A group of international left-wing independent publishers have formed a new coalition with the goal of supporting each other during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Radical Publishers Alliance came together a few weeks ago when Amanda Crocker, editor of the Canadian house Between the Lines, reached out to a group of radical publishers who usually meet at the Frankfurt Book Fair to see what they could do together to help each other weather the coronavirus storm, explained Anne Rumberger, marketing manager for Verso Books. Since then, that core group has added other publishers, who have been holding regular Zoom meetings to share information on such things as how their publishing programs are adapting to the changing economic climate.
“We've discussed moving pub dates, changing print runs, how to reach readers directly, how to support indie bookstores, best practices for virtual events and how we can support each other's books and events,” Rumberger said
The alliance's first initiative will be #RadicalMay, an online book fair which will feature panel discussions, talks, and teach-ins presented by authors from all of the participating publishers. The fair is being held in partnership with LITERAL, a radical festival of books and ideas that’s held annually in Barcelona. The fair begins May 1, and will continue throughout the month.
About 50 publishers from the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Spain, Catalonia, Basque Country, Italy, Germany, Argentina, and Indonesia will take part in #RadicalMay. North American publishers who are alliance members include AK Press, PM Press, Verso Books (in the U.S. and U.K.), Haymarket Books, the New Press, Seven Stories Press, Beacon Press, the Feminist Press, O/R Books, Between the Lines (Canada), New Society Publishers (Canada), Fernwood Publishing (Canada), and the Evergreen Review/Foxrock Books.
In a statement, the Radical Publishers Alliance said its “aim is to lift up the voices challenging our broken social and economic systems and to come together around radical ideas for a more just and equitable world. By supporting fellow left publishing houses during this dark time, we hope to emerge from the crisis intact and more organized for the long fight against capitalism still ahead of us.”