French book sales slump in January

<p>Book sales in France fell by 7% in January, and probably did little better in February, despite having held up reasonably well last year, according to the French trade weekly Livres Hebdo.</p><p>The January slump, recorded by the magazine&rsquo;s indicator Livres Hebdo/1+C, was sharper in the provinces than in Paris and came despite publication of new novels from strong selling authors such as Patrick Modiano, Paul Auster and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, and a rise in the number of new titles rose in January after a slowdown at the end of last year.</p><p>But it affected all channels of distribution, including distance sales, and was worsened by one fewer opening days this January than a year earlier and persistent cold weather. </p><p>Booksellers are hesitant about the prospects for March, when French regional government elections will be held in two rounds. Sales are picking up for some, though. Lo Pa&iuml;s in Draguignan achieved a 13% increase up to March 10th, against drops of 5% in January and 3% in February.&nbsp; </p>