Books first

A special programme from the Goethe-Institut in 2018 and 2019 for bringing German-language literature to English-speaking readers.

Books First © Sebastian Huber / Goethe-Institut The Year of German-American Friendship Wunderbar Together began in the USA in the autumn of 2018 and ended in 2019 – a good opportunity to raise awareness of German-language literature in the English-speaking world. For a whole year a comprehensive picture of Germany was painted by many different activities in the areas of culture, business, academia and politics.

To this end, the branches of the Goethe-Institut in the USA are developed diverse and innovative programmes in all cultural domains. Naturally, showcasing contemporary German-language literature also played an important role in this context. As a part of the BOOKS FIRST programme, various events featuring German-speaking authors were staged at different places around the USA in 2019.

Furthermore, a total of 21 titles of contemporary German-language literature was supported with a special financial grant during the runtime of BOOKS FIRST. An overview of all supported works can be found here.

Specifically designed readers offered fascinating insights into new literary publications. The readers provide background information on carefully chosen books from all kinds of genres, and also provide extracts in English by way of a sneak preview. As of now, the rights to the books presented there have not all been sold yet, but we can only recommend that they be translated.

GuaranteeD translation grant: Extension

We guarantee a translation grant for the works presented in the readers beyond the end of 2019. Interested English-language publishers can apply here for support at any time.

Up to 50% of the translation cost will be covered, based on a translation fee of 35 euro per standard page (one standard page contains 1,800 characters, including spaces, or 30 lines of 60 characters each). In the case of graphic novels, a lump sum of 1,000 euro is paid in addition to the translation costs to cover the costs of lettering.

The translation grant is open to all English-language publishers.