Potter publisher buys French children's book

14th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 11 (AFP) - In a rare victory for French books, which sometimes have a hard time making it on the international market, the British publishers of the Harry Potter books have bought up the rights for a French-language children's tale for over EUR 100,000.

PARIS, June 11 (AFP) - In a rare victory for French books, which sometimes have a hard time making it on the international market, the British publishers of the Harry Potter books have bought up the rights for a French-language children's tale for over EUR 100,000.

"It's usually the other way round," Charlotte Ruffault, director of Hachette Jeunesse's fiction department, told AFP. "This is France's revenge."

Hachette, one of France's two leading publishers of children's (and other) books, sold the British and US rights of the 400-to-500 page book aimed at the pre- and early teen market to Bloomsbury after putting it up for auction.

"British and US publishers fought hard for the rights to the book," Ruffault said. The rights to "La Princetta and Le Capitaine", by Anne Laure Bondoux, have also been sold in Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal and Spain, and talks are continuing for the rights in South Korea.

The French publishers chose Bloomsbury not because they were offering more cash than the other contenders but "because of their reputation and because they appeared to really love the book," Ruffault said.

The novel, an epic tale with an Odyssey-like touch set in times recalling the days of the Conquistadores, was published in France in May at 30,000 copies.

Ruffault said the French publishers put the rights up for auction on the market because that was increasingly the way that the English-language houses were acting. "They often show you just a couple of pages, saying it will be a blockbuster. We on the other hand had a third of the book translated before seeking international partners."

Bloomsbury Publishing last March conjured a 38 percent rise in annual profits, driven by global sales of the Potter boy wizard series.

The fifth Potter book by J.K. Rowling, "Order of the Phoenix", sold 1.8 million copies in Britain on the first day of its release last June - a British record. The four previous Potter novels have sold some 200 million copies worldwide in over 50 languages.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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