October 12, 2007
On the German Front
[Here's Andy's latest report from the Frankfurt Book Fair.]
So who have Ellen and I been meeting with here in Frankfurt and what are they interested in?
We have met with Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and general market publishers from all over the world. Some have wanted to get reading copies of one book. Some have wanted to look at several.
A publisher in India wanted to see How We Make Your Kids Angry.
A publisher in Sweden wanted to look at The Gift of Being Yourself.
A German publisher was interested in Deep-Rooted in Christ, a book we published by Joshua Choonmin Kang, a bestselling Korean author who pastors a church in Los Angeles.
A Norwegian editor wanted to see a book we publish on a Christian view of economics--Bulls, Bears and Golden Calves.
A Brazilian wanted to consider an IVP Academic book Rediscovering Paul.
A publisher from Korea was interested in Discipleship Essentials.
A Spanish publisher wanted to see Invitation to Solitude and Silence.
Usually publishers are interested in books under 200 pages because of the cost of translation. And often readers from other countries who might want to read our larger and higher level academic books already know English, so translations are rarely necessary or feasible. At the same time, many of these publishers already have authors from their own countries writing on some of the topics we publish and in a much more contextualized way.
Even with these factors in play, each year we continue to increase the number of contracts we write for translating our books. The substance and thoughtfulness of our books contribute to the good reception many of our titles receive. While contracts are rarely signed at Frankfurt itself, important groundwork is laid for future agreements.
Last night Ellen Hsu and I enjoyed dinner as guests of Brunnen Verlag--Giessen along with about a dozen others. Since we do business all day, our hosts said this was a time for a relaxed social visit. We ate at a restaurant whose name translates roughly as "Beautiful View," which it did provide, overlooking the city lights of Frankfurt from the outskirts of the city. Dinner was served on the more relaxed Eurpoean timetable which allowed for a pleasant evening with our German friends and several of our counterparts from other U.S. publishers.
What is the news on the rail strike? It changes minute by minute. This morning it was on, so we once again took a cab instead of using the commuter rail service. But word now is that more trains are running. So perhaps the union feels it has made its point for the moment by disrupting the morning commute--then again, maybe not.