Tag Archives: publishers

Bits und Bücher I/Bits and Books I

18 Oct

Der Besuch auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse war…  ja, wie beende ich diesen Satz? Interessant trifft es zwar, ist aber ebenso konkret wie ein Statement von Merkel zur Schulden- und Finanzkrise. Anstrengend? Klar, wer alle Gänge einmal abgelaufen ist, hat 21 km hinter sich gebracht. Und wer, wie ich, mehrmals in Halle 3.1. an Stand G 131 nach dem Rechten schaute, hatte auch irgendwann keine Lust mehr, die schwere Tasche zu schultern. Informativ? Das in jedem Fall. Ich wollte mich in Frankfurt über die Möglichkeiten und Kosten von E-Books informieren – und das konnte ich ausgiebig.

Halle 3.1 Stand G 131

Halle 3.1 Stand G 131

My visit of the Frankfurt Bookfair was… well, how to end this sentence? Interesting might nail it, but would be as meaningless as any of Merkel’s statements about the European debt and financial crisis. Tiring? Sure, if one did a complete tour of all halls, one would have walked 21 km. And if one, like me for instance, checked back frequently at Hall 3.1 booth G 131, he at some point got tired of carrying a heavy bag. Informative? Most definitely so. Coming to Frankfurt I wanted to gather information on possibilities and costs of e-books – and there was plenty of information.

Buch mit Torte

Wie unschwer zu erkennen ist, fällt Dschibonka schon wegen seines Formats aus dem Rahmen. Bei einem Rundgang einen Stock tiefer, wo etablierte Verlage ihre Kinderbücher präsentierten, wurde mir schnell klar, dass unser nicht ganz so kleines Buch auch hier herausgestochen hätte. Selbst beim Versuch, unbefangen an die Sache zu gehen, habe ich nur sehr, sehr wenige Bücher gesehen, die ich als Vorleser für meine Kleine ausgesucht hätte. Gerade für die Altersklasse oberhalb von vier Jahren umschreibt “schwer” meinen Eindruck am besten. Und damit meine ich nicht kompliziert. Viele Bücher wirken moralingetränkt und betulich – die Leichtigkeit feht. Und wenn das einmal nicht so ist, ist es meist eine Übersetzung. Dabei geht es auch anders: Im Bücherregal meiner Jüngsten stehen schon zwei Abenteuer von Kuh Liselotte von Alexander Steffensmeier. Die finde ich auch rundrum klasse.

As is easily spotted Jibonka is different. A floor below, where established publishers presented their children’s picture books, I noticed that our not so tiny book would have stuck out among these, too. Even if try to take an impartial look at their books, there were not many books I might have picked to read to my Youngest. A lot of books seem to be drenched in moral lessons or overly protective, nothing light about them. And if they are different, most of these are translations. But there are brilliant German picture books: My Youngest’s shelve harbours two adventure of a cow called Liselotte by Alexander Steffensmeier. And these are marvelous.

Der absolute Hammer aber sind die Kinderbilderbücher eines spanischen Verlags namens EDELVIVES. Sollte ich deren Bücher mit dem Vergleichen, was ich in Halle 3 gesehen habe… ginge es um Autos, stünde Halle 3 voller Polos, Golf und Astra Kombis, während bei EDELVIVES die komplette Palette von Rolls Royce, allerdings mit Hybridantrieb rumstehen zu bestaunen wäre.

My highlight of the trip was the booth of Spanish publisher EDELVIVES. Should I compare their books to the ones I have seen in Hall 3 – if they were cars, Hall 3 would have been packed with VW Polo or Golf and Opel Astra estates (or station wagons) while EDELVIVES hosted the whole range of Rolls Royce but with Hybrid motors.

In Teil zwei von Bits und Büchern geht es dann um E-Books und ob es für Adewani interessant sein kann.

Part two of Bits and Books will be about the e-book and if it could be an option for Adewani

German publishers und guts…

12 Jan

I just read a bedtime story to my youngest one. A picture book about a knight, his horse and some magic that went wrong. You guessed it, this one was written by a British author. As are about half of the books in my daughters’ shelf. And then there are those by Americans. Not to forget these by Dutch writers. Oh, and the Belgian, the French and the Swedish.

Well, we are German and live in Germany. Why, I asked myself, are there only a couple of books in y kids shelf that were originaly written in German? Don’t get me wrong! I rarely read books in German myself. I like crime novels and there are not a lot of German crime novels that I like – a ot of them contain too much verbal wanking and sentences that never seem to end.  I am sure there are those German writers who write funny and witty like Colin Cotterill or Lawrence Block, but I suspect they don’t get published.

With children’s picture book it seems to be the same way. A literary agent ones told me that Lauren Child is lucky to be English. A German publisher would have never published her fabulous work. Of course the books are translated and sell quite well – she has her own page on amazon.de.

German publishers happily get the rights for succesful books from abroad, regardless of their weirdness. But they just don’t seem to have the guts to try some local weird stuff. A moral lesson seems to be mandatory. There are exceptions, but if the book is finished and father and daughter grin -it was mostly a translated book. Ah well, at least there will be always a lot of work for translators around here.

“Jibonka” will not have the words “translated by” in it. We wrote it in German and English from the start. Anyway, in a few month there will be a really colourful addition to my kids’ shelf.