By Siobhan O’Leary
The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online Forschung (AGOF) [Working Group for Online Media Research] — a coalition of the leading online marketers in Germany — has released its latest figures on Internet use in Germany. According to the Boersenblatt, this year the percentage of shoppers who bought books online increased from 36.8% to 38.5%. In addition, 56.3% of the 103,370 people polled had searched online for information relating to books at least once in the previous 12 months, particularly those within the 30 to 49 age bracket. (And people of all ages in the survey searched for information about books online more than anything else). Of most interest to those in the book business is the fact that the number of people who searched for information and then subsequently bought a book increased this year from 66.9% to 68.4%.
Which up and coming author will get his or her “15 Minutes”? Germany’s largest book chain Thalia is teaming up with KulturSPIEGEL, the cultural supplement to Der Spiegel, to organize a competition that allows readers to choose their favorite new writer based on 20 short stories selected from more than 2,500 entries. According to BuchMarkt, the 20 finalists will all have a chance to participate in readings at several Thalia bookstores throughout the country at the end of October. The readings will also be available online as podcasts. The winner will receive a 3,000 Euro prize and will be published in KulturSPIEGEL. You can read the entries and vote on a winner at www.thalia.de/nachwuchsautoren.