Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eisbein and Currywurst

Just a few things: The Berlin Cookbook is out, and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (B&N doesn't have a cover picture yet but this is only a matter of time). This is very exiting; it is the first English-language Berlin Cookbook ever; also, it is full color and has, of course, many recipes. And, no worries, I did not write it, but an actual cook. You can see it popping up right left of that blog (and then order it directly).

Also, the first two Berlinica DVDs are out, and available on Amazon (I am trying to get them into B&N, but this is not so easy). The first is The Path to Nuclear Fission, produced by Rosemarie Reed, it is about Lise Meitner, a brilliant Jewish scientist in Berlin whose inventions, ultimately, lead to the Atomic bomb. The other one is The Red Orchestra, about the Anti-Nazi resistance group of the same name. This documentary was done by Stefan Roloff; again, Stefan will be in New York to introduce his upcoming movie about the Wall and the Stasi at the German Consulate on December 9 at 6pm.

Stefan Roloff at the German Consulate

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beyond The Berlin Wall

I'm popping up in other blogs. Publishing Perspectives, a blog devoted to publishing based in Texas and New York asked me to do a story on how I began; here is it:

and, a few days later,  that wandered to a Spanish-language blog (or is it Portugese?):

and, just the other day, John Mutter at shelf awareness wrote about me:

Also, I can announce that my first movie is available on DVD. Not my movie, of course, the movie was done by Stefan Roloff, an artist who lives in Berlin and Brooklyn. It is a documentary about the Red Orchestra, an anti-Nazi resistance group. Here is it:

Stefan's father Helmut Roloff was himself a member of that resistance group. Stefan will also give a talk about his next documentary about the Stasi, the secret Eastern German police, on December 9th at 6pm at the German Consulate:,archiveCtx=2172602.html

Monday, November 15, 2010


So, I launched! It was a great party at the German Consulate, with close to 150 people, and — at noon — a great reading at the Deutsches Haus at NYU. Sorry to everyone I did not talk to, but I was surrounded by people all the time. Holly gave a great performance, and so did Micaela. The cookbook was ready just hours before the launch, it will be available very soon. And the website was also ready only a few hours ahead, but just in time, thanks to Harry and Elaine, and to Anne, who let me stay at her place. And thanks to Zum Schneider, who provided the food (how can so much food be gone so quickly?)

I met Cindy, my translator, for the first time, she had come all the way from Iowa (with her husband), afterwards we went to a French place at the Upper East Sie, the Film Center Cafe, and Rudy's at Ninth Avenue. I got to bed at three am. The next day, I showed them Times Square, and we had a lot of cheesecake. There will be pictures. We also had a little adventure, I will tell you later.

I am still borderline exhausted, and there is so much more to do: Getting the books on Kindle and Nook, and on Baker&Taylor. Talking to schools, and people in Los Angeles. Maybe even sleep, who knows.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Midnight Cowboy

So, this is the last reminder: tomorrow is the launch of Berlinica. I have not slept or eaten for three days (except chocolate and bananas), but here it comes! We have a luncheon reading with Holly-Jane Rahlens at the Deutsches Haus of NYU at 42 Washington Mews. I‘m not sure whether this is sold out already; I do know, however, that Holly's famous aunt will attend, Sylvia Miles, a New York actress who was nominated for an Oscar for a role in Midnight Cowboy, a movie that takes place, by total coincidence, about 500 feet from where I live.

The launch party is from 6 to 8pm at the German Consulate with Holly, Micaela Leon, who will present songs from her upcoming album M—Songs of Weimar Berlin, and a reception with beer, wine and snacks from Zum Schneider, the famous Bavarian place at Avenue C and 7th street (Sylvester Schneider has lived in Berlin for seven years, so that's close enough). We will have books, and everybody who buys one can get it signed by Holly, and gets a little gift bag, courtesy of Berlin Partner. I hope to get the first copy of the Berlin Cookbook mailed just in time for the launch. The evening event is filling up, so if you want to attend and have not RSVP's yet, please do so.

So, see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

La Cage Aux Folles

The launch is coming closer. My author has arrived. She stays in my apartment. Sadly, she is allergic to my stuffed animal collection. Wallflower, our first novel, has been mysteriously pulled from distribution of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, here is why: I found out that Amazon Japan listed the husband of the author as the publisher, and instead of calling  (how difficult can it be to speak Japanese?), I turned to LightningSource, the printer, to correct the mistake in their database. The book will show up in Australia any time soon, so there is no time to waste. Evidently, this caused the book to vanish altogether for, like, two weeks, but it will be back.

Also, it turned out that the pianist who is playing at the Thursday launch party has to leave early. So now the musical program comes first, the reading later. I got napkins printed with a Berlin city map. I met someone at a party who explained to me how Google Analytics work (sort of). The catalog arrived today, not a moment too soon, as did the proof for our first movie, The Red Orchestra, and five T-shirts my interns are gonna wear. The proof for the cookbook will be sent out tomorrow. That's a little tight  because for UPS, overnight dies not mean the next day, but rather, a few nights out. There is still no trace of any CD, but at least Amazon promised me a free proof.

Also, here is the first news story, written by myself (of course). Every word is true.

I got 23 twitters already, whatever that might be.

Here is the link for the party - we are slightly over capacity, but who cares?,archiveCtx=1981346.html

Saturday, November 6, 2010

All the Publisher's Men

I‘m entering the phase where I‘m becoming irritable and testy, and start to yell at people, not yet in person, but per email. Also, these are the days, so close to the launch of Berlinica when I‘m realizing what I forgot to do. I should have bought labels for Micaela's CD, I should have sent the cookbook to the printer earlier to have the proof ready in time, my interns are still working on a Berlin-skyline-logo that is becoming more sophisticated by the week, and I still don't have a complete press list.

This is yet another endeavor that takes more time than I though; today, I spent half an hour to figure out whom to contact at AP, so far, to no avail. At least I've found a place to stay for my author, Holly-Jane Rahlens, who will be here for the launch, not one day to soon, because she will arrive on Tuesday. The launch is on Thursday. Did I mention that the launch is on Thursday? Here is the link. Don't forget to RSVP or I will yell at you at the door. If somebody from AP reads this, please call me.,archiveCtx=1981346.html

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lost in Translation

While I‘m still battling the challenges of everyday life in New York, my books are seeing the world: They are on sale, as I just found out, in Japan!

Of course, still in English. Sometime down the road, we will probably see Amazon automatically translating books. But that might take a while (or not).

I have asked my roommate in Berlin — who soon will be married to a Japanese girl — to provide some context, I am still waiting. However, if anybody out there has friends in Japan, please send them a book. I would really like to see how they reflect on my account statements.


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