Big French publishing houses to return to Paris Book Fair

Big French publishing houses to return to Paris Book Fair

The new-look Paris Book Fair will open on Friday [18th March] for four days as five of the leading French publishers ponder the raids by the European Commission competition officials a fortnight ago.

Hachette Livre, Bayard and other houses, which pulled out of the fair last year or scaled back their presence in protest against the cost of participating and the length of the event, are returning in force. Stand rentals have been reduced by 17%, the number of days has been cut from six to four and the opening hours have been extended.

Among the attractions for professionals and general public are debates about e-books, the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Lang law on fixed book prices and e-book strategy for booksellers. An international study will be presented on the e-book market for 2008-2014, and there will be space to trade in audiovisual and foreign rights. Publishers will unveil titles to come, and booksellers will present the book of their choice several times a day.

Guest of honour is Nordic literature, represented by five countries— Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The spotlight will be on Buenos Aires, which is the Unesco world book capital this year, and crime and thriller novels. Britain’s R J Ellory and Ian McEwan are two of the invited foreign authors.

Separately, in its second EbookZ study, the Observatory of Books and Writing (MOTif) in the Ile-de-France region in and around Paris found that book piracy on the internet is increasing in France. Although not yet massive, it is accelerating and the time between publication of new titles and pirating is becoming shorter, the authors of the report said.