Mélissa Da Costa: France’s Bestselling Novelist of 2023

2023-12-17 14:10:00

More than 1.1 million books sold in one year! This is Mélissa Da Costa’s beautiful Christmas present. Still unknown four years ago, the young novelist should, according to our information and barring a huge last-minute surprise, establish herself as the biggest seller of French-speaking novels in France in 2023. The month of December is certainly one of the more important for booksellers, with 15 to 20% of annual purchases on average, but for her, the game is over.

Buoyed by the success of “Women at the End of the World”, released last March, and by that of her first novel, “All the Blue of the Sky”, which dates from 2019 but continues to sell in paperback, she won the Grail . And in passing, she dethrones King Guillaume Musso, who reigned almost unchallenged for… twelve years, who has to be content with just over 540,000 copies in all formats combined.

If the rise of Mélissa Da Costa is meteoric, the decline of Guillaume Musso, who should find himself in 6th place in the 2023 top this year, is not surprising. The publishing star has not published anything new in the last twelve months. However, in publishing, the rule is infallible: the arrival of a new novel systematically causes a jump in paperback sales of the author’s previous titles. With more than 540,000 books sold at the end of November, Guillaume Musso has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. It remains to be seen whether the Antibes writer, who will publish his 22nd work, “Someone Else” in March, will regain his throne next year…

“She never writes the same book”

At 33, the young novelist from Ain continues to shake up French publishing. First there was his first novel, “All the Blue of the Sky”, written on the Internet in 2019, spotted by the small house Carnets Nord and published in Livre de Pocket the following year. The novel, which takes the reader on a moving journey against a backdrop of illness and encounters and recognizable by its old Volkswagen van on the cover, has become a phenomenon with sales exceeding a million copies. Even today, it is in the top 10 most purchased bags!

Under the spell of the text, Parisian publisher Lina Pinto convinces the thirty-year-old to join Albin Michel. In 2020, she published “les Lendemains” then “Je revenant des autres” the following year. Double blow in 2022 with “Phantom Pains” and “Doubling”. They all sell like hotcakes, in large and small formats. For her publisher, if her readership continues to grow, it is “because Mélissa never writes the same book”. “With her, I am always surprised and her next text which will be released in the fall is no exception to the rule,” she continues. She is a writer who follows her instinct, she is sincere and talented. She is also a beautiful person. »

In 2022, Mélissa Da Costa had already created a surprise by climbing onto the third step of the podium, behind Guillaume Musso and Joël Dicker but ahead of Virginie Grimaldi! The latter should also end the year in style by taking number 2 in the ranking. Her latest novel, “Une belle vie”, is already a bestseller and the one who was voted the French’s favorite novelist would see her sales in 2023 flirt with one million copies compared to 820,000 in 2022.

Clearly, female novelists are in the spotlight this year. On the third step of the podium, we find Maud Ankaoua with more than 720,000 copies sold at the end of November. She too was completely unknown until the excitement surrounding her first novel, the phenomenal “Kilometer Zero”, released in 2017, which has just passed the million copies mark in paperback.

With more than 690,000 books sold over the first eleven months of the year, Pierre Lemaitre will normally be the first man in the ranking. His fresco “The Glorious Years”, the third volume of which arrives in January, is very successful, like his trilogy “Children of Disaster”. It is Franck Thilliez who should occupy 5th place with 600,000 copies in total, his diabolical “The Fault” having done very well. The king of crime fiction thus places himself in front of Guillaume Musso.

A women’s year which also confirms the boom in romance, a new trend in modern love stories, with the surprise arrival in this ranking of two young authors, until now mainly read on the Internet and who can now be found in bookstore. With more than 511,000 books sold at the end of November, the Algerian and French-speaking Sarah Rivens, whose “Captive” series even found itself number 1, must climb to 7th place, ahead of Morgane Moncomble (470,000 copies), a young woman we haven’t heard the last of… Building on the success of “Symphony of Monsters” from his “Nine” trilogy, Marc Levy should be number 9! On the other hand, the battle for tenth place promises to be close between Bernard Minier and Michel Bussi.

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