Thursday, November 10 at La Petite Librairie in Sommières, a new industry contract in favour of books was signed by Régine Hatchondo, President of the National Book Centre, Laurence François, Regional Councillor representing the President of the Occitanie Region, and Michel Roussel, regional director of Occitanie cultural affairs, representing the prefect of the Occitanie region.

The State - Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs Occitanie and National Book Centre (CNL) - and the Occitanie Region undertake to develop a common policy to support the development of the book sector in the Occitanie region.

Occitania, which has benefited from framework agreements since 2015 (2015-2017, 2018-2021), will have a new framework for 2022-2024, making Occitania the first region in France to revive this dynamic.

This new book contract, concerning authors, publishing houses and bookstores, will propose support mechanisms developed in consultation with book professionals and the agency Occitanie Livre & Lecture, such as a new program to promote the presence of authors in bookstores. In a context marked by profound changes in cultural industries, the signatories will strengthen their collaboration to agree on three priority areas:

  • The development and sustainability of the book chain and its stakeholders
  • The network of the territory
  • Increasing readership

In order to revive the economy of this sector in the region and contribute to a true balance of its various territories (rural, urban, coastal, massifs, etc.), the partners will finance projects to support the vitality of creation, improve access to the editorial offer and promote the network of sales outlets in Occitanie. The issue of professionalization, training and job development remains a priority.

Reading is the first way to knowledge, the partners promote access to and dissemination of books by promoting the meeting of the public with the author, the illustrator, the translator, the librarian, the bookseller or the literary eventto contribute to equal opportunities.

The supply chain contract thus makes it possible to support actors in the regions, by initiating their economic recovery and constitutes a structuring mechanism for the entire profession in Occitanie.

With an annual budget of €660,000, half of which is contributed by the Region and half by the State (the Drac and the CNL), this sector contract thus constitutes a lever for complementary intervention of national and regional sustainable schemes. The agency Occitanie Livre & Lecture was entrusted with the implementation of this ambitious program.

Also attending the event were Jérôme Sion, Vice-President of Occitanie Livre & Lecture, Pierre Martinez, Mayor of Sommières and President of the Community of Communes Pays de Sommières, and representatives of professional associations ADA for authors (Joëlle Wintrebert), ERO for publishers (Frédéric Lisak) and ALIDO (Fabrice Domingo) for booksellers and Marion Mazauric, editor of Au Diable Vauvert.

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