New Books in German
is a twice yearly journal aimed at busy editors in the UK, the USA, and increasingly those in other countries, who would like to publish more translations but would also appreciate independent help in finding the right titles from among the thousands published each year in the German language: the Spring Issue is published in time for the London Book Fair, while the Autumn issue appears at the time of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In addition, the journal is sent to translators, to literary critics, to booksellers, to German departments in universities, to libraries and to others who have expressed interest in reading German-language literature. More than four thousand five hundred copies of the journal are distributed throughout the world from the central mailing list in London as well as by the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian, German and Swiss Embassies, the International Division of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the German Book Office in New York.
The initiative for New Books in German
came from a seminar held in London in May 1996 at which representatives from many branches of the book trade met to discuss why relatively few books are translated from German into English. It was felt that readers of English were not being given access to some of the best books in a variety of fields and for a variety of reasons. A steering committee was set up to hold further discussions and to launch a journal, with members now drawn from the British Centre for Literary Translation, the Austrian Cultural Forum (formerly Institute), German and Swiss Embassies, the Goethe-Institut, the Frankfurt Book Fair as well as our two editorial consultants. Editorial advisers are brought in for each issue, including a literary agent, a publisher, a translator and a bookseller, as are experienced readers to provide preliminary book reports. Some of the original founding members are still involved. As well as book reviews we publish features on aspects of the publishing scenes in the respective countries, portraits of authors, the experiences of those working creatively with German in their professional lives here, and news about literary festivals and other events.
Financial and moral support for New Books in German
is provided by the Foreign Ministries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Pro Helvetia (Arts Council of Switzerland), the Goethe-Institut in Munich and London, the German Book Office in New York, the International Division of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. In addition, once a book has been chosen independently by the Editorial Committee, its German publishers make a fixed contribution to the journal’s costs. We are grateful to all these supporters, and also to the organisations represented on the Steering Committee, for their continued assistance. There is more information about all those who support NBG under Sponsors
A more recent development, one we are delighted about as it opens up a whole new potential readership and market, is that a Spanish
version of all the reviews and relevant features exists online. We thank our colleagues in the Madrid office of the Goethe-Institut for their excellent work. Also a selection of reviews from each issue is available as a newsletter in Italian
: we thank our colleagues in the Rome office of the Goethe-Institut for this initiative. The Selection Process
We are proud - in this, our twelfth year - that around fifty titles featured in New Books in German have appeared in English translation, and we look forward to many more. The independence of how titles are selected is of vital importance to us, the only guiding criteria being those of quality: we are looking for outstanding works and voices, works that may, or should, have a chance even in the tricky British market as well as in the other countries where NBG is read. We aim for breadth, to have something for all those who embrace literature in translation rather than shy away from it, and are pleased that there are an increasing number of editors in publishing houses, both big and small, who do just that. Our practice is to invite publishers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland to submit up to three titles from their forthcoming lists (or any recently published titles that may have slipped through our net). Starting then with around 130 titles, we send out on average seventy of these to our experienced team of reviewers – translators, academics, people in the trade, all of them extremely well-read and with a feel for the market.
These commissioned reports form the basis of discussion and debate at the Editorial Meeting where the selection for an issue is made. The Editorial Committee consists of some regulars - translators Anthea Bell and Shaun Whiteside, agent Tanja Howarth, bookseller Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles, editorial consultant and copy-writer Sheridan Marshall - as well as representatives from the Austrian, German and Swiss cultural institutions in London and from our publisher, the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. In addition several UK editors, publishers, agents or scouts are invited to join for an issue - for details please see the Editorial Team
section. The deadline for submissions from publishers for the Spring 2013 issue has passed. The deadline for the autumn issue will be early May 2013.
If you would be interested in finding out more about the background of the journal, or have questions about its work today and its ideas for the future, please contact the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information about the journal can be found in the Press
section under News.