France… Far-right writers resort to self-publishing to escape censorship

Self-publishing is still seen as a sign of failure and conclusive evidence that the writer did not succeed in proving himself and reaching readers, but the paradox today is that some of those who have already reached the top are heading towards the opposite direction, that is, that writers who have received the recognition of the middle and the popularity Popular works topped the list of sales to adopt the experience of self-publishing, whether forced or voluntary. This new trend specifically concerns some of those who were known to be aligned with the ideology of the extreme right after they were subjected to censorship and boycott by traditional publishing houses.

Political books in France are the most read, and if the author adds to the title the phrase: immigration, Islam or cultural invasion, or immigrants, it will not only have wide media coverage, but also commercial and popular popularity. The numbers speak for themselves: 300,000 copies of the latest book by journalist and former presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, books by the well-known and prolific philosophers Michel Onfrey and Alain Finkelcrot, are often bestsellers. The first book, “Thinking of Islam,” sold 350,000 copies, and the second, “The Sad Identity,” more than 300,000 copies. Another example is the novel “Camp of Saints” by Jean Raspail, the favorite writer of the French far-right, in which he imagined the attack of a fleet of African immigrants on France, which is still one of the best-selling novels with an average of 100 to 500 copies per day despite the passage of more than fifty years since its publication.

But the relationship of traditional publishing houses with writers aligned with far-right ideas is often characterized by turbulence and the constant pursuit of a difficult equation: reconciling material interests with respect for professional ethics that entails combating all texts that incite racial hatred. Many experiences have reached a dead end and an irreversible rupture. This was the experience of the author and artist Marc-Edouard Naby, who was described by Valor Actual magazine as the most censored French writer in France and the first to coin the phrase “anti-publishing” or fight the traditional publishing system by creating an alternative publishing system. The writer had created the literary event with his novel, “The Banquet of Insects,” which won critical acclaim and was nominated for literary prizes before things were turned upside down when Nabi expressed anti-Semitic views on a television program, and as a result he was subjected to widespread media attack, and even beaten by a journalist of Jewish origins. . To release his novel The Man Who Stopped Writing, Nabi had to resort to self-publishing because well-known publishing houses refused to publish it. Distribution was limited (10 thousand copies), but the novel attracted attention and was nominated for the Ronodo Prize. Then he decided to completely dispense with traditional publishing houses, and opened an online store in which he presented his publications directly to readers. The writer known for his anti-Semitic orientation has stated on more than one occasion that resorting to self-publishing is the best decision he has taken. In addition to receiving 70 percent of the profits instead of 12, he “enjoys the priceless freedom of writing.” Richard Millais also knew a similar situation. He is a writer known for his racist stances against immigrants, especially Muslims. He had raised eyebrows when he stated in an interview with Radio France Kultur that the presence of the name Muhammad among generations of young immigrants is not acceptable in France. The writer was not boycotted until after the publication of his prose attempt entitled “In Literary Praise for Anders Breivik,” in which he justifies the Oslo crime, which killed 77 people, by blaming cultural diversity and immigrants, considering the murderer a victim because he lost his identity because of this cultural diversity. The boycott came specifically from Gallimar Publishing House, which dismissed him from its reading committee after he was its most prominent member, and also rescinded the contracts linking it to him. Despite his continuing literary activity, his ultra-populist writings are no longer published except on the writer’s private website.

As for Renault Camus, whose name is associated with the book “The Great Replacement”, it has also successfully headed towards the path of self-publishing. Camus publishes his books in the publishing house “BOL” and was one of its most important writers. He also published for “Fayar”, which enjoys a good reputation, but his close relationship with the extreme right, and his interventions in the media and communication sites characterized by extreme aggression towards immigrants, provoked many Disapproval until cases are brought against him before the French justice, which made the traditional publishing institutions decide to stop their cooperation with the French writer. Rono Camus publishes his books today via the Amazon platform, relying on self-publishing or the so-called “publishing at the expense of the writer”, where he has published more than thirty authors in this way so far. Camus had explained to the French magazine “Lere” the process of this process, as each book is printed, on demand, in Poland, then the Amazon platform distributes it in France or anywhere else, which allows the writer to sell more than 300 copies per month and achieve a material income Convenient, since he gets more than 70 percent of the profits and the rest to Amazon. Rono Camus also offers his readers a subscription system on his own website for 40 euros annually, to enable them to obtain some exclusive content, especially his own blog, which adds to his previous income the equivalent of 2000 euros per month. The French writer believes that dispensing with traditional publishing houses gave him great freedom, and allowed the elimination of all intermediaries who exploit the essence of his work to seize profits. Eric Zemmour, writer and former candidate for the new far-right movement “Rokonkett” went even further when he established his own publishing house called “Ropunberry” after the “Alban Michel” house, with which the writer had been collaborating for years, refused to publish his book “France Didn’t Say Its Last Word”. » Following the announcement of his candidacy for the presidential elections. The controversial writer had told the Actuality de Livre website that the decision to establish a new publishing house was imposed on him after Alban Michel abandoned him, even though she had previously published books for candidates in the elections. Zammour’s first experience with self-publishing was successful, since the book achieved commercial success with more than 300,000 copies sold in 2021, and although the writer ruled out the idea of ​​buying the rights to his previous books, he announced that all his future works would be published in the new institution he established.


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