‘The greatest jeweller in French publishing’ (Pierre Belfond).
Claude Tchou (1923-2010) is “one of the main operators of the ‘club phenomenon’ of the 50s and the 60s” (Alban Cerisier), i.e. of the commercialisation of books by mail order and via intermediates.
Publicity, newsletters, management of files, specific cover… characterise this sector.
Tchou directed many big firms: such as le Club du livre du mois, founded in 1950, boasting 150,000 customers; specialists like the Club mondial du disque (1956); or more exclusive, like the Cercle du livre précieux with its 12,000 members.

Like Pauvert, Deforges, Losfeld and others, the distinguished catalogue of Claude Tchou’s Cercle du livre précieux made a claim for freedom to publish and fell victim to the censor.
In 1962, he launched Editions Claude Tchou under which imprint he published Sade, Zola, Kafka, Breton and high-quality limited editions.
At the end of the 1960s, Tchou had to sell his firms and work for Robert Laffont and Bertelsmann.
In 1999, he launched a ‘Bibliothèque des introuvables’ on the Internet.