“Global Ebook Market” update 2013:
February 15, 2013 by admin
Exciting transformations in German publishing: How will independent publishers meet a turbulent future?
December 13, 2012 by admin
While over the last few days, everyone interested in German publishing was puzzled by the kind of harakiri staged by the two owners of the prestigeous Suhrkamp Verlag, their Munich peers at Hanser now use the moment – and the momentum – to show that a generational transition in a highly regarded literary house can also be exciting in a positive sense. A year before Michael KrĂĽger will resign as he turns 70 in 2013, the announcement was made today that Jo Lendle (44) will succeed him from January 1st, 2014.
KrĂĽger, for three decades, had developed Hanser into probably the best address in Germany for a pretty broad specter from really exclusive, high brow fiction, to bestselling titles from Umberto Eco (“The Name of the Rose”), Isabelle Allende or Swedish crime star henning Mankell. Hiring Jo Lendle, who learned the job at DuMont in Cologne, wants to send out a clear message: “We know that things are changing, really, but we are up to go for the new times!”
Meanwhile at Suhrkamp, Ulla Unseld-Berkewicz, widdow after the legendary Siegfried Unseld, not only moved the publishing house from culturally sleepy Frankfurt to exciting Berlin – which could be understood as a similarly bold move. She also spent much time quarrelling with literally everybody who dared coming close to her aura, including several quickly resigning managing directors, and now with her co-owner of 39 percent, Hans Barlach, in a true soap opera, broadcast live via all German media: Their recent battles in court resulted earler this week even in a first instance ruling deposing the current Suhrkamp management (including Ulla Unseld-Berkewicz). (See here and here - in German).
But the Suhrkamp soap is not the really exciting news in fact. I am more interested in what Hanser – and perhaps a few more independent houses – will do, like Lendle’s DuMont (he was appointed to the post of publisher at DuMont, after being editorial director before,Â just by January 2012), or Swiss Diogenes?
There are lots of turbulences in the market of publishing and books: The pressure from Amazon is mounting, the two local retail chains, Thalia and Weltbild, are each in dire straits. Ebooks so far have been largely driven by the three big groups – Random House, Holtzbrink (with S. Fischer, Rowohlt et al.) and the German part of the Swedish Bonnier group (Ullstein, Piper), plus a few other rather non-traditional book publishers (like Luebbe – which has a long tradition of doing ‘trash’, but has re-invented itself in the digital arena, and just announced to open a creative writing school to train their authors, and a bookshop to better understand readers).
One doesn’t need to be a wizzard in economics to predict that the mounting digital tide will result in a new wave of consolidation. (Random House showed the pace with its merger with Penguin a few weeks ago – but remind you, the German part of RH was not part of that deal!). New players will come in, with both local start ups, and the big Globals (Kobo, B&N, plus Apple, Amazon, Google) expanding their share, and traditional roles in the business going topsy turvy.
Those literary minded publishers in the middle – the Hanser, Suhrkamp, Diogenes, DuMont – must re-invent themselves radically. Will the Gallimard model be one option (Gallimard, by acquiring Flammarion recently opted for a strategy of growth, to catch up with the big groups). Will family owned Hanser have talks via their new top person with DuMont? Will Suhrkamp go under – with a hugely interesting backlist ready for a takeover as the company itself disintegrates?
German readers are a clientĂ¨le anyone in the business of books can only wish for – books and reading are a part of the DNA of a broad cultural middle class, which at the same time seems to embrace digital, after early hesitations, now with a growing appetite and pleasure. This year’s Christmas should see a lot of digital sales, both devices and books.
The landscape seemed so calm only two months ago, at the Frankfurt Book Fair. But everyone well knew that this was not true. Now we are going to find out.
In a global perspective, ebooks are much bigger, really, and more complicated, than what we had thought in our wildest dreams. Look at Google!
November 29, 2012 by admin
Have you followed – and realized – that Google will now make available some 5 million titles as ebooks – and only half of them are in English!
This will make Google rather sooner than later, the by far leading aggregator of digital books.
Read more in my first blog entry at the Tools of Change / O’Reilly blog here.
November 18, 2012 by admin
FĂĽr deutsche Verlage ist Ă–sterreich ein wichtiger, wenn auch nicht immer einfacher Regionalmarkt. Schriftsteller aus Ă–sterreich haben indessen seit mehr als einem Jahrhundert eine ĂĽberaus starke PrĂ¤senz in der deutschsprachigen Literatur. Ă„hnliche Erfolge Ă¶sterreichischer Verlage sind indessen die Ausnahme, schon vor 100 Jahren, als Freuds “Traumdeutung” bei Deuticke in Wien erschien – oder heute, wenn zweimal in nur drei Jahren der Deutsche Buchpreis an den Kleinverlag Jung und Jung in Salzburg geht.
Das BinnenverhĂ¤ltnis zwischen den beiden NachbarschaftsmĂ¤rkten ist zunehmend schwierig – wenn deutsche Exporte wachsen, und Ă¶sterreichische Verlage immer weniger BĂĽcher nach Deutschland schicken.
Wir haben die Details, rechtzeitig zur Buch Wien 2012 recherchiert und fĂĽr das fĂĽhrende Branchenmagazin buchreport zusammengefasst – dessen BĂĽro Wien wir auch sind.
Den Artikel senden wir Ihnen gerne zu.
Random House and Penguin to merge – Reading a watershed development in global publishing
October 29, 2012 by admin
I spend a good part of the day giving interviews to German, Swiss and Austrian media, while trying to get a reading of the many dimensions of the at first rumored, and now confirmed merger of two leading trade publishing houeses, Random House and Penguin.
These are the easy to comprehend aspects: When German Bertelsmann acquired Random House in 1998, the leading US’ trade publisher, this kicked off publishing as an international – more precisely: trans-national – business. But at that point, “international” was still confined to Europe and North America. Today’s announcement of the merger of the global number 3 and 4 in trade, according to our Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry Ranking, or, in the US perspective, the combo of #1 and #2 of the American Big Six publishers, this reaches out across five continents.
The newexpansion now gets publishing at a really global stage, aiming at markets like China, India, or Brazil. Ironically, the German home of Random, Munich, is explicitely cut out of that picture. Strange at first glance. The German imprints of Random House will continue to report to RH New York, but will not have a seat at that table where global decisions will be made. Germany, once the proud second largest publishing market worldwide (now overtaken by China) finds itself on the rear seat.
Also obviously, this is about publishers trying to find their (new) angle with Amazon, Apple, or Google in that new map of global publishing. But the new Penguin Random House (or, as my old friend Philipp Jones coined the wonderful phrase in the Guardian today, the “House of the Random Pendguin“) will have revenues of perhaps â‚¬2.5 bn, against Amazon’s 15 fold turnover of â‚¬ 37bn. How will such an imbalance work out in the near future?
Or can they, really, get leverage from owning the world class content that indeed they own?
Many thoughts to be considered and discussed. This should make me want to write – and discuss – more, here in this lazy blog, and elsewhere.
With more to come.
A Global Map of Publishing 2012 – PREVIEW: Our events and reports at the Frankfurt Book Fair
October 8, 2012 by admin
Allow me to proudly invite you to several events and reports about latest developments in international publishing which we prepared for the Frankfurt Book Fair - as examples of our work in the past year.
This is the world of global publishing as we see it today:
This map was drawn based on the brand new report â€śThe Global Map of Publishing Markets 2012â€ť, which we prepared on behalf of the International Publishers Association (IPA). You can find it, together with a brief analysis on current trends on IPAâ€™s www.internationalpublishers.org or at www.booklab.info .
A second study, the â€śGlobal Ebook Marketsâ€ť report will provide rich ressources and analysis in much more detail, on how digital is growing, not just in the English language sphere, but also in Europe and globally.
It is presented at the TOCFrankfurt conference on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 (http://tocfrankfurt.com/2012-program ), with two different panel: One on â€śOutsmarting Piracyâ€ť, and the other on â€śWhere next?â€ť. The report will be available for download for free from Tuesday at http://shop.oreilly.com .
What are, overall, in the perspective of leading companies, the relevant trends of that industry, and who are the drivers and the actors? This will be discussed at the
Frankfurt CEO panel: Disruption and New frontier.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 14:30 to 16:00,
Hall 4.2., Room Dimension
Meet executives from key players, notably Barnes & Noble, Fnac, Google, Kobo and IndiaPlaza, hosted by the leading industry magazines The Bookseller, buchreport, Livres Hebdo, PublishNews Brazil, Publishers Weekly. This is the annual state of the industry debate, based on our â€śGlobal Ranking of the Publishing Industryâ€ť.
And for a more indepth approach, we invite you at this special event:
Understanding Arab Publishing:
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 16:15 to 17:15
Forum Dialogue, Hall 5.1 A 962.
This debate will introduce the brand new â€śResearch Centreâ€ť of the Sharjah International Book Fair, with two studies that we could carry out recently, a thorrough analysis on reading habits in the UAE, and on the emerging UAE publishing market, a the crossroads between Europa, Spouth Asia and the Arab world, and as a hub to an exciting region for culture and business in full change.
As publishing goes digital & global, we have the numbers, and share the insights.
Looking forward to seeing you in Frankfurt!
Die Marktmacht von Amazon und wie sich der Zugang zu BĂĽchern verĂ¤ndert. Eine Nahaufnahme.
October 5, 2012 by admin
Amazon gibt immer mehr den Ton an, auch was die Aufmerksamkeit fĂĽr mĂ¶gliche nĂ¤chste Erfolge ausmacht. Die Zeichen stehen auf Sturm
In allen diesen VerĂ¤nderungen, Verlagerungen und Beschleunigungen kommt den Internetseiten von Amazon eine zentrale Rolle zu. Bestsellerlisten mit ihren zehn oder 20 Spitzentiteln bilden nur die alleroberste Spitze des Eisberges ab. Doch abseits von “Shades”, “Twilight” oder auch, in bescheidenerem Umfang, Wolfgang Herrndorfs “Tschick”, verĂ¤steln und spezialisieren sich die PrĂ¤ferenzen der Lesenden immer weitlĂ¤ufiger. Wir nehmen alle mĂ¶glichen Informationshappen und Empfehlungsimpulse aus vielen Richtungen auf und steuern damit die Entscheidung, welches Buch wir als NĂ¤chstes Ă¶ffnen. Um hier etwas Ăśbersicht zu gewinnen, auch um das Aufgeschnappte zu ĂĽberprĂĽfen oder weitere Meinungen einzuholen, klicken viele immer regelmĂ¤Ăźiger dann bei Amazon. Denn dort gibt es kurze Beschreibungen, eben die Bewertungen von Lesern mit Sternchen und Besprechungen – inklusive Fakes, aber ich denke, dieser Aspekt wird eher ĂĽberschĂ¤tzt -, die Verkaufsplatzierung und den Verweis auf Ă¤hnliche Titel zum eben gesuchten.
Genau dies finde ich beim kleinen BuchhĂ¤ndler im GrĂ¤tzel natĂĽrlich auch – vorausgesetzt, ich wohne in einer grĂ¶Ăźeren Stadt. Aber die Ballung an Informationen im Netz wĂ¤chst.
Mehr im Standard nachlesen.
Join us for the Frankfurt CEO panel: Disruption and New Frontiers
October 4, 2012 by admin
The CEO panel debate at the Frankfurt Book Fair is hosting leaders of this transformation, to discuss the transformation of the industry, and its future perspectives as they are shaped by their companies.
Wednesday October 10, 2012, from 14:30 to 16:00
Hall 4.2, room Dimension.
â€˘ Santiago de la Mora, Director, Print Content Partnerships, EMEA , Google
â€˘ Jamie Iannone, President, Barnes & Noble Digital Products
â€˘ Elodie Perthuisot, Director of Books, Fnac
â€˘ Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo
â€˘ V.Valliappan, Category Head-Books, Indiaplaza
Publishing in the Arab world – a detailed report on the example of the Emirates (UAE)
September 17, 2012 by admin
Books and publishing are a key to be a part of the globalizing knowledge society. What does this mean for the Arab world? We could research a detailed report, together with Nasser Jarreous, commissioned by the Emirates Publishers Association.
Publishing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a young industry, but with a significant potential to develop into a sector of strategic relevance domestically and a hub in the Gulf regionâ€™s development into a knowledge-driven society and economy in accordance with the standard practices and ambitions of the twenty-first century.
Imports of reading materials in the English language predominate those in Arabic at an estimated ratio of 65 to 35 per cent, and the overall market is worth an estimated 260 million USD, reflecting the reading practices of an audience that generally lives in a multilingual and multifaceted cultural environment. Furthermore, various indicators point to growth in the importance of Arabic publications.
Weltbild, Urheberrecht (ACTA), Piracy – ĂĽberall eine lustig verkehrte Welt!
July 9, 2012 by admin
Der Buchhandelskonzern Weltbild soll verkauft werden – aus moralischen GrĂĽnden. Oder doch nicht? Kaum haben die katholischen BischĂ¶fe die Kehrtwende beschlossen, steht die Welt der Leselust Kopf: Rechtzeitig zu Urlaubssaison und Strandleselust erscheinen ein, mit Verlaub, Softpornoroman mit dem Titel “Shades of Grey – Geheimes Verlangen”, plus zwei FolgebĂ¤nde, vorgemerkt fĂĽr SpĂ¤tsommer und Herbst, und sehr vieles spricht dafĂĽr, dass diese Trilogie die Gesamtbilanz des Buchjahres 2012 ganz nachhaltig prĂ¤gen wird.
BloĂź, was macht Weltbild nun damit? Die schlĂĽpfrige Schmonzette boykottieren? Wohl kaum. Den SchmĂ¶ker in den LĂ¤den und Online irgendwo weit hinten verstecken? Schwierig fĂĽr einen HĂ¤ndler, der so gekonnt auf sein Publikum zugeht. KaltschnĂ¤uzig promoten und abcashen? Wie steht es dann um die eben umkĂ¤mpfte GlaubwĂĽrdigkeit des kirchlichen EigentĂĽmers?
Ă„hnliche Volten gibt es aber auch bei allerlei anderen Debatten geht es heiter bis wolkig zu. Mehr beim Perlentaucher im Virtualienmarkt.