February 2002 Bulletin

Book distribution program finds success in Frankfurt

By Lynne Dowling

The Frankfurt Book Fair, held each year during October, in Frankfurt, Germany, is the largest book fair in the world. It is attended by more than 26,000 world publishers and, over the course of five days, more than 250,000 people pass through its 10 giant halls and millions of square feet of space. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the place to go to sell book rights–whether you are John Gresham, Solomin Rushdie, Dr. Ruth, or AAOS!

The Academy has been actively participating in the book fair since 1995. Initially, the primary goal was to find international distribution agents for AAOS English language books. After two years, international programs staff had secured all the distribution networks and agents it required, and shifted focus to the translation rights business, which was in its infancy.

Since then, Academy international translation rights business has blossomed, and today is producing annual revenues in excess of $300,000 (up from $30,000 in 1995!) for AAOS. More importantly, with more Academy books being translated into other languages, more and more orthopaedic surgeons and residents in training have access to some of the world’s best orthopaedic literature, in a language they can read and understand with facility.

Most of the major AAOS titles have been translated, including the primary OKU syllabus, OKU specialty books, Instructional Course Lectures, Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, Orthopaedic Basic Science, Clinical Measurement of Joint Motion, the monographs, and the self assessment special interest examinations. Academy publications are available in Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, Greek, and Portuguese. New inroads into the Eastern European sectors leave us hopeful for even more opportunities in the future. Currently, the biggest demand for Academy book rights stem from the Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean markets.

Perhaps the most exciting recent addition to this lineup was the deal made this year to have every issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons translated into Spanish, and distributed in Spain. Expanded distribution into Latin America will follow. Academy international programs staff negotiate translation rights with international translation rights agents and publishers. The Academy does not do the translation work itself. All translation work is done by professional translators, in the country where the book will be distributed, under the supervision of medical professionals, most often by orthopaedic surgeons.

Between the healthy international distribution business and the translations rights activities, the five days in Frankfurt create a full year of work for members of the Academy’s international programs department team. The expanded access to AAOS publications dovetails beautifully with our expanded international education programs activities. Combined, they are helping to bring the best of our educational offerings to physicians in need throughout the world.

Lynne Dowling is director of the AAOS department of international programs.

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