Gregory Martin (La Librairie Vuibert, France)

Gregory Martin is the editorial director of La Librairie Vuibert, an imprint of the Albin Michel Group. Previously he worked as a non-fiction publisher at Denoel (part of the Gallimard Group) where he published several books of narrative non-fiction among which were Baltic Souls by Dutch author Jan Brokken and Molotov’s Magic Lantern by Rachel Polonsky. He is also a professional translator from English to French, his latest work being The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown which he also published at La Librairie Vuibert. He has a post graduate diploma in book publishing and a master’s degree in contemporary French history.


The publisher as gatekeeper

  • A publisher is not on the creative side. Creators are writers. We, as publishers, are only there to guide/help/manage them. Roles have to be clearly defined. That waywe can deal with the opposition between imagination and reality.
  • To write a good narrative non-fiction book, one should melt imagination into reality and that’s not an easy task. That’s where a professional publisher is needed. He takes responsibility for a book. In other words, he shouldn’t let the writers do all they want to do. For their own sake.
  • As a translator of both narrative and journalistic non-fiction, I discovered that narrative non-fiction gives you more freedom because the reality it’s describing is a staged reality, and it’s staged in the writer’s mind. When you translate such a text, you re-stage this reality in your own mind, and that’s where your freedom exists.
  • Narrative non-fiction gives us a glimpse of the future of non-fiction publishing. We’ll need to adapt to the new readers who grow up in a cultural landscape deprived of any boundaries. So let’s experiment now in order to be ready to satisfy tomorrow’s readers.