Bonnier launches translated fiction imprint

Bonnier launches translated fiction imprint

Bonnier Publishing is set to release fiction titles in translation, starting with German fiction, under a new imprint called Manilla.

The initiative is a joint venture between two Bonnier companies - Ullstein Verlag in Germany and Bonnier Zaffre, part of Bonnier Publishing in the UK - to bring the "very best" of European commercial fiction to a global audience.

Bonnier intends to translate books originally penned in German with Ulstein and bring them to the English language market. It is understood the revenues from the titles will be split equally between the two publishers.

The company said Manilla, which it has dubbed "the home of international bestselling fiction", was born out of the idea that "the best books cross all borders" and that there should be "no barrier to the power of a good story". It will offer international readers of crime, thrillers, women’s and historical fiction the opportunity to discover authors such as Marc Raabe, Emily Bold and Hanna Winter, who are already bestsellers in their own countries.

Manilla will publish 12 titles altogether in 2016, launching with six e-books in the first half of the year, including crime fiction and a historic and a romance novel. Titles will be published in print within the first year. In the second half of the year, Piper, another German Bonnier publisher, will also enter the iniative with its own titles and Bonnier intends to expand the portfolio further in 2017 to involve Bonnier Books Finland.

According to Buchreport, the initiative is part of Bonnier's strategy of "internationalisation", and also helps to share the known high costs of translation for German books, cited between £7,000-9,000 for the average 300-page book.

The selection of titles for the Manilla imprint - based on a range of criteria, including solid e-book sales and reviews in Germany - is finally chosen by Bonnier Zaffre. 

The six launch titles, to be released as e-books, priced £4.99 with exception of Sacrifice priced £8.99, are: One Summer Night by Emily Bold, described as "a love letter to life", and sold over 380,000 copies in e-book in Germany (25th February); The Cleaner by Elisabeth Herrmann, a "gripping crime thriller" with an "unforgettable" heroin, that sold over 87,000 copies (released 24th March); The Wages of Sin by Inge Löhnig, a Munich-set crime detective novel that sold over 64,000 copies (released 21st April); The Apothecary’s Secret by screenwriter and author Johanna Geiges, a historical novel set in Germany's Dark Ages (released 19th May); and Sacrifice by Inge Löhnig, about a criminal psychologist who knows all about obsession, selling over 20,000 copies (released 30th June).