Tuesday, 30 November 2010

German Publisher of the Year

I like this little newsflash - trade mag Buchmarkt crowns its publisher of the year every December, chosen by the previous winners. This year it's Ulrich Genzler of Heyne Verlag - a Random House imprint that publishes almost entirely translations. Stephen King, John Grisham, Keith Richards, Stieg Larsson, Tom Clancy - apparently he has an infallible instinct for bestsellers.

I was about to express wonderment at the differences between the German and English-speaking publishing worlds. You know, my usual tirade about bestsellers in translation. But then I realised that in fact, Heyne's catalogue could just as easily be a British commercial publisher's list, taking safe bets on the exact same big names. Oh, and they have a delightful line in "dumb books for women" too. Congratulations.

(I have to admit I like the look of Heyne Hardcore though, with a very obscure mix of hymns to heavy metal, original erotica and strange things translated out of Scandinavian, Italian and Japanese as well as English. And David Peace alongside Beth Ditto!)

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