■ The year 2020 in figures
Despite the various store closures, the book market in France represented 342 million physical and digital copies sold in 2020, i.e. 3.9 billion euros in turnover, down moderately by minus 2, 7%. The data, communicated by the panelist GfK, paint an ultimately reassuring portrait: the edition has broken the deadlock that was looming with the year coronavirus.
Obviously, the digital book has fared well, with 5% of sales – or 1 point more than in 2019. It represents 2.9 million customers, or 31% better. As for the audio book, it counted 3.3 million buyers (subscription or unit purchase).
As already reported Time, the comic strip is in good health, with 591 million euros in turnover, an increase of 6%. Finally, a predictable trend, the month of December represented 21% of total 2020 turnover – which represents 25% growth compared to last year. However, comments GfK, “this phenomenon is not a simple catching up of the closing of points of sale the previous month, the cumulative turnover for the period November / December showing + 5%”.
■ Hervé Le Tellier, an exceptional Goncourt
Unexpected consequence of an unlikely year 2020, the 2020 Goncourt Prize awarded to Hervé Le Tellier for The anomalies (Gallimard) achieves a real record. Sold more than 633,000 copies according to its publisher, the novel became the second best-selling Prix Goncourt in history. It thus exceeds The Benevolent by Jonathan Littell, and is positioned just behind The lover by Marguerite Duras.
Hervé Le Tellier himself cannot get over it: “There, we arrive at levels which surprise me, which are undoubtedly linked to a whole series of factors that we can analyze objectively, and subjectively too. But yes, it totally changes the place of a writer in the literary landscape. People are unfortunately confined, and books benefit. ”
■ New musketeers for Dumas
Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and their recruit from Gascony, d’Artagnan, are back to thwart Milady’s traps and save the Queen. This eternal adventure, The three Musketeers, is part of a larger adaptation project, led by producer Dimitri Rassam, associated with screenwriters Alexandre de la Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte.
If they also planned to resume the count of Monte Cristo, the three men are currently interested in making a diptych, named D’Artagnan and Milady. The novel published in 1844 signed Alexandre Dumas father also has a distribution, we learn, as well as a shooting date. With a budget of 60 million euros, the two projects will start by the summer, with the cast… drum roll… Pio Marmaï, to play Porthos, Romain Duris in the role of Aramis and Vincent Cassel for Athos ! Moreover, D’Artagnan will be played by François Civil and Eva Green will become Milady. As for King Louis XIII, he will be played by Louis Garrel. Famous distribution!
■ Digitize your library yourself
If businesses are authorized to reopen as of March 1, which means that we will be able to go to bookstores again, some may be considering staying at home a little longer. The Internet Archive site, a digital library which now has more than 2 million e-books on loan, offers to occupy its days.
Thanks to a tool called Scribe, a machine that takes pictures of the pages of books, then sends the images to software, it is possible to save your works in digital format. This model of scanner will still require not to have two left hands. All information is available here to get started.
Be careful, however, the Internet Archive’s digital loan offer is being challenged in court: the major American publishers have decided to file a complaint for copyright infringement. And therefore illegal file sharing… Which therefore implies that, if one chooses to digitize one’s library, it is important above all not to put the works online.
Nicolas Gary is site director News
The two previous chronicles of Planète Livres