Global Trade Talk: 753 Million French Euros for Digitization; Sem-Sanberg Wins August Prize; Thalia Takes Control of Buch.de

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka and Siobhan O’Leary

Some French may not appreciate the Google Book Settlement, but at least they’re proving that they are not afraid of digitization. To wit, France’s Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterrand, has requested 753 million euros to support the digitization of French cultural content, reports Reuters. It is estimated that the amount would cover the total remaining cost digitizing the entirety French cultural history, from books to museum archives to films.

Steve Sem-Sandberg took home the 100,000 kr. August Prize, Sweden’s richest prize for literature (aside from the Nobel) for his novel The Destitutes of Lodz at a Monday night ceremony in Stockholm, according to Kultur & Noje. The book, which is about the Jewish ghetto that was established by the Nazis in the Polish city of Lodz, was a hot property in Frankfurt and has already sold in 19 countries.

Bertelsmann continues to divest itself of some of its ancillary businesses. As of December 1st, Thalia Holding will be taking over an additional 24.7% share of online bookseller buch.de from Reinhard Mohn GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, writes the Borsenblatt. This brings Thalia’s total stake to 60.2% and comes just a few months after Bertelsmann’s Random House sold its entire share of audible.de to Amazon.

The head of the Federation of German Authors, Imre Török, has expressed dismay that some publishers are reducing e-book royalty rates. In an interview with buchreport, he is particularly upset at Macmillan’s announcement that it will be offering authors a royalty of 20% of net receipts on e-book sales, about 5% lower than most other US publishers, including Random House, and said authors are already getting shortchanged because of lower book prices.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.