New releases in Germany

originally posted by Marcel


i ask again (after long Time) - is a Release of your new Books for Germany planning?

Hi Marcel, how I wish I had better news - no offers, nothing pending at the moment.

In fact, all across the boards, offers for translation rights seem quiet - wondering if it is the world economy…what's the state of publishing in Germany and are people reading as they used to?

originally posted by Marcel

Thats bad :frowning_face:

And as eBook only, can this be a Chance for Germany? I know that you have very much Fans in Germany, but most of us it is "to hard" to read Books in englisch (and your Books was very complex - that make it harder ;))

But I heard from Ray Feist that his Books will by his US-publisher will not released in German. He and we was very shirty - now we Fans in Germany can not read this great final Books :frowning_face:

And your …not too :frowning_face: (For me, you and Ray are better as JK Rowling. She is good, but …you too are better! Very better, for me)

[Arghs, i hate it to write in english grammar, lol]

Marcel, if there is ever a publisher offering, trust me, I would take the offer very seriously. I would definitely want the books available to readers, it doesn't help me, either, when they're not.

originally posted by George

Es ist ok Marcel! Deine Grammatik ist nicht so schlecht, dass wir dich nicht verstanden haben :smiley:

Ich sage dir, was meine Deutschlehrerin mir gesagt hat…Ueben macht Meister! ha ha ha

Deshalb…an diesem "Bulletin Board" kannst du auf Englisch schreiben und auch ueben :smiley: Dann kann ich auch mein Deutsch ueben und (hoffentlich) verbessern!! :smiley:

originally posted by Marcel

Aber Janny hat ja nichts davon, wenn ich auf Deutsch schreibe.

Ich hoffe sehr, dass endlich ein Verlag ihre und Rays Bücher wieder zu uns bringt. Leider sind die Bücher auf Englisch für mich zu schwer zu lesen - Janny schreibt sehr anspruchsvoll und Rays letzte Bücher waren auch nicht auf Deutsch ganz leicht.

Some Englisch i learned for playing US-SNES Games First time i understand not all by "Final Fantasy 2" (okay, 4 - but it was called 2) - but next time more, next time more ^^ - my problem is the grammar and books to read was to hard. (Okay, Janny write very … "Anspuchsvoll" (ich komme nicht auf das englische Wort))


i think, it is not allowed, but i ask:

when Fans make a Fantranslate and pay for this, can this be a way?

Or can you your Books as selfpublisher sell in Germany (and tranlated)? (Amazon-Kindle)

Hi Marcel - thanks for your interest.

Let me try (across the language difference) to see if I understand what you are asking:

That if there is a fan translator, could the books be put up on Amazon-Kindle in Germany, with fair pay to me, and to the translator, is this possible?

If this is what you mean - it's a new idea, I don't know…some would depend on the contracts that were in place, before.

Let's be sure that is exactly what you are asking, before I answer.

And your English is a whole lot better than my German…

originally posted by Trys

Anspuchsvoll probably means sophisticated (using Google translator). :smiley:

originally posted by Marcel

Yes, this was I mean :smiley:

originally posted by Marcel

Yes, this was it was I mean :smiley:

Marcel - let me make some inquiries to see if this possibility can be considered/and to be sure exactly where I stand with earlier contracts within the series.

It's complex, because I have one agent in the USA who handles details, and an associate agent who handles Europe, and Germany would be included. I have to be sure such an innovation would not interfere with that partnership - or how such a venture might work, given all the parties involved.

You might be starting out as fans, but essentially, you would be filling the role as a publisher - or some sort of partnership effort that's never been done before.

Trys - thanks!

originally posted by Marcel

Oh, okay.

And when you (or your Agent) search a translator and you published by yourself at Amazon? At I see your Books as eBook, but (leider) only in english and your book are not easy to read (they are complex - and very good!)

German-Publisher of this Series (Bastei Lübbe) will not published new books :frowning_face:

I hope we get a chance, that we can read your books in German

originally posted by Ypso

Hi Marcel,

Being German myself I can relate to your problem, though I have started reading Janny's books in English years ago. And while the language does not pose that much of a problem to me, it still would be great to see the series completed in German.

That being said, I would not expact much to change anytime soon. Your best chance of getting the books translated into German probably lies with a novel way of publishing, just like the one you suggested.
But for a (German) publishing house the financial risk of such a venture seems to high to me right now since it very likely would also have to launch a reissue of the first five books already translated - and five books in English are ten books in German. Definitively no peanuts.

My suggestion would be to give English a try, even though you may not understand everything at first - or, more likely, not most of it. I have been there, but Geroge's teacher is right: Your English will improve eventually!

@ Janny

You asked what the state of publishing is in Germany and if people are reading as they used to do.
I cannot give you a definitve answer to either of your questions, but according to the Boersenblatt (Financial Paper) there has been a slight drop in numbers of publishing houses in 2012. Last year has also seen the lowest number of domestic publications since 2005, while on the other hand e-books managed to increase their market share(they now represent about 10 percent). Furthermore, in 2011 the industry recorded decreasing sales figures for the first time in years and the trend seems to continue, partly due to the internet. So, all in all, things are not bleak, but could be better right now.
I do not know whether I answered your question, but this is the situation here in (very) broad outline.

With regard to reading habits… well, it is complicated. I do believe things have changed over the years (less epic fantasy, more dark mystery-fantasy, vampire stuff and what I would call in-your-face-fantasy, meaning books that have oversized dragons, elves and trolls on their cover). But this might just as well be only my impression, so I would take it with a grain of salt.

Ypso - thanks for posting your views and you have my applause for your excellent English.

The one thing that has always made me cringe was that the German publisher stepped off just when the series was reaching tipping point/convergency. I have always felt bad that readers in German were 'abandoned' in mid course.

I truly hope one day this may be remedied.

Your impressions and mine would seem to agree - the upswing in Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Vampire, etc - has swept through and shifted the spectrum quite a lot. And my series has always had deeper layers and complexity than many sold under the Epic fantasy umbrella.

originally posted by Annette

In this age of digital books I think Janny is missing out on some money not having kindle translations of all her books available. Especially in languages where some of the early WoLaS books were already released.

originally posted by Ypso

Thanks a lot for your kind words, Janny!

Indeed, 'abandonment' seems a pretty fitting description to me. Though, I felt more betrayed than abandoned after hearing that a TV show, which I liked a lot, got cancelled just when it became pretty intense. Not to mention that the season ended with a cliffhanger. (grumble)

While I understand perfectly that a publishing house is, at the end of the day, a business like any other and has to make sure that it does not spend more money than it makes, I cannot help but think that especially the bigger ones sometimes lack some kind of vision (and a backbone).

Also, I am wondering whether some readers may expect a 'light' read when they pick up a fantasy novel and are not amused when they find it to be rather challenging, both textually and linguistically. I mention this because just the other day I read a comment by someone rebuffing a not particularly favourable critique of the new Hobbit film by basically saying 'It is fantasy, why do you look for a complex plot and deep characters in the first place?'
Apparently, there still seem to be certain clich’s in place when it comes to fantasy (same with comics by the way).

Coming back to the German translation of WoLaS, a reviewer on Amazon pointed out that there might be another hurdle for readers to connect to the books, especially when they are new to the series. That is, due to German being a rather 'long' language (not because of our penchant for producing classics like 'Fussbodenschleifmaschinenverleih', but grammatical structures, certain figures of speech that require a few words more to be expressed properly in German) it was necessary to split each volume in two books.
Hence, there were some reviewers on Amazon who expressed their disappointment that not much happened in the first book and who stopped reading the series as a consequence. Well, of course, 'not much happened' in the first book since it was only the first half of the first book.
Personally, I did not face this problem because, by accident, I started with the second book (the second part of the first book), believing it to be the first one, but that is another story. (cough)

originally posted by Gary Coady

'It is fantasy, why do you look for a complex plot and deep characters in the first place?'

While this may be a bit OT, it reminds me of -and-fantasy/

David Brin separates Science Fiction from Fantasy by the idea of "human improvability". But hell, WoLaS is certainly in the genre of fantasy (IMHO), and I have found no writing where "human improvability" is more central to the story than this. As I look forward to what happens in the next two books, I think human destiny is core to the series as a whole.

Some of the comments are more nuanced;
"I feel what you are describing, Mr. Brin, is the difference between philosophy and simple entertainment, not sci-fi and fantasy. The philosophy is couched in a story, but it is about discussing the improvement of mankind first and foremost, and that can be done as easily in a story about rabbits as in a story about galactic spacefaring."

But it may be the case that many people don't expect a difficult and philosophical story from a series in the fantasy genre. This doesn't make it wrong, it just means we should suggest this series to people who like this kind of story, whether they think they like fantasy, or otherwise.

originally posted by Pablo

I for one would love to finish/keep reading the rest of the series in german. I switched to the english versions years ago, too. Some nuances of the story are lost to me and thats a pitty because Janny uses such a rich and diverse vocabulary. The idea of a fantranslation/fan-author collaborated publishing as an ebook is great but by far to indimidating from the viewpoint of translating it properly. That would be a huuuge undertaking because of the page count and required skills (for one person). A german-translator-collective has the problem of mixing different translation skills on the other hand (i remember how some Harry Potter books have been fan-translated that way before offical publication). So i prefer to improve my reading skills. Buut if Janny would ever give a "green-light" to such a project… maybe i would offer some help translationwise. "German fan-translators… assemble!" :wink:

originally posted by Sleo

What a fascinating idea! I've never heard of it, but it makes sense on a visceral level. I'll be interested to see what Janny has to say about it.