‘New Italian Books’ Launches: Titles and Translation Grant Info

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The brand-new translation rights promotion project from Italy offers an introductory session on Thursday with commentary and input from Paris, Madrid, Munich, and London as well as Milan.

A shot of final stage work and sound checks in Bergamo on Sunday (June 28). The outdoor concert was held to honor Italians lost to the coronavirus, a performance of Bergamo native Donizetti’s 1835 Requiem in memory of Bellini. Wind instruments were behind plexiglass for safety. The performance was attended by the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella. Image – iStockphoto: Mr Kit

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Translation Will Be Provided on Thursday

Many were interested in our June 11 introduction of the New Italian Books program—the newly created effort to promote Italian literature in translation and provide translation funding information to international publishers.

We have news today (June 30) of an online live stream on Thursday (July 2) in which the new initiative will be presented to the international publishing audience at 11:30 a.m. CEST (0930 GMT, 10:30 a.m. BST, 5:30 a.m. ET).

New Italian Books is being promoted by the Italian Encyclopedia Institute, Treccani, the support from the ministry of foreign affairs, as well as the Centro per il Libro e la Lettura (the Center for Books and Reading from the ministry of culture and tourism), in collaboration with the Italian publishers association (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE).

Sites on which you can see the stream on Thursday (in their video sections):

Speaking during the session:

  • Katia Pizzi, Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) in London, will interview Ka Bradley from Granta Books
  • Fabio Gambaro, IIC in Paris, will interview Liana Levi from Liana Levi edizioni
  • Laura Pugno, IIC in Madrid, will interview Luis Solano from Libros del Asteroide
  • Francesco Ziosi, IIC in Munich, will interview Piero Salabè from Hanser Verlag
English and Subtitles

A shot from Sunday, June 28, in Virgoletta. Image – iStockphoto: Fermate

One reason we appreciate the way this event is being set up: translation. The opening comments from speakers will be made in English, as will interviews from London and Munich. Comments from Paris and Madrid are to be subtitled in English. This is a fine trend in publishing events online, as we see more and more material getting translation and interpretation.

As you might recall, providing translation was a strong point for the recent ITEF digital production by the Kalem Agency in Istanbul, too. Expect to see this from savvy producers of online publishing events more and more.

It’s clearly the right time for such an outreach, with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause the Italian market to lose about a third of its anticipated annual revenue.

The expected revenue shortfall of €650 million to €900 million out of a total anticipated annual €3.2 billion translates to a loss of US$713 million to $988 million from an expected annual $3.5 billion—clearly a massive hole punched in the budgetary structure of an industry in a nation of 60 million.

And to refresh you, some key features of the New Italian Books site:

  • For those of us who travel to industry events, a very handy calendar of Italian book fairs, literary festivals, and other events is included in an agenda section
  • Articles of interest are featured in an “Insights” area of the site
  • Grants listing provides details of what translation funding might be available to support international publication.
  • The “Database” division, includes a guide to publishers, institutions and this listing of literary agents among other things

From the current fiction section of the New Italian Books site

Publishing Perspectives has reported regularly on the staggering impact of the virus on the Italian market, one of the hardest hit in Europe. At this writing, the 7:32 a.m. ET update (1132 GMT) of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports Italy now at the ninth highest caseload level in the world with 240,578 infections and 34,844 deaths.

Potentially good news for Italians, Emilio Parodi at Reuters is reporting that a small research study in Italy finds COVID-19 patients tested in May had a lower viral load than those tested in April.

June 2 on the Via Fori Imperiali in Rome. Image – iStockphoto: Sara Sette


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Italian market is here. And more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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