Tuesday, October 8, 2013

France legislates against Amazon

A few weeks ago France created legislation that would prevent Amazon from offering free delivery alongside a five percent discount on a book. The move will curtail the increase in book sales amazon has had in the country, a number that has increased exponentially over the past ten years, in 2003 the amount of book sales conducted online was 3.2 percent, in 2011 however it was 13.1. The increase of Amazon's power over the book selling industry has affected brick and mortar stores all over the world, not as heavily though in France.

While most of the western world experiences closures of bookstores France seems culturally immune to ditching the paperback in favor of the e-book. In France there are over 2,500 bookstores spread across a population of around 65 million. That is about 1 book store for every 26,000 people. In Britain the population of around 60 million has only 1,000 bookstores, 1 book store for every 60,000 people.

In France book culture is not just book culture, it is French culture. They do not tread lightly when it comes to matters of literature. Melbourne is one of UNESCO's cities of literature and rightly so, we have a thriving culture, a whole bunch of festivals and some real standout writers. France though is what still comes to my mind when I think of literature. I think of the lost generation, I think of the word 'expatriate' and I, like other authors would love to move to Paris, stroll the left bank and write books that the world will remember forever.

Personally I don't care if readers reach my books from brick and mortar sellers or by Amazon but I like to think that somewhere in paris there is an apartment waiting for me and waiting to be filled with paperbacks of the greatest novels ever written, not just a lone kindle resting on a shelf.
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I'm a Taekwondo and MMA athlete. I also write novels and screenplays.