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How the Nobel Prize for Literature became a financial windfall for authors and publishers – The 2022 Nobel Prizes

Winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, a prestigious award, brings first of all a check for 10 million Swedish crowns, or more than 900,000 euros currently, in addition to an 18-carat gold medal. Many laureates donate part of this sum to causes close to their hearts and Annie Ernaux, 2022 laureate, has already said publicly that she is thinking about those she would support once this money has been received.

When the announcement of the price fell at the beginning of October, its main publisher, Gallimard, popped the champagne, managed the solicitations of journalists from many countries, then immediately sprang into action. Because this editor knows the effect of the Nobel: it is also that of Patrick Modiano, rewarded in 2014, or of JMG Le Clézio, who had obtained it in 2008.

For Annie Ernaux, “we reprinted 1.1 million copies,” explains Gallimard’s commercial director, Jean-Charles Grunstein.

Immediate effect on sales

The collection of his works of a thousand pages in the Quarto collection, published in 2011 and entitled “Writing life”, is doing very well. Some readers are keen on the elegant format of the White collection, which is more expensive and offers a better margin to the publisher. But the greatest successes are the novels in pocket format, at Folio, which represent four out of five copies sold.

All these books are in any case adorned with the red band “Nobel Prize for Literature 2022”, in case, in bookstores, customers have missed the news. “There is an immediate effect on sales. To date, we have shipped 750,000 copies to points of sale, of which we have sold a little more than half, if we are to believe the figures (from the firm) GfK for France. If we add the export, we can estimate that we sold around 65%,” notes Mr. Grunstein.

Seven new translations?

The other windfall is translations. Annie Ernaux was already published in 42 languages ​​before being crowned with the prize. She notably owed her worldwide notoriety to a place as a finalist for the Booker Prize in 2019 for “The Years”, an English translation of her 2008 novel, “The Years”.

“A Nobel Prize is the assurance of seeing a flood of requests for translation. This is what happened once again, ”says one at Gallimard. Three new languages ​​have since been added and five more are in negotiation, which could bring the total to 50.

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

The prize should also help promote the feature film which will be released in theaters on December 14, “Les Années Super 8”, made up of family films from the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, Annie Ernaux intends to publish one day a small book that many many writers would dream of writing, even if the print runs are not always the highest: his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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