NO COUNTRY FOR OLD BOOK

Good book, wrong country?  I suppose that can happen.

Kai John is a young executive with an entrepreneurial side interest in publishing.  Zeke Turner reports on the difficulty John has experienced trying to sell a new German translation of Ayn Rand’s classic book, Atlas Shrugged, in Germany (“What Would Ayn Do?” Bloomberg Businessweek 8/6/12–8/12/12, p. 72):

“In articles about the new translation, the German press has largely written off the book as a bizarre American import.  The best thing a German libertarian can hope for at the moment is some personal success as an entrepreneur.”

John is certainly pursuing that success.  He has already brokered a deal and completed a first press run of 5,000 copies.  He is hoping for a second run before 2013 arrives.  The German retail price of the book is equivalent to $48.50 in American currency.

Among his hopes for success, John also envisions influencing Germany’s political and business culture.  Given Germany boasts very few libertarians, this would be a significant change.  As John explains:

“I think personally that it is important for the book to be accessible to the German-speaking world. . . . And I strongly believe that it is liberty rather than collectivism that leads to a good life.  Nobody aside from Ayn Rand has put this into the plain words that the ordinary Joe can understand.”

Should the book continue to gain traction, not only will John find success, but perhaps the entire nation of Germany will rethink some of its approaches to politics and business.





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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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