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THE BIBLIO FILE is a leading podcast that examines "the book" and book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with writers, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners who busy themselves with the world of books.

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Aug 27, 2022

Elisabeth Ruge is a German editor, publisher and literary agent. She currently heads the Elisabeth Ruge Agency which she founded in 2014. In 1994 she established the Berlin Verlag publishing house together with her then husband Arnulf Conradi and Veit Heinichen. 
I met Elisabeth at her home on the outskirts of Berlin to discuss the roles she has played over her career, including the one she currently plays as Germany's leading literary agent. Among other things we talk about the importance of "attention" in the book editing and publishing processes: getting it, giving it, maintaining it; about letting go; about spin and elevator pitches; about James McBride's The Color of Water; about Jonathan Littell's The Kindly One; about how essential in-house editors are to the success of publishing houses; about serious book conversation; about authors being paid honorariums in Germany; about the importance of an author's credibility; about critics; explanatory brochures; Gallimard covers; the agent-publisher relationship, the complexity of the publishing business...and about Denmark.