German Buch News: Holtzbrinck Launches Ebooks; Wolff Gets an Apology from US

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary

The Holtzbrinck Group, including the publishers Droemer Knaur, Fischer, Kiepenheuer & Witsch and Rowohlt, has announced that it will enter the e-book market — starting with around 800 titles (with plans to reach 1500 titles by the end of the year). According to the Boersenblatt, Holtzbrinck has thus far concluded agreements with Internet book retailer and the txtr e-reader creators, while booksellers will be able to obtain access to sell the group’s e-books via wholesalers like Libri and Umbreit or directly from HGB, Holtzbrinck’s own distribution system.

The Boersenblatt also reports that Edward M. Alford, the US Consul General in Germany, has personally apologized to Stroemfeld Verlag, publisher of author KD Wolff, who was refused entry into the US earlier this month. The incident made headlines when US authorities turned Wolff away upon his arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, where he was scheduled to speak at a conference on “African American Civil Rights and Germany in the 20th Century” at Vassar College.  Alford is also expected to visit Wolff on Thursday at the Stroemfeld booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Berlin Verlag, the German publisher of Margaret Atwood, has announced that it will offer her latest book Das Jahr der Flut (The Year of the Flood) in PDF format for free download on October 15th for 24 hours on According to BuchMarkt, all members of the network of the Berlin public library system will also have access to the book via “bob” — the partnership between Berlin Verlag and the Berlin public library system to provide a searchable virtual bookshelf that can be read online.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.