Is the search for creativity more important than the guarantee of success ? A complex path for publishing house

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Olivier COHEN

Founder and CEO, Éditions de l'Olivier

Seminar Creation | Tuesday May 10, 2011 - 8h45 - 11h

'A publisher is a person who publishes books no-one wants to read.' The publisher Olivier Cohen can easily identify with this description of his profession. He describes his job as a pioneer and mediator. He must do his best to convince an otherwise indifferent public that an unknown author is worth reading, hoping that a few years later his books will be in demand. Unfortunately, this is not what happens in practice in large publishing houses which publish and market best sellers on a massive scale. Neither is it in keeping with the picture of a small, brilliant publisher, shut away in his attic on the verge of bankruptcy. The Éditions de l'Olivier is an independent subsidiary of the Éditions du Seuil. After several structural changes (as an independent unit, and being integrated into the group), it has managed to build a model which combines literary expectations, profitability and practical day-to-day operation. This is a model which reflects its founder's vision, but it must learn to exist without him.

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This session was published in issue n°91 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Faire face.

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