About the Author

Amanda DeMarco

Amanda DeMarco is a freelance writer and translator living in Berlin. Originally from Chicago, her work for Publishing Perspectives focuses on German-language publishing news.

“Translators are the Bottleneck” in Iceland’s Prep for Star Turn at Frankfurt 2011

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco You probably never expected to hear this in reference to Icelandic literature: “Translators are the bottleneck.” But as German publishers gear up for Iceland to be the Guest of Honor at the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair, that’s exactly how Kristof Magnusson describes the situation. Magnusson, a writer whose most recent novel Das war ich nicht was long-listed for …

Web 2.0 Publishing with BookRix

In What's the Buzz by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco Gunnar Siewert doesn’t come from a publishing background. He worked at Bertelsmann Music Group from 1992 to 2002, a watershed era of “democratization and digitalization” for the music industry that profoundly affected the founding of his Web 2.0 publishing platform, BookRix. Siewert sees BookRix as a MySpace for literature where writers and readers interact without mediation. Talk …

Online Bookselling in Germany: Word-of-mouth vs. Online Search

In German Buch News by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco For a small publisher, getting titles onto bookstore shelves is a crucial challenge, to say nothing of gaining attention for them once they’re there. For customers, book buying can be an overwhelming experience. Tubuk, an online bookstore for independent publishers, aims to take the pain out of both. Independent publisher Andreas Freitag launched the German online community …

In-house v. Offshore Book Production: Now You Don’t Have to Choose

In Global Trade Talk by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco At the Frankfurt seminar “Book Publishing in the Cloud,” Dan Dube, Senior Vice President of Really Strategies, a consulting service for publishers, discussed “an ever more dramatic need to reduce expenses and costs,” mainly due to the emergence of online providers like Amazon and Google Books. As a result, many publishers have transferred their composition processes to …

Berlin’s International Literary Fest Provides a Showcase for World Lit, Politics of Publishing

In Guest Contributors by Amanda DeMarco

• All eyes may be turned to Frankfurt, but Germany’s capital Berlin just wrapped up its own popular literary festival with 279 authors from 63 countries appeared at 232 events. • At the Festival author Alberto Manguel called American publishing “one of the worst and most dangerous things that has happened to the works of art and literature.” By Amanda …

Ugly Duckling Presse Transforms Into a Digital Swan

In Digital by Amanda DeMarco

Brooklyn indie poetry publisher Ugly Duckling Presse has turned to e-books as a means of re-issuing out-of-print poetry chapbooks, which has doubled readership for the books. By Amanda DeMarco BROOKLYN: At first glance, Ugly Duckling Presse seems like an unlikely candidate to offer e-books. The tiny non-profit publishes mainly poetry, often chapbooks in small hand-made letterpress-printed editions. But Ugly Duckling …

Twisted Spoon Press on “Trickle-Up Publishing”

In Growth Markets by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco PRAGUE: In an April 15th New York Times Op-Ed piece, Olga Tokarczuk ruminated on Polish public response to the recent plane crash that had killed the Polish president and 95 other people: “…sometimes I fear that the people of my country can unite only beside victims’ bodies, over coffins and in cemeteries…I dream of Poland becoming a …

The Mistake on Page 1,032: On Translating Infinite Jest into German

In Digital by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco “The limits of my language are the limits of my world,” Ulrich Blumenbach quotes Wittgenstein as saying in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article to describe the challenges and inducements of the six years he spent translating David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest (Unendlicher Spass) into German — something he did without input from the author, who refused to speak to …

After Six Years, Germany’s KiWi Cashes In on Infinite Jest

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco COLOGNE: It was “not self-evident” that David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest would enter the German literary world, says Helge Malchow, publisher at Cologne-based Kiepenheuer & Witsch (KiWi). Buchmarkt named Malchow Publisher of the Year in 2005, the same year a Welt Online article called him “the Bismarck of German publishing, its lord and savior.” About 50% of …