Together to enjoy and stand together in Solidarity – Publishers without Borders

Together Simon & Prashant have created- Publishers Without Borders, a Facebook group, which connects with publishers in an informative and interactive manner. In twenty days they have more than 2000 + members, Prashant Pathak (Publisher – Wonder House Books) shares his views on connecting and creating a community bonding.

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AABP– The idea of “Publishers without Borders”?

Prashant– It started with an idea of a small Facebook group chat by Simon De Jocas – President at Éditions Les 400 coups Montreal Canada. It was Simon’s idea to have a small group of publishers and people from publishing houses /associations come together to discuss current situations and lockdown and how it is impacting each region.

This was later moved as a Facebook group where I volunteered to help Simon in managing and running the group as I had previous experience of running social media campaigns when I was running my own digital marketing company.

We want people to be together and consider this group as something similar to post book fair day events in London, Bologna, Frankfurt etc. We meet here to share few things and go back to our own work. This is just our little happy place where we are meeting without any inhibitions and sharing what we are reading, cooking, eating, listening and watching.

AABP– You views on crossing 2000 members, in just about two weeks?

Prashant– We have never thought of numbers, however, looking at the first two days of starting the group and interest, I was very sure that we will touch the 2000 mark. This number could have been 3000-4000+ by now but we got very selective in letting people in after we reached 500 members.

AABP– The benefits of such a platform.

Prashant– This platform is for social connection and also provides our members a platform to share, debate and argue on things they feel should be discussed. As Admins – like me, Emma, Simon & Fatimah we on side always discuss what else we can put forward to make the group more interactive.

We have had few live events already like The International Publishers Association President – Hugo Setzer was live with us to discuss and answer questions of group members on the current scenario and the role IPA is playing in coordination with all Publishing Associations across the globe.

We also had live session from Elena Pasoli – Director Bologna Children Book Fair and Jon Malinowski – President pubmatch talking about how Bologna in such dire circumstances decided to take book fair virtual till the end of this year. This was really unique and also had live questions from audience. Further also telecasted on Bologna’s Facebook page which garnered over 2000+ views as of now.
This group is full of colours and posts which make members feel happy, sad, excited, involved. Overall creating a strong community bonding.

AABP– How can a Publishing professional become a member?

Prashant– It’s very simple- go to our group page, which is:https://www.facebook.com/groups/publisherswithoutborders request to join the group and answer one simple question. If we are clear with your response to the question -you are in, if we are not then – we decline, which gives the user another round to request to join and answer the question in detail.

AABP– What are the rules of the group?

Prashant– This group is strictly meant for people to interact socially and we forbid any commercial or business activity. We request people not to share any work-related details even their own Facebook pages. We encourage people to share their thoughts and opinions and support endeavours of the International Publishers Association and their associated members in every country.

AABP– Its lively, interactive with knowledge sharing sessions, what more sessions can members expect?

Prashant– We have a lot in pipeline for this month starting with the celebration of the “World Book & Copyright Day” on 23rd April where we are running a day long LIVE Zoom Session which allows any member to drop in anytime and discuss the topics they like to discuss or just say a quick “HI”. We will also be running few discussions the same day and will be bringing in more people from the industry to talk about the road ahead. We have planned our schedule till first week of May-so keep a watch!

AABP– Anything else you will like to add.

Prashant– We have created this place to discuss what we love the most, which is “Publishing”. Once we are back to our regular work, we will try and find ways to keep the group interesting. I will quote, Simon here on what he says about the group: “ it’s very similar to the virus it has its effects once it’s over it might exist in some corner or simply will just vanish in thin air.” Till then we are together to enjoy and stand together in solidarity.

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