“Books in Translation: Wanderlust for the Written Word.” Join us for BookExpo America in New York.
April 2, 2014 by admin

BookExpo America announces speaker list for Global Market Forum 2014: Books in Translation; Wanderlust for the Written Word

The most ambitious and most senior line up of industry voices from the US and the international community that we have ever welcomed to our global event”, says BEA show director Steve Rosato

 Norwalk, CT, April 2, 2014:  The digital revolution and the new global dynamics in the book trade have re-invented and re-invigorated the translation market.   Authors like Scandinavian crime writers Stieg Larsson or Jo Nesbo have become global brands.  Established US publishers, as well as many new companies and ventures, build their profiles and programs around translations, bringing literature from around the world and across many languages to American readers. With the help of digital distribution and Internet based social communities of readers, innovative bridges are being be built, creating a new connected environment.   For example, English and Spanish speaking audiences are sharing books, readers and authors as never before.

In a world summit focused on the professional issues and opportunities related to books in translation, BEA’s Global Market Forum 2014: Books in Translation; Wanderlust for the Written Word will open a one day conference on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, to explore how these new opportunities can be turned into new business for authors, agents, publishers and translators.  In addition, a dedicated Translation Market pavilion and stage on the BEA show floor will be open during the exhibit show days (Thursday, May 29 – Saturday, May 31), offering publishers a new and low priced format for matchmaking and promoting translated books as well as grants and sponsorships for translations.

“This is the most ambitious and most senior line up of industry voices from the US and international community that we have ever welcomed to our global event”, says BEA show director Steve Rosato.  “The fact that so many leaders are contributing their time and talent not only validates our efforts but it underscores how rapidly and significantly the translation business is developing.”

Speakers will include executives from the US Big Five publishers, including Carol Brown Janeway of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; John Siciliano of Penguin; as well as representatives from independent presses, including Michael Reynolds of Europa Editions, and Sal Robinson of Melville House.

Several successfully translated authors will be adding their perspective, including internationally acclaimed bestselling writer Joel Dicker, whose The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair will be released in the US at the time of BEA.  Additionally, Marcos Giralt Torrente, the preeminent Spanish author of many books, most notably The End of Love, will also be participating in this year’s forum.  Mr. Giralt Torrente will have three of his books released in English to the US market from three different publishing ventures within a span of 18 months including books from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, McSweeney’s, and Hispabook.      

New opportunities for translations will be discussed, including ways to reach into the huge Spanish language market; significant new translation grants and awards will also be examined and discussed, such as the Russian initiative ReadRussia and its new “Read Russia English-language Prize”, which will be awarded at the time of BEA in New York.  New publishing ventures which specialize in translation, such as the New Vessel Press, will also be the subjects of analysis and discussion.   

The topics and speakers for the Global Market Forum 2014: Books in Translation; Wanderlust for the Written Word will be further extended and broadened by members of its own advisory board which includes:  Esther Allen, translator and Associate Professor at the Baruch College, City University of New York; Maria Campbell of Maria B. Campbell Associates; Susan Bernofsky of the Columbia University School of the Arts; Susan Harris of Words Without Borders; Susie Nicklin of the British Marsh Agency; and Ricky Stock of the German Book Office in New York.

The GMF Books in Translation; Wanderlust for the Written Word program has been curated by Rüdiger Wischenbart, director of foreign affairs for BookExpo America.  BEA’s initiative on behalf of the Translation Market pavilion will be a permanent feature following the Global Market Forum of 2014, where players from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah (UAE), Spain and the US have signed up as exhibitors.

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The Spring 2014 update of the Global eBook report will be released on April 8, 2014
March 24, 2014 by admin

The Spring 2014 update of the Global eBook report will be released on April 8, 2014, with a presentation at the London Book Fair.



The new version will include notably:

  • Latest data, comparisons and analysis on the evolution of ebook markets across Europe and in the US;
  • A comparative analysis of surprisingly diverse strategies of ebook pricing in various markets across Europe;
  • Market updates for Brazil and India;
  • An overview of key activities of global players, notably Amazon, with regard to ebooks, and estimates of market shares in main markets;
  • The newly introduced eBook Yellow Pages (beta), as a listing of companies relevant to ebook developments.

Links to download the report in PDF, ePub and Kindle formats will be available at www.global-ebook.com .

Join us at the London Book Fair for a panel debate, with Javier Celaya of DosDoce.com (Spain) and Jens Klingelhöfer of Bookwire (Germany) to discuss current trends and debates.

London Book Fair
April 8, 2014, from 10:00 to 11:00 am
Earls Court, Room Wellington

Support the Global eBook report by booking your advertisement in the eBook Yellow Pages (find details at www.global-ebook.com ) or become a sponsor.

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Questionnaire for the Global eBook report update spring 2014: Share your insights, now.
February 18, 2014 by admin

The Global eBook report is updated every half year, to map and analyze the evolution of international ebook markets.

As data are still difficult to find, and ever harder to consolidate, we have built an online questionnaire, for asking industry insiders – publishers, distributors, authors, agents, experts, academics – to share their assessment and their insights, as one key ingredient to the report.

The results from this international survey is critical for the quality of our study.

We therefore ask for your help by both sharing your insights by completing your personal questionnaire , and by forwarding the questionnaires to your colleagues, to widen the contributing community.

Please submit questionnaires before March 7, 2014.

Many thanks for your kind help!

PS: And check out our new feature, the eBook Yellow Pages. Make sure that your company is listed, or even consider buying a personalized advertisement. All details at www.global-ebook.com .

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Who does what in international ebooks? We start an Ebook Yellow Pages. Join us. Help us getting it started.
February 13, 2014 by admin

As ebooks go international, it is ever more relevant – and more difficult – to understand who does what, practically and professionally, on a global scale.

By launching an Ebook Yellow Pages, as a new section in the Global eBook report, we want to create a professional listing of dedicated service providers, distributors and aggregators, specialized publishers / imprints, reading platforms and communities, professional educational, et al.

Please help us in this effort by
- Making us aware of companies, services, platform that should be listed;
- Consider listing your own company;
- Buy an advertisement, to highlight your company’s competences and offer.

You find all details, incl. sample pages, and booking details at http://www.global-ebook.com (or http://www.wischenbart.com/page-4 )

We kick it off with the next update in April 2014 (deadline for submissions is March 10, 2014).

Looking very much forward to your feedback and input!

Ruediger Wischenbart

PS: Apologies for cross posting, but we need to spread the invitation on the broadest relevant scale. Thank you for your understanding and indulgence.

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Who does what in global ebooks? Introducing eBook Yellow Pages.
February 5, 2014 by admin

Ebooks are currently re-inventing book publishing on a global scale. But not everything about ebooks is the same everywhere. Not at all!

This is why we introduce eBook Yellow Pages as new section to the Global eBook report, to highlight and organize B2B references to relevant companies and organizations.

Become a part of the grid, by having, like in a dedicated business listing, your company name, a short profile, a link, and a flashy ad in the Global eBook report, for just € 250.


The Global eBook report, updated every half year since 2011, is mapping and analyzing how ebooks evolve, with country close ups for most European countries, North America, as well as key emerging markets, in Brazil, China, Russia or India. Thematic articles summarize the expansion of global players like Amazon, Apple, or Kobo, compare ebook pricing strategies and ebook bestsellers for European main markets, and summarize controversial debates on piracy or DRM.

The new eBook Yellow Pages will be integrated in the April and October 2014 updates, listing specialized distributors and aggregators, dedicated ebook service providers, ebook-only publishing startups and sub-divisions as well as educational programs.

For only € 250 (instead of the regular € 300), the introductory offer includes your personal company ad (in PNG format), together with 3 lines of text and a link to your website, organized along main categories of company activities. In addition, the company name, short description and link will also appear at the bottom of one country close up. An index will display featured companies in alphabetical order.

Book your entry now, and have your company featured in both the April and in the October 2014 update.

Convenient payment by credit card. Submission of your wording and ad (in PNG) by email.

Register by email today with Sabine Stalujanis (sabine.stalujanis (at) wischenbart.com) , or check for more details and a few sample pages at www.global-ebook.com

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Get the ideas for tomorrow’s publishing, in Germany, and globally: Join us for Publishers’ Forum 2014 in Berlin
January 22, 2014 by admin

Getting a concrete reading of how the book industry changes ain’t an easy exercise.

We saw the dramatic rise of ebooks, first in the English language, now also in German. But most book markets in continental Europe are strained. We witness deep trouble in bookselling, as in France the book chain Chapitre was closed, and Weltbild in Germany filed for insolvency. We marvel at globalization – and new giants emerging, like in the merger of Penguin and Random House. But we also welcome so many new ventures, be it small book shops, or highly ambituous innovators in the digital environment, be it hugely ambituous new reading communities, or simply old houses that undergo radical change in their internal organization, their business model and their revenue streams.

At this year’s “Publishers’ Forum“, on May 5 and 6, 2014, in Berlin, a gathering of leading book professionals from both Germany as well as international players, will review trends, and discuss consequences resulting from these developments. And I feel honored to have been asked to help in programming the event, together with its long time director and mastermind, Helmut von Berg.

After a few months of preparations, we can proudly reveal a growing line up of speakers and topics:

Speakers will include Richard Charkin, executive director, and Nigel Newton, founder of Bloomesbury Publishing and Johann Kempe, CIO of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group; Brian O’Leary, consultant and educational expert Margret Ruep, Francis Bennet of Yale University Press, David Klett of Klett Publishing  and Stephan Schierke, President and CEO of arvato; selfpublished author  Hugh Howey, moderators David Warlock and Jörg Pfuhl, and distributors Jens Klingelhöfer of Bookwire and Thomas Raff of KNO VA.

The debate will focus on key topics such as reorganizing the value chain, the digitization of educational publishing, and new strategies for collaboration, discoverability and data analysis. Media partners include buchreport and Börsenblatt.

We can promise two exciting days packed with insights and hands-on expertise. And we keep you posted, as more details will be released.

Follow the Publishers’ Forum website, this blog or our updates on twitter. See you in Berlin on 5 and 6 May, 2014!

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The Weltbild insolvency – Germany is living through its Borders incident
January 17, 2014 by admin

Serious shock waves have been triggered by the announcement of Weltbild filing for insolveny a week ago. The company is one of the largest retailers of books and other media in Europe. Together with Munich based Hugendubel, Weltbild controls Germany’s second largest book chain (behind Thalia), and operates the second largest online platform for books, behind Amazon, and it is a key partner, together with its rival Thalia, of the anti-Amazon ebook Alliance Tolino.

While details of the insolvency and rescue plan may not be clear before March of this year, many observers bet on the heterogenous group’s assets being striped, with the online business forming the core of the valuable pieces to be offered for sale to an investor, while many of the 300 brick and mortar outlets may be doomed.

While initial comments had a tendency to downplay the overall impact on Germany’s book and publishing market, I would disagree, and rather expect this to be the “Borders incident” for what used to be Europe’s most stable book market. It will shake the Tolino alliance, and thus other initiatives aiming at building local alternatives to the expansion of global players, while Amazon is the likely winner, grabbing much of the market share that Weltbild has grown over the past years, much of it coming from new customer groups rather than from the traditionally conservative book buyers. Also the Weltbild crash must be viewed in line with similar havoc among big book (and media) chains in France (Chapitre, Virgin) or the Netherlands (Selexyz,  Polare).

Find my analysis with more detail at Publishers Weekly here.

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Angebot für ein Praktikum / Internship available
December 17, 2013 by admin

Angebot für ein Praktikum / Internship available (English below): Von Mitte Januar bis Mitte April suchen wir jemanden für gezielte Recherchen und Basisarbeiten am “Global eBook” Report (www.global-ebook.com ) Voraussetzungen: Augen, Ohren und Hirn offen und neugierig, insbesondere in Sachen Buch, Buchmärkte, Kultur weltweit; gut organisiert & strukturiert denkend, teamfähig; sehr geübt in English und noch einer oder mehreren Sprachen in Wort & Schrift. Wir bieten Mitarbeit an einem innovativen Projekt und bescheidene Bezahlung.
We have an internship available from mid Jan to mid April 2014, located in Vienna (teleworking partially possible), for basic research re: the Global eBook report (www.global-ebook.com ). What we need: Wide open eyes, ears and mind, notably re: books, publishing, culture worldwide; being well organized and team oriented; fit to work in English and one or several more languages. What we offer: Be a part of an outstanding project (good reference, really!), and moderate financial compensation.
Bewerbungen bitte per Email / Applications by email at ruediger@wischenbart.com

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Is “hating Amazon” a good option? A new round in the controvery in Germany, and a reply.
December 5, 2013 by admin

“If I hate a company, it is Amazon”, was the cry of battle that Sibylle Lewitscharoff, winner of the prestigeous Büchner Prize in 2013, offered to her cheering audience at the opening of this year’s Buch Wien fair. As her address was published in Germany, in the daily Die Welt, an avalanche of 1500 posts on Facebook, a couple of hundred reader commentaries and many many tweets followed. However, the response was mixed between approval for the anti Amazon emotions, and more critical comments.

The debate coincided with an interview that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos had given to the CBS “60 minutes” news show, and yes, this was the talk with the book drones. But more interesting to me at least was a short, yet pretty sharp comment of Bezos with  regard to the book trade, as he said:

The Internet is disrupting every media industry, Charlie, you know, people can complain about that, but complaining is not a strategy. And Amazon is not happening to book selling, the future is happening to book selling.
I thought that these two quotes, from lewitscharoff and from bezos, are the perfect starting point for reviewing the heated controversy on Amazon that is raging across Europe, and notably its well intentioned reading and book selling communities. So I wrote my take on that debate for “Die Welt“. (You should be able to get the principle thoughts via Google Translate)
In short, I opened with Bezos’ critique, arguing that books and reading, with a market value of € 9 bn in Germany alone, more than music, games or even movies, has turned into a massive cultural industry, second only to TV. And that cultural industry, with its millions and millions of readers, has expanded far beyond the level of 18th century “Salons” and their spirit of exclusivity. Today, looking at books and reading means to think of India or China, with a globalizing middle class of most diverse communities.
Amazon must be blamed, obviously, for shabby working conditions in its fulfillment centers, and for complex tax schemes, avoiding to paying taxes where the profits are made. But again, we must add that the member countries of the European  Union simply fail to agree on fixing such loopholes, as they do in their endless disputes about VAT and reduced taxing schemes for cultural goods, books, ebooks, whatever. In Germany, for long the strongest book market for translations, the number of newly translated works came down in the past decade, not the least echoing an endless (national) quarrel on a fair compensation for translators. The book chains, yesterday’s agents of evil in bookish Europe, today stand up dressing as victims from Amazon’s onslaught. Etc., etc.
From a more neutral standpoint, Amazon is a threat to the status quo of this industry, certainly. But most of all, Amazon is the answer to some really pressing and tough questions (which we people of European culture rather tend to avoid):
How can we re-invent books and reading, to the standards and requirements of the 21st century? And this means digital, and this means global, too. Amazon has come up with one answer to that, and a successful one. If we don’t like it, we should better start thinking of our own response, and how it can be even stronger than that of Amazon.
Or as Jeff Bezos hinted rightly: “Complaining is not a strategy.”
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The book markets in Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine: Globalization and the peripheries
October 31, 2013 by admin

The globalization of the book trade is discussed mostly with regard to the most powerful, plus some emerging markets like Brazil or China. But obviously, the many smaller countries, and those on the peripheries from the centres of globalization, look at a challenging future as well. Local publishers and booksellers have to struggle with a difficult economic environment. Reading elites often import the newest books, in English though, as they do with electronic devices. And often enough, a strong neighbor country competes through regional exports for a culturally fragmented local audience. Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine are three highly interesting examples for getting an understanding for scenarios of change that are applicable in many parts of today’s book world.

Invited by the NextPage foundation, we have had the priviledge to act as an external advisor to a project mapping the book markets of Armenia, georgia and the Ukraine. Find the full reports and other relevant information on these countries and their book markets at the BookPlatform website, a summary video of our presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2013, and a short overview of key findings for download here.

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