Christoph Droesser: It’s about Sausage-What you have to know if you like to eat meat

It’s about Sausage

It’s about Sausage


Es geht um die Wurst :
Was du wissen musst, wenn du gern Fleisch isst
Christoph Droesser (NASW member) and Nora Coenenberg (illustrator)
Gabriel Verlag, Germany, Jan. 11, 2021, $16 (14 EUR)
ISBN-10: 3522305817; ISBN-13 : 978-3522305815
Ages 8+

Droesser reports:

My illustrator friend Nora Coenenberg approached me in 2019, saying: “I’d like to do a kids’ book about meat.” I loved the idea. Parents who serve their kid burgers or hot dogs have to face the day when the child finds out that an animal was killed in the process. A lot of questions follow: how did the animal live? How did it die? Is eating meat healthy? What about the environment? Nora and I both eat meat, so we wanted to find out if it is possible to consume meat with a clear conscience.

The two of us had done a kids’ book together in 2019 (100 Kinder, a non-fiction book about the world’s children, reduced to a representative sample of 100). Our publisher, Gabriel Verlag, was open to our suggestion. I submitted a one-page proposal and my agent got the paperwork ready.

Christoph Droesser, photo by Liesa Johannssen

Christoph Droesser, photo by Liesa Johannssen

Nutrition and agriculture aren’t my beat, so I had to dive into statistics about meat consumption, European regulations for cattle production, and the “food pyramid.” The book has four chapters: human nutrition, animal welfare, meat’s environmental impact, and eating better. We have double-page illustrations about how a slaughterhouse works and how hot dogs are made. We are happy with the result and will look a lot closer at meat labels in the future, trying to eat appropriately sourced meat.

The book at first will be available only on the German market. I’d love to do a version for the American market, although I’d have to start a lot of the research from scratch due to different regulations. I’ve tried to do that with two other German books of mine, but even though I had an agent, I never could land a deal. Turns out the book market in the US is pretty tight, even for an established author from another country.

I was a long time editor for the German weekly Die Zeit before I moved to San Francisco six years ago to freelance as a science writer. I joined NASW two years ago since I thought you should team up with colleagues where you live, not where your stories appear.

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Hero image by Tide He from Pixabay

January 6, 2021

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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