France: Arnaud Nourry’s Les Nouveaux Éditeurs in Deal With S&S

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Arnaud Nourry’s independent publishing collective in France opens with a first-look arrangement with Jonathan Karp’s Simon & Schuster.

Arnaud Nourry. Image: Les Nouveaux Éditeurs

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Karp: ‘Extending Our Reach Into a Major Market’
In rapid succession, news today (June 12) has arrived—first of Arnaud Nourry in Paris forming a collective of independent publishers, Les Nouveaux Éditeurs,  and second of Jonathan Karp and Simon & Schuster in New York announcing a first-look agreement for book acquisitions and, potentially, bidding together for series, multi-book buys, and licenses.

Publishing Perspectives readers will recall that Karp in May announced a multifaceted acquisition in the Netherlands, with Utrecht’s Veen Bosch & Keuning (VBK) coming aboard as the consortium it is, tucking 13 Dutch and Belgian publishing houses into S&S’ rapidly—and, per Karp, purposefully—growing portfolio of international assets.

In this case, Nourry’s company is a consortium of sorts, too, described as “an independent, free-standing, and innovative group of publishing houses, dedicated to the service of authors, publishers, and creative talents of the French publishing industry.”

Something like the leap that (Simon & Schuster board member) Madeline McIntosh has made from CEO of Penguin Random House USA to co-founding Authors Equity, Nourry now is catapulting himself from his former berth as CEO of Hachette Livre—like McIntosh toward independence, not into deeper corporate channels.

In a prepared comment, Nourry says to the press, “I am excited by the prospect of launching  this great project. Les Nouveaux Éditeurs is a long-term undertaking, as befits a business  based on talents that depend on a sustainable commitment to achieve success. Kinship, like-mindedness, freedom, the long run, innovation, profitability are the words that come to  mind as we launch Les Nouveaux Éditeurs.”

Jonathan Karp

Karp, in talking about the new S&S arrangement with Les Nouveaux Éditeurs, says, “Arnaud Nourry is one of the most dynamic and respected leaders in both French and international publishing.

“We’re full of joie de vivre as we join what promises to be a significant and exciting new publishing enterprise, and to be extending our reach into a major market in which reading and literary culture are valued to an extraordinary degree.”

And Nourry says, “Jonathan Karp and I go back a long way. … Jonathan is an outstanding publisher who runs the powerhouse that Simon & Schuster has become with authority and skill. As a leader on the American market, he wanted to extend his reach internationally at a time when I was planning the launch of Les Nouveaux Éditeurs. Talk about planets being aligned. The fact that this partnership is based on friendship makes it all the more propitious.”

Simon & Schuster’s arrangement includes adult and children’s content, as well as illustrated and/or graphic titles. Each company will have the first opportunity to acquire projects for its market which satisfy certain parameters and for which the other company has acquired world rights. The agreement also provides for the two publishers to join forces in auctions.

‘Essential Commitments’

Much as McIntosh, Don Weisberg, and Nina von Moltke have laid out a four-point set of “core principles” for Authors Equity, Nourry’s Les Nouveaux Éditeurs is naming six “essential commitments” by which he envisions publishers working to develop editorial projects “free of interference of any kind and in full  support of their authors’ work, in an entrepreneurial culture combining the best of what a modern, professional environment has to offer and the ’boutique’ spirit so many authors  appreciate.”

Nourry’s six commitments, as announced today to the news media, are described as:

  • “Independence and entrepreneurship by granting publishing talents a substantial  minority stake in their publishing house as a means to guarantee their editorial  freedom;
  • “Transparency and fairness by offering ‘best in class’ contracts in terms of time span, transparency, payment schedules, and quality of service;
  • “Sustainability and ecosystem friendliness by supporting bookstores with streamlined production and bespoke customer service;
  • “Diversity and accessibility by publishing books that meet readers’ highest expectations across all ages, opinions, cultures, and religious beliefs, and by reaching out to non-readers;
  • “Innovation by applying leading edge technologies, including AI, to production, marketing and distribution, from print runs to promotion and publicity;
  • “Leadership by being a trailblazer in workplace and environmental practices in order to become the industry’s preferred employer.”

Les Nouveaux Éditeurs’ shareholders are listed today as:

  • Nourry in the capacity of chair and CEO
  • Olivier Sulpice
  • Stéphane Distinguin
  • Ugo Nourry
  • Erik Maris
  • Emmanuelle Guilbart
  • Ronald  Blunden

More from Publishing Perspectives on Simon & Schuster is here, more on international publishing is here, more on the France’s market is here, more on the United States market is here, and more on international rights and licensing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.