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News from the world: The book is going well, the proof: publishing houses are created

What do the restrictions matter, as long as you want to?

Books, in a cultural sector hit hard, withstood the health crisis relatively well, as illustrated by the creation of publishing houses.
Large, small and medium, all are the babies of enthusiasts who hope to find a place in a crowded market. There are nearly 200 publications every day in France, from 7,000 different houses.
“We wanted to embark on the segment of white literature (which does not relate to a particular genre, Editor’s note), which is the showcase, the reference for all editors,” says AFP Romain Naudin, editorial director of Faubourg Marigny, a house which will publish its first two novels in March.
It is backed by a group, La Geste, located in Deux-Svres, which has created six other labels in recent years, such as the University Press of Nouvelle-Aquitaine (research) or Marmaille & Compagnie (youth).
That this group lost nearly a third of turnover in 2020 did not discourage him: “On the contrary, we saw this citizen reflex of the French who rushed into their bookstore when it was open. ‘I did not even hope to see in my life. We had been told so often, in the 2000s, that digital was going to take everything in its path … “, says Mr. Naudin.
Faubourg Marigny is expected to be a medium-sized house, with a dozen novels per year, by authors who will not make the front pages of magazines or the rounds of television.
More ambitious, Mialet-Barrault directly invited itself to the table of the great of the Parisian edition. His first title, “Crnom, Baudelaire!” by Jean Teul, in October, was placed on the podium of the best-selling books in France.
– “Know how to do everything” –
Behind this new arrival, two experienced editors who came from another house, Julliard: Betty Mialet and Bernard Barrault. “Bernard and I, we did not want to retire. It all started with a joke from Antoine Gallimard, who told us that he found us premises when we wanted. And then it became serious”, says Mrs Mialet.
These premises are in the heart of the left bank, place de l’Odon. And Mialet-Barrault has become a subsidiary of Flammarion, itself part of the Madrigall group (Gallimard, POL, Casterman, etc.). And authors have followed? Philippe Jaenada, Yasmina Khadra, Mazarine Pingeot, Lionel Duroy? by leaving Julliard and therefore its parent company Editis (Vivendi group).
“The reader does not worry about the publisher, he is looking for an author. But a label has to count. And at Editis, they did not understand it well”, according to the editor.
At the other end of the spectrum, the little ones must arm themselves with unwavering faith. This is the case of Marina Anca, who creates a house she calls Blinkline, “without any public aid”.
Its first title, to appear in May, is an account of the First World War, “The Great War 18 years”, by the young soldier Paul Pourcelot, reviewed by his son Landre.
“Alone in a publishing house, you have to know how to do everything: writing, layout, sales, accounting, a website, order management and sending invoices, negotiating contracts with channels, etc. It is true that it is powerful, but it is also a happiness, with the idea that we will perhaps contribute something, this story on the one hand, I was going to say my soldier, who was a man of such character! “says Marina Anca.
The certainty that all these houses have in common is that the raw material – the texts to be published – will never fail.
“The confinement had this effect of freeing writing. We are not the best known, and we receive ten manuscripts a day,” notes Betty Mialet.

About Imants Liepinsh – 2021 AFP

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