French or French-language publishers and the Web

The focus here is on the period 1999-2000, and concerns the Web sites of French and French-language publishers, analysing some of the different positions they take when confronting new conditions of book distribution and marketing. At least 10% of publishers today have a Web site, and an to be found amongst those are two thirds of the hundred top publishers in business terms. A typological classification of the sites of publishers is worked out which distinguishes "shop window", "catalogue" and "for sale" sites. Following on from these diverse practical details, some hypotheses are formulated concerning the strategies of publishers in dealing with this new medium.