‘Let’s Talk’ Program Opens Monday, Aligned with the Thessaloniki Book Fair

In News by Porter Anderson

Frankfurter Buchmesse presents seminars on COVID-era bookselling, translation, and publishing, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

At Thessaloniki’s New Beach, the ‘Umbrellas’ by the late sculptor and architect George Zongolopoulos (1903-2004)

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

Emphasis on Digital Leverage
Created in association with the 17th Thessaloniki International Book Fair, Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Goethe-Institut Griechenland are collaborating with Greece’s Hellenic Foundation for Culture and other parties to offer “Let’s Talk,” a digital program for professionals in the publishing industry.

The fair—set in leafy, modern Thessaloniki on the Thermaic Gulf in the northern Aegean—is one of the Aldus Network of European book fairs and trade shows and, like most such events has had to devise its program this year for online delivery.

The “Let’s Talk” program, produced within the framework of the Thessaloniki event, opens Monday (November 9) and runs to November 18, and is aimed at publishers, booksellers, literary agents, translators, and others in Greece and Germany.

Key topics are bookselling under the conditions of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, online book marketing, and trends in Germany’s audiobooks.

The program comprises six sessions—three for translators, two for publishers, and one for booksellers—and is offered free of charge.

Registration links are listed below with each session description.

Six Program Sessions

At the 2019 Thessaloniki International Book Fair. Image: TIBF

Cultural Contexts in Literary Translation: A seminar for translators

November 9: one hour
7 p.m. EET / 6 p.m. CET / 1700 GMT / 2 p.m. ET
German and Greek, with simultaneous interpretation

Questions expected to be addressed include whether translators generally work in both directions in their language pairs? How do trends in editing, networking, and funding vary in different cultures? How have developments in technology and digitization affected translators’ work? What external factors of cultural context might impact writing and translation in Greek- and German-language countries?


  • Christos Asteriou, writer and translator living in Berlin
  • Marianna Chalari, translator from Athens
  • Michaela Prinzinger, writer and translator based in Berlin and Leiden

(Im)Possibilities of Poetry Translation: A seminar for translators

Elena Pallantza

November 11: one hour
7 p.m. EET / 6 p.m. CET / 1700 GMT / 2 p.m. ET
German and Greek, with simultaneous interpretation

Issues in this discussion include whether it’s possible to translate poetry, or is the task really rewriting? How much license does a translator have with the original text? How does this play into the question of fidelity vs. freedom in translation?


  • Elena Pallantza, translator of poetry in German and Greek
  • Maren Kames, poet
  • Marina Agathangelidou, translator currently at work on Kames’ Luna Luna

Translating Graphic Novels: A seminar for translators

Marianna Tsatsou

November 12: one hour
7 p.m. EET / 6 p.m. CET / 1700 GMT / 2 p.m. ET
German and Greek, with simultaneous interpretation

Translators work with special challenges in handling the interaction of text and image in graphic novels. The space is usually limited, the text is frequently dialogue, and both lettering and illustration need to be preserved.


  • Katharina Greve, cartoonist, writer, and artist based in Berlin
  • Marianna Tsatsou, translator
  • Lida Tsene, Comicdom Con Athens artistic director

Meet the Experts: Audiobook Trends in Germany: A seminar for publishers

Nopi Chatzigeorgiou

November 16: one hour
12 p.m. EET / 11 a.m. CET / 1000 GMT / 5 a.m. ET

This session looks at opportunities in Greece for development of downloadable and streaming audiobook services, based on their prevalence in Germany.


  • Kurt Thielen, CEO of Zebralution Digital Media Distribution
  • Corinna Zimber, owner and publisher of Audiobuch Verlag
  • Nopi Chatzigeorgiou of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture

Best Bookstore Practices Pandemic Times: A seminar for booksellers

Euripides Konstandtinidis,

November 16: a 90-minute session
6 p.m. EET / 5 p.m. CET / 1200 GMT / 7 a.m. ET

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the importance of being able to operate commercially online, not only in sales and fulfillment but also in marketing and public relations. The session will touch on networking with bookselling alliances and concerns about challenges to holiday-season revenues.


  • Katrin Schmidt, owner of the bookshop LeseZeichen in Germering
  • Katerina Malakate, owner of the bookshop Booktalks in Athens
  • Euripides Konstandtinidis, owner of Thessaloniki’s Konstantinidis Bookshop

Online Book Marketing: A seminar for publishers

Marco Verhülsdonk

November 18: 90 minutes
12 p.m. EET / 11 a.m. CET / 1000 GMT / 5 a.m. ET

This session looks at digital discoverability and how to make books and authors more easily spotted by consumers. The conversation includes formats and ideas for establishing a digital marketing approach for your press.


  • Marco Verhülsdonk, digital marketing director with Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch
  • Michalis Kalamaras, digital publishing consultant and founder of eAnagnostis.gr
Latest COVID-19 Figures

At this writing, the 10:24 a.m. ET (1524 GMT) update of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center sees 44,246 cases in Greece’s population of 10.1 million, with 673 fatalities.

And in Germany, ranked 15th in the world for caseloads at 588,344 reported infections, the death toll in that population of 83 million is 10,878.

More from Publishing Perspectives on translation is here, more on digital publishing is here, more on audiobooks is here, and more on bookselling is here. More from us on Greece is here, more on Germany is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is here

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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.