Looking For A French Distributor

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Claire Mylanus

By Claire Mylanus, Associate Trustee, Bretagne, France

Editors Note: Claire joins her husband Henk Mylanus as they work to open up the channels of distribution for The Urantia Book in Europe.

After weeks of searching on the internet and talking to distributors and publishers, my husband Henk, and I made some appointments and went to Paris. The book market in France is well regulated and Le Livre d’Urantia has been distributed by a few different distributors. The last distributor charged so much for storage that Urantia Foundation could not make a profit on the sale of the book.

In France, distributors do not want to distribute a book that is published by a “single-title” publisher, that is, a publisher which publishes only one book. So the solution had been to go to a “diffuseur,” which is an intermediary between a publisher and a distributor. The “diffuseur” adds your book to many other books that he provides to distributors. The “diffuseur” advertises your book in newsletters and catalogues. The Foundation’s “diffuseur” in France went bankrupt, and the resulting litigation prevented the Foundation from reclaiming some 1,800 copies of Le Livre d’Urantia.

Thanks to the team at the head office in Chicago and especially to Marcel Urayeneza, whose tenacity and persuasiveness on the phone dislodged Le Livre d’Urantia from the legal logjam, the Foundation retrieved all 1,800 copies of the French translation. Alas, we had to find a new “diffuseur” or a distributor.

The French system of book distribution allows a bookstore to accept a book from a distributor and return it after two months if it is not sold. To avoid “returns” and high storage costs would be ideal.

We contacted one distributor after another. We were a foreign publisher, contracts with other distributors forbade it, it was a single title publisher. We were facing a wall but were not discouraged. There had to be a solution. We continued our search, trusting the help of our unseen friends. Finally, through a distributor we found a gentleman who owned a bookstore in Paris which carried thousands of titles of the religious, spiritual, and esoteric genres. His bookstore was located in the center of Paris, and he and his team had experience in the book market for more than thirty years. He offered to carry Le Livre d’Urantia.

After discussing the matter, Henk and I decided to recommend that Urantia Foundation accept his offer. Through his bookstore - la Librairie de l'Inconnu - Le Livre d’Urantia will have independent distribution, no storage costs, and no returns because there is no time limit for having the book in his bookstore. He has his own internet site, sells through fax orders and through his newsletter, and distributes to other French bookstores, as well as to bookstores in Belgium and Switzerland. He will accept books on consignment and when sold, order more.

Finding distributors for The Urantia Book in Europe will be a challenge, as we have discovered in France. The Urantia Book is a special book, a “single title” from a foreign publisher, and a book which appeals to a small segment of the book market. But what a book, and what an adventure we have the privilege to participate in!

Foundation Info

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Urantia Foundation, 533 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Tel: +1-773-525-3319; Fax: +1-773-525-7739
© Urantia Foundation. All rights reserved