What’s the Buzz: Wattpad in India; LeWeb Conference in Paris; Hans Georg Heepe Obituary

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson and Siobhan O’Leary

Wattpad, which has dubbed itself “the world’s most popular ebook community,” is making headlines with the announcement that its mobile application will now be available on India’s largest cell phone carrier, Bharti Airtel. Paul Biba of Teleread said, “As mobile Internet users significantly outnumber broadband users in India this dramatically expands Wattpad’s reach.” This announcement comes shortly after Wattpad posted its third quarter “Global Ebooks Metrics Report” which shows the USA, Indonesia and Vietnam as their largest mobile consumers of e-books.

On December 9 and 10, the LeWeb ’09 conference will take place in Paris, France. Started by Seesmic founder and CEO Loïc Le Meur and his wife, Géraldine, LeWeb is a conference about technology, the Internet, and how new developments are affecting business and social life. This year’s conference theme is “Real-Time Web.”

Starting in January 2010, Random House Germany will be reorganizing and decentralizing its in-house sales team. Each of the group’s publishing units will now be represented by individual sales managers. The idea behind the change is to improve customer service and the flow of information. The Boersenblatt includes a list of the newly named marketing directors and the imprints they represent.

“A life cast in words” -John Updike; Endpoint

Hans Georg Heepe, 73, master of the trans-Atlantic literary transfer, died of cancer on the 18th of November in Germany. Longtime Editorial Director of Rowohlt Verlag in Reinbek, he began as the right-hand man to legendary publisher Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, and over the course of five decades was one of the editors who was most instrumental in bringing American authors to German readers. He worked with some of the best of American writers: Paul Auster, James Baldwin, Harold Brodkey, Marilyn French, John Irving, Toni Morrison,Vladimir Nabokov and Thomas Pynchon—he knew them all. Heepe was a founding director of the Ledig Rowohlt Foundation and Ledig House International Writer’s Colony. The German translation of Endpoint, a volume of poetry by his favorite author, the late John Updike, was the last title he edited and saw into print. Born, raised and educated in Germany, he is survived by his wife, Christa Loose. A memorial service will be announced.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson

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Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.