Saturday, May 05, 2012

Record breaking numbers of New Zealand book rights sold into Germany

 New Zealand’s role as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair has generated record breaking rights sales for New Zealand writers and publishers.
66 book titles are being translated and published in Germany in 2012, an unprecedented high for New Zealand’s publishing industry.

“New Zealand books have never seen such international exposure,” said Kevin Chapman, president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand and managing director of publishing house Hachette New Zealand.

“New Zealand has been attending the Frankfurt Book Fair for over 20 years. Most years we’ll get 10 New Zealand titles translated and sold into Germany, but New Zealand’s Guest of Honour status this year has increased our sales by about 600 per cent and by the end of this year we hope to have added more titles to the list. This is a stand-out year in New Zealand’s publishing history.”

Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos, who is currently in New Zealand, said the record time in which New Zealand has achieved this result was impressive.

“Most countries have a two to three year lead-in to the Guest of Honour role. To achieve such an increase in book sales and translations in eight months says great things about New Zealand’s energy and capacity to achieve in any environment,” he said.

The “once in lifetime” opportunity of the Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour status not only raises the profile of New Zealand’s literary and cultural life in Germany (and Europe) this year, but has ongoing benefits for our trade, tourism and creative, education, cultural and publishing industries.

Last year’s Guest of Honour, Iceland, gained huge exposure, and a spike in book sales, as well as a “renaissance” of Icelandic literature and culture throughout Europe.
“New Zealand has already received focussed, extensive press coverage in Germany as a result of our Guest of Honour status, and there is a lot more to come,” said Kevin Chapman.

The 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair runs for five days, opening on the evening of 9 October and ending on 14 October.  New Zealand will hand over the Guest of Honour role to Brazil on 14 October.
Visit for the list of 66 books being translated.

Frankfurt Book Fair background:
The history of the Frankfurt Book Fair dates back to the 15th century, when Johannes Gutenberg first invented movable type – only a few kilometres down the road from Frankfurt.
Frankfurt remained the central and undisputed European book fair city through to the 17th century. In the course of political and cultural upheaval, in the 18th century Leipzig then came to play the part.
In 1949, that early Frankfurt book fair tradition was given a new lease of life: 205 German exhibitors assembled on 18–23 September in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche for the first post-war book fair.
More than 60 trade-fair years later, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest of its kind in the world – and the hallmark for global activities in the field of culture.

The Guest of Honour programme at the Frankfurt Book Fair has a long and prestigious history.

This year New Zealand will have more publishing, translation, storytelling and education opportunities at the 2012 fair as we promote ourselves through the collective New Zealand Publishing stand, across digital storytelling hot spots and within our dedicated 2,300 square metre New Zealand pavillion. In the lead-up to Frankfurt we will take centre stage through a series of high-profile literary and cultural events.

Guest of Honour facts:
At least six times more books sold during New Zealand’s Guest of Honour year.

Internationally renowned architecture firm Pattersons and Inside Out productions are working together to create the 2,300 square metre New Zealand pavilion.

The Guest of Honour cultural programme featuring top New Zealand writers, musicians, dancers and artists will be revealed at a June press conference in Frankfurt.

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