Friday, November 26, 2010
Industry Insider: Kris Alice Hohls
Thanks for being here, Kris!
How important is the German market to book publishing and what countries does it cover?
While attending the BookExpo and the RWA conference this year we were told by several US editors, publicists and authors that the German language market is the most profitable non-English market. It mainly covers Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, but we also have readers from countries where people speak German as a second language, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Spain or Bulgaria.
What is LoveLetter magazine?
LoveLetter is a monthly print magazine reaching (romance) readers, authors, editors and booksellers. It contains articles, author/industry interviews, special features, reviews, news and sometimes even short stories.
How did LoveLetter get started?
In early 2005 I was tired of waiting for someone to start a German romance magazine and decided to publish and finance a newsletter of 20 pages in black & white. With the help of some equally enthusiastic people it has since then grown into a full-colour magazine of 52 pages. It is now available to subscribers and in stores.
How often does LoveLetter come out?
LoveLetter is a monthly magazine. Only during the summer do we take a month-long break to give us the time to attend the RWA conference and recharge our batteries.
What I like about the magazine is that there is no typical day. However, I always start the day by checking my inbox, our facebook account and the blogs I follow. I answer reader mails and send out orders. Then it is making sure that all the reviewers receive their requested ARCs, that the translations are on time and that we have enough content for the next issue. For that we need to get in touch with authors, editors and publicists. We chase down missing author photos, book covers and release dates. Towards the middle of the month it is all about editing reviews, articles, interviews and translations. That is also when our advertising partners send in their material and the layouting starts.
What are German readers looking for?
Right now the most popular trends are YA fantasy romance and paranormal romance novels. Crime fiction is huge over here so hopefully the next big thing will be romantic suspense.
What are your favourite reads?
I like nothing better than discovering a new romance subgenre and new to me authors. Currently I read a lot of YA authors and I have discovered the Harlequin Superromance line for me.
What is your favourite part of your job?
It’s very rewarding to see our readers get excited about the authors and books we feature. I love editors telling us that it was a review/article/interview in our magazine that first got them interested in an author’s German translation rights. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that we can help authors and publishers find a whole new audience. But what I like most is that with each new issue I learn more about the romance genre, its readers, authors and publishers.
What are the recent trends in the German market with regards to series romance?
What we can see is that exotic story settings are still doing very well. Not surprising as Germans love to travel. Sexy stories are going strong and paranormal stories have been introduced. Historicals are very popular and with the new historical crime line (Historical Krimi) with books by Ashley Gardner, P.B. Ryan and Tasha Alexander it promises to be even more so.
Are you willing for authors to send you German books as giveaways etc? In other words how can authors help support the good work you are doing in trying to support the romance genre?
We’d be happy to receive books as giveaways. Our readers love them. Authors can help us by letting us know well in advance of their upcoming releases (US & German), offering ARCs if available, proposing unique article ideas, short stories and being available for interviews. Do you know a debut author? Tell them about us! Are you traveling to Germany and have time to meet some readers? Let us know!
What can authors do to raise their profile in the German market?
All of the above. Be professional, interested and respectful of your readers and the people that want to help you.
We’ve heard rumours about a German Readers Conference so that romance authors can get to meet some their ardent fans. Can you give a few hints?
It is not official yet, as we are still looking for the right event location, but yes, we are planning a German Readers Conference for late May/early June 2012. It will take place in Berlin. Anyone interested in attending /participating is more than welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kris Alice Hohls