Líra Group

a major player in the Hungarian book market

 

General introduction

Founded more than twenty-five years ago, Líra Group includes a leading book distribution company, the biggest chain of bookstores in Hungary, an online bookstore and a book club. Líra is also part owner of the biggest e-book production and distribution company.
Líra Group has the biggest book wholesale department in the market with partners such as Auchan, Müller, Lidl and Aldi. We also provide a cash & carry department supplying retail trade partners. Besides being a major distributor, Líra Group is also an important cultural actor in the Hungarian book market: the company owns nine publishers, two cultural venues, a private art agency, and a print and online events magazine, as well as two self-produced magazines.

Our bookstore chain

Our bookstore chain currently consists of ninety-six shops: fifty-two Líra shops and stores, twenty-six Líra–Móra shops, fifteen franchise bookstores and three music & book stores operated by our music publisher, Rózsavölgyi & Co, Hungary’s oldest music publisher. More than half of our Líra and Líra–Móra shops are located in downtown shopping malls, such as Árkád in Pécs, Sió Plaza in Siófok, Debrecen Plaza, and in suburban retail centres like Next Stop in Székesfehérvár and Csömör, and Buy-Way in Dunakeszi and Soroksár.
Our stores offer a wide range of products, from a large variety of books (Hungarian and world literature, books in foreign languages, educational books, textbooks and dictionaries, science non-fiction, etc.), through DVDs and CDs, to stationery, toys and gifts.
According to a recent survey* Líra bookstores have a stable customer base countrywide. Most of those surveyed characterized Líra’s bookshops as ‘traditional bookshops’ and found them pleasant and welcoming. Besides the friendly atmosphere, a number of respondents mentioned the diversity of books available and various non-book products as another strength of our shops.
Uniquely in Hungary, we assure the acquisition of an item unavailable in a given store within seventy-two hours of the placement of an order. We put great emphasis on employing knowledgeable
and reliable staff in our shops.

Wholesale department

In the summer of 2003, our group opened the largest book distribution company which has been supplemented with an online branch ever since. Besides traditional wholesale distribution, this department serves our bookstores, our franchise bookstores, and is also responsible for distribution for our own publishers and for those publishers whose books we distribute exclusively. Besides traditional bookstores, our wholesale department serves the most important hypermarkets (e.g. Auchan, Aldi) and specialist chain stores (e.g. Drogerie Müller, Media Markt) as well.
Similarly to our bookstores, we lay great emphasis on selling a large variety of products in our wholesale department as well; we keep twenty-five thousand products by several hundred publishers on stock continually. Besides, we take special care of making novelties always available for our customers as soon as possible.

Renewed online department

Our online store, lira.hu, is one of the biggest and oldest webstores in the Hungarian market. We always try to keep up to date with changing customer needs and fast-paced technological development. In order to be able to process orders more quickly and to maintain a wider range of products in the webstore, the online department moved to a new, modern and significantly larger warehouse in 2018.

Líra loyalty card

We are firmly committed to our regular customers in the bookstores as well as in the webstore, providing them with special offers and weekly newsletters. With Líra’s loyalty program, regular customers can shop in our bookstores at a discount. Additionally, a variety of other discounts are available to all customers in our bookstores and webstore every month. The Líra bookstore chain sells gift cards and vouchers that are popular gifts for birthdays, Christmas and other occasions.

Fidelio Cultural Magazine

Líra Group also owns the oldest and largest private art agency in Hungary, Pentaton Artist and Concert Management, an agency which celebrated its 25th birthday in 2014, as well as one of the biggest online event planning and cultural sites, fidelio.hu, which also produces a monthly printed magazine. Since its foundation in 2001, fidelio.hu has been one of the most visited and significant cultural sites in Hungary. The website offers up-to-date information about a wide range of cultural events both in Hungary and internationally, while the printed events magazine is an indispensable guide for all those interested in high-quality entertainment. The events magazine is distributed throughout Hungary, efficiently reaching out to culture-oriented audiences outside Budapest as well.

Könyvklub magazine
Minden nap könyv magazine

We produce two magazines for book lovers, Könyvklub (published six times a year) and Minden nap könyv (published twice a year). Both are sent to our book club members by post and by email, and Minden nap könyv is also distributed as a supplement to a number of weeklies. Besides producing magazines, Líra also supports daily radio broadcasts on books: we regularly provide content to Klubrádió and Inforádió.

Rózsavölgyi Szalon Arts & Café

Líra Group operates two venues in the heart of Budapest where we organize and host theatre and performances, author readings and book launches. The Rózsavölgyi Szalon Arts & Café, an artistic hub in downtown Pest, opened on 11 April 2012. From the outset, the salon hosted per formances based on outstanding Hungarian and international literary works. Besides socializing and discussing ideas, discovering fresh talent has always been an important role of literary salons. Accordingly, young artists often appear alongside more famous names in the Rózsavölgyi Szalon.

Magvető Café

The other venue owned by Líra Group is the Magvető Café. Opened in 2017, the café was awarded a special prize for ‘Communal Space of the Year’ in the same year in a contest for the title of Office of the Year. The café, named after the most prestigious literary publisher in Hungary, is a cultural venue where audiences can meet authors and performers in an informal atmosphere after events, while having a cup of coffee and a pastry.
Magvető Café doubles as a bookshop, where the complete backlist of Magvető Publishing that is available on the market can be purchased. The café is also an excellent venue for guests who would like to sit in a quiet place, reading or working.

mindennapkonyv.hu book blog

We launched our first book blog in
November 2017: mindennapkonyv.hu, a book blog and social site for our present and future customers. The site features interviews, reviews and excerpts from books. Visitors can also write in with their own comments and registered visitors can write reviews as well. Besides providing content, the website also has a commercial purpose: users have the opportunity to save books on their profile page for later purchase.

Major cultural events

Líra Group is also present at major cultural events: both as booksellers and as publishers, we regularly attend bookfairs and other book-related events, including the Budapest International Book Festival, the Festive Book Week, the Margó Literary Festival and Book Fair, and the annual Reading Night.

The nine publishers that comprise the Líra group of publishers enjoy excellent relations with the press. Cultural websites, journals and magazines regularly publish reviews of books by our publishers.

Our publishers

Our authors and our books have been awarded a number of prestigious prizes. The art albums of Corvina and the literary publications of Magvető have garnered several awards for their design. The first Hungarian Nobel Prize for Literature was given to Imre Kertész, a Magvető author, in 2002, while the first International Man Booker Prize awarded to a Hungarian went to László Krasznahorkai, another Magvető author, in 2015. Our group publishes international authors of such stature as J. R. R. Tolkien, Gabriel García Márquez, Anna Gavalda, Daniel Kehlmann and Karl Ove Knausgård, as well as some of the finest Hungarian writing, by authors including Ádám Bodor, György Dragomán, Péter Esterházy, Krisztián Grecsó, György Spiró and Krisztina Tóth.
Publishers belonging to Líra Group are among the most significant on the Hungarian publishing scene. Magvető and Corvina were founded more than fifty years ago, while Athenaeum and Rózsavölgyi revived a 150-year-old tradition. Manó and Menő Books are indispensable children’s publishers. All these brands are well-known to the Hungarian reading public.

Magvető

Our authors and our books have been awarded a number of prestigious prizes. The art albums of Corvina and the literary publications of Magvető have garnered several awards for their design. The first Hungarian Nobel Prize for Literature was given to Imre Kertész, a Magvető author, in 2002, while the first International Man Booker Prize awarded to a Hungarian went to László Krasznahorkai, another Magvető author, in 2015. Our group publishes international authors of such stature as J. R. R. Tolkien, Gabriel García Márquez, Anna Gavalda, Daniel Kehlmann and Karl Ove Knausgård, as well as some of the finest Hungarian writing, by authors including Ádám Bodor, György Dragomán, Péter Esterházy, Krisztián Grecsó, György Spiró and Krisztina Tóth.
Publishers belonging to Líra Group are among the most significant on the Hungarian publishing scene. Magvető and Corvina were founded more than fifty years ago, while Athenaeum and Rózsavölgyi revived a 150-year-old tradition. Manó and Menő Books are indispensable children’s publishers. All these brands are well-known to the Hungarian reading public.

 

ATHENAEUM

Bookseller and publisher Gusztáv Emich opened his first bookstore in Pest in 1842. This marked the opening chapter in the history of the most illustrious brand of the Hungarian creative industry. Founded in 1868, by the end of the century Athenaeum PLC had a portfolio that embraced a publishing house, printing houses, newspapers and magazines, along with a book distribution chain. By that time, it had a 70% share of the Hungarian book market. This was the first modern media empire in the country. Today, Athenaeum is an adult fiction and non-fiction trade publishing house with an annual output of 70 new titles. Following in the footsteps of their founder, alongside commercially lucrative titles, Athenaeum places a strong emphasis on publishing high-quality non-fiction works in political science, sociology, and education, as well as literature.
Best-known authors: Paulo Coelho, J. M. Coetzee, Jodi Picoult, Cecelia Ahern, Jonas Jonasson, Frank Schätzing, Rachel Kushner, Eimear McBride.

 

GENERAL PRESS

Founded in 1988, General Press is committed to publishing books that offer high-quality entertainment. By publishing romantic novels, women’s fiction, thrillers and historical novels, the aim of General Press is to meet a wide variety of demands. They publish mainly English-language authors, but they also have titles by German, Italian, Swedish and Norwegian authors.
Best-known authors: Nicholas Sparks, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Jeffrey Archer, Angela Marsons, Lucinda Riley, Debbie Macomber, Charlotte Link, Mary Alice Monroe, Nele Neuhaus, Donato Carrisi, Ingar Johnsrud, Greg Iles, Thomas Harris, Charles Martin, Veronica Henry, Catherine Anderson, Elizabeth Hoyt, Chris Carter.

 

CORVINA

A quality non-fiction publisher since 1955, Corvina publishes richly illustrated and handsomely produced books on art, history, cultural history, nature, gastronomy, sports, psychology, travel, language, and language learning. Corvina’s well-known series include: Styles and Periods, Eastern Sources, Northern Sources. Corvina has been translating and publishing Hungarian classics and tourist guides in English and German for many decades. Corvina is also the publisher of the German Marco Polo travel guide series in Hungarian.
Best-known authors: Kati Marton, Olivia Laing, Georg Klein, Jens Ivo Engels, Neil Sinclair, Joris Luyendijk, Hans Mommsen, Wolfgang Behringer, Bruno Bettelheim, Andrew Scull, Angus Deaton, Dani Rodrik, George Akerlof, Jaap Scholten.
Best-known Hungarian authors: Krisztián Nyáry, Gábor Görgey, István Bart, Róbert Simon, János B. Szabó, Mihály Ráday, Mari Beke, Bori Hoppál, Judit Csóka, Imre D. Magyari, Tibor Huszár.

 

PARTVONAL

Established in 2005, Partvonal rapidly established itself as a reputable, medium- size publishing house on the Hungarian publishing scene. Their aim is to find high-quality entertaining and science non-fiction books. They have published a number of works in Hungarian translation by well-known contemporary authors, as well as some classics, and are also the publisher of several popular series on parenting, healthy lifestyles and the sciences.
Best-known authors: Agatha Christie, Tom Clancy, Sven Hassel, Leon Uris, Kate Mosse, Steven Pressfield, Elizabeth Gilbert, Patrick Süskind, Roberto Saviano, Steve Biddulph, Oriana Fallaci.

 

MANÓ KÖNYVEK
MENŐ KÖNYVEK

Manó Books was founded in 2004, with the aim of producing quality children’s books for the Hungarian market and building up a list of prominent authors and titles, both domestic and foreign. Manó Books has grown rapidly over the years and today publishes approximately 230 titles a year from the very young (2+) to the young adult generation. Manó Books publishes a wide range of international authors, from quality non-fiction to quality popular children’s and young adult titles. As of 2016, Manó Books launched a YA and NA genre imprint publisher, Menő Books (i.e. ‘Cool Books’).
The German ‘Conni and Max’ books is one of Manó’s most popular series, currently with over 45 titles. We are proud to be the publisher of Tony Wolf’s and Erwin Moser’s children’s stories, Quentin Gréban’s picture books, and novels by David Baddiel, Holly Webb, Holly Bourne and Vicky Grant. We also publish Johanna Basford’s highly popular colouring book series.

 

RÓZSAVÖLGYI & CO

A publisher of books on music, Rózsavölgyi, founded in 1850, also publishes sheet music and sound recordings, especially CDs. Besides its own publications, Rózsavölgyi operates two music stores, Rózsavölgyi and Kodály.
Best-known authors: Theodor W. Adorno, Alan Walker, Kenneth Hamilton, Christopher H. Gibbs, Claude Debussy, Tibor Tallián, László Somfai.

 

SZÉPMÍVES

Szépmíves Books publishes 19th and 20th century memoirs, diaries and works on cultural history. They have brought out several hitherto unpublished or forgotten Hungarian manuscripts, discovered in archives and private collections.
Unknown works by well-known figures, memoirs of counts and barons, countesses and baronesses, the private writings of politicians and public figures, wartime and political diaries, apologias and correspondence, travelogues and forgotten books are all part of the profile of Szépmíves Books. It is also their aim to publish censored or incomplete works in their original version. Szépmíves Books was the recipient of several prizes in the last year.
Best-known authors: Tivadar Batthyány, Miklós Bánffy, Countess Károlyi (Mária Magdolna Windisch-Graetz), Antal Szerb, Berta Boncza, Róza Jókai, Gyula Andrássy, Jenő Rejtő, Mihály Munkácsy, Renée Erdős, Miklós Radnóti, Eleonóra Zichy.

 
 
 

H-1086 Budapest,
4–8. Dankó Street,
Hungary
 
Phone: +36 1 2109600
Fax: +36 1 2101488
E-mail: lira@lira.hu