I (Gregor Christian Schell, born 1957) have
published the first small volumes of poetry and an art magazine in 1976: „Zwiebelzwerg Zeitung of Art and Social." The publishing house was found. I soon met Heike Laufenburg (born in 1961).
After a while a limited company with a few other people was established out of my small private publishing house. First and foremost magazines and periodicals were published: A few more art
journals, then we abandoned them. In the following we published "Caspar, newspaper for peace with children", a magazine for the coexistence between older and younger people, which dealt
with education and psychology. A "Düsseldorf's musical newspaper" with several thousand copies followed
and was published for some time then. At the same time several book projects were started and continuously several different books were published. In this publishing house Heike Laufenburg already worked during school as editor of "Caspar", I was in charge for sale, accounting and press printing.
Between 1979 and 1984 an attempt has been
made to provide a regular publishing house and to keep a company alive in which between five and eight employees could be equally active. I myself studied adjacent to work Germanic, philosophy and
pedagogy, and then became with an external exam a bookseller with a focus on publishing industry and the Chamber of Commerce. Heike Laufenburg became editor in publishing after she graduated from high
school and finished her teacher training. On the second Christmas Day in 1984, my partner resigned the
shareholders' agreement in a sudden, so that the corporation had to be canceled. Heike Laufenburg and I thought a long time, then decided to adopt all book rights, publisher's name and equipment,
and dare to make a new start with our own concept.
This concept had two fundamental goals: on the one hand
it was important to us that the books are in a fair collaboration with the writers, creating the books responding the requests and suggestions of the authors as much as possible and producing them,
however the author imagines. On the other hand the publishing company should be able to work long term in every aspect, it should accompany us in our lives and our development, but the same time giving
all involved and assisting people that it is not about spontaneous projects, but also that ones works are in good hands for the long run. To learn more about book marketing from a sales perspective, we
have both traveled two to three years as publishers' representatives through the bookstores in North Rhine-Westphalia.
We published in 1985 books, which were
prepared in the GmbH, the following year, then the first of our books: In the beginning there were only a few books a year - in recent years came to the production of 20 to 25 books a year. In 1989 we moved our publisher's headquarters from Düsseldorf to Willebadessen. The main reason was the high cost in the city and
the difficulty of obtaining large rooms. We also wanted to establish a permanent family, and found that children can grow up in the country better, have greater security and a better life. The location
was selected in part because of the printing press, with which we began a collaboration was in near of Paderborn.
We worked for several years in rooms, which
we rented in the castle in Willebadessen. Many books were created and Heike Laufenburg has also designed our logo there. For
nine years we commuted between East-Westphalia and Düsseldorf, until we were finally able to accommodate all the private houses, publishing and distribution facilities together into an 550m² large, old
The first floor apartment is a complete range. It was
created from the old board, which was grouped around a basic oven (a tiled oven led into three different rooms). In the attic is the office of Heike Laufenburg with the meeting rooms. In the ground floor
in the former "hunting room" my office is located, next to the former pub, divided with glass doors from the office. The bound books will be shown here in future. The old pub bar measures 5
meters, and is ornamented with Dutch tiles. We kept it and turned it into a packing counter. There the books ordered to be seized. They can then be loaded directly on the ground floor though the pub door
into the van. Behind the counter of the input into a large room, which has given the pub it's name: "Blue Grotto". This "cave" is a windowless room, where in the early '50s
(by candle light!) people used to dance. We store here, in long, heavy-duty shelves the unbound books. The storage size is calculated in the way, that the next few years we will have no problems.
This is the reason why we stick to the
principle that no books shall be taken from the program. We could take books out, which were sold too less, or at some point sell them off by the request of the authors, but: the sell off of books is
neither to the authors nor to us a profit. At a retail price of less than l,- per book, in most cases even far below 50 cents it is not worthwhile. Also one should keep in mind that books from
lesser-known authors wouldn't necessary be bought by major bookstores, because the income is not guaranteed by scrapping To
withdrawn books from sale is not necessary as the space for storage is there. It would not be right because it may happen that books which were hardly sold over years are bought in a sudden within a
year. Even if in one year only as a surprise 30 or 40 books were sold it would be worthwhile for the storage. The books we
make wouldn't be invalid by time. It's a bad habit that books are only noticed in the year of their appearance by German trade market. A good book of poems or a nice story book for years are
still as current as directly after the release!
Behind the storage is the former dining room for about 40
to 60 guests, a large attachment (over which the terrace is located). The rear row is completed with large windows, which point to our garden and the meadows behind it with a small river in the valley.
This place is our library. We collect a lot of private and published books here.