The French election as seen through the Best Sellers List:
PARIS, April 5, 2007 (AFP) - Bookstores have become a key battleground in the last mile of the French presidential race, with a record 110 titles hitting the shelves, from nuts-and-bolts analysis of the issues to intimate confessions from the candidates themselves.
Bad news for the Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, currently second in the polls: a virulent attack on her campaign and personality, written by a senior defector from her party, currently tops national sales across all categories.
"Who knows Madame Royal?" by the Socialists' former economics chief Eric Besson, who resigned in a row over the financing of Royal's campaign promises, describes the candidate as a glory-hunting populist.
....Book sales have mirrored the fortunes of the main candidates: a book by the centrist Francois Bayrou, "Project of Hope", shot into the best-seller charts last month as he emerged as a possible "Third Man" in the race. As his poll figures have levelled off, so have sales of his book.
Right-wing frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy stole a march on his rivals with the release last summer of a political autobiography called "Testimony", which has sold at least 160,000 copies nationwide -- 300,000 according to his editor.