After Michael Ende’s script was accepted by K. Thienemanns, the author soon became friends with his publishers, first with Lotte, then with Richard Weitbrecht and above all with Hansjörg Weitbrecht. Ende was able to discuss his ideas with Hansjörg Weitbrecht, and in turn Weitbrecht came up with ideas for him too. This productive working relationship was a necessary prerequisite for Michael Ende, and the close collaboration made almost anything possible. Ende, for example, suggested that his book should be printed in two colours, and realizing that the idea would appeal to readers, Hansjörg Weitbrecht agreed to take the financial risk. Later both men were rewarded for their decision by the book’s success.
Michael Ende worked closely with his publishers on a number of levels. He was involved in the choice of cover designs, typeset and publicity material. For the two ‘Jim Button’ novels he worked with illustrator Frank Josef Tripp on sketches of the individual characters and on design features of the books.