250.000 copies. This would be unheard of in the publishing world. Paris Match suggested recently that a secret work would be fired at a figure in the phenomenal at the start of the literary. A publication called the “under X” which implies that neither the name of the author nor the contents of the book were unveiled. Extremely rare, this procedure can be used to prevent leakage – and therefore a trial or an exit to a competitor.

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The assumptions are flowing in. The World , journalist Laurent Telo carried out the investigation. It raises the possibility of a book that would not be a fiction, and that would be a revelation in the media, financial or political scale. Enough to require the mystery. Among the subjects are plausible, the case of the legacy of Johnny Hallyday or the fall of Carlos Ghosn, the all-powerful boss of the Renault-Nissan accused of misuse of corporate assets and concealment of income.

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Book in the phenomenal or the simple shot of buzz?

This could also be a text posthumously a famous personality passed away recently, published by Plon. The names of Philip Roth, Michel Serres, Jean d’ormesson, come to mind. A hosanna without end , released after the death of the academician had been printed in 140,000 copies. But why publish it “under X”? “To create the buzz, I don’t really see the interest,” breath in World Anne-Laure Walter of the trade magazine Livres-Hebdo . She wants to prove that two days are enough to organize a new printing of a book. And, therefore, not to take the risk of finding themselves with a stock of unsold goods.

Another oddity, the mysterious book should be out at the time of the start of the literary. It would crush then all the rest of the publications of the publishing house. It would be surprising that a big house to take this decision, a small structure, which published little, could afford it. But how would she be able to get to 250,000 copies, a figure that is even more important than the firebrand of Valérie Trierweiler published “under X” in 2014? Thank you for this moment had been printed in 200,000 copies.

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The World reports that this rumor could also just be a misunderstanding. Calmann-Lévy has to actually publish a book “under x”, a translation of an american text, to 25,000 copies. This “x” is the prudence in waiting for the green light american and non-research “buzz”. A 0 if there is he hung by mistake? One thing is for sure, a publication of 250,000 copies would not make the happiness of the booksellers, which are not put in the secret and discover the name of the author and the content of the book to the delivery. “In these cases, one is bound hand and foot to the publisher. It is he who decides on the number of copies that will ship to us without taking into account our opinion,” explained the Figaro a bookseller at the time of the release of’ public Enemies of Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Lévy.