African Books Collective (ABC) Update

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ABC has restrategised from 2007, consequent on the end of its Strategic Plan 2002-2006, as foreshadowed in our report to the Africana Librarians Council at ASA, San Francisco. Through two new commercial partnerships, ABC will continue its core strategy to market and distribute indigenously African-published books worldwide. At the same time, funding agency support for 3 years will underpin development work to strengthen the African publishing industry through the collective work of the 114 publishers working together in ABC. Ownership of ABC remains with African publishers; its cultural mission continues.

The new strategy is framed in the context of ABC's cultural mission: disseminating African indigenous knowledge and culture through books, ensuring that the voice of Africa through its scholars and writers is accessible in debates and issues about its own development and future; and supporting African publishers through sales of their books, contributing to cultural, economic, and social development in Africa. That support remains for the preserve of local, rather than multinational, publishers.

Whilst the strategy is maintained, the methodologies have changed, reflecting the rapid and evolving changes in the book supply chain; and the positive impact of new technologies. The greater part of ABC's current list is now available through Print-on-Demand (POD), and future titles will be largely POD, ensuring titles are permanently in stock and readily available. Additionally, select titles are stocked by a leading UK wholesaler, including some titles which are not economic to be POD e.g. colour illustrated art books and long extent law reports.

Michigan State University Press (MSUP) continues as ABC's North American distribution partner. Libraries can continue to order all titles, whether POD or not, through MSUP (for N. America) or ABC (elsewhere). POD titles are also available from the wholesale channels of Lightning Source Inc, and Lightning Source UK. Gardners, the wholesaler based in the UK, stocks selected titles. Anyone wishing to be on the mailing list for new title email alerts should inform Justin Cox, ABC Marketing Manager, at . Standing Orders continue to be handled by Krisia Cook, at

In order to reflect changed accommodation and warehouse needs, ABC has relocated within Oxford to:

African Books Collective Ltd.,
PO Box 721Oxford, OX1 9EN, UK
Tel/fax: +44 (0)1869 349110

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