Book and Press market

The diversity of the Berlin book and press market in Germany is one-of-a-kind, the Berlin press market is one of the densest media markets in Germany.

Berlin’s book and press market – diverse and awarded

A diversity as seen in the book and press market is nowhere to be met anywhere else in Germany. Berlin is measured by the numbers of local book publishers and the numbers of annually releases, the biggest publishing city by far in Germany. It’s the small, ambitious publishers which are moulding the publishing density of the city since decades. The internationally active science and specialist publishers are an important player within the market. Copywriter and authors are being pulled to Berlin; they mould the contemporary literature and science.

Berlin’s press market as part of the densest media markets in Germany. Many editorial offices and news agencies have their head offices located in Berlin.

How has Berlin’s book and press market grown?

Berlin’s Book market (State: 2015)

  • Around 2.000 businesses are involved in Berlin’s book market, of that it’s 190 publishers, plus 1.300 independent writers.
  • The book market makes around 852 mio. Euros revenue, 5% more than 2014. The revenue of Berlin’s book publishers is around 511 mio. Euros
  • 8.700 workers are employed within the book market in Berlin. 4.150 of those work at publishers directly.
  • Altogether, there’s around 280 bookshops and antiquarians, making a revenue of 203 mio. Euros.

Berlin’s Press market (State: 2015)

  • The press market also contains around 2.000 businesses, consisting of 250 magazine and newspaper publishers, plus 1.300 independent journalists and press photographers.
  • The revenue accounts around 1,9 billion euros. Around 1,68 billion euros of this number are being generated by the press publishers.
  • Of around 12.800 workers within the press market, 7.800 work at publishers directly.

Berlin – a city of books

Berlin is the top of the German publishing industry. The around 190 book publishers in Berlin are 9% of German publishers, which is more than any other city. In 2017, Berlin is also ahead of other cities regarding the numbers of new releases with around 8.750 first releases.

A special strength are the scientific and specialised publishers, which also act globally. Regarding the publisher tops, established publishers and various smaller independent business are represented, which enrich Berlin with their literary and graphically ambitious programs. Their successful work was able to win various awards in recent years.

The wide range of specialised bookshops is diverse and density is nowhere else to be found in Germany. For this, over 30 Berlin-based bookshops have been awarded in the category “best bookshop” since the first edition of the German Buchhandelspreises in 2015.

More than 1.200 authors and writers are Berlin-based. They mould the image of German contemporary literature. Established literature awards, such as the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis or Georg-Büchner-Preis went to Berlin.

The digitalisation has created new distribution channels within the publishing sector and thus, new business concepts arose. For example the streaming and renting of E-Books and audiobooks. New communication structures are developing due to Facebook, new options for publisher ads thanks to YouTube or the widely used concept of QR-codes. More meaningful than those technical improvements is the modification in line of thought within the Berlin-based publishers. People don’t leave their houses with the printed book as the primary format anymore, but with the content that comes in many different formats. Long ago, pure e-book publishers and distributors formed.

The Berlin Publishing Award

To underline the importance of smaller, independent publishers for Berlin, the Berlin Publishing Award will be awarded for the first time in 2018. The aim is to strengthen Berlin’s publishing industry and the book at the same time as an economic and cultural good. To highlight this double role, the price will be awarded in presence of the Berlin Senate Departments for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, and the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Publishers who’s work have gained extra attention and deserve funding will be awarded. Applicable to win the award will be fiction and nonfiction publishers, which stand out from the Berlin publishing scene by their program and special book designs and are getting national attention.

Further information here

Visit the Berlin Publishing Award's Website

Berlin – the press’ city

More than 50 German and global newspapers have an office located in Berlin. Additionally, various editorial offices, and national and international press agencies from many countries are settled down in Berlin, too.

The readership in the capital can choose between eight daily newspapers and a number of weekly newspapers in Berlin.

Berlin’s press market is part of the leading media markets in Germany:

  • The share of the German press market is at 11% for businesses and 7% for the revenue.
  • 15% of the journalists and photographers in Germany live in Berlin.

Newspaper and magazine publishers have been more open to experimental publishing at times of the digitalisation than book publishers. The pace of the content production and distribution is faster in the press market. And unlike book publishers, newspapers and magazines make a big part of their revenue through advertising. 

The internet is challenging the magazine and newspaper publishers by far more than the book publishers. It’s mainly four specific areas, which will form the digital future of the the press market:

  • creating journalistic content
  • distribution of said content
  • selling ads
  • completely restructuring the company strategy and coordination; including winning over new business areas

Berlin’s press houses hold a pioneering role in the development of the press market on many occasions.

Sylvia Fiedler
Sylvia Fiedler

Buch- und Pressemarkt


Networks and Initiatives