Buy A Québécois Book On August 12 With “Opération 12 Août”

12aout2014_1My colleague Clément Laberge wrote an interesting blog post in regards to “Opération 12 août”, a grassroots initiative whose objective is to get people to buy a québécois book on August 12.

Recently, two Québec-based authors, Patrice Cazeault and Amélie Dubé, submitted the idea that Québec publishing is in a precarious position where publishers are struggling to remain both competitive and profitable and authors are forlorn for readership. In this regard, they proposed a rather elementary idea as a remedy to boosting sales: Just head out to a bookstore and buy a québécois book. Baffling, isn’t it? Such rudimentary logic is so crystal clear it cannot but make sense.

But what if the bookstore doesn’t have the book you want? Have them order it, is Cazeault and Dubé’s response. They can’t order it? The two authors suggest throwing a tantrum… or buying the ebook. You know, whatever works best for you.

In order to send a very clear message, they suggested that people should come together on a single date, August 12, to buy a Québécois book. It doesn’t matter where or from whom, as long as you buy a Québécois book.

As Clément points out, some would say the stakes of Québec publishing are much more complex and require a much more systematic approach, a truly invested and daily effort to show results instead of a single, annual event. But he also quickly insists that we shouldn’t cultivate a forbidding attitude regarding such initiatives, especially if it helps create enthusiasm for homegrown titles. After all, at the time of this writing, over 4,000 people have already stated on the event’s Facebook page that they will take part. That’s nothing to scoff at. Furthermore, why couldn’t we see this as an opportunity for people to further familiarize themselves with ebooks and how easy it is to acquaint themselves with québécois authors via their e-readers and mobile devices?

In true crowdsourcing fashion, the organizers have opened up a public Google Document (in French) to toss some ideas around: bit.ly/operation12aout

It is an interesting initiative which we will definitely be keeping an eye on.


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