Sunday, October 19, 2008

MediaWeek 42

Numerous articles on the Frankfurt Bookfair. Mokoto Rich in the NYTimes has two articles on translating foreign works. Looking for foreign titles for the US market: (link)

It is a commonly held assumption that Americans don’t like to read authors who write in languages they don’t understand. That belief persists here in Frankfurt, where publishers from 100 countries show off a smorgasbord of their best — or at least best-selling — books.

By and large, the American publishers spend most of the week in Hall 8, the enormous exhibit space where English-language publishers hold court.

Although there are exceptions among the big publishing houses, the editors from the United States are generally more likely to bid on other hyped American or British titles than to look for new literature in the international halls.
And another article about translations from English to foreign languages: (link)

A 20-year veteran of the fair who publishes many North American authors, including Malcolm Gladwell, Jeffrey Eugenides and Colson Whitehead, Ms. van der Pluijm, 46, promised to read the stories that night.

After the scout moved on, Ms. van der Pluijm (pronounced VAN der ploom) said it was a personal rule never to buy anything in Frankfurt. But she admitted that it was difficult sometimes not to get caught up in the frenzy. “It is so much more easy to buy something here than not to buy,” she said. Too many of the sales in Frankfurt, she said, were dictated by “too much excitement, not enough sleep and a big hangover.”
Talking about the elusive killer e-Book device (link):

Some believe they could galvanize the market for digital text in the way Apple's iPod did for digital music.

Penguin publishers Chief Executive John Makinson told Reuters: "They have become mainstream in the sense that they are a genuine consumer product for which there is real appetite, so this is not the province of geeks any longer."

Makinson said Penguin was now publishing all new titles both as printed books and e-books and was digitalizing its backlist.
Alison Flood at the Guardian takes a look at what books are selling at Frankfurt (link):
The publishing deals struck at the Frankfurt Book Fair set the tone for the books trade all around the world, and half way through the fair they are coming thick and fast. Publishers may still be bullish about their prospects, but the credit crunch is already driving big deals for books with a financial flavour.
Pearson reported strong 3rd quarter results last week. (Link):
  • Sales up 8% and operating profit up 11% at constant exchange rates
  • 2008 adjusted EPS expected to be toward the top end of current market estimates
Pearson, the international education and information company, is today providing an update on trading in the first nine months of 2008. Pearson continued to perform well in the third quarter. For the first nine months, sales are up 8% and operating profit up 11% at constant exchange rates. We are trading in line with our expectations, and we remain on track to make further progress on our financial goals in 2008. If the recent strengthening of the US dollar against sterling is maintained, we expect full-year adjusted earnings per share to be toward the top end of current market estimates*.

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