Editions Albin Michel

Article

January 21, 2022

Éditions Albin Michel is an independent French publishing group, founded in 1902 by Albin Michel and directed by Francis Esménard, grandson of the founder. It is one of the ten largest French publishers.

History

On January 21, 1902 in Paris, Albin Michel, publisher, and Félicien Champsaur signed the first book bearing this mark, it was the novel L'Arriviste, which was released the following May and enjoyed success, with tens of thousands copies sold. Former manager of a “Flammarion et Vaillant” bookstore located on avenue de l'Opéra, Albin Michel had just gone on his own, opening his own retail bookstore with Adolphe Forgeot in Paris, then another in Bordeaux. In October 1904, in agreement with Flammarion, which retains ownership of the works of Georges Courteline, Albin Michel launches a collection of which one volume will appear each week, “Les Œuvres de Georges Courteline” at 30 centimes each; it is actually paperback printed on a rotary press, a technique similar to that of the press booklet, which makes it possible to lower the unit price and thus target the greatest number. The house then launched the “Novel-success at 0.95 centimes” collection, imposing itself on this niche of inexpensive books. In 1910, it set up its offices at 22 rue Huyghens. The publishing house opened up to children's literature in the 1910s with the aim of diversifying its audiences. In July 1912, she launched her first magazine, Le Bon-Point amusing. Well Behaved Children's Journal. During the First World War, she bought her first funds from publishers (Henri Letellier, Geisler), then won the Goncourt prize in 1917 with La Flamme au poing by Henry Malherbe. From 1920, the house experienced strong growth with the success of L'Atlantide by Pierre Benoit, a bestseller of the time. In 1921 and 1922, new Goncourt prizes with Batouala by René Maran, then with two novels by Henri Béraud. Among the other authors that this house has helped to make known and who have brought it success are Romain Rolland, Henri Barbusse, Roland Dorgelès, Henri Pourrat, Vercors, Robert Sabatier, then Didier Van Cauwelaert, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Patrick Cauvin, Violaine Vanoyeke, Yasmina Reza, Bernard Werber, Amélie Nothomb, Morgane Ortin and, among foreign authors, Daphne du Maurier, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King or Thomas Harris. Since 1992, Albin Michel has published about 450 new titles a year (against a hundred in 1967). France's fourth largest publishing group, its authors regularly rank among the best sellers. At the beginning of July 2021, Lise Boëll decided to leave the publishing house after it announced that it would not publish Éric Zemmour's next book. With authors like Éric Zemmour and Philippe de Villiers, she had, according to Le Monde, chained bookstore successes. She had notably published doctor Frédéric Saldmann (500,000 copies with his book The best medicine is you!), oncologist David Khayat, presenter Stéphane Bern, essayist Eric Naulleau, its authors representing 12% to 13% of the publishing house's turnover.

Strategy and governance

Since the 1920s, Albin Michel has formed an editorial group, buying house funds over the decades, associating with others, developing his professions, adding practical, educational and university books to literature, as well as comics, etc. Since 1982, the group has also controlled its distribution-dissemination and has a network of bookstores, which allows it to maintain its independence and preserve one of the main relays for the distribution of books. Thus, in early 2014, Albin Michel launched a new acquisition strategy by acquiring seven bookstores (Paris, Châlons and

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