French Independent Publishers Focus

In this short blog post, I wanted to offer a very brief overview of three French independent publishers that I love! Much like the UK publishing industry, the French market is dominated by some huge publishing corporations, however, their independent publishing is thriving and home to some of the best literature in France. These indie publishers are those, that unlike the giants, dare to do something different.


Éditions Allia is one of my all-time favourite French publishers. They are an independent publishing house based in Paris and founded in 1982 by Gérard Berréby. Éditions Allia state that their aim is “to satisfy and unbalance a readership hungry for something else”, and this, they certainly do. A vast number of their publications are brewing with underlying themes of revolt–be that through ideas of political revolution, art, or contemporary dystopia. Looking broadly at the Allia catalogue, one can see a strong sense of so-called ‘paraliterature’, works that are often considered as un-literary, thus over-looked and forgotten. With over 800 publications to date, Allia is consistent in publishing brilliant works that resonate with their contemporary and current audiences and times.

My picks from the list:


Le Nouvel Attila is a small, yet powerful independent publishers based in Paris. Launched in 2004 by three students out of a building frustration with the literary sphere, Le Nouvel Attila is now thriving, and dedicated to cultivating and publishing “strange and foreign literature”. Their brilliant catalogue is a selection of “undefinable genres” and “literary weeds” and they pride themselves on publishing works that have been otherwise overlooked. Despite a keen focus on publishing foreign works in translation, Le Nouvel Attila is equally as proud of their selection of French authors.

My picks from the list:


Asphalte Éditions is another great example of a small publishing house and was launched in 2010. Whilst translations were originally at the heart of the project, the publishing house opened to French writers in 2014, however, their ethos remains the same: world literature. Asphalte publishes great contemporary works with strong narrative voices and writing that submits to atmosphere and rhythm. Asphalte states that their catalogue reflects an attachment to all of the places they publish from–an attachment to the spirit and the musicality of each place.

My picks from the list:

Éditions Allia, Le Nouvel Attila, and Asphalte Éditions are just three small, but dazzling gems that make up the French independent publishing sphere. They wholeheartedly dedicate their time to publishing otherwise overlooked French writers, and do the equally important job of seeking out literature from around the world to be translated into French. Each of them push boundaries in their own unique way, and without these three dedicated publishing houses, and many more small scale publishers in France, some brilliant French literature would be completely lost in the void.

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