Libraries and public schools in Quebec will not be able to acquire Ginette Reno’s autobiography, entitled Ginette, since it will be sold outside bookstores, La Presse has learned.

Ginette Reno’s decision, associated with producer and businessman Nicolas Lemieux, to sell her autobiography exclusively online and in Jean Coutu pharmacies will mean that the book may not end up on the shelves of the libraries of the province.

Indeed, the Act respecting the development of Quebec businesses in the field of books obliges institutional buyers – libraries and public schools among others – to buy all their books “in at least three approved bookstores” in their administrative region.

For example, the City of Longueuil must acquire the books it wants for its public libraries from at least three accredited bookstores in Montérégie.

“For the moment, if we want to respect the law, our libraries will not be able to proceed with the acquisition of Ginette Reno’s book”, confirmed Thursday Ève Lagacé, director general of the Association of public libraries of Quebec.

In an interview with La Presse published on March 17, Nicolas Lemieux indicated that booksellers could acquire Ms. Reno’s book through her transactional site Oziko, but under her conditions, in particular with a 15% discount. – instead of the 40% normally granted to retailers.

The president of the Association des libraires du Québec, Éric Simard, also a bookseller at the Librairie du Square, had indicated in this article that he would not buy the book under these conditions and that he would not encourage his fellow booksellers to acquire it. Renaud-Bray had had the same answer.

There is, however, an “exemption procedure” from the law, Ève Lagacé tells us, but “the interpretation of this article is not clear, this case is very special”. “We are currently awaiting a legal opinion from the Ministry of Culture and Communications,” she said.

The 11 exemptions cited in article 25 of the Act respecting the development of Quebec businesses in the field of books essentially concern old and rare books whose distribution has ceased, reprints and publications of works by specialized publishing houses, books other than those in English or French, audiovisual documents, etc.

Once the Quebec Public Libraries Association has ruled on the matter, it will publish a notice intended for all of its members.

Nicolas Lemieux had justified his decision to bypass the book chain – publisher, distributor, bookseller – by arguing that there were too many players in the chain, and that the current model had become “archaic”.

“At the end of the day, there’s almost never anything left for the author,” he told us. We talk about 10%, but sometimes it’s even less. I manage and produce artists, so my role is to help them make more money. »

Ginette Reno, who self-published the book written by songwriter Lambert – which will be launched on April 6 – has agreed with Mr. Lemieux to pay him a percentage of sales for distribution and marketing.