• Tuesday, May 21, 2024

French Publishers Express Alarm over the Surge in used Book Sales

Discover the impact of Emmanuel Macron's proposed tax on used book sales in France. Learn about the concerns of publishers and the rise of online competition.
on Apr 22, 2024
French Publishers Express Alarm over the Surge in used Book Sales | Frontlist

French President Emmanuel Macron's declaration of a new tax on used book sales to preserve new publications is the latest proposal from a government with a track record of intervening in the publishing business to keep it afloat.

While the used book market in France is growing, the Emmaus charity, which derives a third of its online revenue from books, is concerned about unfair competition from online sellers.

Macron has suggested a levy on used book sales, which he claims will benefit publishers, authors, and translators.

Speaking at the annual Paris book expo last weekend, Macron stated that used books, the majority of which are offered on large online retail platforms like Amazon, constituted a competitive threat to the price of new books in France.

Culture Minister Rachida Dati would explain how this donation would function at a later date, he added.

Used books are on the rise.

Used books compete with publishers, offering reduced prices that have proven more appealing during periods of inflation.

According to a report published earlier this month by the Culture Ministry and the French writers' rights association Sofia, the number of individuals buying old books is increasing while new book sales remain flat.

Nearly 20% of books sold in 2022 were used, although their market value is significantly lower due to their reduced costs.

Some estimates have the used book market at €888 million, compared to the €4.3 billion market for new books.

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