By Olivia Snaije
Talentueux Indés a success
Paris literary agent Pierre Astier’s initiative to present 20 independent publishers from France and Francophone countries to publishing professionals at the Salon du Livre was met enthusiastically by attendees. One hundred or so rights managers, international scouts and agents including Koukla MacLehose, Marina Penalva Halpin of Pontas Agency and Marleen Seegers, of 2 Seas Agency visited the area where each publisher was given seven minutes to present themselves, as well as two or three books. The day ended with a party at La Recyclerie, a hip cultural space installed in a former train station. Most participants agreed that Talentueux Indés should become a regular part of the Salon du Livres’ program.
At the recent Paris Salon du Livre, approximately 300 authors demonstrated at the entrance to alert the public to new social reforms that put writers at a disadvantage, dissatisfaction with unequal royalty payments and a general drop in revenue for authors.
Last December — after four years of negotiations between publishers and authors — new terms for author’s publishing contracts was agreed upon, with the main achievement for authors being a modification concerning ebooks stipulating publishers must now see through the digital works that they have agreed to produce and will have to present accounts for those ebooks. An author can terminate a contract with a publisher if their book is not being sold or promoted continuously, and if they have not been presented with accounts for over two years or four years following the release of their book.
Nevertheless, royalty payment to authors from publishers remains a sore point, a point underscored by the continuing demonstrations.