Promoting and distributing to bookshops

The dissemination and distribution of 46 university presses and public sector publishers

Promoting a book means publicising it to the various sales networks, bookshops, wholesalers and trading groups in order to obtain orders. This work is done through visits by sales reps and by sending publicity materials and metadata (data defining or describing a book, whether in printed or digital format – title, author, ISBN, etc.).

Distribution refers to all the services connected with the books’ physical movements (storage and transportation to the various sales outlets) and managing the associated financial transactions (handling orders and returns, invoicing and recovery).

Promotion and distribution are the hidden but vital links in the book’s supply chain, which ensure that printed published works reach their readers. These services are carried out by a special department.


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: École nationale des Chartes (National School of Palaeography and Archival Studies), ENS Éditions (L’école normale supérieure teacher training university), University of Grenoble Literary and Linguistic Press (Éditions littéraires et linguistiques de l’université de Grenoble), Blaise-Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Nancy and Strasbourg University presses, Reims University Press and Publications, New Sorbonne Press, National School of Library and Information Science (Enssib) Press, etc. Two major French university presses have joined recently: Caen and Paris-ouest, as has the Swiss Graduate Institute in Geneva.


In keeping with its public interest work, FMSH Distribution handles all works, even those with a slow turnaround. When the distributor working for certain university presses withdrew some of their titles from circulation in 2008, FMSH used its distribution service logistics tools to help them out. This meant that works from 15 publishers’ collections could be kept in the bookshop network (University presses of Lyon and Rennes, La Sorbonne Publications, Le Sepentrion Publications, etc.), and their catalogues pooled.


CID distributes worldwide, either directly or through partners abroad: Somabec in Canada, Chaman-diffusion in Switzerland and CADoC in Algeria.



FMSH diffusion
18, rue Robert-Schuman   
94220 Charenton-le-Pont

By email:
By phone: +33 (0)1 40 48 65 14 / 65 27 / 64 03