Hachette scales back Salon du Livre

<p>Hachette Livre is slashing its presence at the Paris Book Fair (Salon du Livre) next March, taking a corporate stand of 100 square metres instead of its usual 900 square metres.</p><p>&ldquo;The vast majority of our publishers and imprints believe that the fair has become frustrating, expensive and time-consuming,&rdquo; Ronald Blunden, senior vice-president, corporate communications for Hachette Livre, told The Bookseller. </p><p>The frustration stems from authors&rsquo; hesitation over signings in a venue that is &ldquo;too large, too noisy, and too cluttered&rdquo;. </p><p>He said authors preferred specialised regional book fairs, providing &ldquo;a cosier atmosphere and more motivated readers&rdquo;.</p><p>Hachette did not preclude returning to the fair in the future, provided changes were made, said Blunden. </p><p>The reduced presence, which will save it about &euro;500,000, did not reflect a policy shift on book fairs in general. &ldquo;Our presence at the BEA, and London and Frankfurt book fairs is unaffected by the decision,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The Paris fair is run by the French Publishers Association (Syndicat National de l&rsquo;Edition/SNE) and provides a third of its revenue. Proposals to turn the fair into a biennial event, to give it a theme or slim it down failed to win endorsement by a 12-member SNE board earlier this year.</p><p>Christine de Mazi&egrave;res, SNE director, said: &ldquo;This is the largest book fair in the world for the general public.&rdquo; She added: &ldquo;We are working on several ideas to reduce costs.&rdquo;</p><p>Other French publishers have also called for a less costly solution, while publisher Albin Michel said it would also have pulled out of next year&rsquo;s show had it known about Hachette.</p>