Monday, November 07, 2011

Erotic German Publisher is Catholic!

For any Frankfurt book fair attendee the idea that the average German trade publisher would publish some erotic fiction would be met with a shrug.  More surprising would be a publisher that didn't, but when the publisher in question is the Catholic church then the whole thing degenerates into a race to characterize the entire Church as a porn broker.

From the Independent, there's pornography in the opening paragraph:
Germany's biggest Catholic-owned publishing house has been rocked by disclosures that it has been selling thousands of pornographic novels with titles such as Sluts Boarding School and Lawyer's Whore with the full assent of the country's leading bishops.
But then it is mere 'erotic' in the third:
Buchreport revealed that Weltbild's massive assortment of titles available to customers online includes some 2,500 "erotic" books with unmistakably lewd titles including Call Me Slut!, Take Me Here, Take Me Now! and Lawyer's Whore, to name a few. The publisher's website also pictures the titles' lascivious dust jackets that feature colour photographs of scantily clad women in high heels and erotic underwear.
Perhaps more interesting is the news that the church appears to be managed by some hard nosed business people who aren't afraid to shrug off a little criticism. Weltbild is a company with an annual turnover of €1.7bn and is Germany's largest bookseller after Amazon.
The Catholic Church bought Weltbild more than 30 years ago. The publisher has gradually transformed itself into one of Germany's largest media companies with the help of some €182mof Catholic Church tax levied on believers. To increase its profits, in 1998 the company merged with five other publishing houses that market pornographic titles. One of them is Droemer Knaur, which is 50 per cent church-owned. Another is Blue Panther Books, which was excluded from the list of participating publishers at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair allegedly because of the pornographic content of is titles. 
On their website they threaten to sue the slanderers.

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