The novelist Guillaume Musso remains the favorite author of the French with more than 1.4 million copies of his books (all formats combined) sold in 2019, according to a study by the GfK institute published Thursday in Le Figaro.
This is the ninth consecutive year that Guillaume Musso has occupied the top spot in the Top 10 best-selling French authors in France. Behind the author of The Secret Life of Writers (Calmann-Lévy), the novelist Michel Bussi (946,008 copies sold in 2019) and the novelist and blogger Virginie Grimaldi (755,819).
Marc Levy (744.544), Aurélie Valognes (683.338), Raphaëlle Giordano (631.609), Agnès Martin-Lugand (592.279) and Franck Thilliez (585.072) follow them. Michel Houellebecq ranks 9th in the ranking thanks mainly to his novel serotonin (Flammarion), a literary event at the start of 2019. The writer has sold nearly 560,000 copies of his novel. The last place in the ranking is occupied by Valérie Perrin (503,867 copies sold, almost all in pocket).
Top 10 sales volume down
Overall, 2019 was less prosperous than the previous year. In 2018, Guillaume Musso sold 1.6 million copies of his books.
“The sales volume of the Top 10 French-speaking novelists has dropped sharply this year, with almost 1.5 million fewer copies,” said Paul-Antoine Jeanton, consultant specialized in the book sector at GfK, quoted by Le Figaro. The ten best-selling authors alone represent 21% of the sales and turnover of French fiction.
The GfK study /Le Figaro only takes into account works of fiction. This is why we do not find for example Sylvain Tesson, Renaudot essay prize in 2019, which however sold nearly 750,000 copies of his non-fiction books including The Snow Panther (Gallimard) last year.