German Buch News: Vodafone Plans Open E-book Platform; Suhrkamp Sells Archive

In Global Trade Talk by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary


Mobile service provider Vodafone is planning to launch an open content platform for e-readers next year. Werben & Verkaufen magazine reports that the new platform will be introduced at the CeBit convention in March 2010.  Several publishers, including Axel Springer, have already signed a letter of intent to make their content available on the platform and the plan is for revenues to be split 50/50 between Vodafone and participating publishers. Borsenblatt covers the news here.

Suhrkamp Verlag, which is in the midst of a move from Frankfurt to Berlin, has also signed a letter of intent to hand over its entire literary archive, and that of Insel Verlag, to the Deutsche Literaturarchiv Marbach. According to Buchreport, this will make the Marbach collection one of the most important collections of 20th century German-language literature and philosophy. The Suhrkamp archive includes manuscripts and correspondence from authors like Theodor Adorno, Bertolt Brecht, Max Frisch, and many more.

Speaking at the Münchner Medientagen (Munich Media Days) via Skype, author and blogger Jeff Jarvis warned attendees not to protect old media, but rather to embrace the Google model. According to the Frankfurter Rundschau, he pronounced that “print is dying before our eyes.” Jarvis was criticized by other participants, including Handelsblatt editor-in-chief Bernd Ziesemer, who said the focus should be on providing content and quality and not simply on format.

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.