BarCamp 2.0

How publishing communities help keep in touch during a pandemic


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As part of BarCamp 2.0, Emma House, an international expert with many years of experience who advises publishing associations, book fairs and other organizations related to the publishing sector, spoke about the new initiatives. In 2020 Emma co-founded «Publishers without borders», a Facebook community, in response to the pandemic alongside colleagues from all over the world.

Importance of communities in the publishing sector

Publishing is a people industry — business is done based on personal knowledge, insights and relationships, both domestically and internationally.


Publishing is also a very generous industry — it shares knowledge, skills and insights. It is an industry that likes to help itself.  More importantly, it builds a friendship.


Community exists in different forms and levels. Examples of Global publishing communities:


  • International Publishers Association;
  • Alliance Internationale des Éditeurs Indépendants;
  • Frankfurter Buchmesse.


Examples of UK Publishing Communities:


  • Independent Publishers Guild;
  • Book Machine;
  • The London Book Fair;
  • Society of Young Publishers.


New Publishing Communities:


  • Publishers without Borders presents new ways of working;
  • PublisHer presents new themes;
  • Sharjah international Book fair presents New Locations.


Publishers Without Borders — a dynamic platform created on Facebook on March 28, 2020, of 4000+ publishing professionals around the world who share ideas, challenges, and issues that concern our industry.

Publishers Without Borders Admin team

  • Simon de Jocas — Education consultant and President in “Edition Les 400 coups”; Canada.
  • Emma House — International Publishing Consultant in “Oreham Group”; United Kingdom.
  • Prashant Pathak — Publisher and Rights Director in “Fingerprint Publishing” and “Wonder House”; India;
  • Fatimah Abbas — International Publishing and Literary Consultant in “FALA”; Egypt.

Objectives of Publishers Without Borders

  1. Keep in touch during lockdowns – periods of no book fairs;
  2. Make new publishing friends and have fun;
  3. Find out about new markets;
  4. Discuss current topics and friends.

Group rules — important to manage expectations and posts

  • Marketing collateral;
  • Be kind and courteous;
  • No hate speech or bullying;
  • No promotion or spam;
  • Respect everyone’s privacy.

Location Dynamics

Publishers Without Borders is culturally and geographically diverse. Having people from different countries of the world, each with his/her own culture and language, helped us learn about different cultures and backgrounds that we did not know much about.

Top countries according to the amount of members

  • United Kingdom – 479
  • United States – 321
  • France – 251
  • India – 192
  • Germany – 191
  • Canada – 163
  • Italy – 163
  • Spain – 149
  • Netherlands – 114
  • Egypt – 114
  • Turkey – 98
  • Sweden – 74


As of November 1, 2021, there are 66% of females and 34% of males in the average age of 35-44 years old.


What the community have done

Over 30 live sessions with industry experts speaking up on diverse topics.


  • Country focus sessions: Canada, Sweden, India, Southeast Asia, Arab Countries, Italy, Switzerland, Georgia, Mexico, Iceland, Romania, Baltic Countries etc.
  • All day open sessions: World Book and Copyrights Day.
  • Fellowships: with fellowship organizers;
  • Live Sessions: covering APNET and SDGs;
  • Live interviews: with IPA Past/Present Presidents and Vice Presidents;
  • Live Events: Diversity and Inclusion, European Union Prize for Literature, European Literature Network;
  • Live sessions: covering IPA Prix Voltaire Award Ceremony.
  • PublisHer initiative: Presenting women in Publishing;
  • KidLit: A talk with translators around the world.

Mentorship program

A partnership program that connects people who have specific skills and knowledge mentors with individuals protégés who need or want the same skills and advantages to move up in work, skill level, or industry performance.


Around 30 registered mentors so far.

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