By Siobhan O’Leary
Swedish crime novelist Liza Marklund recently found herself in the midst of a controversy in the German publishing world when she spoke out against Germany’s fixed book price law and questioned the significance of small booksellers in an interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. German booksellers (particularly the smaller ones, who were most directly affronted by the author’s comments) responded with an e-mail blast calling for a boycott of Marklund’s books.
At the urging of her German publisher, Siv Bublitz of Ullstein, Marklund quickly released a statement saying that her words had been taken out of context and apologizing for having inadvertently offended German booksellers. According to BuchMarkt, Marklund went on to say that she does not know the German market as well as she knows the Swedish or American markets (she is, in fact, co-owner of the Swedish house Piratförlaget). She added that she is now more aware of the important and unusually strong role that small and mid-sized booksellers play in Germany and that the fixed book price takes on another meaning in light of this.