German Buch News: Looking at Lübbe’s Staff Translators; Holidays May Add Up to 25% of Total Sales; Introducing Tandoku

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary

German publisher Lübbe has had translators on staff since 2007, and Buchreport features an interview with Klaus Kluge, Lübbe’s Sales & Marketing Director, about the merits of having in-house translators. Kluge finds that the stability is a plus, both for the publisher and the translators, who themselves have the security of a guaranteed income, as well as a small royalty from the books they’ve worked on. He noted that Lübbe still works with freelancers, but the company’s permanent employee model is what ultimately enabled them to be the first to publish a translated edition of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

Though a happy ending is by no means certain for 2009, Buchreport predicts that its  final eight weeks are likely to account for as much as 25% of all sales for the year. At the end of the 10-month mark, sales in the book trade were up 1.6% over last year (as a point of comparison, sales were down 3% over 2007 at this point last year). Still, much of this increase is a result of an hike in average book prices, not an increase in number of units sold, so booksellers and publishers will have to be proactive if they want to move as many units as they did last holiday season.

Sudoku puzzles have become a regular sight in trains, planes and coffee shops all over the world and now German company Breuer & Wardin Verlagskontor is adapting the concept to use words, letters, symbols and trivia, instead of numbers. Meet Tandoku—a sort of hybrid of Sudoku and crossword puzzles that is meant to be both fun and educational. There’s a puzzle for example that asks readers to name all of Germany’s rivers (and fit them all into the 9×9 boxes that are characteristic of a Sudoku puzzle). BuchMarkt reports that author Rainer Gerthner sees it as a way for people to learn without even realizing they’re doing it. There are already two books available, one with puzzles on general knowledge and the other about basic English vocabulary. The puzzles are also available as downloads on for €1.99 each.

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.