By Siobhan O’Leary
According to Buchreport, dtv, the only German publisher focused exclusively on publishing paperbacks, will be expanding its list in summer 2010 to include an eight-title hardcover line in its dtv junior program. In the past year, dtv published ten hardcovers in its non-fiction program—the first time it had deviated from its paperback-only strategy. The new program will include original and German first editions for children and young adults. Rudolf Frankl told Buchreport that the market for children’s and YA books has changed and that it is now seen as a shortcoming for a publisher not to have a hardcover line. At the moment, dtv is not planning a hardcover expansion in any of its other programs.
Professional publishers are still investing plenty of money on new business development, despite decreasing sales and profitability and the challenges brought on by digitization. According to the Boersenblatt, authors and consultants Dr. Martina Steinröder and Bernd Pitz, supported by the Deutsche Fachpresse, conducted a survey of CEOs of professional publishers and found that these publishers are investing heavily in product and personnel development and in developing new offerings and services for their target audiences. Strategic acquisitions (software companies, for example) are also seen as a way to overcome the steep learning curve among employees of these publishing houses. The complete results of the study will be made available at the beginning of November.
To commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Goethe Institute has sent seven stones symbolizing the Wall to seven parts of the world (including Yemen, Korea, Mexico, Israel and Palestine), where they are being personalized by authors and artists. The Boersenblatt points out that Korean author Sok-Yong Hwang was in Berlin when the wall came down and has written his diary entries from that day on his stone. Part of the project will be on display in the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn as well as in the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum in Leipzig.