notable contribution to the defence and promotion of freedom to publish, contact IPA Policy Director Jose Borghino on

Click here to download a nomination form and here to view pictures of previous winners.


Coming up in 2014 - publishing intelligence and insight from the IPA

Watch out for country-specific market reports and interviews with publishing innovators around the world. Make sure you don't miss our regular updates: click here to follow us on LinkedIn and here to follow us on Twitter. 


Focus on India

Double-digit growth, increasing demand and a public embracing digital devices. Read our analysis of the Indian publishing sector here.


IPA Congress 2014

25 to 27 March 2014, Bangkok

Publishers from around the world will attend the 30th IPA Congress for high-level, strategic discussions about the future of the industry, discussing innovative business models and growth opportunities. The early bird discount expires Dec 31st - be smart and book your place here.


What Works 2

Our What Works 2 event on 10th April 2014 in London brings policy-makers, publishers, teachers and technologists together to discuss the future of educational publishing. Details here.

International Publishers Association
23, avenue de France
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 704 1820