I am very good (too good for my own good) at yelling at my publishers (search this blog, man), but this stunt from my German publisher, Eichborn, is a bit much. Their slogan is: "The publishing house with the fly". (Yeah, I know. They could have chosen any kind of badass animal for their logo, but they went with the humble fly: The one animal that truly relishes dung.) And so, to garner respect and draw attention to the mighty abomination of their booth, they released a few hundred (?) flies with little Eichborn banners attached to their legs into the big hall at the Frankfurter Book Fair.
Cute, some say.
I personally see little cuteness.
Attaching a banner the weight of a fly to a fly's hind legs and then setting it "free", to flutter in a stutter, to panic, perchance to die -- not my idea of cute. More my idea of cruel. At the end of the video, we are told that the banners were attached with wax and came off spontaneously "after a few hours". What a relief! I'm sure they told all the lil' fellahs: Don't worry, it'll come off!
Here is my proposal for the next book fair: Maybe we could pierce the nipples of all Eichborn employees and hang copies of Omega Minor from them (OM no doubt being their heaviest tome). (Only for a few hours, of course. The holes, after all, will close.) Hey, who doesn't like nipples? That'll make it onto Youtube million-count heaven no prob!
A little pox, therefore, on Eichborn. I wish I could take my book back from them. Given that the novel did diddle-do-squat in Germany (perhaps, one now wonders, due to the fly-brained efficiency of Eichborn PR team?), I am sure they'd just as happy be rid of me.
Here is my real proposal: If you're German and you want to read my book -- go to the library. If you want to buy it: Go get the English version. Either way: Don't give the Eichborn assclowns your money.