A service for universities, higher education establishments and research organisations
FMSH-Distribution distributes books published by the various university presses to bookshops, large book and culture stores and online sales outlets, as well as selling directly to individuals. Since 1 January 2015, it has also distributed electronic works produced by the university presses.
Promoting and distributing to bookshops
Since 1981, FMSH has provided both these services within its promotion and distribution centre (CID). CID was set up to cater for the specific features of university presses and works together with all the different service providers involved in the book world: purchasing departments, carriers, online platforms and trade services. In 2015, CID worked with 46 university presses and public sector publishers.
In keeping with its public interest work, FMSH Distribution handles all works, even those with a slow turnaround.
Selling to the public
While traditional bookshops are still important sales outlets for university presses, they do not give their catalogues sufficient visibility, as the bookshops’ display areas cannot cater for their vast output.
Le Comptoir des presses d’universités (University Press Book Store) was set up to give all the university presses a visible presence. It brings together 23,500 titles and the catalogues of just under 60 publishers on one website (www.lcdpu.fr). It is a well-known and highly-regarded outlet. Two members of the FMSH Distribution staff do the work of inputting the metadata for the works and ensuring they comply with the ONIX international metadata exchange standard, making the website a powerful document database.
The titles are also sold through the Amazon marketplace, in the flesh at Le Comptoir des Presses on rue Claude Bernard, in Paris’ 5th arrondissement, and at science and culture events (such as the Paris book fair, Rendez-vous de l’histoire Festival at Château de Blois, or the art book and periodical fair at Château de Fontainebleau).
As an alternative means of promoting the works, Le Comptoir des presses takes them out of their academic context and organises presentations, where the books are discussed by their author or by a speaker or presenter. This formula is less academic than a seminar or symposium and is proving a great success, attracting a following not only among the audiences but also among the authors and publishers themselves.
More and more university presses have made the switch to digital technology and are offering their books in multiple formats. Selling these works is a complex operation, as there are so many e-distributors and contracts tend to be non-exclusive. FMSH-Distribution has therefore come up with a service whereby it acts as middle-man between publishers and e-distributors, making their task much simpler. It organises the works published by the presses and provides centralised electronic distribution. FMSH-Distribution has signed contracts with three e-distributors: Dawsonera (for distribution to French-speaking university libraries), Ebrary (for distribution to English-speaking libraries), and Immatériel (to online book stores and ‘pure players’). The first contracts with publishers were signed in January 2015 and ten of them are already having their electronic books distributed via this channel, including the National School of Library and Information Science (Presses de l’Enssib), L’école normale supérieure teacher training university (ENS Éditions) and the presses of Blaise-Pascal University, Rouen University and Le Havre University.
Director: Stéphane Montouchet
Le Comptoir des presses d'universités
18 rue Robert-Schuman
94227 Charenton-le-Pont Cedex
Phone:(0033-1) 53 48 56 30
Fax:(0033-1) 53 48 20 95