Presentation of two Guinness World Records to L Ron Hubbard’s literary agency, Author Services Inc of Los Angeles at the New Era Publications International stand in Frankfurt, Germany
Report by Ogova Ondego
Published October 13, 2006
As publishers and book industry professionals gather in the world’s mecca of books-Frankfurt Book Fair (October 4-8, 2006)-to buy, sell, promote and celebrate the works of tens of thousands of authors from across the globe, writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986) has been declared the most translated and most published author in the world.
Having out-sprinted popular American novelist Sidney Sheldon and best selling British children’s ‘magic’ writer JK Rowlings to enter the Guinness World Records as the most translated author in 2005, Hubbard has added a feather to his cap in 2006 as most published writer, having sold more than 233 million copies internationally with 19 New York Times best-sellers; Guinness World Records certified him as the world’s most published author with 1084 works exceeding the record held by Brazilian author Jose Carlos Ryoki with 1,058.
Presenting the two Guinness World Records to New Era Publications International on October 6, 2006 was Kalyan Shah, President of India’s Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the organisers of the Kolkata Book Fair, the world’s largest consumer book fair. Shah described Hubbard as “one of the world’s most influential authors whose many works of fiction and non-fiction have both entertained and enlightened readers on all continents and contributed to our emerging global culture.
He is not only a publishing phenomenon but his works are a treasure to be shared by all who believe that humanity can find solutions to its many problems and build a better world for all.” To mark this momentous event, New Era Publications International announced the release in 2007 of a new collection of 200 of Hubbard’s early fiction works, titled Stories from a Golden Age, as well as a new line of his non-fiction works.
Hubbard’s works ‘translated into 71 languages’spans 16 genres including non-fiction (self-improvement), fiction; adventure and fantasy, education, art (music and film), administration and leadership, drug rehabilitation, morals and criminal reform. Many of these works are available as audio books.
The languages into which Hubbard’s books appear are Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azeri, Basque, Belo Russian, Bengali, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari-Farsi, Dutch, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Guarani, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Kirundi, Korean, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malayalam, Mexican, Mongolian, Nepalese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Taiwanese, Tamil, Thai,Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Xhosa and Zulu.
Of his 1084 titles, perhaps none beats Dianetics that has sold 22 million copies worldwide and a million in Germany since its publication in May 1950. ‘Dianetics,’ writes Ute Kiessl of New Era Publications International, ‘is available in 53 languages and is now recognized as a planet-wide operating manual for the human mind.’ Also taking centre stage in the world’s biggest book expo with more than 7000 exhibitors from 100 countries and 74100 fairgoers in 2006 were world-famous international film directors who participated in workshops on book and film-related topics; more than 50 international publishing companies and authors were at match-up sessions in the International Agents Centre for Adaptations & Screenplay to present their books and scripts as potential film material over the five days of the expo. Frankfurt Book Fair’s Forum Film & TV that has been established as an international meeting point and market place for trade in film adaptation rights on the premise that every film was once a book and that in every book is a film waiting to be made marked the fourth year in 2006, with experts sharing their insights at workshops and contributing to in-depth cooperation between the film and publishing industries. Among these experts was Sybille Kurz who, in her workshop, ‘Pitch me if you can’, showed authors how to successfully offer their material to film producers. The importance of film adaptations from literature for the international film industry is demonstrated by the partnership agreed on in 2005 between the production company Focus Features (Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener) and publishing group Random House. As part of the Hesse Film and Cinema Prize ceremony, the Frankfurt Book Fair presented its award for the ‘Best International Literary Film Adaptation’ for the third time in 2006. This year’s list of nominations included Where the Truth Lies directed by Atom Egoyan, Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee, Pride and Prejudice directed by Joe Wright, Gabrielle directed by Patrice Chereau, Elementarteilchen directed by Oskar Roehler and the Fernando Meirelles-directed The Constant Gardener. A panel discussion with producers Peter James, Danny Krausz and Julian Friedmann on the subject of literary film adaptations was part of the international Get Together.
While Sybille Kurz showed authors how to successfully offer their material to film producers in the workshop ‘Pitch me if you can’, Julian Friedmann of ScriptWriter-Magazine talked about rights trade in the film industry. Four film adaptations from Berlinale 2006 programme were screened on October 5: Ramanzo Criminale directed by Michele Placido, Opal Dream directed by Peter Cattaneo, Zemastan . It’s Winter directed by Rafi Pitts, and The Night Listener directed by Patrick Stenner. Also in Frankfurt was Luc Besson, the French director of The Fifth Element who introduced his latest film, Arthur and the Minimoys, on October 6. Also featured were 20th Century Fox films The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep and A Good Year with Russell Crowe. Besides Perfume, the German film industry also contributed Der rote Kakadu (directed by Dominik Graf), TKKG . Das Geheimnis um die rätselhafte Mind-Machine (directed by Tommy Weigand) and Emmas Glück (directed by Sven Taddicken). Not to be left behind was Bollywood, the world’s largest film producers.
The highlight here was the screening on October 7 of the Fair of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna .Kank from the Indian star director Karan Johan with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. As the fair wound up on October 8, director Mira Nair of Salaam Bombay fame talked about her new film, The Namesake, that had been shown on October 6.