US editors meet their German peers

Having the pleasure and the privilege to travel with this group of US non fiction editors to see a number of German publishers in Munich and Frankfurt

Editors from the US on the S. Fischer Frankfurt roof top

Editors from the US on the S. Fischer Frankfurt roof top

– C.H. Beck, C. Hanser, Campus, Suhrkamp, S. Fischer, Random House  – the most interesting insight was at how many levels these markets have drifted apart:

  • Selling a good monograph to 12.000 readers (a normal target for German scholarly publishers) is just a dream on the US side;
  • Having philosophy or sociology titles finding readers outside of universities (and a shelf in a normal book store) again is unseen in the US;
  • Using print-on-demand is a very normal routine to produce books in the US, while their German homologues just start to discover this perspective;
  • EBooks accounting for 100.000 $ of sales in 2008 is better than average in the US; however such sales not even started in Europe;
  • Trying to jump start a book digitisation and eBook platform run by an association is hardly conceivable in the US, but a fact in Germany.

I will tell a few more details after a good night of sleep (or two). And, perhaps even more importantly, will introduce a few of those checking those new ways out.

More pix here

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