What do publishers nowadays ?
Like the wine-growers and farmers who guarantee the origins of their products, protecting tradition and their special know-how with the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée label, when a publishing house puts its label on a work, it is guaranteeing the quality of the content and endorsing the skills of every link in the book chain. [A.O.C.]
The publisher, an entrepreneur working on behalf of society and culture
The job of a publisher does not consist of merely bringing together a work and its readers. There’s the financial risk the publishing house takes when it publishes a work, and its team makes a very real contribution throughout the process, all the way from the original concept to the sale, with special input depending on the sector involved.
This multi-faceted organisation provides readers with trustworthy resources for entertainment, education, culture, work…
The publisher’s job consists of:
- Responding to the needs of society and the new reading habits.
- Revitalising cultural communication by creating labels with a strong identity, collections, and new projects.
- Bringing texts, images, theses, and stories to the public… and investing the necessary funds.
- Publishing and supporting authors, while protecting the rights of all parties. 4 Validating meaning, structuring content, and guaranteeing form.
- Providing books in every available format – print and digital…
- Distributing works to libraries, promoting them to the media and readers, and having them indexed in bibliographic databases.
- Remunerating players all along the book chain
- … and paying special attention to the reactions, criticisms, and opinions of the readers.
In many cases, the publisher is also the head of a business, with all the responsibilities that entails.
Publishers are there to listen to everyone with a project and every reader, and are happy to be contacted by post or through social networks.
How to find a publisher or distributor in Belgium ?
Finding an editor is not always easy for an author, especially when it comes to publish a first novel. ADEB provides on its website an online directory containing a large number of publishers of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. This directory presents the editors and informs their specialties and their contact details.
Before sending a manuscript, it is strongly recommended to target publishing houses whose editorial line is closest to the content of the book that you want to publish.
Note that ADEB is a professional association, not a publishing house; it is therefore useless to send manuscripts. These will not be read or passed on to anyone else. It is not the responsibility of ADEB to advise publishers or to recommend authors to them.
ADEB is not either a bookstore or a distributor. Therefore, it will not be able to send you books.
You are a professional publisher or distributor but you do not appear in our directory? Do not hesitate to report it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What obligations do publishers have ?
There are certain legal obligations a publisher must follow whilst working in the industry.
Written contracts for authors, illustrators…
The law concerning copyright and the similar rights of 30 June 1994 specified the conditions in which a publisher can acquire the copyright : the contract, which must be written, must contain several specifities, notably when dealing with the extent of the acquired rights. In addition, the acquisition of certain right is limited, in particular rights of future works.
Legally Registering Copyrights
The legalisation on registering established copyrights, since the 1st January 1966, has outlined the obligitory registration of copyrights at the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique (the Royal Library of Belgium), involving two types of publications :
- Published since this date in Belgium (books and periodicals of at least 5 pages).
- Published abroad but whose author or one of the authors is Belgian and is living in Belgium.
Registration of copyrights takes place at the following address :
Service du Dépôt légal
Bld de l’Empereur, 4 – 1000 Bruxelles
Tél : 02/519 53 74
What is the ISBN number ?
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) used for books (and the ISSN for journals) allows one to identify, together with the printed production, every publication, whatever it is. This measure is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended.
This can be obtained at:
AFNIL (Agence francophone de numérotation internationale du livre)
rue Grégoire de Tours, 35 – 75006 Paris
Tél : +33-1-44 41 29 19
How does a publisher or a distributor become a member of ADEB ?
All professional Belgian publishers/distributors can apply to become a member of ADEB.
The statutes of the association provide that:
- May be admitted as « full members », natural persons of Belgian nationality (having their seat in Belgium), or legal persons having their seat in Belgium, who regularly publish books in French, whatever their support.
- « Adherent members » may be admitted without enjoying the rights of effective membership, natural persons domiciled in Belgium or legal persons having their registered office in Belgium, who, while meeting the qualifications listed above, have only occasional publisher activity, as well as natural persons domiciled in Belgium, but of foreign nationality, and legal persons having their head office abroad and a head office or a representative office in Belgium.
- Members of book distributors or associations whose purpose is the promotion of the book may also be admitted as members.
- The ADEB Board of Directors decides on the admission of new partners, new members and honorary members.
To become a member, the candidate must send a written request to the president of the Association. He should mention the date of the founding of his firm, the composition of its Board of Directors, the list of a selection of publications he edited and he intends to edit, the name and address of a member, of Belgian nationality, of his firm, to which he delegates the powers to represent him within the Association.
For any further information, do not hesitate to contact ADEB (email@example.com – +32 2 241 65 80).