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 get into the white literature segment (which does not fall under a particular genre, Editor’s note), which is the showcase, the reference for all publishers“, Romain Naudin, editorial director of Faubourg Marigny, a house which will publish its first two novels in March, told AFP.
It is backed by a group, La Geste, located in Deux-Sèvres, which has created six other labels in recent years, such as the Presses Universitaires de Nouvelle-Aquitaine (research) or Marmaille & Compagnie (youth).
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That this group lost nearly a third of turnover in 2020 did not discourage him: “On the contrary, we have seen this citizen reflex of the French who rushed into their bookstore when it was open. I didn’t even hope to see this in my life. We had been told so often, in the 2000s, that digital technology was going to take everything in its path …“Says Mr. Naudin.
Faubourg Marigny intends 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 invited herself directly to the table of the great of the Parisian edition. His first title, “Name, Baudelaire!“by Jean Teulé, in October, was placed on the podium of the best-selling books in France.
– “Know how to do everything” –
Behind this newcomer, two seasoned editors who came from another house, Julliard: Betty Mialet and Bernard Barrault. “Bernard and I didn’t 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 got serious“, says Ms. Mialet.
These premises are in the heart of the left bank, Place de l’Odéon. And Mialet-Barrault has become a subsidiary of Flammarion, itself integrated into the Madrigall group (Gallimard, POL, Casterman, etc.). And authors followed – Philippe Jaenada, Yasmina Khadra, Mazarine Pingeot, Lionel Duroy – by leaving Julliard and therefore its parent company Editis (Vivendi group).
“The reader does not care about the publisher, he is looking for an author. But a label matters. And that, at Editis, they did not understand it well“, according to the editor.
At the other end of the spectrum, the little ones need to 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 be released in May, is an account of the First World War, “The Great War at 18“, by the young soldier Paul Pourcelot, reviewed by his son Léandre.
“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’s true that it’s exhausting, but it’s also a joy, with the idea that we will perhaps contribute something, this story of a being apart, I was going to say my soldier, who was a man of such character!“, explains 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 the writing. We are not the best known, and we receive ten manuscripts a day“, relève Betty Mialet.
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