The world came to the 2011 Digital Book World Conference in late January. At Editis, one of France’s leading publishers, Virginia Clayssen oversees digital development. In an interview with CCC’s Chris Kenneally, she accounts for why France has not yet had its ebook moment, but is about to this year. “We didn’t have in France the Kindle effect, because connected e-readers are just arriving in France. We have one now, but it’s very new.”
Sweeping broadly across the digital landscape, Clayssen also comments on why controlling e-book prices matters to French publishers; on the importance of copyright and reasons for French rejection of the pending Google Book Settlement; and on sustaining French literary life in the digital age.
“I don’t like this idea of the author alone in his room writing and nobody knows what he’s doing. I think we are in a connected world. You can be a real author and also link to other people. [We say sometimes this] is like the salon in the 18th century – there is a literary life online – and also in the cafés. Sometimes there are the same people exchanging ideas and trying to share their thoughts online and after that meeting in real life.”