Sport Bookstores closed, Goncourt price postponed: the book sector upset by the reconfinement

14:40  29 october  2020
14:40  29 october  2020 Source:   francetvinfo.fr

American independent booksellers launch "Boxed out", a campaign against Amazon

 American independent booksellers launch American booksellers are worried about the closure of several dozen bookstores since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. © Provided by Franceinfo The American Booksellers Association (ABA) is launching an advertising campaign against Amazon, to warn of the increased danger that the online commerce giant represents for them in this period of pandemic.

Bookstores will normally close from Friday, the start of the reconfinement, like all "non-essential businesses". A blow for the players in the sector a few days before the literary prices initially planned for November.

  Librairies fermées, prix Goncourt reporté : le secteur du livre bouleversé par le reconfinement © Provided by Franceinfo

Will bookstores once again lower their curtain? Considered as "non-essential shops" during the first confinement, they should close on Friday, October 30. One of the concerns of players in the sector, that the autumn literary prizes (Goncourt, Renaudot, Femina ...) normally awarded in November, benefit the giants of online sales like Amazon to the detriment of small businesses.

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 Coronavirus: Turn of the screw, reconfinement ... France is studying several scenarios facing the acceleration of the epidemic Two Defense Councils are to be held this Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a series of meetings, in order to take measures in the face of a “critical” situation © Alain ROBERT / SIPA Jean Castex, October 24, 2020 in Marseille.

Small relief, the members of the Goncourt Academy published a press release this morning assuring that "they cannot consider that the Goncourt price which they were to announce on Tuesday November 10 is it while their bookstores would be closed". The he jurors of the prestigious literary prize declare that in the event of the bookstores closing "they would postpone the proclamation of the Goncourt prize to a later date which would be specified according to the evolution of the health situation and the government decisions taken". The members of the Interallié Prize jury quickly followed. "There will be a selection of finalists on November 12. But we will not give the prize until the bookstores are closed," told AFP a spokesperson for the jury.

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The limits of "click and collect"

Three book unions - the SNE for publishing, the SLF for bookstores and the CPE for writers - issued an press release this morning asking that bookstores remain open . "Also, authors, illustrators, publishers and booksellers are launching a solemn, united and responsible appeal to the government: leave our bookstores open so that social confinement is not also cultural isolation".

In particular, they underline the limits of in-store reservation, "click and collect": "it is essential and already in place in a very large number of points of sale. But it cannot meet all expectations of readers, especially in the two months preceding the end of year celebrations when more than a quarter of books are bought "estimate the unions, who questioned:" books have been, for several years, the most gift offered by French. How to give it up? "

Aid for small businesses

The government has announced that a package of aid will be offered to support traders. According to Gabriel Attal, government spokesperson, guest of RTL this Thursday morning, bookstores will be able to benefit from the same increased aid as restaurant owners, with turnover support of up to 10,000 euros per month.

"There is no inevitability that Amazon and the digital giants replace our small businesses," assured the government spokesperson. The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, is also expected to announce, during the day, additional aid for all these businesses forced to close. The payment of the rent is in particular one of the expected answers.

Hidalgo and Bachelot call on the French not to buy on Amazon .
© Copyright 2020, L'Obs Haro on Amazon! After calls to leave bookstores open, which have multiplied in recent days, on the right and on the left of the political spectrum, some policies are going even further. The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, but also the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot, have, in recent hours, openly called on the French to shun the American giant, favored by the confinement which has forced small businesses to close their doors.

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