RICHMOND, Va. — Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue will be released on Wednesday to tremendous fanfare and potentially millions of readers.
Last week’s deadly shooting introduced Charlie Hebdo to scores of people around the world who were previously unfamiliar with the French satirical magazine.
But will you be able to get your hands on a copy in Richmond? Or heck, in the United States?
The new issue has a cartoon depiction of the Prophet Mohammed shedding a tear on the cover, and holding a sign that read Je Suis Charlie, or “I am Charlie.” Above Mohammed, in French is the expression “Tout Est Pardonne,” meaning “All is forgiven.”
The print circulation is expected to be at least three million this time, versus a typical run of 60,000 issues.
The American audience may have to wait, however.
Locally, Fountain Bookstore said they would be interested in carrying the issue, though the problem is getting hold of it. Owner Kelly Justice noted there is an organization working to get copies for American distributors.
“We’ve had a lot of stores inquire about obtaining copies of Charlie Hebdo; and, are still trying to do what we can,” wrote American Booksellers Association CEO Orin Teicher, in an email.
For store owner Justice, the ABA’s commitment to free speech parallels the advocacy her bookstore stands behind.
“It’s about a bigger thing,” Justice explained of the advocacy work they do. “My mission as a bookseller is greater than just pushing books.”
And while the ABA searches for a way to obtain copies of the new issue, in the meantime, they are urging booksellers to join in a social media initiative aimed at channeling and amplifying support for their French colleagues. While all booksellers are encouraged by the ABA “to act today,” not everyone will.
Bookseller Barnes & Noble does not carry Charlie Hebdo and has “no plans to do so,” according to spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating.
A local representative at Libbie Place Barnes & Noble explained that if the stores don’t typically carry the publication, it is difficult to place an order for just one edition.
Laura Samuels, a spokeswoman for the Hudson Group, told CNNMoney that she didn’t know if her company’s hundreds of newsstands and book stores will sell the issue.
Hudson operates over 700 outlets in airports and transportation hubs in the U.S. and Canada.
Samuels said the company has never purchased Charlie Hebdo before and is still figuring out which distribution channels to go through to sell the magazine. She stressed the company is not fearful of selling Charlie Hebdo.
“We’re making inquiries,” Samuels said. “I can’t say that we will and I can’t say that we won’t.”
CNNMoney also called several newsstands in New York City, but employees all said the magazine will not be on their shelves.
Two major stores on the East Coast — Strand in New York City and Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C. — also will not sell the magazine.
The best hope, at least for New Yorkers, might be Albertine, a French bookstore that opened in Manhattan last year.
Francois Schmit, the store’s manager, told CNNMoney that he might have some issues to sell by the weekend. But he wasn’t sure.
“It’s very difficult to have more information,” he said.
Bidding is already underway for on Ebay, and the going price of one copy was up to $560 at 9 p.m. Wednesday.