French Books USA: Week In Review

October 24, 2014 | By Maggie Love
Catherine Leroux

Catherine Leroux Wins France-Québec Prize
The literary Prix France-Québec was awarded to Catherine Leroux for her novel Le mur mitoyen, published in Québec by Alto last year. The book, which consists of four fragmented narratives about the nature of love, friendship and family, will be published in France in 2015 under the title Le guide des âmes perdues. Leroux will go on tour in France after the award ceremony next March.

Authors Brainstorm Supplemental Sources of Revenue
The forum of the Société des gens de lettres met this week. A major focus was finding other sources of revenue for authors, who have experienced a drop in income from the rights of books sold in print. Writers and publishers proposed self-publishing, along with looking into fellowships and writer’s residencies.  

In France, Over 1 in 10 Read E-books
A study out Thursday shows that 11 percent of French people read e-books. Free books are the most downloaded, while two-thirds of survey participants reported having bought an e-book within the last year.

Amazon Is Now France’s Number One Online Retailer
Despite the French parliament’s efforts to curb its growth there, Amazon has beat out, Darty, Fnac and Auchan to become France’s leading online retailer for the first time, selling more “cultural products” (presumably including books) than any other site. The company announced plans last month to hire 2,500 French workers for what it predicts will be its busiest Christmas season yet. But Amazon isn't the only company expanding. Major French chain Fnac saw a 2.2 percent increase in sales in the third trimester of 2013, for a resulting revenue of 863 million euros. The retailer, which sells books, CDS, DVDs and electronics, has announced plans to open 7 new stores; Fnac currently has 177 branches.

Keep up with the latest news on the French literary scene in France and the U.S. with the French Book Department’s weekly paper trail. For daily updates on events, blogs and translations, follow us on Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA.

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