28,000 French-Language Ebooks Are Newly Available in the US

In News by Porter Anderson

Image - iStockphoto: daboost

Image – iStockphoto: daboost

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Eighty-Eight Publishers Represented in Offering
The “diversity and richness of French and Francophone literature” is reflected, says François-Xavier Schmit, in the major new expansion of ebooks he is offering at Albertine.

The bookshop and reading room at 972 Fifth Avenue positions itself as New York’s only French bookshop, and has brought books from some of France’s best-known publishing houses into its huge new catalog of ebooks. A total 88 French publishers are represented in the collection, including Actes Sud, Minuit, Flammarion, and Gallimard.

The surprise for many may be some of the titles that have not been available in the US market before now in French.

For example, a quick search for the expected Kindle edition of Albert Camus’ iconic l’Etranger, gets you only, “This title is not currently available for purchase” on the Amazon.com site.

The situation appears to be similar for Patrick Modiano’s Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier and for Mathias Enard’s Boussole.

Schmit likes to stress the community aspects of his store’s standing in New York. In a prepared statement, he says:

“French authors speak at numerous festivals and literary events across the United States.  Albertine’s mission and that of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy is to support authors as much as possible in these endeavors, most notably by providing a platform to sell and share their works with the public.”

One of the more innovative efforts of Albertine’s outreach program is its “French Corners” scheme that sees a selection of physical books in French offered at independent bookstores around the country. Each of these “Corners” has a basket of 75 French titles chosen by the Albertine staff in collaboration with the French Embassy’s Cultural Services offices.

The ebooks section of the Albertine Web site is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.