Thursday, June 26, 2014

Slow Travel Berlin—News and Travel Tips from Berlin

Exiting news! We have teamed up with our friends from Slow Travel Berlin, a Berlin based group of expats mostly from America, Great Britain, and Ireland, to distribute their news stories and travel tips from Berlin.

Here is more in their own words: "Slow Travel Berlin was founded in January 2010 by British guidebook author, travel journalist and photographer Paul Sullivan. The aim is to establish a repository of eclectic information about the city from a range of perspectives to encourage deeper, more varied exploration and promotion of small, locally-minded businesses and services. The site features regular contributions from city residents on subjects ranging from food and literature to photography and personal experiences or memoirs. We aim to facilitate any quest to get beneath the skin of the city a little, or discover it at a more leisurely pace. We offer an insider’s view that will doubtless overlap from time to time with other Berlin travel sites, but will ultimately provide a unique and above all reliable resource that gives a broader, deeper perspective. We love this city and we want you to love it too."

So, please check in on their Berlin stories, which are thoroughly researched and weekly updated, and also, check out the new Slow Travel book, 100 Favorite Places.

What else is new: Our website has been redesigned, it's is now easier to navigate and, more importantly, to like on Facebook and Twitter. We will keep you posted on new books on the website, and on our blog.

Your publisher, Eva C. Schweitzer

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tucholsky in the Times

A great day for Kurt Tucholsky! In May, we have released Rheinsberg. A Storybook for Loversour second book by the great German writer and satirist, with a party at the German House of NYU. And now, it has been reviewed by William Grimes in The New York Times, as well as Berlin! Berlin! Dispatches from the Weimar Republic. The story is titled Giving a Satirist of the Third Reich the Last Laugh.
In Weimar Germany, Tucholsky (pronounced too-HOLE-skee) was big, the most brilliant, prolific and witty cultural journalist of his time. He remains big in Germany, a widely read author, with sales in the millions. In the English-speaking world, however, he barely exists.
Well, that will hopefully change now! The books has shot up to No. 910 on Amazon on the weekend, and to No 2 for books on Germany (it's still in the four-figures now)

Also, I would like to thank everybody who has contacted me, written to me, or bought one of the books. I will get back to everybody. And here is more on Tucholsky
Tucholsky was one of the most important journalists of the Weimar Republic. As a politically engaged journalist and temporary co-editor of the weekly magazine Die Weltbühne he proved himself to be a social critic in the tradition of Heinrich Heine. He was simultaneously a satirist, an author of satirical political revues, a songwriter and a poet. He saw himself as a left-wing democrat and pacifist and warned against anti-democratic tendencies – above all in politics, the military and justice – and the threat of National Socialism. 

In other news, we have modernized our website. The last kinks are being worked out right now. But you can now like and link every one of our books easily by clicking on the buttons on the left.

And upcoming: Berlin 1945. World War II: Photos from the Aftermath, by Michael Brettin and Peter Kroh. The books was supposed to come out in July; we have pushed it back a little, because starting in August, better paper will become available. We will keep you posted.

Your publisher, Eva C. Schweitzer

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Books, Books, Books

Back from the BEA, America's largest book fair, in New York City, feeling like I have walked ten miles per day; and I probably have, also due to the fact that walking back home was faster that taking a bus stuck in traffic (the subway has not opened yet because the escalators are not working; what is this, Berlin?), what else is new?

Metadata! The big new thing is metadata, i.e. how to make sure the information about your book in catalogues contains every detail that might possibly be relevant for searches. Because, especially for small publishers, its not about distribution any more, its about discoverability.

Social Media! So, after having told us for years that publishers and authors have to be all over Social Media all the time, new advice from the hilarious panel, "Worst Social Media Marketing Tips," with Ron Hogan, Bill Barnes, Maureen Johnson, and the really funny John Scalzi, author of Redshirts, who later also signed his newest book Look In. To sum it up, re-tweet everything! Re-post everything! Every 15 minutes, if you have to! Never read anything, though. And: Win every argument by badgering everybody, especially if you are a straight white male!

Yet, distribution! After years of having watched Ingram's subsidiary LightningSource cater to PoD-publishers, Baker and Taylor has teamed up with a Short-run and PoD-provider, who will get books into libraries; Bookmaster Inc. Details to follow. Speaking of LightningSource, the company will now offer standard color 70lb paper, starting in July. This is huge progress, and I will use it for our next book, Berlin 1945, which is heavy in black-and-white pictures.

Translation! While the American herd at the BEA seems to be thinning, there were quite a few international booths, not as Frankfurt, but still, such as Saudi-Arabia, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, France, and, of course, Germany, evidently the only country that still can afford to offer free chocolate. Translation grants were also a big thing, not only from German (and Austrian) into English, also from French, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, and Arabic, mostly for fiction. Also presenting: Amazon Crossing, a translation subsidiary of that Seattle-based Voldemort lookalike.

Yes, Amazon! Not physically present at the BEA — after all, they are busy building their own alternative book planet — , but much talked about, especially with the Amazon-Hachette fight. I can understand the wailing and I'm outraged as anybody about the Justice Department siding with Amazon against the Big Five publishers. However, at the end of the day, publishers will need to find a competitive way of selling books, since Barnes & Noble, sadly, can't be counted on.

And, finally, who reads books? This I can tell you: Young girls. The by far biggest and most enthusiastic crowds were young girls lining up for (mostly) female YA authors. So there is hope.


Make a personalized gift at Zazzle.