• A new independent bookstore has opened in Lille city center.

  • The place is entirely devoted to works self-published by their authors.

  • It has 150 references of fanzines, comics, books and board games.

Literature in short circuit. In the literary or comic book domain, there are two worlds. Recognized authors, major publishing houses and a sprawling network of bookstores on one side. On the other, the more confidential universe but just as teeming with self-published authors. The latter, tired or left out of the traditional circuit, are struggling to make themselves known to the general public due to lack of visibility. It is to shed some light on these forgotten people that Xavier Lancel created Croâfunding, a micro-bookstore entirely devoted to self-publishing.

The opening of Croâfunding, rue Pierre-Mauroy, in Lille, is the culmination of an atypical career and some great struggles accumulated by its founder, Xavier Lancel. This Lyonnais, 48 ​​years old today, rolled his bump for a few decades in the hotel and catering sector before being fired under conditions that led him to drag his employer before the industrial tribunal. A trial that will last seven years at the end of which Xavier still cashed a nice compensation. Economic laid-off from his last job in Lyon, the forty-something went on to hospitalization for a month and a half after an accident: “It gave me time to think about setting up this bookstore project which had been trotting in my head for three years. years with the capital constituted by my industrial tribunal indemnity, ”he explains.

Authors tired of the gluttony of publishing houses

If he worked neither in the publishing industry, nor in the bookstore industry, Xavier volunteered his time to design a fanzine.

"Since 1999, I have participated in


, one of the oldest fanzines in existence, and which studies American comics", continues the forty-something.

Thanks to this occupation, he has met a plethora of fanzine and comic book authors and knows their issues well.

"Many are tired of going through publishing houses which take 30 to 40% and self-publish via crowdfunding platforms," ​​he says.

Consequently, they are never, or almost never, distributed in bookstores.

"All these projects, we can not find them or with difficulty, deplores Xavier. Hence the idea of ​​devoting a bookstore to them ”. But the production is so vast that the former Lyonnais is forced to make choices. “I do a lot of comics, fanzines, a few novels and board games. I also try to offer various things on bis cinema, LGBT culture, alternative culture, French manga or even comics, ”he explains.

For the authors, it is rather advantageous since Croâfunding buys the works instead of practicing the deposit-sale.

In return, Xavier negotiates a discount on the price to make a small margin.

And unlike traditional bookstores, the number of references is limited.

"I have around 150 today, which allows me to showcase everything in the store," he says.

It is also a way to "control the flow" without falling into the trap of literary seasons.


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  • Comics

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  • Lille

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