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The Make Books Travel Podcast

42 EpisodesProduced by Marleen SeegersWebsite

The Make Books Travel podcast offers a behind-the-scenes look at the international publishing scene. Literary agent Marleen Seegers interviews the industry's key players, who all have one thing in common: they make books travel, for instance from one language to another, from manuscript to published… read more


S2 E3: The Turkish Publishing Market Seen from Within. An Interview with Amy Spangler

My guest of Season 2, episode 3 is Amy Marie Spangler, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Istanbul-based AnatoliaLit Agency

Like several of my previous guests on this podcast, Amy took part in the Jerusalem Book Fair fellowship in which I took part as well, in 2017. A few months later, we started working with AnatoliaLit to represent our list in Turkey, and I’m very happy with our collaboration in this market which does have its challenges. 

This podcast episode turned out to be a speed-course on the state of the Turkish publishing market. But we also talked about Amy’s activities as a translator from Turkish to English, and as an agent representing authors from Turkey and the surrounding regions internationally. 

One thing Amy pointed out after we recorded our interview, and which she suggested I clarify here, is that the curfew that she mentions is in place in Turkey at the moment, is in fact for weekends only, so it is not applied everyday. 

Thanks to this interview I learned a lot about Turkish publishing and hope you will, too! 

Here are some of the questions I asked Amy: 

  • What was the state of the Turkish publishing market before the pandemic started? 
  • What has happened since the start of the pandemic in terms of book sales in Turkey? 
  • Was the publishing world on a standstill at some point this year, and were publication dates postponed? 
  • Was there a higher demand for ebooks and audiobooks, as we have seen in other markets? 
  • Are there any genres that tend to sell well in Turkey, and others that don’t? 
  • You also represent a select number of authors, in Turkey as well as internationally, and you translate from Turkish into English. Can you tell us more about those activities? 
  • What was the biggest challenge for you when you launched Anatolialit? How did you address this matter? 

Show Notes 

  • Amy's book recommendations: 

- My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland (Tin House, 2020); 

- Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard, translated by David McLintock (Vintage Classics, 2019). 

Amy Marie Spangler is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, with B.A. degrees in Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology and German Language and Literature. After four years as rights manager and editor for the Istanbul-based publisher Çitlembik, Spangler left her position to found AnatoliaLit Agency, together with Dilek Akdemir, in 2005. 

In addition to running AnatoliaLit, Spangler is a translator, primarily from Turkish into English, and has taught in the Translation Studies Departments of Boğaziçi University and Okan University. Her published book translations include Noontime in Yenişehir by Sevgi Soysal (Milet, 2014), Dawn by Selahattin Demirtaş, co-translated with Kate Ferguson (SJP for Hogarth, 2019), and A Strange Woman by Leyla Erbil, co-translated with Nermin Menenemcioğlu (Deep Vellum, forthcoming).

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