Frequently asked questions
What does IPA do?
The International Association of Publishers (IPA) is a federation of national, regional and specialist publishers’ associations. IPA is the voice of the publishing industry around the world. Global publishing issues include freedom to publish, copyright, digital publishing, literacy promotion and standards development. Key policy areas are overseen by IPA Working Committees: Copyright Committee, Freedom to Publish Committee, Literacy and Book Committee, Educational Publishers Forum and Membership Committee. You can find more information on the activities of the committees in the annual report available here.
What international organisations does IPA work with?
IPA has permanent observer status to UN agencies through its observer status with ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council). IPA has close working relations with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and other international agencies. IPA also partners with international, regional and specialized NGOs, IFFRO (International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations), EDItEUR, IFLA (the International Federation of Libraries and Institutions), the International Authors Forum, the International Booksellers Federation etc .
How can I become a member?
IPA has publishers associations as members, either as affiliate or as full members. Each country should only be represented by one national member. It is not possible for individual publishers to become a member.
Where can I find a list of IPA members?
A complete list of IPA members with their contact details is available online.
What is the IPA Educational Publishers Forum (EPF)?
The Educational Publishers Forum, launched by IPA in 2009, brings together professional education publishers from all over the world. The Forum aims to share experiences regarding the evolution of learning resources, with a special focus on the application of technology and the impact on classroom pedagogy. In addition to this, the EPF gathers statistical data on the learning resources markets in individual countries and collects information about resource delivery platforms, learning management systems and open learning initiatives. The Forum holds four meetings each year, one during the Frankfurt Book Fair and the others in rotating venues, usually at the invitation of IPA’s members. Delegates from 25 countries have participated in the EPF so far.
Who can participate in the Educational Publishers Forum (EPF)?
What is Freedom to Publish?
Freedom to publish means the freedom of a publisher to choose freely the content he or she wishes to publish without interference by government. It is a combination of freedom of expression, freedom from censorship (whether direct or indirect) and freedom of enterprise, i.e. the individual publisher’s freedom to invest, employ, commission, contract, distribute and choose business models without government interference. Freedom to Publish is a prerequisite for a thriving publishing industry, which is itself an essential part of a democratic society and a basis for a knowledge economy. Freedom of expression is one of IPA’s major concerns:, the IPA Freedom to Publish is awarded to a person or an association for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of freedom to publish anywhere in the world. To find out more about freedom to publish, and what IPA does in this field, please take a look at the Freedom to Publish section on the IPA’s website.
What is the IPA Congress?
IPA Publishers Congresses have been held by IPA since its inception in 1896. They provide a platform for discussion among publishers from around the world on key industry issues, challenges and opportunities.
Since 2012, the IPA has organised an international Publishers Congress every two years in cooperation with one of its member associations. The next IPA Publishers Congress will take place in Bangkok on 24-26 March 2015, while the last, 29th Congress was held in Cape Town, South Africa on 12-14 June 2012. It attracted more than 200 participants from 35 countries. In the past, IPA used to organise alternatively an international Congress, or an international Copyright Symposium.
What is the 'What Works?' conference?
Since 2013 the IPA has organized an annual international education conference in partnership with the London Book Fair. During the event, original research and teachers’ needs are discussed, as well as tech solutions and their actual impact on education. The programme features speakers from the World Bank, the OECD, UNESCO and the European Commission and from the publishing and academic world. To find out more about past editions of 'What Works?', please visit that section of the IPA website.
I wrote a book and I want to get published, what should I do?
Publishers exist to help skilled and talented writers reach their audiences. The success of a publisher depends on identifying demand for certain books and finding, carefully selecting and supporting the authors who can write those books, whether in paper or digital formats.
Authors should therefore take equally great care in identifying publishers whose catalogue matches the kind of books the authors writes and to persuade him that the author is best able to write such works. This is a difficult, and rarely successful process. For more information see:
I had my book published in my country, and I would like to publish it abroad. What should I do?
If you have published a book with a traditional publisher, your contract will determine whether you or the publisher own the right to sell the foreign rights to your book. Foreign rights agreement will often include the right to translate the text, and to produce, print and distribute the book in an agreed country or region.
Traditionally publishers meet at special book fairs to buy and sell such rights. The most famous books fairs include those in Frankfurt, London, Paris, Bologna (for children’s books), Tokyo, Beijing and Moscow. Smaller book fairs, such as those in Sharjah or Seoul, may provide a road into a specific national market.
What do publishers do in the digital environment?
Publishers are not printers, and producing printed copies has only ever been a small part of the publishing process, and of the costs incurred in publishing. Professional publishers deal with every stage of the publication, from acquisition of rights, paying of advances to support the author, to copy-editing, design and production, enhancements for e-publication, design, layout, foreign and subsidiary right.to distribution and marketing. For a short introduction on how publishers work, please watch this informative video.
I have a dispute with a publishing house. Can IPA help?
IPA and its member associations do not involve themselves in contractual disputes involving individual publishing houses. Some national publishers associations publish best practice regarding the author/publisher relationship. You should research your national publishers’ association website for more information.